CARLEY RONEY: Strike a balance between dancing, dining at reception

Q: My mother doesn't want us to start the dancing until afterdinner -- she says it's tacky to have people dance straight throughthe meal. But I'm worried that the reception will be boring if we waitthat long to start the music, and that people might even skip outearly. How can we compromise?

A: Often a parent's priority for a party is civilized conversationover delicious food, whereas the bride and groom are looking forwardto seeing their friends cut loose to the sounds of Justin Timberlake.

If you're having a large sit-down dinner that may cut into dancetime, one way to strike a middle ground is to start the dancing earlyin the reception, but to limit it to the time in between courses. Thatway, everyone will get on the dance floor straight away.

Just make sure to have your band or DJ mute the tunes (or at leastplay soft dinner-appropriate music) when food is served so everyonewill be seated to enjoy the meal.

Or, you can split up the music. Have your band or DJ play a littledance-invoking music toward the end of the cocktail hour and beforethe first course is served; then, have them start the music back upafter dinner.

With either of those strategies, you and your mom should find thatthere's plenty of time for both fine dining and dancing.