Tips on Choosing Your Wedding DJ and Music Lineup So You Reception is the Dance Party That It Should Be.
Stevie Wonder, Maroon Five, Journey, JT or Michael Jackson—no matter whose songs you decide to play at your wedding reception, we can all agree that music is important. Yea, we know your family and friends are partly there to see you tie the knot, but let’s face it 90% of their reason for hitting that RSVP button, was to party like a rockstar with you and your new spouse. And who can resist a good dance party?? Of course, the key here is to make sure that you and your DJ are on the same page and that they are playing music that keeps everyone dancing. Hopefully this post will give you some tips to help you do that and make sure that you’re not left exclaiming, “No One Danced at the Wedding!”
True Story…. I have worked at many a wedding reception where no one danced– that’s right you heard me, not even the ring bearer or flower girls could be bothered to venture out to the dance floor. The DJ was doing his best to be the “Hype Man/Upbeat Emcee” but unfortunately the list of songs given to him by the bride and groom consisted of 92% Backstreet Boys songs on repeat, and 8% cupid shuffle. The bridesmaids were even embarrassed. Don’t let this happen to you. Should you play songs that you love at your wedding? Sure. But if you want to party with your friends and family and not just have them watch you party, make sure you look at some of the tips in this post.
Choose your DJ wisely
Once you have made the decision to go the DJ route, start looking right away, the good DJ’s book quickly. Get recommendations from family and friends who have planned weddings before, or better yet, ask your photographer. You want to go with a DJ who has played weddings and not just the guy or gal who plays every Friday night at the downtown club. There is a difference between acceptable music for a night out and what’s acceptable for a formal event where your grandmother and colleagues will attend. My favorite Lake Tahoe DJs? Ryan Palmer and Dylan Thomas over at Lake Tahoe DJ and David Berkman with Ascent DJ Productions, no question. My least favorite DJs? I’m not shy about sharing that list also, but you have to already be my client to get it.
Everyone may not love Brittney as much as you do.
I know this statement may break your heart, and I’m sorry, but just because Brittney Spears singlehandedly produced the sound track of your adolescence and you have “so many fun memories attached to her songs,” does not mean half of your wedding songs should be dedicated to her. Yea sure, throw in a song or two so that you and your middle school best friends will be enticed to tear it up on the dance floor and relive those 6th grade dance nights, but let’s leave it at that. Make sure you request a variety of music that will get all your guests to the dance floor. Also make sure that your songs include not only different genres, but also that they span all decades. Granny and Great-Uncle Charlie want to dance too and not to the Spice Girls.
Watch out for “Marathon Songs”
Make sure your DJ knows not only what to play, but how long to play certain songs. No one wants to get caught on the dancefloor dancing to a song they love and trying to stay until its finished, only to find out that the DJ is seriously playing the entire 14-minute extended version of the song. This is especially sound advice for any DJ playing a line dance song. Everyone loves their favorite song, but seriously a 14-minute song is a workout that most of your guests did not sign up for.
Line Dances: Be very, very careful
Speaking of line dances, you should seriously consider whether you even want to include them. Yes, we know they get people to the dance floor, but this is one of those things that is so terribly overused, that it is has almost become the worst kind of cliché. While researching for this post, I found that many couples have even asked their DJ’s to not include line dance songs at all. Whatever you decide, do not, I repeat, DO NOT by any means allow a DJ to play the Cupid Shuffle more than one time at your reception (If you allow it at all). This song has been so overplayed by DJ’s at weddings and nightclubs that most wedding industry vendors (including myself!) Would literally rather pull our ears off slowly than hear it one more time. We can imagine that many wedding guests feel the same way. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
Hopefully these tips help you choose your wedding DJ wisely and keep the dance party going well into the wee hours of your reception.