10 tips for great wedding reception music
Are you a new DJ? Have you been placed in charge of the music for a wedding? Here are 10 very basic tips to help you with planning and playing music at one of the most important days in the life of a married couple.
Doug Russell is the owner and operator of Sound Dynamix Disc Jockey Services in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada with over 22 yrs experience in the DJ industry.
I’m sorry all you rap fans but the number one killer of dance floors at a wedding is rap music. Unless the bride and or groom have specifically asked for it or you know for sure that a large group of people at the wedding will dance to it…..don’t play it. Rap music might be great at the local dance club but at a wedding you’ll start to watch guests leave when they hear rap music. Play Drake and they will leave! – Old school rap such as (Tone Loc, Young MC, Salt N’ Pepa etc.) can work great at the right time.
Very few people want to hear an endless string of the same music at a wedding. Too much country at once, too much top 40 pop music etc. will have people groaning. Mix it up! Play a set of 80s music, a slow song, 90s music, some country music, some rock music then back to top 40.
This should be an easy one to determine for most people. However plenty of people don’t realize that weddings are an opportunity for family and friends to catch up! They haven’t seen each other in months or years and they won’t be able to talk if your music is too loud. Having said that…in thie last hour of the wedding they should have caught up plenty… feel free to crank it up!
New country is fabulous! But really old country music from singers like Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty and Charlie Pride too name a few might be great to listen to in your home while having a drink but will put people to sleep at a wedding!
People really do love songs that have specialty dance steps or moves. From line dances to Polkas, people love to show off and practice their special dance moves in a group with others. Examples of these songs include The Git Up, The Macarena, The Cha Cha Slide, The YMCA, Any country line dance, Beer Barrel Polka and many more.
Yes make sure to play some beautiful and slow love songs. They will melt the heart of all those love birds. Examples of these songs include – Can’t help falling in love (Elvis Presley), Everything I do I do for you (Bryan Adams), Amazed (Lonestar), I swear (John Michael Montgomery), Lost Together (Blue Rodeo) and so many more.
It may surprise you but there are many songs that sound great and are popular but not great for dancing. A DJ I know recently gave a great example of this – God’s Country by Blake Shelton.
Extremely hard heavy metal and industrial music will have people leaving for the exits. It’s that simple. There are some exceptions from the 80s but otherwise stay away from it if you want people on the dance floor.
If you have a huge amount of older people at your wedding then play a fair amount of 50s, 60s and 70s. If your crowd is younger then play more Top 40. It’s that simple! Be flexible.
You may have a load of songs from obscure bands that you think are amazing but nobody else has heard of them. Don’t let your personal love of obscure bands like Skinny Puppy, Morrissey, The Cult, DJ Champion or the Crystal Method influence your wedding music decisions. Play those and nobody will dance. Stick to classic great songs that people will recognize right away and they’ll be up to dance as soon as the first words are sang.
Remember that a wedding night is all about the bride and groom. If they want certain music then by all means be sure to play it!! And there are 50, 100, 200 people to consider. Stick to these 10 basic principles and the night will be great…………and don’t forget —————-> TAKE REQUESTS ALL NIGHT!!
BONUS MATERIAL HERE – Can’t miss songs at a wedding — The Twist, Dancing Queen, Old Time Rock and Roll, Cotton Eyed Joe, The YMCA, The Macarena, Home for a rest, Love Shack, Billie Jean, GIrls just wanna have fun, You shook me all night long, Don’t stop Believin, The Time Warp, The Party Rock Anthem, Mony Mony, Mambo #5, Pretty Woman, What a wonderful world, Can’t help falling in love. and so many more.
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