Recently I met with a couple planning their wedding last minute. They were nice young professionals throwing their Church wedding together in a matter of weeks. While we were discussing the music to be played and working on The First Dance and other traditional wedding songs, The Groom looked me in the eye and frankly said in a gentle tone, “Nobody will dance at our wedding. Our friends and family are too shy and probably will not dance. So we have to choose music that is not for dancing.”
“Really? Are you sure?”
I looked at him and then her and back to him again waiting for a response. They exchanged glances before he continued after her nod in agreement “We are Chinese and we are shy people. I do no think anyone will dance.”
I tried to contain my smugness and arrogance but I am afraid I did not do very well. I knew they would dance. They always do when given the right atmosphere, music and opportunity. Sometimes there is a need for a bit of coaxing and encouragement but they will dance. Most people love to dance at weddings.
“OK. Then we will find music that is not for dancing if your friends and family will not dance.”
We proceeded to make a playlist of about twenty-five songs that were slow love songs with a few pop tunes mixed in but nothing to get one fired up and feel as if they will burst if they don’t get on the dance floor. It is their wedding and they get to choose the music even if I have a different perspective. They know their guests, I don’t. I would prepare for no dancing but holding-out in my head that it will happen in spite of us. It did.
After dinner and The Cutting of The Cake, The Bride and Groom wanted me to play a song they could dance to. They explained at our first meeting they do not know how to dance and were afraid to not be able to do so but wanted to try. While I was playing the “Hokey Pokey” for some little children, we quickly found a song they would be willing to try. They did great and halfway through I invited others to join them on the dance floor. Two minutes into the song there was no more room for others to join them; it was full. Another slow song followed to let folks get comfortable and then I asked over the microphone, “Are we ready to crank this up with some faster music yet?”
A resounding, “YES!” And we did.
It took less than the two minutes of the slow songs to get people up and moving. Some of the slow dancers stayed and let themselves move to the faster beats, as they were now part of an excited jamming group on the dance floor. Now the problem was that three songs later that The Groom wanted me to announce that cake was being served but no one wanted to leave the dance floor to eat their Wedding Cake!
Music can be the bridge to so many things at a wedding. Trust in music and your DJ. Your fears are real but the right music has a way of doing things that can’t be achieved otherwise.