How to Keep Wedding Guests Dancing

How do I get my guests up and dancing?
3/14/17 | Posted by Flowzone Entertainment, LLC

A successful wedding reception requires planning and production. Every little detail has an effect on the outcome of your big day. If you want dancing, there are a few things to keep in mind.

See more of our Wedding DJ and Lighting here.

Dancing at Your Wedding

Do you like dancing? If you ask your guests this question, a lot of them will respond with, "Yes"... Why wouldn't they? Dancing is fun! If you think about it, though, the environment has to be just right to make people comfortable enough to dance. After all, we are not all blessed with moves like Usher, so we need all the help and encouragement we can get. Are you more likely to dance in a super market, at the mall, at a sports bar, or at a dance club? You guessed it! The dance club! There are a few things at play within a dance club setting. The DJ is playing all the right songs (at the right time) through a thumping sound system, the lighting encourages dancing, and the space is designed with the objective of keeping people on the floor, getting beverages, and having a great time. How does this all translate in the setting of a wedding reception?

Well, many of these tricks can be used to get your guests up and dancing. One thing to consider (that is often over-looked), is the setting. A beautiful ballroom at a nice venue is a great start. When the lighting design is set up right, it takes things to the next level. Guests often walk into beautifully lit ballrooms and say, "Wow". There expectations for the rest of the evening immediately rise. Yes, there is an element of pschology at play here. When lights are dimmed just right, guests feel comfortable and social. The colors of the lights can impact how talkative, flirtatious, or how much your guests want to dance. "Intelligent lighting" consists of programmable lights. For example, the colors can be set to a static color, set to change or fade at certain points, or move to the music. If the room is too bright or set to a color that doesn't put people in a certain moode, it will be very difficult to get people up and moving.

Another obvious thing to consider when it comes to getting guests up and dancing is the DJ. From the the moment the guests walk in, they should be hearing the right kind of music. It is very important to have a DJ that can read the crowd, the room, and the vibe of the evening. Cocktail/Dinner music should be mellow, classy, and mesh with the demographic of the guests. As the night progresses, the DJ should be able to bring the song selection to something more upbeat - yet still classy. Guests should start tapping their feet to slightly more upbeat rhythms as dinner, toasts, and speeches wrap up. The guests may not realize it, but the DJ is getting them ready to move the rest of their bodies on the dance floor. Once the dance floor is officially open, the lighting in the room should change. The brightness levels and colors should shift. The dance floor lighting should be activated as the DJ turns up the music and gets people on the floor. A DJ should have a sense of an effective performance arc. You don't want the night to peak too early by playing ALL of the big hits in the first hour, because guests will be ready to leave too soon. You want a steady performance arc that keeps the dance floor busy.

Sometimes an interactive DJ or an MC can really help a reluctant crowd come out and have a good time as well. They may lead dances and announce the opening of the dance floor in a way that people just can't resist. The MC should be confident, dressed to impress, sharp, and charismatic. Before the dancing starts, he or she should have gained the trust of your guests already.

The next thing to consider is the floor plan... Where is the the DJ set up? Where is the head table (or sweatheart table)? Where is the bar? Where is the photobooth? If you want dancing, the floor plan should direct energy and attention to the dance floor. Another thing to consider is where the guests are sitting. Generally speaking, older guests should probably be assigned to sit farther away from where the speakers are set up. It can really throw things off, if grandparents are constantly making their way up to the DJ to tell him to turn the music down because it's too loud for them. The younger guests will then rush to the DJ booth to tell him that it's not loud enough. Get the picture?

These are just a few areas to consider if you want to have a full dance floor on your wedding day. Of course, nothing is gauranteed. The objective is to cover as many bases as possible to significantly increase the chances of a desired outcome. Every detail matters and it makes a difference.