On June 15th, 2022, I was booked to DJ an outdoor wedding. Christine and Steve were getting hitched in a quaint little New England town. The sky was blue, the weather was romantic, and the rustic barn venue was perfectly set up for hors d’oeuvres. Things, however, were not so peachy on the entertainment side of things.
During the two pre-wedding consultations (two months and two weeks before the Big Day, respectively), Christine and Steve demanded that I play nothing familiar — no cliché wedding songs and no top trending or mainstream radio songs.
I asked Steve why, and he told me he was tired of hearing the same old songs since he was a bartender and wanted something fresh for his wedding — something that wasn’t too cheesy or predictable. Christine agreed, and they were now insistent on me not taking guest requests.
How Did the Couple’s Playlist Turn Out?
While Christine and Steve’s playlist wouldn’t have been my choice for the reception, it did not bother me since the music was only playing in the background. My only problem is that some of the more obscure songs on their playlist, like “Beggin'” by Måneskin or “Electric Worry” by Clutch, were not really doing anything for the guests either.
The problem became apparent when it was time for everyone to hit the dance floor, and I started playing the couple’s requested music — obscure alternative/indie songs like “Fat Lip” by Sum 41 and “Bad Company” by Five Finger Death Punch. I could tell that the dance floor looked dismal, with only about 5 of the 130 guests in attendance struggling in getting their groove on.
This was supposed to be one of Christine and Steve’s most memorable days, but their obscure music selection put the dance floor to shame. With no tunes to put any vim or vigor into the celebration, guests were left bored and dissatisfied, and the reception turned into a downer.
Now you might think — how do I avoid an embarrassing incident like that if I don’t know what type of music my guests enjoy? Simple. Avoid having a do not play list altogether and choose all-time party hits and fast-paced dance numbers instead.
Most people will come to your wedding because they are excited about dancing, so you want to play songs encouraging them to do just that!
And well, that’s precisely what happened at Christine and Steve’s reception!
Wedding Reception Renaissance
Much later in the evening, with a still miserable dance floor, I got four different requests for “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. Since it was one of the most popular American wedding songs, it had to be on the couple’s do not play list.
I trusted my instinct and played it anyway.
I stood back in awe as guests suddenly poured onto the dance floor and joined the party music by stomping their feet and screaming lyrics in unison. Everyone was running toward the dance floor now, and even the bridesmaids dragged Christine to the dance floor.
I did my best to ensure there was lots of dancing throughout their reception, and more importantly, everybody was having fun. That’s what wedding receptions are supposed to be about — fun! And that’s what everyone got at Christine and Steve’s reception.
What’s the Takeaway?
When the wedding DJ is forced to follow a strict, obscure playlist, the dance floor is bound to go bleak and lack momentum. But as soon as they are given the creative license to read the crowd and play songs that (they think) will fit the ambiance, the floor becomes lively, the energy electrifies, and the evening comes to life.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s your big day, so you call the shots — and I genuinely love customizing the music and vibe for couples. But it is also important to think about your guests! They will be happier if they hear familiar music and can sing along or tap their feet to it — and that will allow you and them to create memories that will last a lifetime.
As a wedding DJ, I see first-hand how important it is to have your music taste represented at your wedding. However, so long as you are comfortable with the style of music that your DJ plays, it’s best not to give them huge do not play lists.
These days, DJs are expected to play music that appeals to all ages and tastes and can get guests of all backgrounds dancing. So before you make your wedding playlist, I would strongly suggest seeking solid advice from professionals on how to make sure that everyone has a great time at your wedding.
Are you looking for an experienced wedding DJ around Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island? Entrust DJ Dave Entertainment with the biggest day of your life, and let me and my team make it all the more special by infusing it with great music.
Call (978) 254-1155 or contact me online to discuss your wedding’s music needs!