Budget brides, if you don't have a DJ in your family willing to work the dance party for free, you can automate the flow by carefully setting up the two dimensions of dance floor management: physical space and musical time. For ideas on how to set up a space with optimal traffic flow, see these four tips by Rescue Flats. For tips on timing the beats, read on!
Dance Floor Management
Automate your dancing-and-shenanigans playlist if you find yourself without professional DJ services.
We used my laptop computer, hooked up to a cheap rented set of gigantic speakers and a funky light show. Our playlist began with sentimental first dances and then moved through progressive stages that we set up in advance--but were still able to modify on the spot as needed. Our silly garter toss happened in the middle, after most of the older folks and all the little kids had gone home, and it marked a transition to the louder, drunker phase of the night.
We found that it's good to put some old classics toward the beginning of the list, so the older folks will get down on the dance floor before they have to head home.
Seniors need to have a good time, too! And they often know more dance moves than the young folks. Watch and learn.
Consider special requests ahead of time, as you're setting up your playlist. Here my aunt and mom are getting "Footloose" to one of their favorite oldies.
You don't have to take all requests, though. You are not required to play YMCA, the Chicken Dance, or the Macarena. But if that's your thing, by all means! We chose silly songs of more recent vintage that invited us to "wind it up," "shake it like a Polaroid picture," and "take your mama out all night." Mix your offbeat favorites with popular songs and old stand-bys so there's a little something for everybody. Stagger songs so you don't have too many slow or fast tracks in a row, but increase and decrease the energy in gradual stages so that the mood of each song builds off the last.
To account for all the relatives and out-of-towners who will inevitably have to leave early, we took a wild risk and published an open invite for dance crashers to show up a couple hours after dinner. Above, I am getting spun around by personal trainer Kimo Frederiksen, who heeded the call and appeared at dusk to sweep me off my feet! How fun is that?
Amp up the volume and rhythm as the night progresses. After the photographers left (so unfortunately!), our entertainer Lord of the Yum-Yum treated us to some break dancing and led us in some kind of hoe-down circle dance. We ended up finding out that exhausting the guests is an effective way to clear out the venue by the rental deadline!
If you're daring, allow guests to bring in their own music, or at least give them access to changing the order of songs on your playlist.
Then go around and grind on as many people as possible! You've got a whole honeymoon coming up to spend lots of intimate time with your new spouse. Dance slutty one more time.
Gonna take your mama out all night
Yeah, we'll show her what it's all about
We'll get her jacked up on some cheap champagne
We'll let the good times all roll out