Wedding Tips « Dance Caravan DJ Service

By: Dance Caravan Dj  09-12-2011
Keywords: Dance

How many slow songs are there at the start of a wedding dance?
This usually ranges from 1 to 4, with 2 being the average.  Almost all brides and grooms have a first dance for themselves.  Many people choose to follow this with dance that begins with parents and bridal party, then ask the DJ or MC to invite other guests to join in part way through.  Other options include having the bride dance with her father, followed by a dance featuring the groom and his mother, then the bridal party.  It really is a matter of personal taste.

Do people sometimes have shortened versions of songs played for first waltzes?
In the past we have had clients ask us to edit a particular first song, simply because one or both of them would be uncomfortable in the spotlight for that long a period.  There is certainly nothing wrong with this, and we are happy to assist however we can.

How do you suggest handling these first waltzes with family if the parents of the bride or groom are separated/divorced?
Usually the best way to find a solution to this issue is to talk things over with everyone involved.  Find out what would make them most comfortable.  In most cases anyone who has been remarried will dance with their new spouse, however, we have also seen divorced parents who are still on good terms with one another share a dance simply because they want to help their son or daughter celebrate the occasion.  If you are not sure how to plan, the best bet is to simply have 2 songs, one for yourselves, and one for “family, friends, and the wedding party”.

How do I even begin to put a list of requests together for a crowd that will be anywhere from 7 to 97 years old?
Ah, we’ve spent many years solving this very puzzle!  There is no short answer.  Our success usually comes from a core group of songs that we take from all genres and eras which work with nearly any crowd.  However, you are trying to balance this with having a personal touch on your requests.  Typically, try to think of music that is fun to dance to, and songs that have some shared meaning.  Songs that others are familiar with, and which also remind them of great memories can be wonderful choices.  For example, we’ve seen couples with friends in attendance whom they went to university with.  Songs that were played while they lived together in residence always evoke lots of laughter, even if on paper they seem like “cheesy” requests.  Something you can also try is sending e-mail to guests and ask if they have any requests.

Is there any place for music with obscene language at a wedding dance?
In most cases, probably not.  All of our music is edited for content, much like what is played on the radio or video channels.  That is not to say you shouldn’t have music played which has “risque” themes, but these may certainly be reserved for later parts of the evening when small children have left.  But again, your wedding is your own, and if you feel you would like to bring along a few requests with objectionable lyrics, you may do so.

It has been suggested that we should stop the dance part way through for a gift opening.  Is this a good idea?
Unfortunately, in most cases this would have a negative effect on the flow of the dance.  Anytime people get out of that dancing “groove”, it can be difficult to get them back.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t do this, however.  Some wedding dances run out of steam between 11:30 and midnight simply because it has been a long day and guests are tired.  This might be a good time to plan for a gift opening, especially with the DJ there to provide a microphone or perhaps a little background music while this is going on.

I have relatives/friends who are musicians and they have offered to play a set during the dance.  Should I let them?
There’s no reason why not (although I might suggest you make it a point to hear them first!).  It’s probably better to have them do this in the early part of the dance, when some people are socializing rather than dancing.  Normally people listen to musicians, rather than dance, so having them play earlier on won’t be interpreted by some guests as and “interruption” to the dance as it might later on.  One thing to keep in mind is that your musicians may need to coordinate with us to patch into our sound system.  This may involve some additional prep time, and additional costs could be involved.  It would be best to e-mail us with any specific details.

Should I have bubbles at my dance?
Many couples have small containers of bubbles on the tables for people to blow as they share a first waltz.  This is usually harmless, but you may want to be careful that soap does not accumulate on the dance floor, since someone could fall and be injured.  Our company stopped using bubbles as an option a few years ago for this very reason.

What is a “Dollar Dance” and should I have one?
A dollar dance is something couples will sometimes have just after the dance starts to sort of help the crowd warm up a bit.  Usually the bride and groom come out to the dance floor and guests will line up to have a brief dance with them while a series of slow songs play.  The best man and maid of honor will hold baskets for people to deposit a sum of money in as gifts.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with having a Dollar Dance, but you may want to decide whether your guests will be the types of people who like to participate in these sorts of things.  On rare occasions we’ve seen the bride and groom start a dollar dance, only to see most of the guests stay seated, creating an awkward situation.  But again, this is quite rare, and most of the time people love to particpate.

Are there any other interactive elements of a wedding dance that can be used?
A snowball dance is one that works as a way of getting people to join you.  The bride and groom start out as the only people on the dance floor for either a fast or slow song, and every 20 – 30 seconds or so the DJ or MC will use the microphone to call out the word “snowball”.  When this happens, the bride and groom go and get someone from the crowd to join them.  When it happens again, all four of these people will do the same thing, then eight, and so on & so on.  Before long the entire dance floor is packed.  At this point the DJ will have a few more great songs lined up to keep things moving.

Another nice touch is to have someone bring some flowers to the reception, and at some point ask the DJ or MC to announce that all the married couples are required to come to the dance floor for the next slow song.  As the song begins, he or she asks everyone who has been married for 1 year or less to be seated, then everyone married 5 years or less, etc.  Normally at the end there is one couple, usually a set of grandparents or great-grandparents, remaining.  At this point the announcer tells everyone that this couple has been married longer than anyone else in the room and the bride & groom would bring them flowers.  Naturally, you need to know in advance who this couple is, and how long they’ve been married, so that the announcer has this information (and the possibility that two couples have been married the same number of years, in which case you need two sets of flowers!)

My fiance and I are not big dancers, although our friends and family are.  Is this bad?
Don’t feel like you have to dance a lot if it makes you uncomfortable.  Although in our experience, guests will be more apt to join in if the bride and groom are on the dance floor, this doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole night there.  If you prefer to move from table to table and socialize during the dance, then by all means, do so.

I don’t want to have songs like the “Chicken Dance” and “I Knew The Bride” at my wedding – is this okay?
Let’s put it this way – it’s your dance, and you should plan to have music you’ll enjoy.  If there are any songs you don’t want played, by all means let us know and we’ll make sure they aren’t on the playlist.  That being said, keep in mind that although these sorts of songs may seem like a bad idea 3 months before the wedding, once the fun starts and you’re surrounded by friends, these can be just the sorts of goofy fun that sets the stage for great memories.  Talk it over with others and see what they think.

Is it a good idea to have a more extensive light show at a wedding dance?
Sometimes, especially if you are expecting a younger crowd.  Club-style lighting can provide a very festive atmosphere that otherwise might be missing from the dance floor.  However, something else to consider is that this sort of lighting can sometimes make older guests a bit uncomfortable, because it can be a bit bright at times.  Also if you are having a more elegant look to your reception and dance, using mini lights & trees, etc, you may find that overpowering lights take away from the ambience you’ve created.

Do you ever perform shows at non-traditional weddings?
Of course.  Music is universal, no matter what the occasion.  We’ve played multi-cultural weddings, union ceremonies, theme weddings, just about anything you can imagine.

Keywords: Dance

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Music List Samples « Dance Caravan DJ Service

Nearly every piece of popular dance music today owes a huge debt to the smooth dance beats and melodic hooks that came out of Detroit in the mid-sixties. The Mamas & The Papas, The Beach Boys, and Jefferson Airplane created what would be known as the California sound. Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Four Tops, and The Temptations are just a few of these artists.