Do you remember how boring school dances were when the music was bad and the boys were too afraid to dance with the girls? Me neither, we at Lee Jr. High School in Woodland California got pretty crunk, but the thought of an empty dance floor is scary, isn’t it? Now imagine it wasn’t in Junior High, but at a Wedding. Don’t let this happen at your wedding! I’ve shot my share of fun and lively weddings so I decided to share the five most effective ways to get your Wedding guests up out of their seats and onto the dance floor. It’s almost like karaoke, everyone is too nervous to do it but after their first try, they can’t stop. All you have to do is get your guests dancing with one of these proven methods and they’re going to be dancing all night. Also, I don’t actually use the word “crunk”, it just made me laugh as I typed so I'm running with it =D Ok, let's move onto the 5 Ways to Get Your Wedding Guests Out on the Dance Floor!
1. Father Daughter Dance + Guests
I love this idea that Sara and Ryan had at their wedding a few years back. Sara shared a beautiful dance with her father, but in the middle of the song, the DJ asked all of the Fathers and Daughters in attendance to join the Bride and her Father on the dance floor. On your big day, pretty much anyone will do anything for you, if you have the DJ say, “per request of the bride” or “the bride asks that…”, almost anything he says after that, your guests will do. With great power comes great responsibility, so use this power wisely. Like using it to get your relatives and the men who are normally stubborn and won’t dance out on the dance floor with their lovely daughters. Once they are out there, you can instruct the DJ prior to the wedding to mix in an up-tempo dance song. The dance floor will be full and the music will be pumping, a lot of people who wouldn’t normally find themselves out on the dance floor will already be there with a partner and will more than likely just go with the flow. Another alternative could be doing something similar like this with a Mother Son dance, or even all couples, etc. Just make sure it’s per the Bride’s request to get the guests moving.
2. Bride and Groom Lead The Way
I might lose a few of my friends here, but both the Bride and Groom have to be shaking their money maker on the dance floor if they want their guests to follow. The next Bride I meet that doesn’t want to dance at her Wedding will be the first. Unfortunately for some reason, us dudes don’t love the dance floor. Fellas, no one will say or think anything bad about your two left feet on your wedding day, plus it will be dark so no one will really get to see your moves. Sometimes the Best Man or Groomsmen will not want to upstage the Groom if he is not dancing. A simple “one-two-step” and throwing your hands up is all you need. On top of that, once the Groom is out there, he can get all his boys to join in as well. Now Groomsmen are dancing and we have ourselves a party.
A small dance floor attracts a small amount of guests. Do your best to make enough room to have a big dance floor with plenty of space. Once dinner is over and guests are mingling, remove tables if you have to. Dancing next to someone who is sitting down is awkward, give your guests the space they need to shake it.
3. Line Dancing
Not everyone knows how to Line Dance, but these are extremely popular at Weddings. Once everyone is in sync, the reception turns into one big community. Maybe because everyone has to trust one another to move a certain way or maybe it's the synchronized movements with a big group of people, but whatever it is, it brings people together and gets them dancing! This was a huge hit at David and Irene's Engagement Party here in California, as well as Eusebia and Edward’s Wedding in Texas. There are different types of Line Dancing from traditional Country to The Electric Slide. Find the genre that you feel will best fit your reception and let the DJ know ahead of time.
4. Invite The Village People
Line Dancing, although fun and effective, might be too advanced and intimidating for some. The absolute easiest dance that 100% of humans on earth know how to do is of course The YMCA. Anyone of any age can participate and everyone can do it perfectly. Sure it’s a bit silly, but if the Bride and Groom are doing it, followed by their Wedding party, everyone will throw their reservations out the window and join in. It’s a fun and sure way to get your guests out on the dance floor since "I don't know how to dance" is no longer a legit excuse.
Have a conversation with your DJ prior to your wedding. Your DJ and your Photographer are there to help keep things moving along so keep them both informed on what music or events you plan on doing. This way if you forget something, they can remind you.
5. Do The Conga!
The absolute best and most effective method I’ve ever seen used to get the wedding guests involved is the legendary Conga Line! Stephanie and Richard utilized the Conga Line at their wedding and it worked to perfection. What I find awesome about it is if a guest is still sitting down, the Bride can call them out and keep moving. She doesn’t have to bicker back and forth with the guest, her and the Groom can keep on moving, but guess what? The guests in the line saw her call out the person so they’ll follow her lead. Now the stubborn guest that doesn’t want to dance is being called on by everyone at the reception. One by one the guests will join the Conga Line, as the Bride you are the leader of this train, make sure this thing arrives at the dance floor. Make a few turns on the dance floor like you are playing Snake on your old Nokia, make sure you can get everyone on there. Once you have arrived at your destination, have the DJ start playing an epic dance song and keep the party going right there on the dance floor.
I hope you will find these tips on getting your wedding guests dancing helpful. I didn’t mean to scare anyone with thoughts of an empty dance floor, more just something to keep in mind. You have hundreds of things occupying your brain about your big day, I just wanted to make sure you didn’t over look this. Plus, the more fun you and your guests have on the dance floor, the more memorable the night will be AND the more epic photos I get to capture.