Have you ever thrown a party and thought
you did everything right but you just weren't able to get
people dancing? The DJ played decent music but you just
couldn't figure out what went wrong. Well worry no more,
here is a list of some of the less obvious things that can
make or break a successful party. You don't have to follow
every single suggestion but the more of these guidelines you
follow, the more successful you can expect your party to be.
<Written by DJ Rob Salvati>
Never Start the Dancing Later Than 9:00pm at a Wedding
Any later than this and your guests will begin to get bored
unless there is some other form of entertainment. You want to keep
the momentum going to maintain engagement. The bride and groom may
be tempted to delay dancing to mingle after dinner with each table
but this should be done in a way that doesn't delay the party. This
could be done during cocktail hour or during dinner to prevent
delays. Remember that the formal dances such as the first dance need
to occur before the dance floor can open. One other idea would be to
have the formal dances done before dinner or right after speeches so
that the DJ can maintain engagement.
Don't Overload the DJ with Requests
some people make is to give the DJ a huge playlist of 60 to 80 songs. One thing to keep in mind is that a standard wedding
reception only has room for about 60 songs during the dancing portion of the night.
the DJ little-to-no flexibility to select
songs himself will likely end up in a low energy night with not much
dancing. You are essentially doing the DJ's job and in almost all
scenarios, the DJ is going to do it much better. A large request
list doesn't always consider music to fit all the different
types and ages of people at the wedding and the DJ needs to be able
to adapt if something isn't working. If you are also letting
every guest pick a song ahead of time, keep in mind that most guests
will pick their favourite song and not necessarily everyone's favourite
song. Remember, we do
this for a living and we know we know what to play to get results.
Trust the DJ's Expertise to Play Your Songs at the Best
Brides and grooms may make requests such as "play this song next" or "only play rock for the rest of the night". This is usually a
bad idea because you are basically doing the job of the DJ and not
taking advantage of his expertise. There is an art to DJing. Your DJ
is there to play what everyone wants to hear and he knows
what music works together. Let him know your style but don't
restrict him. In almost all scenarios, the DJ is going to get better
results on the dance floor with song selection than if you tried to
choose all of the songs yourself.
Make Sure you Don't Cut Out all of the Cliché Wedding Music
could impact the dance floor in a negative way. Your DJ can feel out the
crowd and he knows from experience which songs will get
more people dancing. Weddings aren't the time to prove to your
friends and family that you're into obscure, eccentric music.
People like to dance to songs they know and it's the DJ's job to
find the right balance. One of the hardest jobs for a DJ at a
wedding is to create a balance in music to make everyone happy. Not
everyone will have the same taste in music and you should trust
your DJ's opinions on how to make the music work.
Don't Close the Bar During Dancing Until You're Ready to End the Night
going to close the bar for a period of time for
whatever reason, you can do it during dinner. If you close the bar at
midnight for example, that will signal to people that the party is
Always Keep Your DJ Booth Right Next to the Dance Floor
This means not seating guests
between the DJ and the dance floor. A visible, adjacent DJ stand will
attract more guests to the dance floor. If the DJ and the music are
portrayed as a main event as opposed to a sideshow, more people will
be willing to dance.
Strongly Consider Using the DJ as a Master of Ceremonies
The DJ will know how to
properly use the wireless microphone so it doesn't give feedback and
is loud enough when he speaks. He will also know how to get
everyone's attention and keep their attention and this gives him
a chance to build rapport with the guests which is very important
for the success of the night.
A good DJ will have enthusiasm when
speaking and will know how to work the crowd. A guest may not have
the experience to know how to engage the crowd in the same manner.
Try to Keep the Music and the Attitude of the Wedding Upbeat
Negative vibes will not put people in
the mood to party and have a good time. This includes speeches as
well. After all, this is a
Play a Kissing Game Instead of the Traditional Glass Clinking
This will engage your guests
and set the tone early in the night and guests will then be more inclined to have fun later
on. One suggestion that is a hit at weddings is our wedding kissing wheel.
Guests come up to the DJ booth to spin it and have to do whatever
consequence they land on if they don't land on "Bride and Groom
Kiss". Some of the options include "moonwalk back to your
seat", "take a selfie with the bride and groom" and "wear
the veil until the next spin".
Have Your DJ Make a Grand Introduction for the Wedding Party
Start the event with a bang, not a
whimper. People tend to remember the beginning and end of an event the most. If
is able to make an impact on
the crowd early on and it is done correctly with enthusiasm and
energy, it will build stronger rapport and he will be in a
better position to get the crowd dancing.
Use an upbeat song and consider having
the couples show off some dance moves as they make their way to the
This sets the
tone of the party for excitement.
Finish Any Speeches, Pictures & Cake
Cutting Before Dancing Begins
I can't stress this point
enough. It is a general rule that
every time the music has to stop, it will be that much harder to get
the people in the mood again to dance. You will find the dance floor
thinning out as opposed to getting larger.
Keep the Dance Floor in the Same Room as the Bar
Don't let the line to the bar block
the dance floor but keep them in the same room if possible. Splitting the bar and dance floor into
separate rooms will mean that they will both battle for attention. This
will divide the dance crowd from the people who want to drink and
mingle as opposed to combining them by putting them side by side.
A Smaller Dance Floor is Preferable to One that is Too Large
This will give the illusion that more people are dancing and the dance
floor is packed. Guests will also feel like they aren't all alone
being stared at by hundreds of guests. People will have more fun and feel
more comfortable to "cut loose". It is okay if everyone doesn't fit
on the dance floor, it will add to the success of the party! People will go
home saying "What a party, it was so packed we didn't even fit on
the dance floor!"
Don't Create a Battle for AttentionFor venues
with very beautiful views: Keep in mind that asking people to go
outside at any point for pictures or other reasons during the
reception means you will have less people dancing throughout the
night as some will choose to stay outside and relax once they are
invited outside. It's not that the night still can't be great but it
will take away from the potential dancers. Decide your priorities
for your wedding. If dancing is a priority, you may want to
keep the doors closed to encourage your guests to stay in the hall. One suggestion would be to make sure the crowd all
has a chance to enjoy the view before dinner so they are less
inclined to stray from the dance floor after dinner ends. Try not to move the guests around too much between different rooms ESPECIALLY right before dancing is
supposed to begin.
Don't Feed the Vendors Last
Some halls try to feed the DJ last
once all of the guests have ate.
This is a bad idea because the DJ needs to be finished early
so he can begin to prepare for the next events happening after
dinner. On top of this, the more the bride and groom treat the DJ as
a guest, the more the crowd will respect him which also means more
people will dance. Vendors will bend over backwards for couples that just
give them the same respect that they give their guests. They will
even do extra at no charge when they are treated well.
I know money
is tight for some and that is understandable but if you can help it,
try to do an open bar. Guests will (of course) drink more and have
more fun. They will typically also stay longer and dance more as a
Keep the Lights Low on the Dance Floor
People will feel less like the
attention is on them and this will get more people dancing.
Don't Arrange Older Guests Near the SpeakersThis will create a battle between
the younger guests who keep coming up to ask you to raise the music
and the older guests who will be complaining about how loud the
music is all night.
Games vs DancingRegarding
a Buck & Doe, it's a good idea to decide ahead of time
whether you want the main focus to be on games or on dancing. Make
sure you communicate this to the DJ. If you will be having standard
buck and doe games, assign a wedding party member or volunteer to
each game and make sure that they are clearly identifiable with a
labeled shirt. Door prizes and 50/50 draws should be announced late
in the night to keep guests partying longer. It's also important to
announce on a microphone when different games will begin.
Don't Forget the Dance Floor
floors are good but a non-existent dance floor can mean a
non-existent dance crowd. Make sure that you have a clear area that
is reserved for dancing. This becomes more of a concern with outdoor
parties where a dance floor isn't part of the floor plan.
Psychologically, guests may believe that this isn't a party they are
supposed to dance at if an area isn't clearly marked.