Wedding Reception Dance Planning Checklist

collage of pictures from epic wedding dancePlanning a big wedding dance party comes with a million decisions—and, luckily, a guide to get you the wedding reception of your dreams! This step-by-step guide can take you from the first wedding reception idea to dancing the night away with all your friends.

___Select a wedding date.

___Set a budget. (Tip: use this wedding budget worksheet.)

___Decide on a desired wedding atmosphere.

___Choose a wedding venue. (Tip: if an epic late-night dance is a priority, ask the venue planners about curfew times and volume limitations.)

___If the venue is outside, make a plan B in case of inclement weather. (Tip: if the dance is outside, make sure the venue meets your band or DJ’s electrical needs.)

___Set a timeline for the wedding reception and program (i.e. toasts, dinner, dance moments, etc.) (Tip: customize this sample wedding reception timeline and share with key vendors, such as the entertainer and photographer.)

___Choose the best wedding music entertainment: band or DJ. (Tip: When interviewing DJs, ask them these questions to weed out the sub-par DJs. A good DJ uses a custom play list that fits with the couple’s style.)

___Sign a contract with a quality band or DJ. (Tip: use these tips for navigating through the fine print.)

___Draft a venue layout with spots for the cake, interactive tables or tasting stations, and strategically-placed entertainment. (Tip: to keep the dance floor packed, plan for a beverage table or bar near the dancing.)

___Book other entertainment, such as a photobooth or one of these other fun wedding entertainment ideas.

___Plan out the logistics and location of any interactive tables or tasting stations.

___Set a wedding menu play list and coordinate important details (i.e. announcements, wedding party pronunciations, etc). (Tip: to avoid any songs that make you cringe, choose a wedding DJ who honors your ‘Do not play’ list.)

___Choose dinner & cocktail background music (Tip: if you don’t have major preferences AND trust your DJ, ask the DJ to choose songs.)

___Select songs for the traditional wedding reception dances (if included in the reception).

  • ___ Wedding party entrance music
  • ___ First dance
  • ___ Father-daughter dance
  • ___ Mother-son dance
  • ___ Bouquet & garter toss songs
  • ___ Dance songs

____Plan surprises if you want to add them to the wedding reception. (Tip: use this list of wedding reception surprises for inspiration and don’t forget to include your DJ in on the fun.)

___Purchase favors that fit with atmosphere.

___Enjoy!

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