When it’s all said and done, your guests will leave your wedding and either talk about how much fun they had or where the reception portion of the evening fell short. First, let’s be realistic and address the fact that there will always be guests that are anchored to their table in conversation, or the bar, or the magic mirror, or find themselves huddled outdoors in groups when the weather is favorable or when the venue grounds are particularly scenic. You can’t control your guests or their preferences, but you can most certainly lead by example. The dance floor is the epicenter of the festivities. It’s where your DJ is. It’s the reason why all of your guests are seated AROUND it, as opposed to ON IT. Ready to unlock the power of the dance floor? Good. Read on!
- As the Bride and Groom, the guests will vibe off of you and your energy throughout the night. Make sure you’re the first ones on the dance floor and the last ones off at the end of the night (you can take breaks!). This will signal to your guests that you are there to celebrate, kick back, and let loose. They will take notice and follow suit! Be the center of attention; after all, it’s YOUR big day! The best entertainment professionals all agree that if the bride and groom spend most of their night NOT in the main reception room, sitting, or walking around to tables, a large portion of your guests will find themselves anywhere except on the dance floor.
- Take preemptive measures with your DJ. Ask them not to feel inclined to play FULL songs. Request that he blends the music as to keep the beat going. Sometimes a DJ will have the entire dance floor packed until the long, beat-less bridge of the song comes and signals everyone to get another drink. The dance floor clears and the momentum is gone. A good DJ will know how to keep the beat going, keep the pacing up, and song selection exciting.
- Don’t let dinner music put your guests to sleep. Let’s face it, most banquet facilities want guests to be seated for all of their served courses. Here it becomes the DJ’s responsibility to know how long to keep them seated and when to start encouraging them to get up and start dancing again. Explain to your DJ that you want them to take the volume to a comfortable level, but keep the music beat and fun factor going throughout courses. No sleepy elevator music! As soon as the first plates are getting picked up (not the last!), the DJ should be inviting everyone, including all the couples, to the dance floor for a slow song and then transitioning directly back into dance music.
- Don’t let formalities interrupt a great dance set. An interruption on the dance floor instantly changes the pace of your reception and puts the DJ in the challenging position of having to build that moment back up again and get those guests back on the dance floor. Consider having your cake cutting off to the side with your photographer, especially if your party is in full effect with a packed dance floor. Remember: it’s your party and your decision. If you would rather everyone keep dancing, make the call and the DJ will just let everyone know when dessert is available shortly thereafter!
- Hire an Open Format DJ. Most skilled wedding DJs fall under this style, which means they are experienced and prepared to play the best songs from all genres, blending them together at the best times. When done correctly and in a sensible way, your guests will be in a constant state of anticipation, making it very hard for them to leave the dance floor because the music, energy, and excitement is just so darn good.
Months and even years after your wedding, you want your family and friends to remember feeling like they were at the best celebration of their lives! These 5 Secrets to Keeping People On The Dance Floor give you a distinct advantage – they address the types of pitfalls that only seasoned event professionals see consistently. With all the moving parts of a wedding reception, it sometimes feels impossible or downright difficult to feel like you can get it all right. But when you do, it’s REALLY RIGHT and those are the unforgettable memories that we can’t stop talking about!
Photos by: Chris Bartow