You are attending your friend’s wedding. The Mother/Son Dance ends, and the DJ announces that the dance floor is now open. Just then, the bride and groom’s worst nightmare happens. No one dances! This continues throughout the entire reception. One by one, guests give hugs goodbye to the bride and groom, or just sneak out hoping they are able to leave unnoticed. Their reception (one that could have been fun and energetic) ends two and a half hours early. The bride and groom think to themselves, “I guess not many people on either side of the family really like to dance.” Why did this happen and how can you ensure your friends and family stay for the entire reception? Here are six steps that will help ensure this does not happen at your wedding reception.
1.) Hire an expert.
Be sure to invest wisely when choosing your entertainment. You want the best value that will lead you to an outcome that will exceed your expectations. If you are looking for the cheapest price, at what COST are you willing to do this? You wouldn’t purchase the cheapest washing machine for your home solely on price alone, right? Of course not! You would most likely read plenty of reviews of the product and brand, before you decided it was the right appliance for you. If you are like the majority, you would need to see the VALUE of the washing machine before you purchased it. Hiring a quality Master of Ceremonies is just as important for your wedding day. Your wedding emcee should be able to lead your celebration, help create memories, and build energy on the dance floor.
2.) Ask your DJ for raw and uncut footage of him or her performing at a wedding.
This is extremely important! When you start to meet with DJs, you may like asking them how they get people up to dance or they may just tell you how they do it and “talk a good talk.” You may have looked at other DJ web sites and noticed that many will have a quick video of a packed dance floor in a short one to three-minute commercial. That’s great, but if you play a line dance at a wedding, any DJ can take footage of that and ONLY use that footage to make it appear that the entire evening is non-stop dancing. Dig deeper and know better! By asking for raw and uncut footage, a professional emcee can show you HOW they encouraged family and friends to come out to the dance floor so it is natural and fun! A great emcee can show you HOW they did so with just a great song rather than a slow song or line dance.
3.) The 3/3 Principle
The formula that I find works the best at a wedding reception is what I call the 3/3 principle. This is a combination of song suggestions from your friends and family, your special playlist and your emcee’s choices based on the response on the dance floor. You may feel that you want to have complete control over the music being played at your wedding. Here’s something to consider, let’s say that you pick great songs for your wedding and no one dances or you don’t get the reaction you hoped for? You may love OMI’s “Cheerleader” because everyone got up to dance at your friend’s wedding last weekend, but now it is being played at your wedding and two people are dancing – just you and your husband! That’s where an expert comes in to bring people back to the dance floor immediately, reads the crowd and shifts gears quickly to bring the excitement and energy back! Friends and family will feel that they contributed to the success of your event by suggesting songs to your MC. Your MC will be able to appropriately blend songs that fit the best with your requests and your guests’ picks for the ultimate reception experience!
4.) Have your MC interact with your family and friends.
Do you want your emcee to hide behind the DJ booth the entire reception and only make a few announcements? Dancing is awkward for many and most people have that imaginary audience still from when they were in middle school. It’s the same idea as feeling that “everybody is staring at me and judging me” when they are giving a classroom presentation. It’s most likely not happening, but you feel that way. I can’t dance and don’t pretend to! I have absolutely no problem getting out to the dance floor, making eye contact with friends and family, asking guests to shout out the chorus of a popular song that everyone is excited about, and clapping my hands and prompting guests to do the same. I love showing people you don’t have to know how to dance and that the dance floor is a no-judgement zone where they can be comfortable and have a great time. If you can dance, all the better, teach me something while you are at it!
5.) Have your MC invite friends and family to join you on the dance floor.
Ask your professional emcee to invite your friends and family to join you on the dance floor. This is one easy way to ensure your dance floor fills up quickly and it creates the perfect opportunity for your DJ to mix into an uptempo song that will keep your guests out there with you!
6.) All in together / all out together – Keeping all your guests there until the last dance.
What sounds better to you? Your wedding party surrounding you on the dance floor for your last dance or the majority if not ALL all of your guests? This is where your wedding celebration is coming to conclusion and many wonderful moments have taken place. When you are introduced into your reception everyone is standing and clapping their hands. There is no reason why this shouldn’t be the case at the end of your evening. Friends and family, all there cheering, laughing, high-fiving, hugging and yelling “one more song!”
Jim Collins – Owner of Collins Entertainment