Folk, Ceilidhs & Barn Dances for Weddings
A Ceilidh or Barn Dance is just great for a Wedding. It's something that anyone from the tiny tots to the great grandparents can enjoy, either dancing or just looking and listening. It gets both sides of the family and friends to interact and the volume is such that people can still talk to each other and catch up with whatever they want to catch up with. (Unlike when there's a disco on the go!)
There are lots of different ways to start a Wedding Ceilidh. Some Couples like to start it with them just doing a waltz, or something like that, and then invite guests to join in. That was probably a good thing in the past when everyone knew how to waltz, but now it tends to get a lot of embarrassed people and not many people on the dance floor, (unless of course, the couple are dancers and there are a fair number of guests who can dance reasonably well.)
The way I think it works best is for us to start the evening by playing a tune, to get people 'in the mood'. Then, we get EVERYONE up for a first dance WITH the couple. No one can refuse, because it would be rude to the Bride and Groom. So, even those who are a bit reluctant to try it, get up for the first dance. We make sure that it is a really easy dance, so that even those who are nervous of dancing find they can actually do it, and that it is great fun. But it really is up to you which way things start.
We would have a caller, who teaches the dances, so even people who have never been to a Ceilidh before can do it. We'd generally start with some music for people to listen to as they came into the room, to get them in the mood. We'd do a couple of dances, then play a tune while people had a rest, another couple of dances, and so on. Often there would be a break half way through for a buffet, so people could recover their energy, then on for a second half. If there are some experienced dancers, we would put in some harder dances for them, but all in all make sure that everyone is involved and having a good time.
All Ceilidhs or Barn Dances are similar in that there is a caller to organise the dancing, but the style of music and dance can be different depending on whether the band is playing Scottish, Irish, English, European or American music or a little of everything.
Bear in mind that the venue is vital element of a successful ceilidh or barn dance. There must be enough room for the dancers and a reasonably even floor so as not to trip people.
For more about the styles of music and dance click What's the difference between a Ceilidh and a Barn Dance?
Do a bit of advance planning - click things to consider when organising your Ceilidh or Barn Dance