Weddings

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Reception Music

bride and groom dancing to reception music

Having the right mix of music at your wedding reception will keep the guests having fun. However, it isn’t always easy to figure out just which mix of wedding reception music will be best. The following tips will help you and your DJ come up with the ideal wedding reception music.

Don’t Choose All the Songs

You’re not allowing the DJ to do his job if you select all the songs in advance. For a 4-hour wedding reception, choose 20 must-play songs and 20 to play if time allows. This leaves another 20 to 40 songs for the DJ to choose or for requests from the guests. Also, choose the special songs. Choose songs for the dances with parents, the wedding party entrance, and your 1st dance. You may want to choose songs for the cake cutting and the bouquet and garter tosses.

Start Off With Older Songs Most People Will Recognize

This can help get the party started. Both the older and the younger guests will recognize the music and be likely to dance. Depending on the guests, a line dance may work as an icebreaker.

Include Slow Songs

Slow songs offer a great way for older guests to dance and younger guests to take a break. Consider two to three sets of two slower songs during the night.

Don’t Forget to Choose Songs for During Dinner

These should be songs that aren’t danceable so everyone will stay seated for the meal. Also, this gives you a chance to include favorites that might empty the dance floor later in the evening.

Include a Variety of Types of Reception Music

While you may have one favorite genre, that won’t be the case with all of your guests. Include a variety of different music to help keep the guests feeling included. Mix a few oldies in along with the newer music. Start with three or four older songs, followed by a few newer songs and some slow songs.

Stick With Mainstream Songs

Most of the songs included during the open dancing should be more mainstream selections. Music people recognize is more likely to get them up and dancing and having fun.

Consider the Lyrics

Make sure you avoid any songs with explicit lyrics that might offend some guests. Remember that friends and family members of all ages will be present. If you must include something questionable in your reception music, save it for the end of the night. By then, the oldest and youngest guests will have left. Skip depressing ballads, songs about revenge, and any bitter or angry songs.

Consider Taking Requests From Guests

Ask guests on your RSVP card to list a song they’d love to hear. Pass on the suggestions you are okay with to your DJ for potential inclusion on the playlist. Guests will love to hear “their” song and be more likely to get up and dance.

Get Your Playlist to the DJ Well in Advance

It can take time for the DJ to gather all the music requested. He won’t have every song for his system. Give him at least 30 to 90 days to get everything set up and ready for your big day.

Ask for Feedback from the DJ

Once you’ve selected the songs you’d like played, meet with the DJ and discuss your choices and your mix of reception music. The DJ knows what works and can let you know if some changes might be useful for keeping all the guests happy. Be sure to tell the DJ the order of events so he can plan the music for each part of the reception. Also, make it clear which songs or types of music you don’t want to hear at all. Discuss your wishes for the feel of the reception. Do you want it low key or full of high energy dancing?