Show me white people at a wedding reception and I will show you a dance floor that is on fire.
And when I say “on fire”, I mean it in the “everybody-evacuate-something-scary-is-happening” way.
For context, I am fresh out of a wedding weekend that will go down as one of the best. A very dear friend married a Brit, which automatically makes the entire weekend primarily about waiting for the groom’s friends and family to say words of any sort. When his sister told me her reception had “nibbles and Champagne”, I was like OF COURSE you had nibbles, you perfect woman. I can’t be sure but I even think at one point in my rehearsal dinner toast, I asked if my husband and I could also marry into their family. So there’s that.
The dance floor at their wedding reception was full the whole night. We left our heart and soul out there, and possibly a little dignity and self respect, but who’s really counting. This blog post is a product of everything amazing about their wedding reception, as well as nostalgia and memories from weddings gone by.
Back to where we started. The breakdown looks something like this:
The following is a highlight reel of the music that makes us wanna move:
- Beach music is typically a safe choice to start off the night to get young and old on the dance floor, especially here in the South. (Moment of silence for telling the Brits that we might be “shagging” at the reception, then frantically backtracking to explain not THAT kind of shagging, but the American kind, where you dance to music. Then feeling like everything just sounds like an innuendo at that point and giving up. “IT’S A DANCE.”)
- Then the DJ starts spinning songs from the NOW 12 CD and you see people look at each other like “oh no he di’nt” and race to the dance floor so they can emphatically act out every Backstreet Boys lyric. Just to give you a visual of the dance floor at this point: lots of hand movements and arm waving, hands over the heart, and rhythmic pointing. So much rhythmic pointing- purposeful yet unnecessary at the same time.
- “Turn Down For What” comes on and suddenly there is a sea of white people bouncing. The old people have resigned themselves to the seats around the dance floor, sipping their drinks and raising their eyebrows. They are officially experiencing all five stages of grief as they process what’s happening on the dance floor.
- DENIAL: The music is too loud. This isn’t how dancing is supposed to look. The world makes no sense. Who approved this song? It’s made up of four words and there are alien noises in the background. No.
- ANGER: “They don’t even know what they are turning down for!” They are now mad at anyone under 35, mad at Lil Jon, mad at God.
- BARGAINING: “If we can go back to one beach music song- just one.. we’ll even take the YMCA…”
- DEPRESSION: They just need a good cry and a soft hug.
- ACCEPTANCE: They will never be okay with what’s happening but they can learn to accept it. And get turnt.
- Somehow a human train has formed on the dance floor. At least that’s what we think it is, but the front people are going so fast that the middle people are running to catch up. The last people are left far behind and end up sing-yelling for everyone to c’mon ride the train, hey ride it woo woo! And like every train wreck that’s ever been, no one can stop watching.
- The DJ transitions to Katy Perry, “Firework”, and that’s all the girls need to know. Once we hit the chorus, it’s Young Moms Gone Wild. The kids are with babysitters and we’re finally able to be our ONE TRUE SELF. (File this under “Arm Spasms And Laryngitis”.) The build up to that chorus will get us so hyped; everyone just move out of the way because we need to unveil our choreography right here in the middle of this dance circle.
- Moments later, Journey starts playing and people are bringing their church service to the dance floor. That piano intro has hands lifted, bodies swaying, and eyes closed. The high note- “somewhere in the niiiiiiight”, that one right there, you know about it- we hit the note and we can’t help but sense God’s presence. “Don’t stop.. believin’!” People have their arms behind each others’ backs but also jumping at the same time? We’ve never felt so united as we do right now.
- Somewhere around Usher’s “Yeah”, the guys have moved their ties to their forehead and someone has started passing out Mardi Gras beads. Who says white people don’t know how to get down? We are so down! Extended family members are going rogue and trying to reenter the dance floor. There’s just something really uncomfortable about watching Aunt Carol take that and rewind it back, “Ursher got the voice to make ya booty go (CLAP)”. Can someone please escort Aunt Carol from the dance floor and take her back to Table 5?
After the last song is played and the bride and groom make their grand exit, you’ll see lots of discreet calf stretching and girls complaining about putting heels back on. The DJ will pack up the equipment and the venue will slowly empty. At the end of a memorable evening, the wedding crowd will trickle back to their cars with sore muscles, hoarse voices, and ringing ears, disappointed for the night to end but still feeling a massive high from the dance floor.
Somewhere there’s a wedding photographer quietly flipping through photos from the evening, smiling to herself because Lord only knows those people can’t dance but they left it all on the dance floor.
And she has the pictures to prove it.