Top tips for a busy dance floor at your wedding

One of the big fears that couples may have leading up to their wedding reception (or any other party for that matter) is the fear that nobody will dance. Whilst this fear is usually unnecessary, there are certain things to consider to really help those dance floor antics go from a ‘pretty good’ to ‘blooming amazing’!

So here are my tips to ensure a busy dance floor at your wedding reception.


The first couple of tips are something to consider if you are still in the planning phase of choosing a venue.

Sound limiters

Unfortunately many venues need to have sound limiters in place due to surrounding houses or residents. They work by limiting the volume of sound in the venue. If music gets too loud they will instantly cut power to the DJ or band, resulting in silence for a few moments before the power comes back. Not ideal.
It is of course the DJ/band’s responsibility to stay within the sound limiter. But this can mean that the music volume can be lacking, particularly the bass, which is sometimes not great in helping create an awesome party atmosphere.
To be fair most venues I work at that do have sound limiters are pretty good, and staying within the limit still ensures enough volume. But there are some that just have too low a limit in my opinion. When viewing wedding venues be sure to ask if they have a sound limiter installed so you are aware.

Bar location

The bar can be a big distraction when it comes to dancing. But then it is arguably a necessity to help people hit the dance floor in the first place! With the bar being in the same room as the evening entertainment, or at least very near by, it can really help.
Not only does it mean it’s only a short walk to the dance floor, but it also means people can enjoy the music while they are still at the bar, which then adds to the overall atmosphere of the room. We often see people dancing at the bar while waiting for their drinks! Something they wouldn’t be able to do if the bar is elsewhere down a corridor. Therefore bar location may be another factor to consider when choosing a wedding venue.
Further things to consider once you have a chosen venue…

 Keep other attractions near by

Are you thinking of booking other attractions such photo booth, selfie pod, fun casino etc? If so then like the bar it is worth bearing in mind their location too. Having things like a photo booth near to the dance floor can be beneficial if your goal is to get everyone dancing. And it’s always fun when the photo booth props make it on to the dance floor!

Time of first dance

Assuming a midnight finish, I find 8pm – 8.30pm a good time for the first dance. Following your first dance is the perfect opportunity for the party to really get going while all your guests are gathered around.

Do it too early and you could see guests heading straight back to the bar. Do it too late and you’ll be running out of precious partying time! Around 8pm – 8.30pm should also give time for any evening guests to arrive, mingle and then be involved to see your first dance too.

Get on that dance floor yourselves

Probably my top tip to get everyone dancing. If you are dancing then your guests will follow suit! If you are sitting down in the bar all night, guess what your guests will also be doing?…
This doesn’t mean you need to be dancing all night long. But leading by example really does help everyone relax and join in the fun!

Creating a playlist

Your DJ should always give you the opportunity to send them a bit of a playlist of your favourite songs and artists. It’s your party and your DJ will want to play songs that you like and get you dancing. However when compiling your playlist don’t forget to think of your guests too. Particularly if there will be a mixture of all ages. You know your family and friends so you’ll likely have an idea of their tastes. Your DJ will then have good list to go by. Have trust in them, they should be able to read the crowd and play appropriate music at appropriate times.
If you would like a more dance orientated set at some point (for example house, garage) it is worth allowing for this a bit later in the evening. These genres do pack the dance floor well a bit later, and you’ll also avoid the chance of scaring off some of the older generation early on.


Nobody really likes getting up and dancing when it’s too bright. Most venues will have dimmable lights, or will be able to turn off particular lights, to create a nice ambiance. Additionally there is the option of mood lighting. Some venues do provide this, but if your DJ is able to supply it then they will be able to control the colours and sequences throughout the night. It can really enhance a room and make it more fun to be in

The right lighting certainly has an effect on people’s willingness to dance so getting it is worth considering. The right lighting will also help make the photos look awesome!