For those who want their reception to be a big party, there may be no greater wedding-day nightmare than an empty dance floor. Spending so much time researching the right band or DJ, only to have guests not take part in the entertainment can be tough to deal with. Sure, the important thing is that you got married, but dancing with loved ones is considered a major part of the celebration for many people.
According to entertainment group Happen, the best way to ensure that everyone stays on the dance floor is with an “open format” style. “Open format is a mix of popular music across all genres and from all decades,” explains DJ Herick, who has found this to be a trend with brides and grooms this year. “Keeping in mind that most weddings are largely a group of people with different tastes in music, it's important to find the sweet spot that everyone will enjoy,” he adds. While the day is about you and your sweetheart, if you only include genres the two of you love, you may find people are not as keen on dancing.
Another way to keep everyone boogying all night long is by organizing your seating chart to have those who are most into dancing close to the dance floor. This will get them up faster, and shyer guests will feel less self-conscious about joining the party if it’s already going strong. You can also include a line of your RSVP cards or a section on your wedding website asking for song requests from your attendees. You don’t have to send every suggestion along to your DJ, but it will help give you an idea of what the crowd-pleasers will be.
Plan the dancing breaks wisely. Once people get completely worn out, it can be hard to get a second wind, but you also don’t want to break up the momentum. If you choose to have a cake cutting and bouquet/garter toss, plan for these events to occur right when people are starting to get tired. The cake cutting has the added benefit of giving revelers an energy boost from the sugar! You can even have dessert served by the tray while everyone is busting a move, rather than having people return to their seats or a dessert table.
Opening photo by The Day