October 3, 2019 /

My Top Tips To Make Sure Your Guests Have A Blast At The Wedding Party.

Hey! I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. If you don’t want every one Going Underground to the photobooth in the basement leaving only Stacy’s Mom, the Dancing Queen, showing she Moves Like Jag...

Hey! I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. If you don’t want every one Going Underground to the photobooth in the basement leaving only Stacy’s Mom, the Dancing Queen, showing she Moves Like Jagger then follow my top tips for making sure your guests are Shiny Happy People who Just Shut Up and Dance, don’t Evacuate the Dance Floor and keep partying All Night Long.

Alright already! Enough of the cheese.

two women partying hard on the dance floor in a tipi at night

So you’re in to Death metal and your beloved to be can’t get enough of Dolly Parton. No offence to either genres but if you play one or the other or a mixture of both at your wedding no one will get up to dance. Maybe you’d rather punch yourself in the face than listen to Kelly Clarkson or Lady Gaga but if you want an epic party where everyone gets up at your wedding and dances you need to be flexible if you don’t want guests to start leaving in droves or to sit around clock watching.

female guests dancing at a wedding at night

If you booking a DJ ask if they can play a mix of music everyone from your 2 year old nephew to your 80 year old gran will enjoy. Let them know the music you and your mates are into so they play a heap of those tunes, but don’t give them a huge list of tunes you think might appeal to everyone! It’s the equivalent of handing your wedding photographer some pictures you got from Pinterest to replicate, outwardly they might smile and say ok because it’s you but inwardly they will be tearing their hair out in despair. An epic DJ will have a good collection of music and know how to get the wedding guests up and dancing.

little baby dancing at a wedding

There are tonne of entertainment agencies out there and these are a great place to start to find and hire a band. Alive Network are a great agency to check out. My favourite band from Alive Network are The Guns. They are awesome musicians and the lead singer just kills it.

The Guns

My favourite ever band are the brilliantly named carnival punk band Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos. Few people on Earth have heard of their tunes but they are so fun and brilliant and amazing to dance to no one cares or even notices that they don’t know any of their songs. Now that’s genius!

Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos playing at a wedding in a tipi
Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos.

If you’re hiring a band direct make sure you listen to then on You Tube or on their own website. The best way to really get a feel for them though is to go and hear them play if possible. Your band needs to have an awesome PA system and lighting if you want the sound and the mood to be epic.

Tribute acts are another option although they can be a bit hit and miss. From experience those that play music from the past couple of decades seem to get more folks up dancing than older genres. I was at a wedding once with a Beatles tribute act and not a single person danced to them all night.

You could have a ceilidh. It’s a sure fire way for everyone to join in and dance especially if you get a good caller. The Burdock Band are an awesome ceilidh band and have a brilliant caller called Dan.

bride and wedding guests dancing a ceilidh in a marquee

If you are doing a first dance, allow a couple of minutes for your photographer to get pictures of you alone, then ask your DJ to beckon everyone else up to join you. If you decide on a slow first dance when the DJ invites everyone else up ask them to switch to an upbeat tune everyone will dance to. Or pick something lively and mad for your first dance no one will expect you to do. I photographed an epic first dance at a wedding a few years back where the couple danced to Let’s Face the Music and Dance. They’d given the bridal party, who were all sitting down, top hats and canes, and within 10 seconds of the first dance starting they all rushed on to the dance floor and joined in a routine they’d practised beforehand. It was like a flash mob, totally brilliant.

If you don’t want to do a first dance don’t do one. Ask the DJ to start the set and then grab your mates to get up and dance with you.

man jumping and being caught by another man at a wedding on the dance floor

Don’t serve your evening food until the first DJ or band set is over and serve it in the same room as the dancing if possible so people get back up and dance after eating. Serving food is a separate room, during or at the start of a set, will kill off any dancing for the night permanently.

close up of woman liking a roast sweet potato

When you’re hiring other evening entertainment such as a photobooth ensure it’s in the same room as the dancing or if it can’t be plan for it to take place at a different time. Perhaps have it ready an hour before your first dance. or as your evening guests are arriving, when there’s always a lull, and have it finished at the time you have your first dance or at the start of the first band or DJ set. Otherwise once folks have finished in the photobooth they tend to hang around chatting to those queuing and don’t go back to dancing.

When you start to look at venues for your day consider how they are laid out. Is everything in one area or are your guests likely to be spread out over different floors e.g. the bar area is in a different location to the dance floor? Ideally you want the bar and dance floor located together to keep the party going.

same sex wedding three wedding guest using photo booth props

During the night if it starts to look like no one will ever get up and dance ask the DJ or band to come up with a competition to get the guests up! Remember though the best way to keep everyone up and dancing is if you are up there dancing too. You’re the stars of the day and everyone wants to be where you are.

bride and groom dancing in a village hall with wedding guests

Top fab bonus tip for awesome colourful party photos.

If you want zany colourful photos ensure either the band or DJ have a lots of amazing lights. Not only do disco lights look cool in photos they also create more of an atmosphere and subconsciously make folks want to get up and join in the party. Tell the DJ to kill the smoke machine though as cameras find it hard to focus through the mist and when they do focus the pictures look dull and foggy.

A lot of couples and a lot of wedding photographers hate disco lighting because of the crazy colours it splashes across clothing and skin. They spend ages in Photoshop getting rid of colours here, there and everywhere. For me it’s all part of the imagery and I love the splashes of colour but it’s a personal choice and something to consider if you don’t.

couple dancing the man is yelling and the woman is holding her arm outstretched at the side of his head holding a phone
woman having a piggy back dance at a wedding reception
Group of wedding guests partying and dancing in a marquee at night
two women cheering and yelling on the dance floor of a tipi wedding
bride and her mum lying on a stage which they fell on to
two men hugging during a dance
Red haired girl winking and dancing for the camera
woman with pink hair and her partner dancing at a wedding with a male guest yelling beside them
blond woman dancing and pointing
blonde woman dancing while male wedding guest watch her
black and white of couple on the dance floor covering their faces
group of guests dancing at a wedding
two male drunk wedding guests dancing
groom partying and flipping his jacket in the air

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