How to Fill the Reception Dance Floor

Written by    Last updated: March 31, 2014

Your guests are coming to your wedding to share in a magical experience as you declare your undying love and make a lifelong commitment to each other. Brilliant! That’s a given, but if that’s all they were coming for then why bother with more than just the ceremony?

The answer here is because you want that magical experience to last as long as possible. You want your guests to have an awesome time and remember your wedding as the best they have ever been to… Right?

Warble Entertainment provides their tips on ways to ensure your dance floor is full!

Dance Floor Party

Great, now we’ve got that sorted we can get down to the nitty gritty of one of the most important parts of that awesome day… the end. Or, the finale if you like? The best finale to a fairytale wedding day is an exhilarating party leaving everyone rosy-cheeked and breathless from dancing the night away.

At this point we must ask you not to panic: there’s no need for sleepless nights, cold sweats and nightmares of tumbleweed rolling across deserted dance floors while tyres screech outside and a few loyal diehards huddle at the bar. You can take control! There are many things you can do to guarantee an awesome evening reception.

Let’s work through them:

Layout

The venue should be the right size for your guest list so the place is filled without being cramped. This is the first thing guests will notice when they arrive. If it’s too sparse your guests will feel exposed and if it’s too full they will feel like they don’t have enough space to relax.

The ideal layout is to have the party all in one room or marquee so it doesn’t become disjointed. If this isn’t possible it helps if the bar is in the same room as the dance floor as people will inevitably gather around the bar. If they can still hear their favourite tunes they’re far more likely to switch from deep, meaningful and tipsy conversations to a good old knees up!

Atmosphere

The most important contributor to setting the atmosphere is the lighting. Only the most dedicated exhibitionists will be happy to bust out their moves in a brightly lit room.

Check that your band or DJ will bring coloured lighting so the main lights can be dimmed. Moving disco lights on the dance floor will entice even the most timid of groovers and a haze or smoke machine always helps. Coloured stage lighting on a band will make them a focal point and encourage people towards them, creating a mini Glastonbury or Wembley Arena gig experience!

Bride Dance Party

This leads us to the BIG ONE ….

Choosing a Band/DJ

This is where we come to the crunch, and as far as the evening party is concerned this really is make or break. Choose wisely, as you are handing these guys a big responsibility! Experience counts for a lot, so you should book professionals, preferably via an agency who have vetted their acts.

Weddings are intimate events and you want a band/DJ with personality who will put your guests at ease whilst keeping them energized and entertained. It’s great fun if you can find an extrovert act who will instigate some audience participation like dance-offs and singing.

Song Choices

There should be mutual respect here between you and your elected band/DJ. They entertain crowds every weekend and know which songs will pack that dance floor. You know your friends and family, so you can mention favourite songs and any songs, which should be avoided. Perhaps aunt Eileen is sick to death of being told to ‘come on’, and your best mate Valerie never wants to hear her name mentioned down a microphone again!

Timing

The main point here is don’t put the band on too early. Your daytime guests will be feeling full of food, and your evening guests are unlikely to make a beeline straight from the taxi to the dance floor. For a summer wedding in particular there’s much more atmosphere after dark when the coloured disco lights are making pretty patterns. 9pm onwards is the best plan for hotting up the party music, and make sure an evening buffet is served before a band comes on or during their break.

Get Involved!

As the bride and groom, you are the stars of the show! You might not have to sign autographs, but everyone will want to be near you … so hit that dance floor hard! The liveliest wedding parties are always the ones where the bride & groom are rocking out with their guests.

It’s also a good idea to have a word with your most extrovert friends before the big day and ask if they wouldn’t mind instigating some dance floor shenanigans… once one or two start the rest will follow.

You can also have your first dance at the beginning of the bands first set and get the band or DJ to ask everyone to join you halfway through, which is an easy way to break the ice.

Getting on the dance floor is like getting in the sea when you go to the seaside; once you’re on/in you’ll stay there & have a great time!

One last little tip: providing baskets of twinkly flip-flops/flat shoes for your female guests goes down a treat and ensures that they can’t use the excuse of sore feet to sit on their bottom all night!

This article was written by

Tracey - Warble EntertainmentTracey Warren is the Managing Director of Warble Entertainment which she launched in 2007 with her husband Matt. The company provides a diverse range of entertainment for over 4000 weddings each year, covering every aspect of the day from the ceremony through to the evening reception. They offer friendly, helpful advice on choosing the perfect entertainment to fit in with your chosen style or theme and can provide everything from Harpists, string quartets and live bands to caricaturist, magicians, fire performers and event a giant snow globe!

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