I’m writing this post during the time of Covid. I know,  I know, now is NOT the best time for a packed dance floor while we social distance. BUT if you’re newly engaged and planning a 2021 or 2022 wedding, this post is for you.

I love nothing more than a packed dance floor. Guests are having a blast and it makes for some epic photos for your album. Fingers crossed that all goes well and we can all get back out on the dance floor sans masks.

Here are 7 ways to get your guests on the dance floor:

1. Make An Appearance on the Dance Floor

I’m pretty sure you could scientifically prove that when the newly weds hit the dance floor, the guests will also proceed to shake their tail feathers. One of the best ways to fill your dance floor is to get out there and spend some time partying it up. If anyone wants to help me do this research one day, let me know!

Edmonton Wedding Reception


2. Hire a Professional DJ

That you actually like/fits your demographic. While setting up an iPad or laptop with a set of speakers seems like a great idea, when there is a tech issue, or drunk cousins start to fit over what song should play next, it’s gonna kill the mood. I’m not saying there isn’t anything wrong with providing your own soundtrack, but if you want a smooth dance floor experience, hiring a professional is the way to go.

If you are going to go it alone and set up your own sound system, a friend of mine shared this ultimate playlist with me:

Ultimate Wedding Playlist

Barn Wedding Reception


3. Situate the Bar Close to the Dance Floor

It’s called liquid courage for a reason. If your wedding includes alcohol, keeping the bar close the the dance floor brings people back to the dance floor. If the bar is on the other side of a large hall, you’ll lose a part of the crowd each time they go back and forth. When their favourite song starts playing, its a short trek back from the bar.

Edmonton wedding reception



4. Create an intimate feeling, by making your dance floor slightly smaller.

A large dance floor can look barren even if there are thirty people dancing up a storm. For an intimate dance floor designate a cozy part of your venue. Use your tables and chairs to configure the space. Often having the dance floor in the centre of the room can help with creating that cozy feeling.

Edmonton Wedding Reception


5. Asks Guests to Make Song Suggestions Ahead of Time

If your DJ is cool with it (ask them first!) include a section on your wedding invite or on your wedding website for guests to make song recommendations. When your guest here’s their recommendation playing two things will happen: 1) They’ll feel like the chosen one 2) They’re gonna go dance their socks off and probably bring a few friends with them.

Edmonton wedding reception


6. Incorporate a game or a challenge

A polka contest, line dance or conga line can do wonders for a dying dance floor. My personal favourite game or challenge to include celebrates your guests that have been married/together the longest. Your DJ invites all couples out to the dance floor, and will ask couples to leave the dance floor based on how long they’ve been together. One year, two years, three years, five years, ten years and so on. Eventually, you’re left with the couple who has been together the longest. It’s a nice way to celebrate their time together and share a bit of the spotlight. I’ve even seen a bride give her bouquet away to the couple that has been married the longest, instead of doing the usual bouquet toss.

How to get guests on the dance floor


7. Include kids on your guest list

Kids flock the the dance floor, and they bring their parents/grandparents/uncles and aunties with them. Children dance like no one is watching, bless their little carefree hearts. Uninhibited the fear of judgement, kids dance however they want to dance, and that brings joy to your guests.

Wedding Reception


I leave you dear reader with a link to a scientific analysis of the dance floor classic “A Little Bit Softer Now”

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Hi, my name is Janelle, I’m a photographer from Edmonton Alberta. I’m all about three things: celebration, connection and client education. My style is relaxed and romantic. I love intimate weddings, the kind where I get to know your family and friends. I thrive when meeting new people.My favourite moment of every wedding is right after the ceremony. This is when your friends and family smother or possibly crush you with either love or cheerful embrace. Bring on all the candid moments.

  I value connection and celebration of moments over a big production