A successful wedding reception needs the perfect playlist!

While your wedding ceremony is a beautiful display of your commitment to each other, you reception is the time to celebrate it!  That means it’s time to put up the violin, set up the DJ and put on your dancing shoes.

When it comes to choosing the music for your wedding reception, your DJ will play a valuable role in helping you select the right songs to keep your guests entertained all night long.

1. Select specified dance songs first

Mostly likely, you are going to have at least three specified dance songs at your reception, so these are a great starting point for your playlist.  It is important to consider those participating in the dances when making the final song selections.

The first thing I usually have brides do is pick out the songs for the formal dances, the first dance with the bride and groom, the father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance. We often advise them to consult the moms and dads that are going to be dancing to the songs, too, and let them know what is going on. You want to see if they have any suggestions or something they’d want to do.

2. Choose a range of genres

Chances are there will be a wide range of ages in attendance at your reception. So, it is important to consider the guest demographics when organizing your playlist. DJ Erik advises, couples should try to cater to their guests by picking a wide variety of genres.

One approach I have found to work best for a wedding is to do some of the older stuff earlier in the evening, stuff the grandparents, parents and some of the older folks will dance to. As the evening goes on, we move on through the decades, maybe start with a few from the ’50s and ’60s then move on to the ’70s and ’80s. Then, at the end of the night is when we play the more up to date songs. You typically find that people leave the dance floor by generations. The grandparents are usually good for the first hour or so, then they’re pretty much done. Then, the parents’ generation will make it an hour and a half to two hours, and by the third hour, it is typically the younger ones left on the floor.

3. Mix up the tempos

While classic love songs are perfect for a wedding, upbeat selections keep the party going. We suggest playing a balanced mix in order to keep things lively.

We advise not to choose all slow or all upbeat songs. Typically, three to five up tempo songs then a few slow songs is a good format. It is a good thing to mix it up and keep people from getting bored with either.

4. Begin with background music

When you first arrive at your reception, you will be bombarded by friends and family congratulating you and your groom. Then, pictures will be taken, toasts made, food eaten all before anyone steps foot on the dance floor. This is why DJ Erik advises couples to begin the evening with background music before making the tunes the focal point of the evening.

Earlier in the evening, it is nice to stick with some background music. Some older selections, like Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, are good. Or, if it is a really young crowd, we can do acoustic or piano music. It just depends on what the bride and groom’s taste is. Then, we can begin playing some more current, upbeat songs.

5. Decide on ice breakers

Worried no one will want to be the first one out on the dance floor? Ice breaker dances are a great way to get everyone out there in a non intimidating way.

“We always ask if couples want to do the ice breaker dances. Some people love that stuff. They’ll want to do everything from ‘The Hokey Pokey’ or ‘The Chicken Dance’ to ‘The Cha Cha Slide’ or ‘Cupid Shuffle’. But some people just hate that stuff and don’t want to do any of it.

We would love the opportunity to work with you on making your reception an amazing experience!

For help with crating the perfect playlist, complete our information request form or give us a call at 561-320-7601.