Dancing at wedding receptions has gone from the traditional bride-and-Dad waltz to guests dancing the night away! But how do you make sure that everyone gets in on the fun? We came up with a list of tips to help you do just that. From the venue set up, to clever signs, to music and lights, to “tricks” for getting even the timid onto the dance floor! We even share our picks for great dance signs you can DIY or buy.
Our 10 Tips for Getting Wedding Guests to Dance
- Have your reception program pre-announce that dancing will be part of the festivities. You could list it on table-top cards, on a chalkboard sign at the entrance, or on directional signs on a pole (“Dancing this way, 8-10pm”).
- Display witty signs to invite (or challenge!) everyone to come celebrate with you on the dance floor. A bit of humor just might convince even the shyest guests to join. You can see some great sign ideas featured below!
- Set up a dance floor or a danceable surface that will make it easy, fun and safe for dancing feet of all ages. No reason why older guests and little ones—and even those with “two left feet” —can’t join in.
- Lead into the guest dancing right after the newlyweds’ dance with their parents. Prep Dad and Mom to each take a family member (who can’t protest!) to the dance floor. Then, have the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer find their partners, too.
- Prepare a wide selection of great dance music that no one will be able to resist. Depending on your budget, you can hire a small dance band, a DJ who was a hit at a wedding you attended, or just pre-record your own killer dance playlist! Include sentimental standards and personal favorites, all the way to the latest danceable hits.
- Arrange for a few avid dancers among your guests to get a crowd going. You know how it is. No one wants to be alone on the dance floor. So talk to some friends to take the lead.
- Have “dance lighting” to match the different music styles. For an indoor reception, you could arrange for lights that can shift from romantic to disco and more. For a garden or beach wedding, overhead string bulbs would be lovely under a starry night sky.
- Provide a basket of flip flops for those who want to kick OFF their high heels to be able to “kick up their heels”! Guests will appreciate this thoughtful gesture, so they can dance the night away—and take their pair home as a wedding memento, too.
- Set up a drinks buffet as a “rehydration station” to keep everyone energized. Offer up ice cold water, fruit juices, sodas and alcoholic beverages if you wish (beer, wine, mixed cocktails, champagne).
- Hold an impromptu “dance off” with fun prizes for the winners. Nothing like a little competition to get even the most timid of non-dancers up on their feet. Maybe have categories for older guests, millennials and youngsters so all can join in.
Creative Ideas for Wedding Dance Signs
Look what we found! Such clever ways with signage to get your guests to dance. Take your pick from vintage to rustic to modern styles. Or choose ones you can DIY or buy.
- Wedding flip flops sign on Zazzle
- Framed chalk art wedding sign on Amazon
- Hand lettering on plain wood canvas on The Small Things
- Chalkboard style sign
- Burlap lace print sign on Amazon
- Dancing shoes gold foil sign with calligraphy on Amazon
- Vintage style dance floor and seating plan sign on Zazzle
- Watercolor floral dance floor and seating plan sign on Zazzle
- Chalkboard sign on an easel laid out by a hydration station – Courtney Illfield Photography, via The Lane
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