WARNING: This post is full of photos of people you don’t know having a great time. My feelings won’t be hurt if you skip this one.
After the bouquet toss, our wedding guests flooded the dance floor for the rest of the evening. I know that some brides struggle to make a dance party happen, and I think that we were just fortunate to have worked up a situation that was begging for a party. First, we had a playlist that was slowly compiled over a few months by many people—we put a Google doc together and gave anyone access that wanted to add things, and we finally pared it down in our final meeting with our DJ. McGlovin added some polka music, which is a tradition in his family, and our DJ thought we were joking. When it was played, though, so many of the “adults” hopped onto the dance floor. McGlovin and I split up and used the polka to bring other friends onto the floor, and by the time it was over, nearly every person was dancing. Odd, yes, but also hilariously winning.
Second, our wedding was set on a Saturday, in the evening. Like many weddings, we had a somewhat formal vibe going, so everyone was already dressed up and feeling fun. And, I mean”¦we’d been serving alcohol for a few hours at that point.
I also think that the physical setting was conducive to everyone dancing—everyone who was on the first floor, which is where you needed to be if you wanted to access the bar. The first floor was pretty cozy, so even if you weren’t necessarily dancing, you were still mere feet from the dancers”¦who were likely to pull you in at any time. And, it was dark. I don’t know if I’d ever really noticed it before I went to a few summer weddings, but it’s so much easier to dance in the dark! There were a few spotlights at the bar, but other than that we used candles and twinkle lights on the first floor to keep everything feeling romantic and cozy.
The biggest explanation for our packed dance floor, though, is that we have a friend group that is really inclined to enjoy themselves. I think you can set the scene all you want, and ply people with as much booze as possible but, at the end of the day, if people want to dance they will, and if they don’t”¦well, then, asking people to do something they don’t want to do isn’t going to result in a good time, either yours or theirs. So, you know”¦keep your expectations realistic, and in line with the crowd of people who will be at your wedding.
That said, our reception was overflowing with bliss—I could not have possibly hoped for anything else. Take a look:
When it came time for a final dance, McGlovin and I had left things up in the air with the DJ; I thought I would want a quiet slow dance, and if no one else was dancing but MCGlovin and me, I wouldn’t be upset. Our DJ thought we would want a great party song to really close out the evening strong. When the time came, though, and the DJ asked what I wanted to do”¦he had totally called it, and I asked him to keep the party going. At that point, I knew I definitely wanted to participate in the after-party, so we nixed the slow song. I cannot recall for the life of me what he played (probably something clichéd, by Journey or similar), but a circle formed. I usually hate the dance circle—for some reason, it gives me incredible anxiety when they happen—so McGlovin pulled my into the center, where we swayed around while our friends and family surrounded us, presumably serenading us drunkenly and off key, with something like “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Normally, completely odd, but perfect in that moment.
And that, hive, was our reception. I’ll finish off my recapping with a post on the after-party”¦and briefly touch on the after-party. But for the record—it’s been suggested that your wedding will be exactly what it needs to be, and that many weddings have surprises that are perfect, even if unexpected. I know that I’ve shared a number of happy, if unanticipated, things that happened on our wedding day—what were your happy surprises?
- Columbus, Ohio
- Executive Assistant
- Wedding Date:
- January 2013
- Cathedral ceremony, reception in a converted hardware warehouse