Category Archives: wedding reception music chicago il

wedding dance floor with guests dancing to wedding theme songs

Wedding Reception Music: 10 Questions that Get You Awesome Wedding Songs

The right wedding playlist that guarantees a packed dance floor is different for every couple. As wedding DJs, we’re firm believers that every couple’s wedding reception music should fit their big day (more than a Google search for the top wedding songs can do!)

The good news is that deciding on the right wedding songs can be as simple as sitting down together and asking the right questions. (Think of setting the right wedding playlist as another chance to get to know each other!) The answers to your questions can set the tone for the right wedding playlist, or give you answers to pass on to your band or wedding DJ.

What kind of wedding atmosphere are we trying to plan?

Wedding reception music can be an integral part of establishing a wedding atmosphere. Period specific music can go a long way toward reinforcing a vintage wedding with all those retro details. In the same way, the right wedding songs can be a sign of the trend-setting, modern wedding reception to come.

What is the budget for our wedding reception music?

Couples don’t need a huge wedding budget to get the best music, but they do need to allocate funds according to the items that make the biggest impact on guests. The amount in each category on the wedding budget checklist helps you decide on the right vendors for your big day. These tips can help you decide between a band and DJ, and choosing the right wedding entertainment for your big day.

Do we need an emcee for our wedding reception?

Couples often underestimate the importance of having an emcee to direct the crowd and keep guests on the dance floor. Emcees can make major announcements, point guests to major points of interest (such as a tasting bar or photo booth), and even assist with surprises. A professional emcee, such as a band leader or DJ, has the expertise to make the flow feel effortless and well-planned.

What are our favorite songs?

This is your big night. It’s normal to want a night filled with your favorite songs, but don’t get so set on the idea that you don’t listen to your band or DJ. Together, put your favorite songs down on paper (if you disagree on the list, give each other a certain number of vetoes). Once you’ve hired your wedding entertainer, pass on the list and let them mix it in with top wedding songs that fit with who you are as a couple.

What wedding songs do we hate?

No bride or groom wants to hear songs that give them the same sensation as nails on a chalkboard. In addition to ‘must play’ songs, draft a list of songs that you absolutely hate. Don’t overdo it! Be careful about marking too many of guests’ favorites so they don’t get the chance to dance to their favorite songs.

Do we have any favorite songs that we want for our entrance into the wedding reception?

Your entrance into your wedding reception can be as unique as you want it to be—and the right wedding song puts it over the top. If you have a favorite song that fits the mood you want for your entrance (think excitement, classical, or a song that reinforces a theme), now is the time to put it down on paper. Don’t worry if you can’t come up with the right song; your DJ or band can suggest songs that are right for your wedding reception.

Is there a special song that we want for our first dance?

Some couples have their first song set in stone the first night they meet. For others, it’s not so clear (this list of tips for choosing the first dance song can help). If you want to make the moment completely different, ask your DJ or band to select the right first dance song for the ultimate surprise.

Do we want to play any games during the wedding reception? Are there any surprises we want to include?

Just like wedding songs, put together a list of games that you love and hate (this list of wedding dance games can get you started). If you both hate wedding dance games, it’s okay to hold a wedding reception without a single game; make sure you let the wedding DJ or band know you hate games so there is a clear understanding. If you want to add a surprise to the wedding reception, such as a visitor or celebrity popping up unexpectedly (use this list of wedding surprises to start your planning), let the wedding DJ or band in on the secret. Often, they can take your surprise to another level with wedding songs and announcements.

Are there any curfews or volume limitations we need to follow?

If the wedding venue has any curfews or volume limitations, it’s better to know right away. If an over-the-top wedding dance is a top priority, include the question in the list of questions you ask the wedding venue. Always let the DJ or band know as soon as possible if the answer is a yes. Once you have those important details, use this wedding reception planning checklist and let the wedding planning fun begin.

10 Tips for Selecting the Right First Dance Song

bride and groom at small wedding receptionA first dance with your new spouse is a special wedding reception moment; one that should be accompanied by a very special song. We’ve assisted many Chicagoland couples with planning their wedding reception—and specifically their wedding first dance. Some couples have a definite idea of what “their” song is, and others are still trying to find the right song for the occasion. If you’re in the latter category, use these tips to select the right first dance song for the perfect wedding reception.

Think back to your early dating days.

Memorable moments can be the perfect inspiration—and the song doesn’t always have to be playing at the time. Sometimes the right song can describe that moment perfectly, either in sentiment or in perfect detail (almost like they were there…).

Ask your family and friends for ideas.

If you want to pay homage to someone special, such as parents or grandparents, ask that person or persons for the song that played during their first dance with their husband or wife. It’s also okay to ask for suggestions from friends and family; it can even be fun to do a general survey and get input from your friends (just remember that it’s your wedding day and your first dance).

Find inspiration in a fav.

How much fun would it be to dance to your absolute favorite song? The right first dance song doesn’t have always have to be slow; if you want a unique first dance that’s close to your heart, opt for your absolute fav song—just make sure it’s your spouse’s new favorite too.

Listen to songs.

The simplest advice for finding the right first dance song for your big day is to just listen. Mix up your favorite tunes and listen to a random mix, both on your own and as a couple.

Make the decision together.

When making the decision for your first dance together as newlyweds, find some commonality so you can make the selection as a couple. Look for some commonality, such as a favorite movie (and movie sound track), musical, or special past time.

Decide what era song is right for your wedding atmosphere.

It’s the age-old wedding first dance debate: modern versus vintage? The answer depends on the existing wedding day details. If planning a vintage wedding, find inspiration in the decade of the wedding. Make a new hobby of listening to the classics and finding the right song that fits your love story.

Have your friends “nominate” songs.

If you want a fun way to get your guests’ input, hold a contest on your wedding website or on the RSVP cards. It’s simple: come up with your top 3 choices for first dance songs and ask your guests to vote on it. Once the votes have been calculated, make a big deal about announcing the winning song at the wedding reception.

Choose the song based on the dance.

Have a favorite dance that shows all your best moves—or a few? Show off your fancy dance moves with a specially choreographed dance or medley. To up the ante, keep your dance lessons a secret from everyone—except your DJ. Get your DJ in on the fun, and let them make a big deal about your surprise.

Keep it short and sweet.

A wedding first dance is a special moment, but don’t let the moment be too long or boring for guests. When choosing the first dance song, choose a song that is not too long (ask your DJ if you are concerned about your first dance song length). You don’t want your guests to leave because it’s taking too long to get back on the dance floor.

Ask the pros for suggestions.

Hopefully, your DJ has been there, done that. (That should be one of the reasons you hired them!) If you’re still lost on the right first dance song, don’t hesitate to ask the seasoned pro for recommendations (and ways to make it over-the-top).