As the DJ, there's plenty of things I can do to help encourage your wedding guests to fill the dance floor. But there are some "extras" you can bring, to help boost your reception's energy level. In this edition of Peter's Pointers, get inspired by ideas from some of my previous couples.
Flip-Flops: Practical and appreciated
You see it at almost every wedding -- ladies who eventually go barefoot because they've had it with their high heels, but they want to keep on dancing! But a hard dance floor isn't going to offer much relief -- and it can even become dangerous if someone spills a drink or drops a glass.
A basket of flip-flops offers your shoe-shedding guests some comfort without compromising safety. And they only need to last for the final 2-3 hours of your reception, so you don't need to spend top dollar for top quality, either.
Amazon knows what's up -- they've got several bulk bundles that offer a variety of sizes, so you don't even need to worry about how many of each size to buy. Just pick your color(s) and your quantity, and you're good to go! Put 'em in a clear container right near the dance floor so everyone can see them, and I'll even squeeze-in an announcement to make sure your guests put them to good use.
Sunglasses: For that classic, cool look
Some couples like the idea of a wedding reception album full of cool-looking, sunglass-wearing guests. If your wedding is outside during the daytime, they're not just a cool look -- they're functional, as well! But if you're indoors at night and your venue turns the lights down too low, it might be hard for guests to see where they're going.
In other words, sunglasses may not be a great idea for every wedding reception. It's up to you.
The sunglasses in this photo were personalized with the couple's names and wedding date on the sides. They were a hit during the reception, and they doubled as a nice take-home favor.
Glow Necklaces / Sticks: Light up the night
Any venue can look like a dance club when the house lights go down, and the DJ's lights go up (especially with uplighting). But you can really go the extra mile for that club or rave vibe by providing glow necklaces or glow sticks for your guests.
For the wedding pictured here, we planned a time to hand out the necklaces. The couple ordered them and placed in the ballroom prior to my arrival. I kept the box behind the DJ booth until the appointed time. When I made the announcement and held up handfuls of necklaces, people swarmed to get one... they were all gone within minutes and most people wore them for the rest of the evening.
Hawaiian Leis: An alternative to glow necklaces
If your wedding reception has a tropical theme -- or you just need to "tone it down" a few notches from glow necklaces -- novelty leis can help get everyone looking and feeling festive. If grandma and grandpa wouldn't be into wearing glow necklaces, chances are they'd be OK with sporting a lei.
Bubbles: Fun for all ages... and effective "paparazzi prevention"
Tiny bottles of bubble soap are a common sight, especially for outdoor receptions. The old tradition of tossing rice or other food can be messy, and harmful to birds or other wildlife. But bubbles make for great photos, and then they simply disappear -- no mess to clean up!
You can place a bottle on each seat, have ushers hand them out, or put them all on a table, with a sign directing guests to grab one on their way to their ceremony seats. Worried that guests might not catch on? Use ribbon to attach the bubble bottles to your ceremony programs (just punch a hole in the corner of the programs) to make it blatantly obvious that everyone is supposed to take a bottle.
If you're thinking of having people blow bubbles during your recessional (walking back up the aisle after your first kiss):
- Tell your photographer in advance, so they know to be in place
- Have your officiant make an announcement at the end of the ceremony
- Put it in your program as well
Another bonus: if guests are holding bubble bottles/wands, they won't be holding their cameras! Your professional photos will show your guest's happy faces, rather than what might otherwise look like a "cell phone paparazzi" group.