Category Archives: wedding reception music 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.

17 “Must Ask” Wedding Reception Dance Questions

Wedding planning involves an endless list of questions. It can be overwhelming—unless you remember that every decision gets you one step closer to busting a move at an epic wedding reception dance (and so do these wedding dance tips). We’ve met and talked with many engaged couples facing big decisions about their wedding reception; that’s why we’ve crafted a list that helps soon-to-be newlyweds make the decisions that puts them one step closer to an impressively-planned and memorable wedding reception dance.

If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to put the proverbial shoe on the other foot; use this list of questions to interview your wedding entertainment (DJ!) and get one dance step closer to an unforgettable wedding reception.

Easy-to-Avoid Wedding Music Mistakes to Dodge

shot of people dancing at epic wedding receptionWedding music is an expected part of every wedding reception, but it’s also a part of a wedding that can make or break your wedding reception. If you don’t want to stare at an empty dance floor, avoid these wedding music mistakes that get made by couples way too often.

Choosing the cheapest option

Don’t automatically assume that you can’t afford a band or DJ—and don’t assume that all wedding entertainers are created equal. Contact wedding DJs and bands to evaluate your options. Meet with the entertainers that fit your budget (and look for these red flags so you can rule out the substandard wedding DJs) and look for signs that they are the ‘one.’ Screen your vendors so you can choose an experienced entertainer with excellent equipment and a contingency plan in case of emergencies (for DJs, that goes for the DJ and the equipment in case of breakdown).

Drafting a LONG ‘Do Not Play’ List

We totally get that you hate country music or those stereotypical wedding songs that get played at every wedding. But some of your guests do enjoy those songs. Don’t let your personal biases get in the way of your guests’ enjoyment. When drafting a ‘do not play’ list for your DJ (and don’t hire a DJ that doesn’t request one), make sure that you aren’t tying your DJ’s hands by giving them TOO long of a list.

In the same way, keep your guests in mind as you draft your must-play list. As much as you love grunge, your guests aren’t going to be crazy about dancing to it all night long. This may be your wedding day, but don’t forget to keep those celebrating with you in mind as you plan your wedding.

Not listening to the experts

You hired your wedding DJ (or you should have hired a wedding DJ) for their experience. Use it. Lean on it. Ask your wedding DJ for their recommendations for dance floor games (if you’re interested), must-play songs, and wedding surprises as you plan (and keep them in the loop as plans change). Be wary of ANY wedding DJs who can’t share their experience because they don’t have any (and look for these other warning signs of a bad wedding DJ so you can make sure you hire the best).

Loud dinner music

Even if you have a full dinner program planned, dinner music is a necessity before and during your wedding supper. If you hire a wedding DJ, they can take care of dinner music (look for wedding DJ who offers dinner music as part of the package) at the appropriate volume. For those couples who want to tackle the do-it-yourself option, be conscientious that the music (and all videos and slideshows) are at an appropriate volume so you don’t drown out the socializing.

Not checking into venue curfews and permits

Some wedding venues have curfews or volume limitations; don’t find out about them on your big day. Talk to staff at your wedding venue about curfew times, permits that need to be secured, or any limitations that your wedding DJ or band should know about.

Choosing an awkward first dance song

Couples love to be different, especially when it comes to their first dance (we’ve even detailed ideas for a memorable first dance here). Make sure that your desire to be different doesn’t turn into an awkward moment for you and your guests. Choosing a first dance song that you shared with a previous ex or is inappropriate for a wedding can make your wedding memorable for all the wrong reasons.