Special to GigMasters from belly dancer Nyla Crystal.

Unique wedding entertainment is a growing trend. A bellydance show is a brilliant way to keep wedding guests of all ages entertained and engaged. Incorporating a belly dance performance into your wedding reception timeline is easy as it can take place during already planned events.

Cocktail Hour

After the marriage ceremony, the wedding guests head to the reception for the cocktail hour while they wait for the wedding party to return from taking photos. A belly dance performance at this time can make the wait seem shorter and get the guests excited for the events to come. A full show may not be the best option as the guests will want to stretch their legs and talk about your gorgeous wedding dress before sitting down for dinner. Instead, the belly dancer can entertain in a “meet and greet” style. This style of performance is improvised, very interactive and a fun way to welcome everyone. Guests can enjoy the belly dancing, take photos, or learn a few belly dance moves to use on the dance floor later in the evening.

Newlyweds’ Entrance

This is your first introduction as husband and wife. Make it extravagant by having the belly dancer lead you through the reception hall toyour seats. In the Middle East, this is called a Zeffa procession. The belly dancer wears a candelabra on her head to light the way for the newlyweds.

Dinner Hour

A belly dance show is the perfect transition between the end of dinner and the newlywed’s first dance. As guests are finishing their meal, they will be dazzled and entertained by a full belly dance show. At your request, the dancer can include audience participation at the end of the show to bring the guests up to dance. With the guests in a festive mood and already at the dance floor, you can then proceed with the newlywed’s first dance.

"Creative visual details can transform a bridal belly dance show from 'so-so' to stunning. If you want the belly dancer to work a specific theme, color palette, or design motif into her set, please speak up,” says Carrara Nour of Melbourne, FL. A professional belly dancer will energize your wedding reception with sparkle and elegance so be sure to hire a belly dancer with plenty of experience performing at weddings and high-end events. Your guests will be delighted with the beautiful belly dance show and appreciate the effort you made to keep them entertained on your special day.

Thanks to Nyla for these great suggestions. If you're thinking about a belly dancer for your wedding, don't forget to check out Nyla, Carrara or any of GigMasters other great belly dancers!