We don't mean to sound dramatic, but music could make or break your wedding reception. It is the difference between your guests having an amazing time until the wee hours and everyone looking at their watches wondering when you'll cut the cake so they can leave.
And this is where a good DJ and a fresh playlist come in very handy. I am not embarrassed to admit that both those factors were essentially nonexistent at my wedding (read: both the DJ and his playlist sucked.) The whole no-good-jams scenario definitely left a bad impression on me and—even though they wouldn't admit it—my guests.
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"A good DJ will do their best to understand the style and preferences of guests to ensure a stellar experience for everyone," says Brian Lee, founder of Elevated Pulse Productions, a luxury entertainment production company.
Lee, who most recently entertained the guests at model Bianca Balti's California wedding, makes sure he asks the couple about their favorite bands as well as their guests' preferences. Of course, those don't always coincide.
"In reality, chances are your guests won't have your exact same taste in music, so having many influences can really help keep the playlist fresh," he says. "Perhaps the bride loves classic rock and the groom is a bit more alternative with a love for indie hits? Find a place for both throughout the wedding day activities."
"We've heard some really unique acoustic versions of pop/rock songs that may make a nice processional song during the ceremony, while your first dance could be a contemporary tune your partner really loves," he continues. "Then, use open dancing to bring in upbeat favorites from both genres to energize the crowd and keep everyone on their feet."
To get you started, Lee suggests listening to a few Spotify playlists based on your favorite musicians or styles and also checking out the suggested songs.
"You may find a hidden gem! Use your DJ as an expert — they will help you navigate the process and produce an evening that is uniquely you."
And here are a few of his favorite tunes for various points throughout the wedding day:
Getting Ready: "On a Cloud" by PPP, "Pretty Please (Love Me)" by Estelle ft. Cee-Lo
The ceremony: "Nothing Really Matters" by Mr. Probz, "Look After You" by Piano Tribute Players
The first dance: "Butterfly" by Donavon Frankenreiter
Father/daughter and mother/son combination song: "Have I Told You Lately" by Van Morrison