One of the highlights of your wedding reception will likely be dancing the night away surrounded by your nearest and dearest. A packed wedding dance floor is the ultimate sign of an amazing party—and an empty one is a huge mood-killer. So how do you keep your guests out of their seats and dancing, as opposed to mingling at their tables or, even worse, congregating in the venue lobby or bathroom?
We talked to music pros who shared their top secret tips on keeping everybody on the dance floor all night long.
Let the pros control the playlist.
The average wedding reception includes about 50 songs—and you don’t have to choose each and every one of them. Feel free to provide a few important songs to your band or DJ (and a “do not play list”, but give them the freedom to read your crowd and choose songs accordingly. “There are some really important questions to ask yourself,” says Eytan Nicholson of Sugarbabies Inc. in Allston, Massachusetts. “Do you care more about a specific playlist that you think represents you? Or do you care more about your guests’ experience?”
“Let the DJ do what he/she was hired to do,” adds Paul Churchill of Bozeman DJ Entertainment in Bozeman, Montana. “Your 90’s alternative collection is fun to dance to behind closed doors, but it may not be what will get the dance floor going.”
Manage your expectations.
The size of your guest list will have a big impact on the wedding dance floor. “If there are only 60 guests in attendance, the dance floor probably won’t be packed all night long,” says Paul of Bozeman DJ Entertainment. “If there are 200 guests, then there should be people on the dance floor consistently throughout the evening.”
Take requests in advance.
Allowing your wedding guests to make song requests may make them more interested in staying on the dance floor. The best way to field requests? Include a section on your wedding website that allows guests to share their song requests. That way, you can review them (just in case your troublemaking cousin tries to add that tune he knows you hate), and pass them on to your music pro. Many bandleaders and DJs will only take requests from the couple during the reception, and may be wary of any guest song suggestions.