7 Tips & Tricks to Get Your Wedding Dance Floor Packed & Lit All Night
Back when our grandparents were tying the knot, dancing was a thing most people did regularly. Almost everyone could at least pull off a makeshift two-step, while others were used to having a full dance card every weekend.
Sadly, this tradition has largely faded away, which is why you and your better half might have considered taking a few dance lessons ahead of your big day.
While you’re preparing your moves, take a moment to consider your guests.
With dancing fairly out of vogue nowadays, many of them will likely need a little encouragement to hit the dance floor. But what is a wedding without dancing? Luckily there are several effective ways in which you can tempt your guests to take the floor for a night of unforgettable revelry.
Music is the Food of Love… And Dancing
While music tastes vary widely, there are some songs, both old and new, that are undeniable toe-tappers. And what does toe-tapping lead to? Yup – the irresistible urge to hit the dance floor. We get it – you want to avoid the cheesy, overplayed wedding staples (can anybody not spell “YMCA”?), but there are plenty of catchy tunes that won’t turn your stomach, while still getting bums out of seats. Your wedding DJ or band leader is sure to know which songs are wedding shoo-ins, so choose a good one and have a chat with them about the playlist ahead of time.
Another great way to select songs that will move your guests is to have them suggest their favourites when they RSVP to their invitations. That way, you can easily match your playlist to your guest list. Just remember that it is YOUR wedding, so your tastes should take precedence.
Also, be sure to put a few bangers in right after your first dance to set the mood right from the start. Then you can alternate between fast tracks and slow dances for the rest of the evening, until the drinks are flowing, that is. Then a group chorus of 4 Non-Blondes’ “What’s Up” (or whatever) is mandatory for a truly memorable evening.
Give ‘Em Props!
Photo booths with props are all the rage at weddings these days so why not encourage your guests to take them onto the dance floor as well? They don’t have to be tacky either – keep it ethical by trawling charity shops and get creative to come up with props in keeping with your wedding’s theme.
Just keep these props light and small so they aren’t too cumbersome as dance partners. Think feather boas, top hats, flower garlands, tinsel, or even fairy lights. Place the props in an easily accessible and highly visible spot and use them yourself to get the party started.
Don’t Set the Bar Too High
You’re a classy couple, so your first dance is likely to be an elegant affair. But a professionally choreographed waltz is a hard act to follow, so consider ending your number on a lighter note with some silly moves that will make your guests feel more comfortable to follow you onto the floor.
A variation of this is to invite all of the couples to join you (there being safety in numbers and all that) and transition from your slow dance into something a bit livelier before inviting all the other guests to join the fun.
Speaking of the Bar…
It’s a very good idea to position the dance floor right by the bar, if at all possible – beer and wine being the best social lubricants, and all. Also, this will ensure that your guests won’t have to choose between drinking and dancing. (Yup, that’d be a tough one).
Everyone will probably be at the bar at some point in the evening and, “since there’s a right party going on just over there, maybe I should put my drink down for one song to show off my moves”.
Know Your Guests
You’ve already compiled a playlist with your guests in mind. Now take it to the next level by further tailoring your reception to their dance needs. Seating is an excellent starting point. If possible, seat all of your liveliest guests at the same table. Then make sure that table is right by the dance floor and closest to the band or speakers (and your props table, if you have one). You can also ask your more outgoing friends to help keep everyone else on their feet.
Of course, if you pick your guests based (at least in part) on the type of wedding you want to have, you can include more party animals who are always keen to bust a move. Don’t expect much dancing from a hall full of wallflowers.
You should make sure that there aren’t any obstacles between your guests and the dance floor. Consider arranging your tables around the outside of the dance floor. This will make it easily accessible, while also enabling those who refuse to budge from their seats at least enjoy watching the others cut a rug.
Another thing – unless grandma wants to relive her disco days, you might want to seat her and grandpa a little way away from the speakers or band. The same goes for any other guests you think are not wild about loud music.
Give Them Space… But Not Too Much
While you’re obviously hoping that all of your wedding guests will want to dance, chances are you’ll not be able to get absolutely everyone moving. So, while you don’t want the floor to be overly cramped, a dance floor that is too big can create the impression that there aren’t many people on it. (Frankly, it can look a little sad.) This may make those who are dancing feel a little too exposed and so may put them off.
What’s more, a full dance floor creates the vibe that just about everyone is dancing, which is likely to tempt fence sitters to get up and join the crowd.
Clear Your Own Dance Card!
You don’t want your guests to have all the fun, do you?
With everybody wanting to offer their congratulations, it can be difficult for the bride or groom to actually make it to the dance floor. A good way to avoid this is to get your mingling out of the way beforehand – perhaps between courses on the menu.
That way, you’ll be free to hit the floor as soon as the music starts and, since you’re the guests of honour, your guests will be eager to join you there.