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.