- When hiring a DJ, the number one mistake couples make when booking a DJ: they don’t make sure the venue has the right sound system. They may have a sound system that’s right for the toasts and announcements, but will make your music sound like drive-through speakers. Have the DJ check out your space to make sure they have what they need. Ask them, “what is your back up plan if there is an equipment failure?
- For a four-hour reception, pick 80 songs. 240 minutes, about 3.5 per song with room for improvisation, depending on how the night goes.
- Figure out the “Don’t Wants” – It’s more important to start with the songs that you DON’T want – Maybe a wedding reception staple reminds you of your ex.
- Then, decide what are your “Must Haves” – What song do you want specifically for your 1st dance, bridal party entrance, dance with the parents, bouquet/garter belt toss, cake cutting, last dance of the night. These are specific moments that you’ll want to mark with the perfect song.
- Add your “Filler Songs” - You’ll have 80 songs to a four-hour reception. Once you have your “Must Haves” picked out it’s time to fill the space in between with your filler songs. What genres of music do you like? Is it a mix of 80’s, country, current pop, perhaps swing standards?
- Start off with a guaranteed floor-filler; you’ll play 3-4 songs with this same tempo. Ex.) Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson “Uptown Funk”, Meghan Trainer’s “Bass”, or Pitbull’s “Time of Your Life”
- Then you transition to an 80’s & 90’s crowd pleaser. That way you’ll win the trust of the younger crowd and the 40+ age groups. Again, you’ll play 3-4 songs in the same genre. Ex.) Depeche Modes “Just Can’t Get Enough”, Prince’s “Kiss”, or “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. Jason, I know you are a fan of the 90’s so I threw in a little Sugar Ray with “Fly”
- Then we’ll slow it down by transitioning into songs for the older crowd. Play two or three slow songs and the older demographic knows that you have their interests at heart too. That also gives people a chance to take a rest or get close to their dance partner. Ex.) Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” is contemporary but has that jazziness of old standards. From there I’d add a little Sinatra “I Won’t Dance” and Ella Fitsgerald’s “At Last”
- You can go into any genre from there. To get the pace back up, pick a song that starts off moderately paced and ramps up. Repeat that formula all night!
- Ex.) Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. You could throw in there Neil Diamonds “Sweet Caroline” or even “Shout!” by the Isley Brothers.
- It’s all about giving the people what they want (before they even know that they want it!!)
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