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Helping couples from around Australia to enjoy every moment of their wedding day.

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how to keep the party going at your wedding reception

How do I keep the party going?  How do I get people up to dance?  These are questions I am often asked by couples who are keen for their wedding to be the PARTY that everyone remembers.

And it’s a fair question.  Let’s face it, wedding days are long – for everyone, including your guests. By the time your Reception kicks off your guests have put in hours of time; getting ready and getting to where they need to be.  They do quite a bit of standing around (very often in the sun), waiting for things to happen.  They will be drinking, eating, socialising, moving about and playing those games you organised, then drinking, eating, socialising and sitting around some more whilst Uncle Harry hits the 20-minute mark in his speech.  Hitting the dance floor after all of that may not be quite what they are feeling up to by the time the party kicks off.

But I know you – you love a party and you have been planning this one for months.  Once all the formalities are over you don’t want your wedding day to fizzle out, you want to hit the dance floor with your guests and let your hair down.  And you can keep the party going at your wedding reception, if you keep these tips in mind:

Play good music

Most people enjoy getting up and dancing – especially when there is something to celebrate and ok, let’s say it, when they have had a few drinks.  But there are few of us who enjoy dancing to bad music.  Now bad music doesn’t have to me; not my taste.  Bad music at a wedding is usually, just bad music.  If music is important to you and getting people up onto the dance floor is important to you, put time and thougt into what music you are going to play.  Will you have a live band or a DJ? Whilst you can DIY your own music by putting playlists together, a good band or DJ will play a role in getting people onto their feet and out to the dance floor and they know how to keep them there.  So if you want a party at your Reception, consider making good music a priority when it comes to your wedding budget.

Cater to an all ages party crowd

There will be people who leave when you cut the cake and have that first dance.  They don’t mean to offend you, it’s just that the next part of the evening, is not for them.  And you probably already have a pretty good idea who those people will be, which is cool, because it means you can cater the next part of the evening to the ones you think will stick around and dance the night away with you.  Think about what music they like and what always brings people to the dance-floor. And, keep in mind it’s not always just your friends who want to hit the dance floor with you, so consider mixing new music with old favourites to ensure your dance floor is the place to be for all your guests.

Plan ahead

Whether you are having a band, or a DJ, take the time to meet up with them in advance.  A meeting like this gives the band or DJ a chance to get to know you and your musical taste better. It is also a good chance for them to learn more about the ages of your guests and how you want to cater to them too.   During this meeting also take their advice on what styles of music are best played when.  Remember they have likely done a lot of weddings and have seen first hand what brings everyone to the dance-floor.  Let them know you want to create a party atmosphere and take their advice on how to achieve this.

Involve your guests

If you have friends who are entertaining, musical and great with putting playlists together, get them involved.  Some of the best weddings I have been to have been where a guest has taken on the role of DJ for the night.  You can also ask guests to nominate their favourite dance track when they RSVP.  This will let them know you want them up dancing at your reception and will likely result in a varied playlist.

Create moments

If you want to set the stage for a great party at your reception, think about the moments during the day.  Nothing puts people into the mood for celebrating than being swept up in the fun and romance of your wedding.  One of the ways you can do this is by giving thought to your musical choices throughout the day.  Think about songs that have meaning and that your guests will recognise as representing you and your story and use them for your entrance and first dance.

What do you think?  Do you have a tip for keeping the party going at a wedding?  Why not share it with us here!

You might also like to check out these 7 things your guests will love about your wedding day to help you put them in the mood for dancing all night long at your reception.

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