Wedding receptions should be fun! However, with so many formalities, if you don’t strategically plan the day then you could lose a significant amount of time on the dance floor. That’s why, we’re sharing the best way to honor tradition while still leaving plenty of time to party!

The moment your guests find their seats, you should begin the celebration with introductions.

Photography Credit: David Murray Weddings

Your formal introduction, as a newly married couple, will have your guests cheering enthusiastically. We suggest you use that moment to strut your stuff straight onto the dance floor for your first dance.

Photography Credit: Sweet Monday Photography

As soon as your band hits the last verse, we recommend inviting your guests up to close out the song.

Photography Credit: LifeFusion Photography

Slow songs are a great way to pull guests from their seats. Then, once you have them on the dance floor, switch it over to high gear. Before they have a chance to sit down they’re fully engaged in a mini dance set.

By squeezing a short dance set in before dinner, you set the tone for your event. It will give your guests a quick break from the slow nature of the ceremony, cocktail reception and dinner and it serves as a nice preview of the fun that is to come!

Photography Credit: Sweet Monday Photography

If you or your fiancé are Jewish then we suggest that the Hora come next.

We especially recommend this if you are planning an interfaith wedding. The Hora can be intimidating to those who aren’t familiar with the dance. However, guests are more likely to participate if they are already on the dance floor having a good time.

Ask your band to make a smooth transition into “Hava Nagila” and your guests will be dancing in a circle before they have a chance to skip out.

Photography Credit: Molly Quill

Once the Hora comes to an end, guests can be seated for dinner.

That’s when we cue the speeches.

Photography Credit: Allegro Photography

As far as toasts go, we recommend you keep them down to a minimum. At most, we suggest a welcome speech as well as a toast from the maid of honor and best man.

Once dinner is served, the band takes a break too.

As soon as the band returns, we suggest cutting the cake and moving directly into parent dances. Typically, you would start with the father daughter dance followed by the mother son dance.

Photography Credit: LifeFusion Photography

If the groom and his mother are open to it, then we suggest inviting guests to join in at the end of their dance.

Like we mentioned before, slow dances are the best way to get guests out of their seats. Once the mother son dance is through, the band can transition into an upbeat number keeping your guests on the dance floor all night long.

Photography Credit: Person + Killian Photography

With dinner and formalities already complete, your guests will have plenty of time to rock out until the lights come on!