7 Ways to Step up Your Wedding Dance Game

Photo by Ashley Lester Photo

When the dancing starts at your wedding, that’s when the fun really begins. At The Casitas Estate, our 12-acre luxury estate wedding venue in San Luis Obispo, California, we’ve seen some super fun and unique dance ideas.

From new ideas for your First Dance to creative ways to get your guests out of their chairs, take the lead from our Casitas Couples and create a wedding dance experience your guests will remember for a long time to come.

But first! The Dance Floor!

It sounds obvious, but the right dance floor is vital to the success (and enjoyment) of the dance sets at your wedding.

The size should be big enough but not too big. Here at The Casitas, we specially installed our 16×24 foot terracotta tile dance floor to accommodate the number of wedding guests we can host — up to 250 people. Our dance floor is ample enough so  a big crowd can get up and boogie, but not so big it feels like you’re dancing on a tiny corner of a football field.

(Photo by Hey Kelsey Kay)

If you’re looking at a venue with a huge dance floor that’s too large for your guest list, talk to your DJ and wedding coordinator about sectioning off a smaller area to give your guests a more intimate, dance-club feeling.

Cue the Tunes! / The Magic of Music and the Right DJ

Photo by Blake Andrews

The right DJ mixing the right music at the right time is the magic potion that will get your guests up out of their seats and heading to the dance floor, song after song.

But your DJ doesn’t just spin records. He or she is the MC of your event! The pulse of your dance party is on your DJ’s console. Keeping the energy high and guests engaged, keeping the pace of the wedding on track, and matching music to the mood are a few of the key roles your DJ will play.

Your DJ will work with you to create the song list that matches your personalities — especially for your special dances: First Dance and dances with your parents. After that, your DJ’s experience will keep the party going until the last dance.

First Dance Ideas

Quick. When you think of “First Wedding Dance,” what pops into your head?

If you’ve always dreamed of a beautiful waltz around the dance floor, you and your beloved can cherish this priceless moment when your life together begins. And your focus narrows down to only each other for that song.

But what if your style is more “Footloose” than “Shakespeare in Love”? Then it’s time to cut loose and let your personalities shine! Have fun planning with your beloved what your First Dance song will be and what sort of dance you’ll do. 

Plan your Grand Entrance, too — it’s a great way to set the tone for the rest of the reception.

No matter the style of your First Dance, if it’s got any choreography or special dance moves, take a few lessons together before your wedding. Being confident will let you relax and have a blast.

(Section Photos: Left - Tayler Enerle, Right - Mike Larson)

Parent Dances and Other Special Moments

(Photo by Austyn Elizabeth)

Traditionally, after your First Dance as a married couple, the bride and groom dance with their parents. Father and daughter. Mother and son.

Like with your First Dance, you can go traditional with a sweet song or you can go with an up-tempo fun song and dance.

Or mix them up! Start with a quiet dance and then switch to something exuberant. You and your parents will have your guests cheering you on.

And since typically after the parent dances is when the dance floor opens up and everyone joins in, ending on a lively note can get your guests ready to swing.

(Photo by Anya McInroy)

Fun Props

(Photo by Amy Wellenkamp)

Want to add fun and personality to your wedding dancing? Add props!

If your reception is after dark, how about passing out light sticks or lighted glasses? They’re a super fun way to add sparkle and festivity to the dance floor. Think Fourth of July with a beat.

You can also incorporate light sticks into your First Dance and truly wow your guests!

Other ideas are hats, masks, sports themes (did you meet your beloved watching your favorite team play?) or musical props.

Dance Mixers

Another way to get your guests dancing is with creatively mixing groups. You can have all your bridesmaids on the floor and invite all the women to join in. Or have the groomsmen do a dance-off and have the men join in.

Then invite everyone to join in. Before long, the dance floor is filled with great energy and lots of smiles.

(Photo by Tayler Enerle)

Dance Lessons

A great way to help any wallflowers or more quiet guests up on the dance floor is to have a few songs with specific easy dance moves that someone leads. This way, even people who are reluctant to dance freestyle can follow along and have a blast.

Line dances are great for this. The Hora in Jewish weddings is another awesome group dance and the energy will sweep through the crowd.

And what would a wedding dance be without a good Conga line?

(Section Photos: Left - Tayler Enerle, Right - Hey Kelsey Kay)

Gotta Dance!

We hope you get some wedding dance inspo from these ideas we’ve seen on the dance floor at The Casitas Estate — and they’re just the starting point!

Dancing at your wedding is a special time to share your love for each other — and let your personalities shine! It’s also the perfect opportunity to express your love and appreciation for your family and friends.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun — when you’re having fun, your guests will, too!

Our San Luis Obispo wedding venue, The Casitas Estate, offers understated elegance in a natural setting. Your friends and family will be cheering your stunning ceremony in our vineyard, dining under the stars like they have been transported to Tuscany, then dancing the night away with your favorite band or DJ rocking it.

Dance parties definitely have a special place here.

And, there’s really nothing like having exclusive use of the estate solely for your event.

The 12-acre private estate (just minutes from Pismo Beach on California’s Central Coast) is renowned for its rich Spanish Revival architecture, four luxury casitas (little lodging houses), and lush landscape bursting with flowers nearly year-round. The hilltop location also provides stunning views of the valley and vineyards below, as well as our own Estate vineyard for romantic ceremonies.

Come schedule a tour so you can see — and feel — the beauty and serenity waiting for you at The Casitas Estate.