After collectively performing for well over two thousand weddings, our DJs have yet to encounter a couple who doesn’t want their guests to dance. Not just a little, but all night long. And, the biggest fear that engaged couples seem to have is that their guests just won’t do it. We’re not sure where they developed these nightmarish visions of their families and friends glued to their seats (or running for the door), as we’ve yet to see it happen, but either way it’s safe to say that everyone wants their guests to have the time of their lives.
Sound familiar? We can guarantee that way more people will dance than you ever expect, but if you need extra insurance, there are a few things you can do to get your dance floor full – and keep it that way.
Photograph by Katie Stoops Photography.
Choose a great DJ – and then trust that DJ! When interviewing DJs, your intuition will tell you a lot – is this someone you feel really understands your ideas for the wedding? Is he or she open to your input? Just as importantly, do you feel the DJ will be honest with you about whether the music you request will get people dancing? Of course you want someone who will respect your wishes, but you also want someone who will partner with you to help you create the kind of party you’ve envisioned. You need to have complete confidence in your DJ, which will enable you to trust his or her judgment and make adjustments to the music as needed to keep the dance floor packed.
Compare your guest list against your music request list. Is your list well-balanced, reflecting the various generations that may be attending the wedding? Did you include music that has special meaning to your guests, such as songs you and your friends enjoyed while you were growing up, or sentimental songs from family members’ weddings? The more your guests can personally relate to your list, the more likely they are to dance.
Pick songs people will know. Don’t fall into the trap of using unusual remixes or lesser-known “B-sides” for your wedding – the only thing worse for dancing than a bad song is a good song that’s been remixed into something totally unrecognizable. At weddings, people generally want to dance to familiar versions of songs they know and love, so consider saving the club remixes for the afterparty.
Make sure your venue is optimized for dancing. The best room setups have the dance floor in the middle of the room, with the DJ placed right next to the dance floor so he or she can keep a close eye on the crowd. Keep the focus on the dance floor by making sure the bars at your wedding are inside the room – if guests need to go outside or to a foyer for drinks, they’ll soon be congregating there, far away from the dance floor. (This is especially true if a major sporting event is airing the night of the wedding!) By keeping everyone inside the main reception space, you’ll automatically keep your dance floor fuller.
Make the most of your timeline. Formalities such as special dances should always be grouped together whenever possible – the fewer times your DJ has to clear the floor for a traditional event, the better! Consider sharing your first dance immediately after introductions, doing your father/daughter and mother/son dances right after dinner (and then opening the dance floor to all guests), and then grouping your cake cutting and bouquet toss/anniversary dance together later in the evening. Don’t kill the momentum on the dance floor by constantly breaking up the fun.
And, finally, hit the floor yourself! The number one thing you can do to keep people dancing is to be out on the dance floor yourself. Guests always want to be where the newlyweds are, so don’t spend half the reception visiting tables – get out on the dance floor and your family and friends will undoubtedly want to join you!
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*MyDeejay, Inc. and Katie Stoops Photography are 2012 Handpicked Vendors in our Vendor Guide. To learn more about becoming a member of the Bayside Bride Vendor Guide, submit an Application.