Planning Your Wedding Part 2: Let's Talk About Music"

Planning Your Wedding Part 2: Let's Talk About Music

A post Created By DJ Tommy Mac & Edited by DJ Dollar Bill

One of the biggest concerns, hands down, of any couple on the wedding day is what music should be played.

I generally run into two types of couples: Those who have very specific ideas of what they want and enjoy musically, and those who really have no clue and need my help.

Here are some helpful tips and ideas for you in arranging the perfect selection of music for your special day.

(note: while I will specifically be talking about weddings in most of these posts, they can be applied to any type of event as well)

First and foremost: Music selected for your wedding should be FUN. A wedding day is all about celebrating the union of two people and the joy of celebrating with family and friends, and the music selected should reflect that.

While there are no hard, fast RULES to any of it, in general the music selected should be fun and upbeat, appropriate for all age ranges (IE clean, no vulgarity or crude, explicit language) and lend it self to the joy and celebratory mood of the entire day...and of course, part of that celebration includes DANCING, so there should be plenty of songs chosen which are great to dance to.

Music, as with many other things in life, is a very subjective thing: what one person LOVES, another person HATES.

Keep in mind that, at your wedding, you will have a large variety of people there: Friends, family, co-workers...and not all of them will have the same musical tastes you do.

My general suggestion to my couples when selecting music is: allow something for everyone, try not to limit your music choices to just ONE style or era. You may LOVE todays latest club tunes or hip hop tracks, but think about whether your family or friends will enjoy hearing that all night long.

As your DJ, my job is to find the happy medium between what you, my clients, want, and what will make all the guests attending your special day happy as well.

I’m often asked how I as the DJ select the music that I will play for any given party, and my answer is simple: It’s combining selections from three different sources:

1: My Bride & Groom: The Bride & Groom’s requests take priority and are the basis for what ever else I chose to play through out the evening. I base my choices not only on their selections, but also what they have told me they do NOT wish to have played.

2: Guest requests: I am more than happy to take requests from guests, and as long as they fall into the appropriate guidelines I play as many as possible. Appropriate guidelines for guest requests are:

A: They meet with my bride & grooms specifications, IE are not on the “Do Not Play” list.

B: Are appropriate for the crowd: Unless it’s already been cleared by the bride & groom, a guests request for heavy metal or hardcore rap will NOT be getting played. Also any songs in general that are just inappropriate for the day: Break up songs, depressing songs, or songs that are totally obscure that no one else has ever heard of, will generally not get played.

(there are exceptions to every rule: I Will Survive is one of the most popular “break up” songs of all time and is requested and played regularly at many weddings, for example.)

3: DJ Knowledge: As a DJ with 25 years of experience, I bring my own personal knowledge of what works best to get a crowd up, dancing and having fun, and use my client & guest requests along with that knowledge to fill in the gaps and make it all flow together.

I am more than happy to accept any song list requests from my couples, and encourage them to choose at least 10-20 songs they definitely want played. Leaves me wiggle room to feel out the crowd & take some guests request. (On a AVERAGE ONLY 10-15 songs are played in an hour) My job is that much easier when I don’t have to GUESS what my couples enjoy listening and dancing to.

So I refrain from long 50 song list, most events not that long & doesnt leave room for any requests or for me to play something that crowd will dance to (Classics Always work)

Ex. I had a couple wanted nothing but 80's music & provide ALL the music for dinner & dancing, (which I tried to talk them out of, but said it's YOUR day...your wish is my command...Musical Genie) 1/2 way through event they came to me & said no one's dancing. I advised them, they picked the music not me & to break the chains off & let me do what I DO. They said go ahead Dollar & I kept the dancefloor packed the rest of the night.

2nd Ex. A couple picked few songs that wasnt popular & it cleared my dance floor, I immediately faded out song & re-packed dancefloor. That comes with experience & bride's mother thanked me at the end for not letting entire song play.

That being said, if you find your list getting very long, I always suggest giving me a “Top 10” of your favorite songs that MUST be played, and then allowing me to chose and select the best cuts from the rest of your requests to fill out the party.

I also encourage the “Do Not Play” list; it is almost, if not as important, as your requests. Again it helps me to know in advance the types of songs or music you simply, under no circumstances, want to hear at your party, so that should a request for one come in I know how to handle it. (I'm your BLOCKER)

While I have suggested planning and choosing your music with your guests in mind, this does not mean you can not choose some of your favorite selections and artists to be played at your wedding that may not be considered “standard” wedding music.

I get plenty of couples that enjoy such music as rap, alternative rock, hard rock, country, etc. that would love to hear some songs from these types of groups but worry that they shouldn’t have them played because of how the crowd may react.

Again, that’s where I can step in and help, for instance:

Even some of the most “alternative” or “heavy metal” bands have at least ONE nice acoustic or piano ballad type song that may just fit in as a slow dance or at least something that can be played during dinner.

I’ve also encouraged hard rock fans to choose something from that genre for their introduction music.

Same with rap: While it can be tricky at times depending on the song, there is no reason why some of your favorites can’t get played at your wedding, even if it’s only you and your friends who may dance to it. Not EVERY song played HAS to get EVERYONE involved.

My usual suggestion for these types of things is to perhaps save them for later in the evening; many times the older guests will start to leave early or at least tire out and aren’t dancing as much, and that’s the best time to work in some of those “alternate” choices. I also always suggest that the bride & groom should make an effort to actually come out and dance to these songs to make it clear that this is something THEY enjoy and chose to have played at their wedding; if the guests see YOU out there on the floor enjoying it, perhaps they will rethink their stance on the music and loosen up enough to join you.

As I said earlier, there are no hard, fast RULES to what can and can NOT be played at a wedding; in the end it is up to you to make those choices.

Select what you like, be willing to compromise, take into consideration your guests, and most importantly have FUN with it...in the end, that’s what it’s all about.

After All It's "YOUR DAY" and a Celebration !!

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