Making a Wedding Request list for your DJ
The Following is some suggestions and tips on how to make a playlist for your DJ Entertainer. This is a crucial part of the planning process. Too vague, the DJ might be guessing all night. Too specific, and the DJ may not have time to read the energy on the dance floor. Some general rules to consider:
- Hire a Pro! Do your homework. A professional DJ with Experience, will be able to roll with most situations and know what to play or when to be proactive with your guests. When to make announcements, or slow down the music.
- Do the Math. We find that most Weddings last between 5 to 6 hours. The average song length is 3.5 minutes. A basic 5 hour itinerary might be like this:
- Ceremony: (30 Minutes) 15 minutes of prelude music, 3 to 4 songs during the ceremony.
- Cocktail hour and Pictures (60 to 90 minutes) During this time a DJ may play around 50 minutes of Background music.
- Entrance, Speeches, possibly first Dance (15 Minutes)
- Dinner: (45 to 90 minutes) The amount of time depends on whether it is a sit down plated dinner or a buffet and the amount of people in attendance. Let say it is a buffet, this should last around 60 minutes, then toasts for 15 minutes. following toast there might be a small break before dancing begins. Additional background music 15 top 30 minutes
- Dance begins. (120 minutes or 2 hours)
- if the average song is 3.5 minutes or about 15 songs during Cocktail hour. About 17 songs during dinner, 4 songs following the toast, and about 34 songs during the dance which equals about 70 songs.
- There are 7 parts to making a list for your DJ…
- Genre music likes and dislikes. This is music in general from oldies to currents, country, Jazz, Hip Hop, EDM etc. So in general, what do you like and or dislike. For example We Love 80’s pop music but not so much 80’s alternative. This gives the DJ a little more to choose from. A good DJ knows the classics from each genre of music, possibly music you have forgotten about etc.
- Specific songs. This is also good for the DJ but keep it to around 10 to 15 songs. This list should be prioritized as well. Like single * (if you cans) Double ** (we really like) and Triple *** (must plays) Keeping your list to around 10 to 15 songs allows a professional experienced DJ room to read your crowd and see what they are in the mood for. If your dance request list is 40 songs, some of them will not get played period. This doesn’t allow your DJ to follow the energy on the dance floor. A Large playlist puts pressure on your DJ to just play your list, instead of reading your crowd. Be Flexible.
- Specific No Play songs: This is also a crucial part of your list. These are songs you might have had a bad experience with or brings back memories that you don’t want to think about. It could be a style you don’t like.
- Stay away from Specific Artists. It is really hard for a DJ to know what your favorite songs are from an artist. They may have a 100 songs. If you like a Specific Artist, include 2 or 3 hits that are your favorites as well.
- Type your list and send it. Song Title and Artist. hand written notes on paper or a picture of your list sent by text or email is very hard to read.
- Make sure songs can be purchased! YouTube versions, Spotify or songs from a local band are either hard to get or illegal.
- One More Thing. Keep your dance songs Dance-able! There are a lot great songs out there. But that doesn’t mean you can dance to them. Choose songs that are easy to dance to for the dance portion of the night. If you have a song you like that is not easy to dance to, maybe use it during dinner?!
- When picking your music, your guests are important. However, your reception is about you and the celebration of the two of you coming together. Next it is about you spending time and celebrating with your friends. You are first, friends and family are second. However, keep your guests in mind! They want to dance too. If your party is made of 75% people over the age of 40 and the other 25% make up the rest, 75% of the people may not want to hear rap music all night. A variety of music may be important to keep the dance floor hopping!
- Cliché wedding songs. What are cliché wedding songs? These are typical songs you might hear at every wedding. Over played or old or maybe they are corny. Whatever the case, you as well as I have songs that we are tired of and prefer not to hear. So the question is, are these songs you hate or are you just sick of them? There is a difference. Cliché wedding songs are played a lot because they work on getting people on the dance floor. Can a great dance party happen without some of these songs, Yes! However, there might need to be some give on the music to help you get the party you are hoping for!
These are suggestions that will help make the planning of your music easier and less stressful. But more importantly help your DJ go in the direction you are hoping for. Please contact me if you have any further questions.
Wedding Highlights – The Ceremony Recessional
Two crucial areas of the ceremony:
- The Processional (Brides entrance)
- The Recessional (The Exit)
A well thought out plan of these two parts of the ceremony are most important. The article will focus on the over looked “Exit” or “Recessional”
A few important overlooked aspects of a spectacular Exit:
- Last words of the officiant: This is so important to the couple but more important to the DJ! Starting the exit music at the right moment can add so much to the exit. A delay of even 3 to 5 seconds can make a huge difference!
- Introductions vs. End on the Kiss: This something to play out in your mind. Both are very effective. However are you doing a Grand Entrance later? If so ending on the kiss for the ceremony might be a good option since you are being introduced later?!
- Upbeat Music: the music you choose sets the tone. It tells the people how you want them to react now that the party is starting.
- Plan of Action: having a plan following the ceremony is crucial. This announcement can be made by the officiant or the DJ. It needs to be what you want or expect to happen over the next hour. Your guests will appreciate it!
Questions – Call us 208.589.6499
Wedding Highlights – Grand Entrance
There a few aspects that make the Entrance Mediocre or Fantastic! Well planned out and orchestrated!
- Bride & Groom only: there are other more effective ways to introduce the bridal party. Keep it simple!
- Stay Hidden: Staying out of site to the best of your ability before the Entrance is the difference between a Grand Entrance and just an announcement of the Bride and Groom. This also means that during pictures you try to not talk to guests. try to keep pictures separate from cocktail hour.
- Know the Space: What door? Where do we walk? How are we walking in? important questions to ask before the moment arrives. Having the space ready and the DJ informed is crucial.
- Crowd Prep: One of the most important aspects of a good entrance is preparing your crowd for the entrance. A good DJ/Emcee can prepare a crowd for your arrival, know where to look and what is expected of them.
- Awkward moments: Know what you are going to do after the applause dies! without a plan and a Emcee, awkward moments will happen. Let the Emcee direct you and your crowd. A good planned entrance will look natural, without it, it will be chaos.
- First Dance: is a nice touch. Some things to consider. You have everyone’s attention! Everyone is more respectful at this moment of the evening. Your First Dance song is the most important song of the evening. Make sure everyone hears it. A DJ can prep the crowd for a more classy first dance.
- Using lighting or Fog: The highlight is you! Dry Ice fog and lighting can bring a custom look and feel. Sets you apart from other weddings. You will remember this moment long after the extra expense of special effects.
Wedding Highlights – The Last 10 minutes
The last 10 minutes of the night is what everyone leaves with. Planning the end is almost more important than the first 10 minutes.
Some ideas that might help!
- The Last Dance: This song should be well thought out and could be another special song. Perhaps the Bride picks the first dance and the Groom the last dance. You are surrounded by your closest family and friends. A Slower song is not a bad choice. This is when you get to come back together and share a moment. The final moment will be as special as the first.
- Casual Exit: Casual exits means you stick around and say goodbye to those who have stayed. Figure one-minute per person times the amount of people still there. If you have 40 close friends and family that will probably stick around the whole night, figure about 45 minutes following to say goodbye etc.
- Send off: Get out of there and on to other stuff! Make sure your car is packed and ready. This should be done earlier than later so that you are not gone during the last 10 minutes. Have a sendoff song. Make sure the venue doesn’t have any rules about sparklers or bubbles etc. Know where your guests should line up to wish you off. Make sure there is pictures being taken of you leaving.
- Car Decorating: This can be a fun thing but also a disaster. Friends who go over board can make the sendoff a nightmare. If you think your friends could go overboard think ahead. Perhaps rent-a-car or a limo might be a good investment.
- Clean up: Have a plan so you don’t have to worry about the cleanup. Also make sure that vendors or decorators or even family wait to after you are gone to start the cleanup. Anxious cleanup gives the feeling of closure on the party. I have seen parties end early because of cleanup starting too early.
Let us help you with the logistics!