|By Chris Garrow ~ November 1st, 2010 ~ Wedding DJ||1 Comment|
When sitting in a consultation with a couple to discuss their entertainment needs for their big day, there are a lot of questions I ask in order to better understand the scope of what is needed and desired to make their wedding perfect. For me and my team, every wedding is different, from the approach, the music, the equipment, logistics, the list goes on. One of my first questions is “How important is dancing at your reception?” Most couples express that dancing is important… and usually very important. Assuming that dancing is important, I generally follow with either direct or indirect questions to discover whether the group of guests will be a dancing crowd. Although I don’t typically allow the “anticipated amount of effort required to get people to dance” to influence the cost of my services, it certainly is taken into consideration when planning and preparing. There are dozens of factors that contribute to guests’ participation in dancing, but very few impact the success of a dance party as much as the Bride and Groom’s presence on the dance floor. I call it a dance party, because I am well aware and I completely respect that not everyone wants a dance party. For you, I have given a few creative ideas below. For those of you who weigh the success of your wedding reception heavily on whether people dance, the message here is very important to you. Ask yourself the question that I ask my couples during our consultation, “Do you like to Dance?” Don’t mistake this question for “Are you a good Dancer?” If you’re answer to the question is “No, not really.. I don’t like to dance”, then answer these questions, “Do you plan to dance at your reception?” and/or “Will you (please) dance at your reception?” This last question puts me back on track with my message.
Some crowds (I use this term loosely to describe the overall group of guests at any particular reception) are fine getting on the dance floor without any coaxing or help from anyone… put on some good music and set ‘em loose. On the other end of the spectrum, their are some crowds that make me wonder if I am being punked because they are so insistent on sitting in their chairs rather than dancing. There are probably 10 different levels between these two described. All of these crowds have at least one thing in common… they love to see the bride and groom dancing and celebrating! The reception is a celebration, and dancing delivers one of those universal messages or celebration! The guests at your wedding want to see you celebrate and they usually want to do it with you! If dancing is how you want your guests to celebrate… you’re going to have to celebrate with them… which means your going to have to to dance too.
This doesn’t mean you have to be the first one on the dance floor nor does it mean you need to be there the entire reception. Being the host and/or the guests of honor, you have many people to socialize with and many aspect of your wedding to enjoy, most of which will take you from dancing. You should try early to get on the dance floor a little bit and continue to get out there more and more as the reception progresses. I recommend discussing this with your entertainment, giving them the opportunity to program the music in a manner that is reflective of your vision.
For some of you who love to dance… none of this is a problem. You’re either going to get the party started, keep it going, and/or take it to another level. If you’ve never been the party startin’ type, but you like to cut a rug after a couple cocktails… I have good news for ya. My job is to get the party started, as is most entertainment companies… you can join the party once people are moving. Glad to have you, as soon as possible! For those of you who want a lot of dancing, but don’t like dancing yourself… I wish I could be more positive. Truth is, you can’t expect everyone else to dance if you won’t dance yourself. The good news is… there are alternatives for you.
Keep in mind that there are two of you… if you don’t like to dance, but your fiance does, you are still in pretty good shape! Not to worry, guests are happy to have one of you on the dance floor. If neither of you like to dance and you don’t anticipate getting out there… Good! Good? I firmly believe that you need to enjoy your wedding day… you need to have the best time ever. To many, this means dancing all night. For some couples, dancing is not in the picture. So, it’s important that you come to terms with the reality of the situation. Don’t act like you think you will dance all night if you know you won’t be out there more than to dance your wedding song. By doing this, you set up unrealistic expectations for the party. Let your entertainment know you don’t think you will dance much. Here is how to get around it… give your entertainment a lot of liberty with choosing the music and with their approach at the reception. Hopefully, you have made a good choice on entertainment and you trust that they have the skills to make the party happen. No matter who you choose to be your entertainment, you may be asking too much if you have too many rules and restrictions with the music and you don’t plan on dancing yourself. Give them some thoughts and wishes, but please have an open mind. Let their expertise open the celebration up for the guests who do want to dance. This may allow for some less than desirable music, but truth be told… by not dancing yourself, this aspect of the party needs to be controlled by those who want to dance.
Another idea that can help you couples who don’t like to dance… don’t center you reception around a dance floor. Consider a cocktail reception, which lends itself to natural fluidity and potential energy without strong emphasis on the big scary dance floor. Often, cocktail receptions are centered around the food, decor, and other aspects of the celebration… not to slight the significance of the music, but possibly putting less emphasis on the dancing. Plan some other unique activities to keep guests entertained. Some ideas could include live performances, photo montage presentations, speeches/toasts, photo booths, games, etc… Games? I used the frown upon the idea of “games” at a wedding celebration, but I will soon share why I now feel differently.
So here is what I am suggesting… dance! Dance at your reception. Plan on it, expect it… enjoy it! No one cares how well you dance or what you look like when you dance. Have a ball! However, if you and your fiance are just not the dancing type… open the doors for your entertainment. Let them give it a whirl with their experience and without too many guidelines. If you’d prefer to take some of the emphasis of the celebration off the dance floor… think hard about creative ways to keep guests entertained without the expectation that they will dance (because as I said you can’t expect them to do something you will not). Again, please know that I believe you must have music and you must hire a professional DJ, band or performer. Music makes the world go ’round. Music is a universal language and will help make your reception flow in a cohesive manner. Whether it be a background element of the reception or the main form of entertainment, you can’t slight the importance of the music on your wedding day. You need to have a professional, a true professional, help you make the right decisions so your wedding celebration is everything you dreamed.