Category Archives: wedding reception dj chicago il

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.

wedding dance floor with guests dancing to wedding theme songs

Your Guide to Hiring the Best Chicago Wedding DJ

For any couple drafting a wedding budget, the cost of a DJ may the top question, but it shouldn’t be the only question. Here’s a few more questions you should ask when finding the right wedding DJ—and the answers that connect you to the best Chicago wedding DJ for your special day.

What is included in a Chicago wedding DJ price?

Before you start finding and researching wedding DJs, it makes cents (pun intended) to understand what should be included in your wedding DJ’s price. Note the “should be.” All of these factors play an important part in providing quality wedding DJ services, but may not always be offered by an amateur DJ:

  • Experienced DJ (and a back-up experienced DJ, in case of emergency)
  • Equipment (and back-up reliable equipment, in case of breakdown)
  • Insurance
  • Play List
  • Time

When should I book my Chicago wedding DJ?

According to the Real Simple Wedding Planning Checklist, you should hire a wedding DJ at least a year before your wedding day—but there’s nothing wrong to being ahead of the crowd. The best Chicago wedding DJs’ calendars fill up quickly, so you should start researching wedding DJs and interviewing them once you’ve confirmed the major details (i.e. venue, caterer, etc.)

How do I research a wedding DJ?

Before you hire a wedding DJ, research local wedding DJs to ensure you are getting a high-quality, reliable professional for your big day. You can research wedding DJs on third-party sites, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, and even social media. These are great places to read through reviews and get insight into the services of local wedding DJ.

Once you’ve done the research, it’s time to interview the top wedding DJs on your list. Ask every wedding DJ about their availability, how long they’ve been in business, their cost (and the length of time included in the cost), if they have back-up equipment and staffing, and a few other important wedding DJ questions.

How long should I book a wedding DJ?

A wedding reception typically lasts for 4-6 hours, and a wedding DJ is typically present for most of that time (especially when providing cocktail hour and dinner music). Some DJs do charge overtime fees for any extra time (ask the wedding DJ about this when contacting them), while other wedding DJs offer an unlimited package without any time constraints.

What other services do wedding DJs provide?

Some DJs offer “extras” that put a wedding reception over the top, such as photobooths and lighting. Many time these services can be included in the wedding DJ package, making these extras extra budget-friendly.

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!