A friend of ours recently attended a wedding (that we didn’t deejay!). She came back with a sad report: the activity on the dance floor was way less than stellar, and the bride was in a corner in tears because no one was dancing. If you want to avoid the same wedding reception fate (and tears) use these tips to keep your guests going until their dancing shoes wear out:
Hire the best
In addition to reporting on a crying bride, our friend also gave a full report of an “okay wedding DJ” who wasn’t able to keep the guests dancing at the wedding reception. If you want the best results, hire the best DJ for the job (one that doesn’t regard every wedding as the same); we’ve given you tips on how to select a top-notch wedding DJ for your big day in this blog post. Don’t wait; the best DJ’s calendars fill up quickly.
Create a dance floor that’s not too big and not too small
Be like the fairytale character Goldilocks: a small cramped dance floor is going to repel your wedding guests and so is a huge dance floor that always looks empty. The right dance floor size is dependent upon the amount of guests you are expecting; every guest should need 3-4 square feet for dancing. Remember, not every guest is going to be on your dance floor. Make sure your dance floor is close to drinks so your guests stay hydrated and ready to go.
Give your guests the chance to interact
As appealing as it may be to skip the cost of a DJ or band, don’t underestimate your guests’ need—and the success of the night—on the amount of interaction. As such, hire a professional to create an interactive evening where the guests can request and take an active part in the fun. Give them that chance early; ask your guests for song requests on your invitations—and choose a DJ that can honor those requests.
Get the dancing started
One the best ways to get everyone out on the floor: lead by example. As the bride, groom, or member of the wedding party, head out onto the dance floor—and bring others with you!
Don’t stop the momentum
Schedule accordingly. Once you’ve got your guests dancing, keep them dancing. Try not to interrupt the flow of the evening by doing a cake cutting or other activity that takes them away from the fun.
Be careful what you put on your ‘Do Not Play’ list
Another friend of ours told us about a bride with a looooong list of songs she didn’t want played at her wedding. Her list included some of the most common local dancing songs. When it comes to drafting a play list for your wedding, listen to your DJ. Hire an experienced DJ who can use their experience to draft a play list that gets—and keeps— guests on the dance floor. You don’t want your lengthy ‘do not play’ list to keep everyone from having fun.
If you want to keep your guests on the dance floor, give them the fuel to do so. Talk to your caterer about a late night course (including drinks-you don’t want your guests to get dehydrated), order pizzas, or have a food truck pull up for a fun and delicious surprise. If your wedding has a theme, continue your theme by selecting late night food that fits with the theme (i.e. quesadillas for a Mexican-themed night, snow cones for a summer picnic, etc.)
Fun is contagious. Do everything you can to get your guests out on the dance floor, and have fun!