This Beardy McHipster couple might love "Indy Tunes Only"... But the one thing all of the most successful weddings have in common is....... They were fun!
They weren't ironic. The song-lyrics or music didn't tell some story over the course of the night that guests were supposed to catch...
They were simply FUN. They were personalized everywhere my client envisioned, and still they were considerate of their many guests.
Reasons your reception fun and dancing can fall flat: These are in no particular order, and some may have more impact than others...
1. Tying the DJ's hands Do you have 100 indy tunes that your day won't be complete without. We may not be the right fit for your wedding! If you've ever heard me say- "I'm glad to give you control over most of the music", be assured, it has come after a lengthy conversation where I've determined whether or not you are (1) someone with eclectic taste in music, and (2) have shown some level of consideration for your guests, by saying something like- "I want everyone to dance and have FUN!"
Best practice: Pick a bunch of songs you love, a bunch of songs you think your guests will love, a handful of do-not-play songs... And let your DJ fill in the blanks based on your tastes, the crowd etc. If you don't trust a DJ to do that, don't hire that DJ.
2. No drinking What's this? The DJ wants people to drink? Yes. The more drinking you have, the more dancing you'll have. I'm not saying people can't have fun without drinking, I'd certainly never tell my kids that, so I won't tell you that... But people most certainly have more fun, with drinking! Thankfully, my kids don't read my blog, and are far too young to drink! Now, that being said- if you have a dry wedding planned, it doesn't have to be boring, but you should be prepared for less dancing. Often-times we'll suggest different elements to get your guests engaged- The newlywed game is a great example of this.
3. Room Layout It's more important than you may think. If the DJ is not placed in front of, or in close proximity to the dance-floor, the music cannot be in close proximity of the dance-floor! Dumb room layout is often the fault of an over-eager hotel or banquet-hall 'planner' (usually a catering salesperson) who isn't considering the need for music WHERE there dancing happens, or even considering the guests who might be seated between the DJ and the dance-floor.
Here's an example of an awful room layout:
4. Proximity of dancing to other important things Is your bar or photo-booth outside the main reception room? In another room or hallway? This can draw people away from the dancing. Sure, they may still be having fun elsewhere, and there's nothing wrong with that at all... But if dancing is a top priority for you, you may want to consider a layout that keeps guests in the same area as the dancing.
5. Other considerations Some of these may be out of your control at this point, but.... Have you ever been to a Sunday afternoon wedding? A daytime outdoor wedding? A 12pm-5pm reception in a tent in 95 degree weather? I'm not saying you can't have a successful wedding in these scenarios, but you should realistically manage your expectations for dancing. I could be playing the world's favorite dance-song and if people are sweating standing still, they probably aren't going to dance. Don't beat yourself up about it. The sound-track to the day is still important while people mingle and catch-up... But this day will likely not be about the dancing. If that's an important factor to you, plan accordingly.