Table Dancing

I want our wedding guests to dance.

I NEED them to dance.

So I’ve put a lot of things in place to get people moving.

First, we’ll offer all the traditional goodies like the generation dance, the dollar dances, group dance favorites like “The Cupid Shuffle,” “Cha Cha Slide,” and “The Wobble.” However, we will also incorporate another way of ensuring tables get up to get down.

On the back of our table numbers (which will be held by the famous white Ikea Tolsby frames that so many have used before me!) there will be a song title that was picked SPECIFICALLY for that table and the guests sitting there. When the DJ plays that track he will also announce that it’s that table’s turn to bust a move. And then, if it’s at all possible at that moment, Mr. Orchard and I will go over to help them get started. Most of our friends and family are more than willing to be silly, but we may have a few shy tables that need help getting started. Of course, anyone else can join that table on the dance floor, too!

With 150ish guests invited, sitting 12 per long rectangular table, we figure we’ll need about 13 songs. I tried to choose songs we’d like hearing anyway or songs that have a special meaning for us and that group.

For example…

I work at a retail store that plays a lot of cheesy ’80s music (nothing wrong with that), but two of the store favorites are “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car” by Danny Ocean and “U Got the Look” by Prince. Whenever they come on we all sing along and dance around the sales floor (unless there are customers present”¦then we have to behave) like it’s 1985. You can bet one of those songs will pop up on their table!

I have a lot of teacher friends who will be in attendance. Their table will feature a song like “ABC” by The Jackson 5 or “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen.

My cousins from Aunt G’s side will appreciate some ridiculous over-the-top pop song, like “Motownphilly,” which was Cousin M’s ringtone for quite some time!

I like the element of fun and surprise, and I hope our tables will quickly figure out why we chose certain songs for them. Hopefully it will be a good ice-breaker if nothing else!

What are you doing to ensure your guests get moving at your wedding?


Mrs. Orchard

Morgantown, WV
Wedding Date:
November 2013
Wolves' Winter Wedding: Donuts and a Final Dance
Bamboo for Two: A Danceless Reception (A Sidenote)
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  1. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:38 am

    I love those ideas!!!

    One thing I really recommend is as you visit with your guests – whether during cocktail hour or during dinner – tell them how much it would mean to you if they join you on the dance floor! I told every single guest that they needed to dance, and it worked – as soon as dinner was over, all of our guests were busting a move – even the elderly ones in attendance! Another trick is to make sure you give the DJ a playlist that will appeal to all of your different guests – we had a mix of pretty much everything, knowing that if it was all Top 40 music the older guests wouldn’t be interested. And last but not least, booze :) Probably the best catalyst for a dance party that I know of!

  2. Member
    soonmrswhite 311 posts, Helper bee @ 7:01 am

    Love this !

  3. Member
    kecoppedge 24 posts, Newbee @ 7:06 am

    I am starting out with fun music as first dances. My first dance will be a slow version of feel so close by zoe phillips then fade into feel so close by calvin harris with the bridal party helping. Then with my dad we are doing the funk soul brother…and if all else fails I will have to sing womanizer as karaoke..that usually gets people excited. I am by no means a good singer just silly and funny to watch because I’ll do whatever to make the crowd excited.

    Another good cheesy song is Boom Boom Boom Boom by the vengaboys.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    js, Guest @ 7:26 am

    I don’t want to be that person, but Billy Ocean sang the song, “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”. I’m sure you know that, but just in case :-)

  5. Member
    babycakes24 606 posts, Busy bee @ 7:37 am

    I agree about having a playlist that appeals to a variety of guests, but also keeping in mind that you can’t please everyone.

    I like your idea and find it to be creative…only you know your guests. I would wonder if this would create some awkwardness or people feeling forced to dance? I appreciate when things happen naturally…and those are some of our favorite moments from the wedding day/reception.

    If I were in your shoes, I think I would ask the DJ to incorporate some of those songs into a centerpiece giveaway/game.

    And, of course, the booze 😉

  6. Member
    SarahCF 539 posts, Busy bee @ 9:42 am

    I think this is a great idea, and I think it will encourage many people to get up and dance. However, I would caution against pressuring people to dance, as previous comments have suggested. I hate dancing in public. It makes me extremely self-conscious. I know no one’s looking at me, I know no one cares, but it still makes me shudder. You might as well ask me to run around naked. So if I was at a wedding, there to enjoy the day and celebrate with my loved one, and she told me it was really important to her if I danced, I would feel so uncomfortable. Id’ worry about it the whole time. I’d dread the song coming on and I’d have a hard time enjoying myself. I would do it, briefly, because I was asked to, but it would make me really, really uncomfortable. People who don’t dance don’t want to be party-poopers, but we just aren’t comfortable in our own skin when we’re asked to dance. So please, if there’s someone who’s really not into it, give him/her the benefit of the doubt. They WANT to dance with you, but they just aren’t comfortable with it. It’s not that they’re too cool for school, it’s that it makes them nervous. Some people will for sure dance with a little encouragement. Most will dance anyway. But there are a few who just won’t, and it will be so much worse if you make them feel like they have to.

  7. orchard Member
    orchard 72 posts, Worker bee @ 11:09 am

    Thanks for all the comments guys! I must have sounded like a bit of a tyrant above based on some of the responses! Please know that in NO way will I force someone who is unwilling to dance to do so. Most of our family and friends are dancing machines but there are some shy people who I hope will get bit by the dancing bug but if not, we’re not going to embarrass them or make them do anything. We are also being really strategic about our groupings so that everyone is around people they’re comfortable with so there won’t be any awkward pressure (I hope!). These songs will make up a tiny part of our music that night but will spread throughout. Probably by the time some are played certain tables will already have made an exit (older family members, etc). Think of it more like an ice breaker and less like a torture implement! But thanks for the heads up– I’ll make sure to word the signs carefully! :)

  8. orchard Member
    orchard 72 posts, Worker bee @ 11:11 am

    @js: Whoops! I definitely know that it’s Billy but I’m guessing I slipped because I always have Dan on the brain (that’s Mr. O’s first name!)!! Thanks :)

  9. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:26 am

    This sounds like so much fun, I would totally get into this if I were a guest at your wedding!

  10. Member
    spotted_giraffe 312 posts, Helper bee @ 11:49 am

    I think it sounds really fun! And you’re picking songs that you know people like. It’s cute!

  11. Member
    daniellekira 573 posts, Busy bee @ 2:49 pm

    I love to dance, so I would be up for this. Some of my guests would not be up for it, but I think it is a good idea.

  12. genie Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 3:59 pm

    I seriously love this idea. I echo what Mrs. Wallaby said. I pretty much told everyone they had to dance when I had a chance to talk to them. It worked! So did the unlimited amount of beer and wine. Haha

  13. Member
    SarahCF 539 posts, Busy bee @ 4:25 pm

    yeah the way you’re doing it sounds fun. The way you described it doesn’t sound uncomfortable, just encouraging.

  14. potion Member
    potion 223 posts, Helper bee @ 5:14 pm

    This is SUCH a clever idea, I love it! None of my tricks to get my guests to dance worked, unfortunately…probably because there was a TV available on the 2nd floor that was showing the Alabama football game…

  15. orchard Member
    orchard 72 posts, Worker bee @ 5:21 pm

    @Mrs. Potion: argh! There’s a home WVU game the day of our wedding too against Texas. We’ve gotten a lot of guff about that but what can you do? We’ll have our DJ announce scores!

  16. Member
    Gemstone 21881 posts, Honey Beekeeper @ 6:19 am

    We were lucky (and surprised) that a ton of our guests danced, even though we blacklisted ALL group dances. No Electric Slide or Cupid Shuffle for us! I LOVE the idea of a song for each table though. I’ve been to dozens of weddings and have never seen that done!

  17. camel Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 6:28 am

    Here’s how our party got started: a party catalyst. Do you have any friends that are crazy charismatic and tons of fun? Enlist them to get on the dance floor first and invite others. My two stepbrothers, who are fun-loving party frat boys got our entire party started and kept it going all night. I never asked them to fulfill this task, but they did such an awesome job keeping the energy up and everyone kept asking who those two guys were stirring up the party!

  18. Member
    jessc4343 219 posts, Helper bee @ 8:17 am

    In my mind your idea played out a lot differently (and awkwardly) until I remembered you said the songs would be sprinkled throughout the evening. I think it sounds like you’re on the right track to get engage with your guests and their sweet moves 😉

    @kecoppedge: I didn’t even know a slow version existed; thank you so much for mentioning this!!

  19. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:04 pm

    I think this sounds like a fun way to encourage people
    To get up and bust a move :)

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