Have you ever been to a wedding where the guests were reluctant to get up on the dance floor, or worse, just didn't dance. It makes for a long party if your guests are not enjoying themselves. It also adds undue stress on the bride because she is probably worrying about why people aren't having a great time instead of enjoying her day!
Here are a few things that may help you and your guests have a party that will be remembered long after it's over...in a GOOD WAY!
1. Listen to your DJ.
While asking your guests for song requests and giving your DJ some general guidance is a good idea to get a feel for what your guests want to dance to, please don't turn him or her into a human iPod by listing out every single jam under the sun you'd like played. An experienced DJ will already have the know how to read the crowd and play the type of music the dancers are enjoying.
2. Create a floorplan conducive to dancing.
Couples are often worried that their dance floor will be too small, but it's equally important to make sure that the dance floor isn't too big. If the floor is too big it will seem as if there are not a lot of dancers on the floor. Some people may feel to conspicuous if there is too much room. Keep your floor size big enough so it won’t feel overcrowded but just small enough to keep everyone together!
3. Start the night off on a high note.
Getting your guests onto the dance floor at the onset of the party is the hardest part to get going. Consider having the DJ announce that your guests should join you on the floor towards the end of your first dance. Then play several high energy songs to keep people on the floor for the next few songs. Once everyone is in gear it will be easy to keep the energy going and the dancers on the floor!
4. Mix up the music.
Don't forget to blast popular picks from a variety of generations! Some musicians and DJ’s would rather play songs they prefer, but if you stick to the big hits, you're guaranteed to get (and keep) your guests on the dance floor. Mix in some Frank Sinatra and swing music along with the hip-hop and top of the charts hits and you will get a good mix of dancers!
5. Make sure there's a bar nearby.
Because cocktails always encourage guests to let loose, place the bar as close to the dance floor as possible. If that’s not an option, at least keep it in the same room. If the bar is placed too far away, or in another room, you are going to lose dancers every time they go to get their favorite beverage.
6. Engage the audience!
To revive a dead dance floor, you and your MC or DJ should plan on several fun interactions with your guests. At one wedding I attended, the DJ brought out a bunch of hats…construction helmet, police hat, Indian feathers…you can guess where this is going…He called up all the males and had them put on the hats and played YMCA by the village People. By the time the song was over EVERYONE was on the dancefloor. (Even Grandma!)
7. Timing is everything.
"For example, you don't want to clear the dance floor in the middle of a great party to do your cake cutting because it may not fill up again. Think about cutting your cake in between dinner courses before the dancing officially kicks off."
8. Provide free flats or flip-flops for female guests.
No need to let sore feet kill the vibe! If you have room in your budget to spare, provide comfortable "dancing shoes" for female guests. Offer flip-flops, flats, and colorful socks at receptions for this purpose. It's safer than bare feet and shows how much you want everyone to dance.
9. Make sure you and the groom are busting a move.
Last but certainly not least, make sure you're out there and at the center of it all. No one can resist a smiling bride and groom on the dance floor. Be sure to engage your guests too. Introduce your guests to people they may not know and dance with several of your guests and family…not just with each other.
That's it! With these helpful tips, you and your guests should have a great time!