Keep the party going all night long.

By Sara Dickinson
March 12, 2020

A packed dance floor is the ultimate sign that guests are having a great time at your wedding. Aside from hiring the best DJ or band you can find, we gathered a few tips and tricks from planners on how to keep your wedding guests on the dance floor all night long.

Related: Every Wedding Dance You Should Consider for Your Reception

Match Your Guest List with Your Playlist

Guests will make their way on and off the dance floor, but you can bet that none of them will want to dance to high energy songs for hours on end. Play a few upbeat songs followed by a mellow tune to give guests a chance to breathe and maybe grab a cocktail. Sunna with Bash Please recommends playing a mix of crowd-pleasing songs to ensure every guest spends time on the dance floor and even taking some requests from your loved ones. "Blending some of your parents' favorites in with your top choices is the best way to ensure all age groups stay groovin' into the late night," she says. With a broad audience in mind, you may want to play some modern artists mixed with artists from the '60s and '70s.

Keep Guests Close By

The dance floor tends to heat up right after dinner, so Candice Edinger from Alison Events has a tip to keep guests near the dance floor instead of their tables. "We like to advise guests to do a dessert station by the dancing area or even tray passed desserts versus a plated option," she says. "It keeps them from staying away and going back to the table to sit." The same goes for the bar—having cocktails nearby will encourage guests to loosen up and get right back on the dance floor.

Try to limit the number of breaks during the reception that clear the dance floor by skipping traditions like tossing the bouquet or cutting the cake during prime dance hours. When all else fails, ask your MC to call guests to the dance floor for a group picture followed by a fun song that makes everyone want to stick around and dance.

Make Sure Guests Are Comfortable

If you see a lot of guests retreating to their tables after just a song or two, high heels are likely to blame. Guests may have spent a lot of time standing in heels during the ceremony and cocktail hour, so consider providing free flip flops or flats so that sore feet don't pause the party. Plus, this will prevent accidents if someone drops a beer bottle or glass and guests are dancing barefoot.

Rely on the Experts

While it's important to give your DJ or band some direction on songs you definitely want to hear and those you'd rather skip, you should rely on their expertise to keep guests on their feet. "Don't micromanage the playlist or set list," Gretchen Culver, owner and creative director at Rocket Science Events, says. "If you have hired professional entertainment, they are going to read the crowd and keep the dance floor packed with what your guests want to hear."

Prepare your DJ or band by giving them some background on the age groups of your guests, your favorite and least favorite songs and artists, and the general vibe you're going for on your wedding day. Then, leave the rest to them!

Get Out There

It's important for the couple to get out on the dance floor among their guests. "Guests gravitate towards the happy couple so if the newlyweds are dancing, everyone is dancing!" Gretchen Culver says. You'll find that when you grab your husband or wife and get on the dance floor, guests will instantly want to join in the celebration.

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