Playing “Let’s Get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas can only go so far with actually getting the party started for your guests.
When it comes to throwing the best party of your lives, leave boredom at the door with these 5 tips on keeping the party going.
- Get Guests Dancing With All the Latest Hits
One of the biggest keys to keeping guests entertained is, of course, the entertainment – like music. Whether it’s a band or DJ, music certainly sets the tone for the night.
For Matthew Kurowski, owner and founder of Stumptown DJs in Portland, Ore., it’s all about keeping track of all the greatest hits on the radio and taking requests from guests (unless the bride and groom explicitly don’t want him to).
“Taking requests keeps a good pulse on what the crowd actually wants to hear, if you play the right songs at the right times, you can keep that energy moving on the dance floor from beginning to end,” Kurowski says.
- Start Out a Little Slow
It may seem counterintuitive, but starting the party off a bit slower can help sustain the party in the long run (remember – it’s a marathon, not a race). If you’ve attended a wedding before, you might notice how music at the beginning of the night starts off a bit slower, with choices like oldies or slow dances starting things off.
That’s actually a strategic move for Kurowski, who says beginning with older music at the beginning can get older guests dancing earlier in the night. By the time new stuff comes on, they’ve already “been strutting their stuff and they may very well want to ‘keep up with the youngsters’ and keep dancing,” he says. Playing too much new stuff early on can turn off older guests, who might just decide to ditch out early.
- Go Tried-and-True With Song Choice
There are some songs that, no matter what, just make you dance. Be sure to include some of those fan favorite to get guests grooving. Songs like the “Cupid Shuffle” or the “Cha Cha Slide” are usually a hit, according to Kurowski, but if those come off as a little cheesy, go for something like Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” It's got a catchy beat and almost everyone from any age group and any ethnicity knows it, he says. Also consider top wedding hits like Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” named one of the most popular wedding songs according to Spotify.
- Don’t Forget the Games
If you’re hosting a more casual event, break out things like bags (cornhole) or have your DJ or emcee facilitate things like the shoe game where guests can find out things they might not have known about the bride and groom.
- … and Extras
Photo booths (don’t forget the wild and fun props) are always a hit at weddings, giving guests who might not be into dancing an alternative fun option. There’s also little extra fun things like silent disco (exactly what it sounds like where people who want to dance listen to music through headphones), that Kurowski says can be both a fun novelty and useful (like for venues with noise restrictions, or if grandma and grandpa just want to have a conversation without screaming over the music).