Everyone wants their wedding to turn into a great party, right? The music you choose plays a huge part in turning a fun party into a GREAT party. Whether you’re having a DJ, a band, or both a DJ and a band, the music sets the vibe of the party and is an important decision that should be given a lot of thought.
When it comes to our wedding, my fiance and I have thought a lot about having a band because we love live music. It’s also incredibly important to us that certain recorded songs be present at the party and that all of our guests have an amazingly fun time. One of the great things about DJ’ed music is that the versions of the songs that are played can be familiar, meaningful, and even nostalgic for us and our wedding guests.
When choosing your DJ, you first have to make sure that you pick someone who cares about YOU. As a couple, you are unique. You should pick a DJ who cares about your tastes and preferences, and who isn’t going to play a cookie cutter playlist that they’ve been recycling for the last 10 years. Possibly even worse, you don’t want a self-absorbed DJ who thinks that they know best, and who’s going to use your wedding to “educate” the crowd on what they think is “cool”.
I think it’s really important to talk to potential DJs and pay attention to the kinds of questions that they ask you, not just the questions you ask them. Are they inquisitive about your tastes and guest dynamics? Do they seem like they really care, not just about getting the sale, but about catering to your group’s specific tastes?
A good DJ is a “wielder of energy”, so to speak. Not only should they have a great music selection, they should also know how to pick the right music at any particular moment, to help build and direct the energy in the room. The DJ should pay attention and be able to read the room. If people are feeling dull or sleepy, the DJ has to know how to increase the energy; if people have been dancing for several high energy songs, the DJ should also know how to give them a little reprieve before pumping the energy back up again. This skill, even more than having good taste in music, is what really makes a great DJ. It’s all about flow.
Here’s what I recommend: You and your fiance should make a list of all of your favourite music to give to your DJ . It’s a fun wedding planning activity to do together and a great tool to assist your DJ to ensure a super fun party. Before giving your DJ your song list, go through it and consider the tempo and energy level of each song, making little notes beside each one, as required. If you have a lot of slow or low energy songs, consider scratching some off and just keeping your favourites. Also, make a note if the song is longer than 4 minutes, which can also play a role in the success of the party. Epic 8-minute guitar solos are great for road trip sing-alongs but often kill the high energy vibe you might be looking for at your wedding reception.
We’re still working on all of this for our own wedding. It’s a big but great project, that my fiance and I love doing together. I think that in many cases, if your partner is less into other aspects of wedding planning, this might be one project that they can get more involved with.
Do you have any “must” songs to play at your wedding? Have you got advice for people about choosing a DJ? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment.