Tip 1: Set the Mood Early. Your cocktail hour is a great opportunity to set the mood for your reception. Feeling mellow and elegant, perhaps a string quartet. But if you want to inject some energy, consider a mariachi band, barbershop quartet, or even some lounge music for something different.
Tip 2: Start with the Right Setting. Make sure your reception is conducive to getting your guests on the dance floor. Of course a professional DJ is essential to read the vibe of the room and keep the music playing! Dim lighting and an open bar are always helpful to loose up any inhibitions. Ensure your dance floor has enough space for all your guests too. Too small and people will feel too cramped. Too big and people will feel self-conscious. Make sure your dance floor is easily accessible and not tucked away in a corner as an after thought. Putting it front and center will send a message to everyone that that dancing will be a big part of the evening.
Tip 3: Get Out on the Dance Floor Yourself! Set an example for everyone by getting out on the dance floor yourself early in the evening. Guests will follow your lead and will be more likely to join in when they see you having fun.
Tip 4: Mix up the Music. Play a good mix of music from classic oldies to modern hip hop. Vary songs that have a fast, up-tempo beat with slower, more romantic ballards. A good DJ will play to the crowd. Remember, the reason you’re hiring a professional DJ to entertain wedding guests is because they are experts at reading the crowd and understanding what they need – a change of tempo, a different genre, whatever it may be – in order to keep them on the dance floor.
Tip 5: Avoid Late Sunday Night Weddings. Unless it’s a holiday weekend, many of your guests might have to go back to work the next morning. If that’s the case, they might not drink as much or stay as late if they know they have an early alarm coming soon.
Bonus Tip: Set a Good Timeline. When the dancing is going strong, the last thing you want to do is interrupt it for your parent dances or cake cutting because the dance floor might not fill up again the same way afterwards. For example, consider doing your cake cutting right after dinner service ends. You’ll then have everyone’s attention and can invite them to the dance floor with an upbeat song to get them moving!