No two wedding dances are exactly the same. Traditional crowd participation events like the bouquet toss, garter toss, and the dollar dance can be instrumental in creating those special moments that will make your wedding reception memorable for everyone. Chances are you’re familiar with these traditional crowd participation activities but there is also a lesser-known activity that can get everyone onto the dance floor, known as the anniversary dance. This is how it works.
The DJ will make an announcement for all married couples to come to the dance floor while starting to play a slow song. Slower mood lighting will illuminate the floor. What I like to do is give it just a little time for the couples to make their way down, thus creating the opportunity for the floor to fill with the married couples in attendance. The beauty of this is that the anniversary dance can get some folks out on to the floor who might not otherwise do so.
Once all of the married couples are on the dance floor, I/the DJ will begin to count. Each number announced represents the number of years the couples must be married to remain on the floor. When that number becomes greater than the number of years couples have been married, they must make their way off the floor. As the count increases, the herd thins out, until eventually, only the longest-married couple remains.
What a wonderful way to spotlight an older couple while honoring a marriage that passed the test of time. Without fail, the “winning” couple is overjoyed to have this moment, and it serves as a great photo opp.
Not everyone is big into the “extracurriculars.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. Yet, I will say that I’m a fan of the anniversary dance as it provides a moment that’s both touching and inspiring.
Plenty of slow, romantic songs work well for the anniversary dance, but for me, the best choice is Through the Years by Kenny Rogers. It’s a sweet, old-school tune with perfectly aligned lyrical content. A traditional song selection is the Anniversary Waltz by Eddy Howard.
Pro-tip: The anniversary dance is best conducted toward the beginning of the dance before those older couples leave and/or get too tired.
In case you’re wondering, the longest-tenured couple I’ve ever encountered during my days behind the DJ table is 64 years. I don’t expect this to be surpassed. But, you never know. And here’s hoping that you one day will be the longest married couple at a wedding celebration many years from now.