Get Your Guests To The Dance Floor

6 Sep

One complaint we hear at receptions is “no one is dancing!“… so I wanted to write a post on some planning you could do to get them on the dance floor! In my experience, I have learned that if dancing and having a great time is important to the Bride and Groom then it will be a heck of a party! The reason for this is because when a couple dances, and so does their family and wedding party, then the guests follow suit and join in on the fun! I have also seen the couple who had their first dance and then refused to dance the rest of the evening, meaning that no one else danced either and the party ended early.

Here are a few tips if you want your guests to shake what their Momma gave them and leave your wedding reception thinking it was the most awesome time ever!

Variation is Key

Please don’t play hip hop all night long because that’s what you like… Keep in mind that what appeals to your high school friends is not going to be exactly the same as what appeals to your business colleagues. Mix things up and play a little of everything. If you do it right, the guests who come to the floor for KC & the Sunshine Band will stick around and boogie to Beyonce.

Know Your Audience

You know your friends and family and what kind of crowd they are. Will they be partiers, wallflowers or both? I dislike line dances like the “Electric Slide”, but I knew that I had a lot of tweens coming to my wedding and let’s face it, they will dance no matter what! So, when requested, I allowed the DJ to play the Cupid Shuffle even though I wasn’t entirely sure what it was. It still is not my cup of tea, but all the kids got out there, dragging their parents to learn it too, and after a bit… everyone was having a great time!

Since I did have a lot of minors coming to my wedding, I was very strict about any fowl-language music being played- that’s why I have it on my personal Do Not Play List. Bottom line, you know your friends and family better than any DJ or bandleader. If there’s a song that will really get your guests dancing, or keep them from dancing, don’t hesitate to make that known.

Your Older Guests

Sure, you want your friends to have a good time, but don’t ignore Grandma and Grandpa. Older guests tend to be among the first to leave, so tailor your music selections accordingly. At the beginning of your reception and perhaps during the dinner hour, play more 40′s, 50′s and 60′s hits, mixed with current selections. In the last hour, you can stick to all current music. There are a lot of oldies that also get the younger generations on the dance floor: Elvis – “Teddy Bear” or “Hound Dog”, Supremes – “You Can’t Hurry Love”, Jerry Lee Lewis – “Great Balls of Fire.”

Dance Early

Traditionally, dancing wouldn’t start until after the cake is served. But today’s brides and grooms want to have more lively and fun wedding receptions. So they’re kicking off the dancing shortly after the main course is served.

Stack the Dance Floor

You’re the bride and I’m sure that your bridal party wants you to have a wonderful wedding reception. So why not enlist their help and ask them to dance and ask others to dance so that everyone will feel comfortable cutting a rug! Plus, the pictures of your 20-something-year-old roommate dancing with your 80-something-year-old great uncle will be priceless. One of our wedding couples enlisted their bridal party in a one-of-a-kind mix dance that was priceless… and it set the mood for a wonderful event! Watch the video now!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Even if you have a DJ, spend some time thinking about your wedding music. Put together a do not play list, and a list of songs you definitely want to hear. Then throw in some ideas that you think will get your guests on their feet. Rather than sticking to the tired and tacky “Macarena”, here are my suggestions for great wedding music:

Current Hits

Beyonce — “Crazy in love”

Black Eyed Peas – “I’ve Got a Feeling”

Christina Aguilera — “Ain’t No Other Man”

Christina Aguilera — “Beautiful”

Ciara — “One Two Step”

Emotions — “Best of My Love”

Gretchen Wilson — “Redneck Woman”

Justin Timberlake — “Summer Love”

Mary J Blidge — “Family Affair”

Outkast — “The Way You Move”


Britney Spears — “Baby One More Time”

C+C Music Factory –- “Things That Make You Go Humm”

Cher –- “Believe”

Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations”

MC Hammer –- “Can’t Touch This”

Sir Mix-a-lot — “Baby Got Back”

Will Smith – “Getting Jiggy With It”


Billy Idol — “Dancing With Myself”

Eric Carmen — “Hungry Eyes”

Earth Wind & Fire — “Shining Star”

John Cougar — “Rockin In The USA”

Kool & The Gang — “Get Down On It”

Madonna — “Burning Up”

Madonna — “Material Girl”

Madness — “Our House”

Michael Jackson — “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”

Modern English — “Melt With You”

Pet Shop Boys — “West End Girls”

Romantics — “What I Like About You”

The Clash — “Should I Stay or Should I Go”

The Cure — “Love Cats”

The Weather Girls — “It’s Raining Men”

Tommy Tutone — “Jenny (867-5309)”

Violent Femmes — “Blister In The Sun”


Chic — “Good Times”

Commodores — “Brick House”

Grand Funk Railroad — “Some Kind Of Wonderful”

Jackson 5 — “ABC”

KC & The Sunshine Band — “Get Down Tonight”

KC & The Sunshine Band — “Shake Your Booty”

Lynyrd Skynyrd — “Sweet Home Alabama”

Ramones — “I Wanna Be Sedated”

Rolling Stones — “Miss You”

Sly and the Family Stone — “Dance to the Music”

Sister Sledge — “We Are Family”

The Isley Bros — “It’s Your Thing”


Al Green — “Lets Stay Together”

Aretha Franklin — “Respect”

Beatles — “I Saw Her Standing There”

Beatles — “Twist & Shout”

Blues Brothers — “Soul Man”

Credance Clearwater Revival — “Proud Mary”

Four Seasons — “Oh What A Night”

James Brown — “I Feel Good”

Mitch Ryder — “Devil With A Blue Dress”

Mitch Ryder — “Good Golly Miss Molly”

Otis Redding — “Hard to Handle”

Rolling Stones — “Jumping Jack Flash”

Rolling Stones — “Satisfaction”

Supremes — “You Can’t Hurry Love”

The Archies — “Sugar”

Van Morrison — “Into the Mystic”

Van Morrison– “Brown Eyed Girl”

Young Rascals — “Good Lovin’”


Chubby Checker — “The Twist”

Chuck Berry — “Johnny B. Goode”

Contours — “Do You Love Me”

Elvis Presley — “Blue Suede Shoes”

Elvis Presley — “Can’t Help Falling In Love”

Platters — “Only You”

Sam Cook — “You Send Me”

The Angels — “My Boyfriend’s Back”

The Kingsmen — “Louie Louie”

Wilson Picket — “Mustang Sally”


Frank Sinatra — “It Had To Be You”

Frank Sinatra — “The Way You Look Tonight”


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