couple on dance floor doing order of dances at wedding reception

Order of Dances at Wedding Reception (and How to Spice Them Up!)

Many couples ask about the order of dances at a wedding reception, but the real question is how to take a wedding reception to the next level. You can find the answer to both questions in this post about wedding reception dances.

Wedding Reception Dance Order

The traditional order of dances at a wedding reception is typically:

  • Introduction of Newlyweds
  • Newlyweds’ First Dance
  • Father-Daughter & Mother-Son (Or Parent-Child)
  • Wedding Party Introduction & Dance
  • Guest Dances

As important as traditional dances are, remember to allow for plenty of guest time on the dance floor. (A good Chicago wedding DJ knows exactly how to do this! Learn more about hiring a wedding DJ and wedding DJ costs in these posts.)

Tips for Making the Wedding Reception Better (More Fun!)

If you want to make your wedding dances—and reception—more fun, use these tips for making the event even more memorable.

Get an awesome Chicago wedding DJ.

A quality wedding DJ does more than just play wedding reception music. An excellent DJ entertains guests, keeps them on the dance floor, and customizes their play list to fit the couple’s tastes. It’s not always easy to find the best, but couples can use this step-by-step guide for finding and hiring a wedding DJ, wedding review sites, and a list of wedding DJ questions to find the “one” that’ll make the reception an awesome experience for everyone.

Plan a surprise—and keep it a secret!

A wedding surprise is a great way to make the reception memorable. There are a number of ways to surprise guests (i.e. arrival of a celebrity or mascot, choreographed first dance, confetti drop, fireworks, etc.), but the key is to keep it a secret! While you shouldn’t tell anyone else, make sure you tell the wedding DJ (and photographer or videographer) so they can make the surprise part of events and play it up.

Consider adding games to the order of events.

Wedding dance floor games are a hoot, especially when they are personalized to the couple. Wedding reception games like the shoe game are a huge hoot. Quieter games, like a table trivia, can be just as entertaining—especially when you include the wedding DJ in the fun.

Make your first dance memorable.

Your first dance can be a flashy dance, a hilarious routine, or a big ensemble with a flash mob. Whatever you want, this is your chance to make your first dance especially you! For a traditional, elegant dance, schedule wonderful dance lessons where you can bond and learn together. If you want to add a touch of comedy, choose a fun first wedding dance and add your own flair to the routine. You can also ask your wedding DJ for suggestions. An experienced wedding DJ can give you ideas that you can customize for your special day.

Think about making your parent-child even better.

If your parent is up to it, a memorable father-daughter or mother-son dance is a great way to surprise guests and make the reception even better. The “big” dance can be a choreographed routine, a dance with personalized touches, or even a special song that means a lot to both you and your parent. (Find more parent-child dance ideas here.)

Add other entertainment to the reception.

While a rocking wedding reception can be tons of fun, it may not be everyone’s idea of a good time. Consider adding a photo booth for extra photos, table trivia games, yard games, and other fun touches to make the evening enjoyable for everyone.