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The song list for your wedding or special event?

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I know that in today’s day and age musical tastes are all over the place. On Saturday I will have 10 songs that “Bride A” wants to dance like a maniac to. The following Saturday I will have those same 10 songs on “Bride B’s” Do Not Play list.  Neither one of the brides are right nor wrong when it comes to their musical selections. It is simply their vision of their wedding day.

Now that we have determined that music is simply a choice, let’s talk about trust. The average song is 3 minutes in length. Some are longer and some a shorter. Some djs beat mix in and out of songs cutting the song a bit shorter however the average song is 3 minutes in length. I have been very blessed to be djing over 25 years. I have learned that when a couple hands me a list with 150 songs on it, they either don’t truly trust me or they simply haven’t thought about how long playing 150 songs will take. 150 songs at 3 minutes per song will take 7 ½ hours to complete. An average wedding in the Chicagoland area is only 5 ½ – 6 hours. Please also consider that your guests may have a few requests and the dj should be allowed to use their experience and expertise to keep your dance floor packed with songs you may not have thought of.

Now let’s talk about your wedding day.

When you discuss music with your dj, they should have a very clear DO NOT PLAY section on their planner. You are the client and the dj will do what you want however you are also the host so consider what your guests will enjoy dancing to in-spite of some of your personal tastes. Be specific. I met with a wonderful couple today. The bride told me she wanted no songs from the 70’s and the 80’s. As we continued to talking the couple expressed that they wanted Commodores, Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Boyz to Men, Chicago, Journey, Al Green, and Barry White. I stopped the conversation and pointed out to her that all of those artists had their largest success as artists with songs put out in the 70’s and 80’s. After pointing that out, we were able to drill down and get some specific groups and artists that she didn’t care for. This is a very common conversation so you need to be specific.

My company asks for your 15 favorites. The average length of open dancing at a Chicago wedding is 2 ½ – 3 hours long. 15 requests will already be 45 minutes of music which comes out to a 1/3 of the evening. A good dj should be able to adhere to your do not play list, hit your 15 favorites, take guests requests, and use their discretion to keep your dance floor packed. There is of course some give and take but we have found that this is a realistic way for each client to put their own style into their wedding while trusting their dj to entertain their guests and keep the dance floor packed. This also excludes any specific cocktail or dinner music styles or requests.

Another trend is asking your guests to supply one of their favorite songs on their response card. While this may seem like a cute idea, do you want your guests to program your wedding day? What if one of their requests is on their Do Not Play list? The average wedding has 140 guests in attendance which means that approximately 70 response cards came in. That is now 70 requests as well as your specific requests. You have now given the dj hours and hours of requests. Is playing these requests the priority or is celebrating with your guests dancing all night because you hired a great dj the priority?

If you feel the need to supply your dj with tons and tons of requests, you have to ask yourself if you truly trust this person or company with your wedding day.