Structure your reception for a killer dance floor!
Whether you’re a traditional couple looking for a romantic and memorable day, or a party-loving pair just wanting to let your hair down, most brides and grooms would agree that a full dance floor is a sign of a good wedding.
Increasingly, brides and grooms are focusing on ensuring guests (and they themselves) have an awesome time on the dance floor, rather than enduring hours of formalities during the reception. Even those who want to keep the more traditional formalities can arrange the evening’s proceedings in a way that makes for maximum dancing time.
Most brides and grooms don’t know where to start with the running sheet; there are so many different parties to deal with and decisions to make. As the music is so closely tied to the flow of the night, Tribe entertainment experts One More Song, give their top tips on structuring your wedding reception for a killer dance floor.
Get the formal stuff out of the way
Our number one tip for a fantastic wedding party is to take care of all the formalities early on in the evening! A stop-start format with several dance brackets makes for a disjointed dance floor and loss of energy throughout the night. Once guests are up and dancing, it’s unlikely they’ll want to stop (unless for a much-needed breather!) so ideally the dance floor will start after your first dance.
Of course, the venue will have its own requirements for timings based on food service, staffing and potential noise restrictions, so make sure you work very closely with your venue contact to communicate how you’d like things to run.
A sweet bridal party entrance – cut your cake
If you plan on having a cake, we’d recommend cutting it straight after the bridal party entrance.
The combination of these key events is more seamless for your wedding photographer and the venue staff can then remove the cake so it’s stored safely out of harms way!
Take control of the speeches
We’ve all been at a wedding where unscripted, tipsy speeches have taken over at a time when everyone is getting ready for a boogie. Enforcing a couple of rules will help contain the speeches so they are a lovely part of the evening enjoyed by all, without cutting into important dancing time!
Break up your speeches into two blocks, one after entrées and one after mains (for a sit down wedding). This gives your guests a chance to mingle and freshen up between speeches. It also means your DJ/entertainers have a chance to start playing more upbeat music that builds to the dance floor, getting your guests into a party mood.
The second rule is to enforce a time limit on speeches from your family and close friends, which will encourage them to share only the most memorable stories about the newly married couple.
First dance means time to party!
Get people up and dancing after the first dance! This part of the evening should signal the opening of the dance floor and party.
Inviting guests onto the dance floor can be done by your MC, your bridal party (by dancing themselves and pulling other guests onto the dance floor) or a quick announcement by your DJ. You should also select a party-starter song after your first dance or ask your DJ to select a tried and tested tune.
Once the dance floor has started, all other formalities (apart from bouquet / garter toss if you’re having these) should now be completed. It’s party time!
Consider a roaming dessert or buffet
Ask your venue to serve roaming dessert or have a dedicated desert table rather than individual table desserts.
This will ensure that more people stay on the dance floor rather than go back to their seats. People with a sweet tooth will have a little disco break and help themselves when needed.
Keep up the communication in the lead up
Lastly, we recommend keeping an open line of communication with both your entertainment provider and your venue to ensure that your event flows as best as it possibly can!