How To Select the Perfect Music for Your Wedding Reception


Three years from now, what are people going to remember from your wedding? They won’t be able to recall the type of flowers in the centerpieces or the color of your tablecloths, but they will remember the entertainment. Wedding reception entertainment can make or break the entire party atmosphere. It is important to find a form of entertainment that fits your event, your personality, and your budget. Here are some steps to finding the perfect music for your special day.

1) Decide whether you want a DJ or live entertainment. Although this decision may be based on your budget, both types of entertainment are very different. They both will give your guests music to enjoy, but live entertainment is usually more memorable and more entertaining. A DJ can also make your reception awesome, but it’s important that you find one that has experience performing weddings. All DJs are not equal, so it is crucial that you find one that is professional and experienced.

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2) Do your research. If possible, try to attend an event of the DJ or band that you are looking to hire. If this is not possible, look up live videos, testimonials or talk to others that have used their services. Nothing is worse than you and your guests being forced to sit through bad music, or dealing with an unprofessional band or DJ.

Questions to ask yourself: Does the DJ or band leader like to talk a lot or make comments on the mic? Sadly, many wedding DJs and band leaders are cheesy and sometimes treat a wedding like an amature comedy night. Do you want someone who will pull out a limbo stick and inflatable guitars, or someone who focuses on the music? You have enough to worry about on your wedding day, so completing your research early will cut down on chaos later.

2) Make sure you have the option to customize your playlist. Both DJs and wedding bands should present you with different style options. There is no excuse for a DJ to have a limited amount of songs. With today’s technology, your DJ should have thousands of songs on-hand at all times. A band should know at least 100 songs (that’s over six hours of music). This will give you a good list for picking out certain songs you like and do not like, while also having enough song choices for the band to keep your guests on their feet. If a band only knows 50 songs, they won’t have many options to keep the dance floor full.

If a band claims to know hundreds of songs, this usually means they use a laptop computer for many songs. This is referred to as a ‘karaoke band’, and is not a top choice for exceptional weddings. A good analogy would be that a fine restaurant serves less food than a McDonalds, but the quality is much better. You wouldn’t want a restaurant that only serves half your guests, but you also wouldn’t want a restaurant serving food in cardboard boxes. Also remember that if there is a special song that you want played at your event, be sure to tell your band at least a few weeks early so that they can be prepared.

3) Decide on a type of party atmosphere. Do you want your reception to feel like a dance club or a more family friendly party? These are things that you need to take into consideration when choosing music for your event. If you choose an experienced music provider, they should be able to build a perfect playlist for your reception, and be able to adjust at the wedding to keep your guests dancing. One great option is having a band play the reception with many styles of music and then having an after glow party with a DJ who plays mostly modern music.

4) Know your audience. Most wedding receptions have guests of many different ages and personalities. Although the bride and groom want music to reflect their tastes, they should also want their guests to hear their favorite styles as well. When choosing music for your wedding reception, try to throw in classic songs from different decades, so that there’s a little something for everybody. These are timeless songs that all ages can relate too. There is nothing more fun at your reception than seeing your friends and family of all ages dancing, singing along and having fun together.
There is tremendous power in songs that everyone can sing along to! Many modern songs will be unrecognizable to older guests, and a song like ‘Footloose’ for example, will usually pack a dance floor quicker than a Rihanna song will. That may not be true for a dance club, but it is true for most weddings.

Nothing is worse than being forced to sit through a wedding reception with bad music. After all the work that you put into your big day, you don’t want your guests to walk away only remembering the awful or boring music. Don’t take a chance with your entertainment. Music and dancing is one of the best parts of a wedding, so do your research and spend time thinking about what will fit your event best.