Many veteran wedding guests would agree the right playlist is a key element in turning an ordinary wedding reception into something unforgettable.
Music is often one of the more memorable aspects of a wedding reception and can make it easy for everyone to have a good time. A common question for engaged couples to ask when considering reception entertainment is whether they want a live band or a disc jockey.
“A lot of people usually have an idea of what they want ahead of time,” said Elizabeth Micenko of Entertainment Unlimited, a company that provides events with everything from animal acts and carnival entertainment to music.
“DJs are a little more popular because of the variety and different types of music that they can get a hold of,” she said. “Really, it’s the personality of the DJ (most people) want to look for. Mostly all the DJs can play anything, so people are really looking for personality — extremely outgoing or more laid-back. Some can be more interactive than others and go out and dance on the dance floor with guests, and some people aren’t interested in a DJ who does that all.”
Micenko said those interested in using Entertainment Unlimited’s service can go through bands’ song lists and compare those or “watch videos on our website to see if they’d prefer this DJ or that band.”
Couples often leave their wedding reception playlists to the professionals, but they also have a say over what songs to play.
“Some still go for the older basics — chicken dance and stuff like that — but there are still a lot of people that request that’s not a part of their day,” Micenko said. “It’s a 50-50 thing with the more current music or stuff like that.”
In addition, couples can have a “no play” playlist that prohibits certain songs from being played if they dislike or find those songs too explicit for a family gathering.
“Our DJs really don’t play that sort of stuff in the first place,” Micenko said.
When mulling the musical choices for a wedding reception, consider what will get as many guests on the dance floor as possible. Micenko said there’s no trend in favorite music that she hasn’t seen.
“They usually want to just make sure everybody’s dancing,” she said.
Well-known songs and upbeat dance music have been known to inspire more guests to get out of their chairs, and avoiding songs that are difficult to dance to is recommended.
Despite the variation in popular wedding tunes, Micenko said she does see the same trends in important dance customs, such as the couple’s first dance as newlyweds.
“Everybody still does the father and daughter and mother and son dances at weddings too,” she said.
Regardless of how guests react to the entertainment, it’s also important to know what you’re getting when booking.
Keep track of little details like the timing of when musicians will arrive to set up and how long they’ll play and understand what fees will factor into the overall price before signing any agreements.