6 Things to Keep in Mind for Your Wedding Music Playlist


Your wedding music playlist has big shoes to fill! You want to celebrate your big day to the beat of your favorite songs, and you want all of your guests to enjoy themselves. Pleasing that many people is a tall order, but it can be done with the right music and the right atmosphere. If you want a wedding music playlist that will set your reception apart, make sure you remember these six things.

1. Will you be having a pre-reception cocktail hour? The music you play during your cocktail hour, and even during your dinner hour, can begin to set the tone for the rest of your reception. But so many brides and grooms overlook or even forget about this music! You should put some thought into what type of music you want played during these times, because they can start to set the mood for what will follow. Instrumental is always a choice for these times, since it makes it easier for guests to talk with each other. Talking over a singers voice can be annoying and result in complaints. Picking soft jazz, smooth pop or light tropical music that’s instrumental can be a great selection that feels happy without being overbearing.

wileyoct12. What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Before you make your playlist, you need to think about the atmosphere you want to create. Maybe you’re sticking to a theme, or maybe you just want to aim for a high energy crowd with a lot of dancing. Either way, the songs you have on your wedding music playlist can help you create that atmosphere.

Your atmosphere can also be influenced by how the songs on your playlist are performed. A live wedding band will create a different kind of energy than a DJ would. While either one, with the right amount of experience, can bring your wedding reception to life, they’ll still each create a different atmosphere.

3. Are there songs you don’t want to hear? As you think about the songs you want included on your playlist, you should also think really hard about the songs you hate. We all have songs we can’t stand. If you have a couple in mind, just make sure your musicians are aware that these songs are not to be played.

4. Are there songs that MUST be played? You likely also have songs that are your favorites, or songs that you and your partner feel describe you as a couple. These are your must-have songs. Just like the songs on your “do not play” list, make sure your wedding musicians are aware that these songs should be played at some point during your reception. If any of these songs are going to be used as special dance songs, like your father-daughter dance, first dance, or other traditional wedding dance, be sure your musicians know when these dances are going to be happening so they can have them ready to play on time. Also remember that these are songs for dancing, not songs for driving in your car or laying by the pool. There are many great songs out there, but picking a song like ‘crash’ by Dave Matthews will clear a dance floor even though you love hearing it on the radio when you drive.

5. Do you have a variety of songs? Weddings bring together loved ones of all ages and types. If you want all of your guests to have a good time at your reception, you should be thinking about each of these groups of people. This means including songs from multiple genres and styles. If you take everyone into consideration, they’ll all have a blast. A band should be able to play music from all decades, even if it’s for a short amount of time. Only fifteen minutes of Motown will go by fast, but will usually make many guests very happy, even if you may not particularly like it.

6. Have a plan B. Ultimately, you won’t know how your wedding music playlist will go over with the crowd until you hear it in action. You should also feel comfortable letting your live wedding band or DJ “read” the crowd determine what should be played and when–within your specifications of course. Many bands have commented that they followed a bride and groom playlist perfect, but if they’d been able to ‘read the room’ the dance floor would have gone from OK to awesome.

Remembering these 6 wedding music playlist guidelines will ensure you’ll have the wedding reception everyone else wishes they had. If you need help building your wedding reception playlist or you need to find musicians for your reception, contact Wiley Entertainment today!