Category Archives: wedding dance il

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.


7 Tips for Packing Your Wedding Dance Floor

shot of people dancing at epic wedding receptionA packed dance floor at the wedding reception is every bride and groom’s dream. We’ve all heard the stories of the brides and grooms having a fit about an empty dance floor at their wedding reception. Don’t join the league of upset newlywed stories. Use these tips that create the right atmosphere and create a packed dance floor your guests’ll rave about (when they decide to take a break!).

Give them a good space to cut a rug.

As much fun as a packed dance floor is, your guests don’t want to be competing for space. They also don’t want to get jostled or spilled on because everyone on the dance floor is cramped. When touring wedding venues, ask to see the dance space. Verify that it’s big enough for your guest list (but small enough that it doesn’t look empty!) so they feel comfortable enough to get their groove on.

Keep your guests close.

If you want to keep your guests on the dance floor, ensure that the bar is close to the dance floor. You don’t want your guests to wander off and empty the floor; give them easy access to their favorite beverages so they can get back to the action (and the fun!).

Limit the “interruptions.”

Nothing can make a dance floor empty faster than an awkward song or a break in the action. Try to limit those “fun kills” as much as possible. Hire a professional that has experience and can keep the fun going—and going all night long (if you choose a DJ that doesn’t limit their hours!).

Involve your guests in the dance.

If you want to make your guests want to dance, make them a part of the wedding night. Ask for their song requests on your wedding invites and via the wedding website. Don’t worry you don’t have to honor all their requests—especially if you get some strange song requests.

Limit your vetoes.

It’s normal to have a “do not play” list (use these tips to compile the list), but it’s a real downer to have a huge list that eliminates all your guests’ favorites. As much as you may hate a particular genre or an old favorite, keep your list to a minimum. For other suggestions for guest favorites, ask your DJ (and listen to their recommendations, you hired them for a reason!).

Fuel your guests.

Want to keep your guests on the dance floor? Give them fuel (other than just an open bar!) that keeps them going. Talk to your caterer about providing a late night course that your guests’ll appreciate, such as sliders, tacos, or other delicious finger foods.

Choose the right pro for the reception.

A stage presence is vital to keeping guests on the dance floor. Unfortunately, a good song list isn’t a good substitute for an experienced DJ or band. If you want a good dance party, be selective about your DJ. Browse social media sites, websites, and online reviews for the best candidates; schedule a meeting with them to get more information and ask the right questions. Be wary of any DJs that don’t have a meeting place or can provide references; these DJs often don’t have the back-up equipment (or staff) to follow through in case of an emergency.