What should you consider when working on your wedding music selection? How much freedom should you give your DJ when choosing songs for your wedding reception? What kinds of music or specific songs should you and your DJ avoid to make sure everyone is happy? What else is there to think about before you pick your favorite songs for your ceremony, cocktail hour, grand entrance, first dance, bouquet toss, garter removal, cake cutting and all other key events?
First of all, it’s very important to understand that your personal music preferences will most likely be different from what would make the vast majority of your guests happy. If your goal is to make sure everyone has a good time, your DJ would have to find the right mixture of what you really like and what your guests would enjoy listening and dancing to, which would depend on their background, nationality, age, interests and many other factors.
I've heard many people say that “If the dance floor in not packed, the DJ in no good”. Well, this is not always the case because sometimes the DJ has to follow the playlist provided by the client and has no freedom to play the songs he thinks would work well. Also, not everyone likes to dance and many people might still enjoy the music while catching up with someone at the bar or doing something else. You might not even realize it before your wedding reception, but some of your guests might not like to dance at all. You will never get me on the dance floor and the number of people dancing or not dancing should not be used to judge the DJ. Instead, it might be a good idea to look around and see if people are having fun while socializing, drinking, taking pictures, etc.
If you hire a qualified wedding DJ, he will tell you that he would be happy to play whatever you want him to play and offer his music knowledge and experience to help you choose good songs for all of the events that would take place at your wedding reception. In my opinion, it might be a good idea to let the DJ do the dancing part and have him play the songs you like during the cocktail hour and dinner. This would allow you to definitely hear the music you like while allowing your guests to enjoy some of the music they like and would possibly dance to. It’s totally fine to have a “play” list and “do not play” list as this gives your DJ an idea of what your preferences are and helps him make you happy. However, it might be wise to keep the “do not play” list short as it limits the selection of good dancing songs and might make it more difficult for your DJ to please some of your guests.
Another important thing to consider is whether your wedding DJ should take requests from your guests. I’ve seen a number of situations where drunk and sober guests come up to DJs and start teaching them how to be a good wedding disc jockey, what to play and what not to play. Oftentimes, they ask for songs they personally like and think that everyone else will enjoy hearing it. However, those songs are often inappropriate and someone’s personal music preferences should not interfere with the playlist you’ve discussed with your DJ. Therefore, if you ask your disc jockey to play all music requests from all of your guests, it will definitely change the outcome of your wedding reception and the dance floor is likely to be less crowded, if not empty. In my opinion, you should choose the “DJ’s Discretion” option when planning your wedding entertainment as it will make it a lot easier and more fun for you, your guests and your wedding disc jockey.
Are there any specific songs or genres you and your DJ should avoid? Not really, unless you really hate something and don’t want to hear it under any circumstances. Make sure you let your DJ know if you want him to play clean versions of songs or the easy-to-get versions that contain profanity. Keep in mind that, as long as your disc jockey has enough freedom to choose most songs for the dancing part (where your guests will be actively involved), you can pick your very favorite songs for your ceremony, cocktail hour, grand entrance, first dance, bouquet toss, garter removal, cake cutting and all other key events. If you have more questions or comments, feel free to post it below this article or contact me.