To steal an old expression, awesomely over-the-top wedding dances are not born, they’re made. We admit to taking some liberties with that saying (pretty sure “awesomely over-the-top” was not part of the original saying), but you get the gist: it takes some thought and prep to plan a memorable night that your friends are talking about for months (and even years) to come. Everyone’s been to a dance; it’s the small and unique touches that set a wedding dance apart from the rest.
Take dance lessons.
You choose the dance (i.e. first dance, father-daughter, mother-son, etc.), then up the ante with a specific dance selected and choreographed for the occasion. Think carefully about song selection; you don’t want your big dance to turn from a special to awkward performance (your DJ can recommend and make helpful suggestions that put it over-the-top). For maximum impact, keep the dance a secret until you start busting a move.
Hire the ultimate entertainers.
An incredible wedding reception needs an incredible leader to plan and lead the evening. Choose the right emcee carefully; the right entertainment (DJ or band) has the experience and expertise to keep the dance floor packed and coordinate special moments with other vendors (like your photographer or a surprise guest). The right band or DJ can make sure you get an incredible shot of your first dance, make recommendations for an unforgettable evening, and use your input to deliver a unique reception.
Decide whether to have a cash bar.
An open or a cash bar is one of the fundamental decisions a couple has to make; there are no wrong decisions, as the right decision depends on the budget and reception tone. Whatever decision is made, for a packed dance floor, make sure the beverages are located close to the dance floor. Your guests’ll appreciate the location as they grab a cool one before they head back to the dance floor.
Make sure there is a large enough dance floor.
This is a prep that needs to happen fairly early in the wedding planning process. As you tour the wedding venue, ask about the guest capacity of the overall venue and, specifically, the dance floor. Just like the Goldilocks fairy tale, the right dance floor isn’t too big (it’ll appear empty) or too small (nobody wants to be jostled around).
Tackle difficult wedding dance decisions.
Sometimes the father-daughter or mother-son dance is not always as clear cut as it seems, especially when your family doesn’t fit the traditional mold. Unfortunately, there is no right guideline for these situations; the right decision depends on the situation. Whatever is right, make sure that everyone is involved is aware of the decision prior to the wedding reception.
Make a list of must and must nots.
Nobody wants to hear songs that elicit the “nails on a chalkboard” reaction, and everyone wants to groove to their favorite tunes. Before the wedding reception, make a list of “do play” and “do not play” songs (use these tips to craft an awesome reception song list) for the wedding entertainer (be wary of a wedding DJ that doesn’t ask for the lists).
Think about surprises.
The best surprises take preparation. Decide what the right surprise for the occasion is (use this list of wedding reception surprises) and make the appropriate steps to make it happen. Make sure the emcee for the evening is on the surprise so they can make a big splash and coordinate the event with other vendors.