How To Keep the Dance Floor Packed at Your Wedding

How To Keep the Dance Floor Packed at Your Wedding

The human race has been shaking and grooving for over a million years in a not-so-subtle ploy to attract the perfect spouse. But in today's world, where dating apps are king, steering guests towards the dance floor can be a little more challenging.

So, how can you ensure your wedding guests are busting out their best moves when the band takes the stage?

That's where Bands For Hire comes in. Our skilled wedding DJs and musicians know all the right beats and tricks to keep the dance floor packed all night long. With just a little input from you, we'll make sure your wedding reception is filled with unforgettable memories of laughter, love, and music.

In this article, we share our top tips for getting your wedding guests on the dance floor and keeping them there!

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Hire Quality Performers

It's no secret that weddings can be expensive. Between the venue, catering, flowers, and other expenses, the bills can quickly add up.

But if you want your special day to be one that your guests will never forget, it's important not to skimp on the entertainment. Your wedding band or DJ can make or break the atmosphere, and a subpar performance can leave your guests feeling underwhelmed.

As a music lover, you know the difference between a high-quality and a low-quality performer. Experience in front of a live audience is essential for performers to hone their skills and put on a great show. In addition to experience, technical musical skills are also crucial for a polished and professional performance.

Cutting corners on your entertainment might seem like a good idea at first, but it's important to remember that the music sets the tone for the entire evening. A talented and energetic wedding band or DJ will keep your guests dancing all night long, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Here are the factors that separate Bands For Hire's performers from run-of-the-mill pub musicians:

  • Years of professional experience
  • Formal musical training
  • Extensive repertoire
  • Professional instruments and equipment
  • Flexibility and improvisational skills
  • Charisma

When your band understands how to court an audience, you won't have to work very hard to get your guests up and dancing. A great band will make a connection with the crowd and lure them to their feet before they realise what's happening.

Likewise, our professional party DJs have the experience to create a high-octane set of endless jams. DJing is about more than pressing play and sitting back. It involves technical skill, musical knowledge, keen observation, assessment ability, and charisma.

When you begin with the highest quality performers, getting guests moving is all downhill from there!

bride and groom first dance

Use the First Dance

Once they're up, your wedding band will know how to keep guests moving and grooving. Most couples' biggest question is how to get guests to the dance floor in the first place.

Luring them there can sometimes be as simple as extending an explicit invitation.

Many couples use their first dance as an opportunity to invite their guests to join them. Unless you're a professional dancing duo, you're unlikely to captivate your crowd for the length of an entire song, especially if you're simply swaying to the music. Even choreographed dances can get stale if your guests are chomping at the bit to get back to the open bar.

Instead, plan to dance for somewhere between a quarter and a half of a song. When you reach a stopping point, your DJ or band leader will jump on the mic and invite guests to share the rest of the first dance with the happily wedded couple. This takes the pressure off you and provides an opening where guests can safely get up as a group, making the transition natural.

Sneak in a Photo Op

Even if the "first dance" gambit works beautifully, the energy at your reception will likely ebb and flow. Those early dancers might get tired, and the dance floor might start to look empty. Your band or DJ will often use these natural lulls as an opportunity to take a break.

How do you get your attendees up and moving again after a break? We like to employ the photo op trick. Ask your band leader or DJ to announce that the wedding couple would like to take a group picture on the dance floor and encourage the group to make their way there.

Once everyone's in place and you've snapped a great photo, it's time to strike up the band! If everyone's already up on the dance floor, they're more likely to stick around and boogie.

Don't Peak Too Early

Another key to helping guests manage their energy is knowing when to start the first set. Playing music is exhausting work, and your performers will need to take a few breaks to keep their energy up. In the meantime, you don't want your tipsy guests to get too comfy in their chairs.

For evening receptions, we recommend starting the band at about 9pm, ensuring the party doesn't peak too early and the live music continues late into the evening. Once your guests are up, they'll stay up, so there won't be anyone napping at the tables!

Vary the Set List

You can expect between 30% and 40% of your guests to be on the dance floor at any given time. With that said, attendees tend to rotate in and out as energy levels wax and wane. A keen wedding DJ or band can track these changes and adjust the set list to keep everyone engaged.

For example, you might want to start the evening with your "oldies" to appeal to the senior crowd. Meanwhile, the younger guests will likely have more stamina. Hits can get more upbeat and contemporary as the night goes on, appealing to every demographic in attendance.

Save the Slow Songs

Whilst slow songs are certainly romantic, they can also be low-energy and awkward for guests. Uncoupled guests are likely to take a seat when the ballads begin to play, and seated guests are unlikely to get up for a low-energy number.

Instead, choose your slow songs carefully and save them for critical moments, such as the first dance and the father-daughter dance. It's also a great idea to end with one or two slow numbers to gently ease guests out of party mode.

wedding guests on the dance floor

Don't Compete With the Food

Even the best band in the world can't compete with a wedding buffet. If you're serving food in the evening, avoid a conflict of interest and save it for a break in the entertainment. Otherwise, your poor band will have to compete with the shrimp cocktail, and your dance floor will likely remain empty until guests have cleaned their plates.

Hire a Designated Dance Floor

Guests are far more likely to get up and move if they feel shielded by a group.

Hiring a dance floor is an excellent way to create a designated gathering spot in your event space. It's safer for guests and easier for your performers. It'll prevent attendees from gathering in small clumps around the room, keeping the action centralised and improving the overall celebratory experience.

Don't DIY

You probably have ideas about what kind of tunes you'd like to dance to at your wedding. You're pretty sure you can hook a cable up to your phone and plug it into your venue's sound system. That way, you won't have to worry about the music at all; you can press play on your favourite playlist and walk away!

There are a few problems with this plan. While your party playlist might be perfect for running errands or your commute, it's unlikely to correspond to the energy levels in the room.

Rather than enjoying your wedding, you'll be up and down playing DJ. You won't have a designated master of ceremonies to manage transitions, which can lead to awkward pauses and silences.

Instead, hire a DJ and give them your song requests in advance. They'll keep the sound quality high, manage transitions and energy levels, and slot your favourite tunes in at the most appropriate times.

Be a Trend Setter

Ultimately, the best way to encourage your guests to get up and dance is to get up and dance yourself! Guests want your wedding to meet your expectations. If you make it clear that it's a dance party, they'll be sure to follow your lead.

You can also bring in a few "ringers" from the wedding party. Let them know you might need help getting the guests up and moving. Ask them to be the first to follow you to the dance floor to help other guests feel comfortable.

Keep Your Wedding Dance Floor Packed All Night

Being the first wedding guest to stand up and boogie can feel a bit intimidating. Keeping your wedding dance floor packed often begins with a bold act of courage! Before you can bravely stand up and show off your moves, you'll need to hire a quality wedding band or DJ to get the party started.

At Bands For Hire, we recognise that conducting energy is just as vital as conducting musicians! We'll help match you with the wedding DJ or band that will keep spirits high and bodies moving. Our most popular acts book quickly, so enquire today to ensure you can secure the best performers for your spectacular wedding reception.