How do you get that wedding dance floor of yours packed out?!
The one simple trick to packing your wedding dance floor is to hire a live wedding band. Live wedding bands are the pinnacle of live wedding entertainment and because they are expert performers with unrivalled stage presence and crowd interaction skills, they are the one simple way to pack a wedding dance floor. Couple all this with a wedding bands adaptability and versatility and regardless of what kind of wedding you are having, they are always able to keep your dance floor busy all night.
Live wedding entertainment is the best!
We all want to pack out our wedding dance floor. It’s the best way to let our hair down and celebrate a magical wedding day and wedding bands for hire are hands down, the best wedding entertainment out there and today, I’ll take my 15 years of experience packing dance floors to show you how you can pack your wedding dance floor with the help of a fantastic live band. If you’re planning on booking a wedding DJ, don’t worry, pretty much all of this advice applies to them also.
Let’s get cracking
I’ve compiled all my indispensable tips and tricks that are proven year after year to pack your wedding dance floor and keep it that way. If that’s all a bit too much to read, I’ve put all this information into a handy infographic at the bottom of the guide too.
However, if you don’t want to read every tip, please do make sure you at least read the first paragraph below and the last tip at the bottom of the guide as they are really important!
Hire a live wedding band
I know I’ve kind of pointed this out but live music performed by talented musicians offers an unrivalled audio, visual and interactive experience that is well… unrivalled when it comes to packing a dance floor. If you feel I just haven’t sold this enough check out the guides below and read on!
Wedding DJ or live band?
Should you hire a live wedding band for your wedding?
All the tips and tricks
Anyway, now that you are totally sold on my one simple trick for a packed dance floor, let’s move onto my other top tips on getting that dance floor rammed and how a live band helps with all this.
Choose a suitable wedding band
This may sound obvious but there’s a lot of live bands to choose from out there as our guide here shows and picking a band that you and your guests will like is pretty crucial to getting that dance floor busy! The look, sound and live crowd interaction of any band you pick is crucial. Even in their small three-piece version, Southside Sparkle are a great example of how unique a live wedding band can be.
If you are still searching for a wedding band for hire, you could also have a look at our popular big little guide to live wedding bands.
Sorry, what songs did you suggest?!
When hiring a wedding band make sure you chat to them about what they intend to perform for you all. Give them your song suggestions and work with their setlist ideas to create a fantastic live playlist that will ramp up the fun throughout the night. We cover this more in our in-depth guide on hiring a wedding band here.
Your setlist ideas are very important but skilled wedding bands really know their stuff too. Strike a nice balance and your wedding dancefloor will be epic! Below is an example of a typical and very popular wedding band live set.
Valerie (Amy Winehouse)
Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
You Really Got Me (The Kinks)
Teenage Kicks (The Undertones)
Dock of the Bay (Otis Reading)
Brown Sugar (Rolling stones)
Stuck in the middle with you ( Steelers)
Sex Machine (James Brown)
Hippy Hippy Shake (Beatles)
Billy Jean (MJ)
Alright Now (Free)
I’m a believer (Monkees)
Everybody (Blues Brothers)
Last Night (The Strokes)
Chelsea Dagger (The Fratellis)
I predict a Riot (Kaiser Chiefs)
Moves like jagger (Maroon 5)
Get Lucky (Daft Punk)
Play that Funky Music (Wild Cherry)
I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Arctic Monkeys)
Sex On Fire (Kings of Leon)
Mr. Brightside (The Killers)
Sweet Child O’ Mine (GnR)
Surfing USA (Beach Boys)
500 Miles (Proclaimers)
Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry)
Twist and Shout (Beatles)
Hey Jude (Beatles)
Get a DJ in the mix
As I mention in the wedding DJ or live band guide, booking both a wedding DJ and wedding band is a great way of keeping that dance floor busy. With a DJ and live band working together, the music never stops and so the dance floor shouldn’t either. If you cant afford both, may I mention that most of our wedding bands offer a free DJ’ing service when they aren’t performing live. It can be quite the money saver!
When the wedding music starts and stops
I cover this in more detail in my guide on how long wedding bands play for but if you start the music too early, people usually aren’t ready to dance and you will probably have an empty dance floor. Similarly, if the live music finishes too early, many of your guests won’t have plucked up the courage, Dutch or otherwise to get on that dance floor for very long. I’ve been part of many a wedding that’s sadly only just got going as it had to finish!
Live band setlists
Again, much time is spent on this topic in my blog on how long wedding bands perform for but it’s well worth chatting to your band and venue about your wedding schedule and when it would be best to run those live sets. 2×1 hour sets or 3×40 minute sets are by far the most popular options but in general, us wedding band musicians notice that 2×1 hour sets get the dance floor bouncing the most. From the Top (above) are big fans of the 2×1 hour format.
Wedding dance floor tumbleweed
Dance floor tumbleweed is not to be tolerated so following on from setlist timings, make sure you don’t have huge gaps between your wedding bands live sets. Even if your band or another DJ are busting some tunes in between sets, that dance floor is eventually going to go quiet. Sorry!
Yep you guessed it, I talk about this in my guide on how long wedding bands play for but if you are running to a tight wedding schedule, your venue has timing or sound limitations, your wedding is running late or you just want everyone super motivated to dance then a superset can be the way to go. It’s usually an hour and a half of mad, non-stop live music that gets everyone up. We love performing these sets as we make sure everyone knows they either dance now or never and that way we all have one big dance-off together. It’s a riot!
Your first dance
When speaking with couples we always recommend that after we perform their first dance we crack on with the first live set as everyone is up on the dance floor and buzzing after your romantic moment. If you really want to guarantee a busy dance floor, get your guests involved in your first dance or make it a fast and fun one so we can segue into an up-tempo popular song straight after. It’s the best way to kick off a wedding party and get everyone moving.
Here are some cracking ideas for first dances. You’re welcome!
Let the drink flow!
Assuming you don’t have a dry wedding, let the booze flow free and you will have that packed wedding dance floor you always dreamed of. We’ve noticed that most wedding guests need a bit of Dutch courage before strutting their stuff here in the UK so don’t be shy with the drink allocation if you can afford it.
You are the mother flippin’ boss!
It’s your special day and you and your partner are numero uno. That means that if you get on the dance floor guests will follow. It means that if you ask them to dance or drag them from their tables or the bar they will follow. With a great wedding band like Good Fellas (above) helping you out you can create that pumping dance floor, we promise!
Things you can’t always control but why not check?
There are some things at your wedding you can’t always control or afford to adjust but if you can, they can help boost the number of happy feet you have on that dance floor. Let me explain…
Food glorious food
People don’t usually like dancing on a full stomach and it’s why we always try not to perform when people have recently eaten. We want everyone up for dancing when we perform so you get the most out of us! Try and arrange with your wedding band, DJ and venue when food will be served so it doesn’t clash with the live wedding music. We usually sort this for couples at their weddings and we’re always happy to help so just ask.
Bar, meet dance floor, dance floor meet bar
It does sound like a recipe for disaster but if you can have the main bar near or in the same room as the dance floor it will help with keeping a busy dance floor alive. Over the years we’ve seen dance floors simply not as busy as they could be because the bar is miles away and people have to keep leaving to get some liquid refreshment!
Wedding venue restrictions
We know this can be almost impossible to work around but if you are looking at a venue that has strict and early closing times or strict sound restrictions and you want that packed wedding dance floor you may want to consider another venue. We successfully perform at many venues with sound restrictions but any wedding band will tell you that if the restrictions are too severe it’s almost impossible for any live band to perform properly and bring that dance floor to life as much as they want.
Something to consider and we have plenty more info on this here for you.
Busy busy busy!
We’ve performed at thousands of weddings witnessing the whole magical day unfold, we are very lucky in this regard. We’re sure you have been to a fair few weddings and know they are busy, amazingly fun, long, frantic days. This leads to fatigued guests so if a full dance floor that stays busy and vibrant all night is a big priority for you, make sure there is time for guests to rest, eat, drink and build up those fun reserves for dancing!
Just keep that wedding party going!
We’re a big fan of extended live sets. It’s a booking option amongst many others that we offer with all our bands as you can see below. If you know you and your guests love to sing and dance all night get one booked in! 3×1 hour sets are quite common so the more live music, the more time everyone gets to dance at your lovely wedding!
Your wedding photographer is dance floor marshal!
You may not have considered it but if you have a chat with your wedding photographer, you can turn them into a dance floor usher, of sorts. They want to capture great photos for you so they should be game for encouraging everyone to get up dancing, pulling silly faces, showing those daft dances moves and whatever else floats your boat. The point being, it gets your guests up on that dance floor! Yes!
Lets set the mood to dance
All wedding bands at Seventh Second provide excellent stage lighting and most wedding bands out there should too but the venues house lights are often overlooked. Get those things turned off! Get everyone into that party mood! I can safely say that every time we perform at a wedding, we chat to the staff about turning the lights down once the music starts. This simple trick is often overlooked but we guarantee that it always gets people up on that dance floor and excited.
Flip flops and chairs?
Flip flops and chairs. Yup. If you can supply these items you are going to encourage a lot more dancing. Ladies like to get out of those heels and into flip flops and guests who can sit next to the dance floor to have a little rest in between songs will be ready before you drag them back up. Dancing never stops at this kind of wedding!
Wedding dance floor entertainment
We always try our best to include wedding guests in songs, singalongs (if it’s that kind of wedding) and general fun on the dance floor but if you supply some funny inflatables, masks and hats etc it all adds to the fun and variety on the dance floor. We all know variety is the spice of life so keep it fun and varied on the dance floor (just like Stan Darsh above do!) and with your wedding band involved you’re onto a winner.
And finally, talk with your live wedding band
Our guide to wedding bands for hire says so much more here but in a nutshell, wedding bands only exist to perform at weddings and so experienced ones like ours really do know what they are doing at weddings and want nothing more than to get your wedding dancing, singing and laughing just how you want it. Pick a suitable band and speak to them all about your ideas for your wedding party. That way they can plan setlists, suggest timings and other options with you so they design your wedding party and dance floor exactly how you want it. The Usual Suspects below are pros at understanding and implementing couples needs.
It’s also a big reason why we are in the bands we promote. It’s so we can chat to you directly right off the bat. As an example, we regularly get asked to perform chilled classics for the older guests during the first hour live set before bringing out the big guns and ramping up the party vibes with a high energy dance-tastic final set later in the evening. Anything’s possible with a great wedding band at your side so if you want that busy, happy dancefloor, ask for it!
My wedding dance floor story
I’ve mentioned my wedding in previous guides to help you all so why not chat about how I went about a packed dance floor too? Oh, yes, we wanted one!
I was lucky to have all my musician buddies here at Seventh Second ready to either perform or dance all night, but we also put together a setlist made purely of dance classics. Tunes that were designed for dancing and nothing else! Songs that were either classic enough or modern enough that everyone knew enough of them to get up and dance.
The wedding venue was an important consideration too
We also picked a venue where we could run a big drinks tab at low cost and that would stay open until 2 am so everyone had plenty of time to dance and rest and then repeat! We also picked a small venue with the bar right next to the band and the stage and I must say the wedding photos prove it was a dance floor for us to saviour for years to come. The wedding band were pretty great too. haha
How to pack your wedding dance floor infographic
As promised, here’s an infographic putting together all that’s been explained in the guide. If you’d like a copy for yourself, just let us know. We also found this interesting study on the relationship between dancing and music if that kind of thing interests you.
Time to plan that awesome wedding party!
I hope this guide helped you and if you do want a packed wedding dance floor why not come and speak to us? We can help. Not quite convinced yet? We recently made a huge guide on our London wedding bands that guarantee a packed dance floor so have a look at that for more on bands that keep a dance floor busy! Don’t worry, our London based wedding bands travel all over to every kind of wedding imaginable.
Either way, I really hope you have a fantastic wedding full of happy dancing feet all night long!
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Jon and the Seventh Second team