Many people feel a certain infinity towards music. Be it a song they grew up with, or something that happened at a point in time that makes it timeless. And this passion for songs can help create the foundation for an awesome playlist for your wedding songs. However, some people can take it overboard and put 50, 60, even 100 songs on their must-play list and sometimes an equal amount of Do Not Play on their list. Selecting wedding songs can be a big challenge for some people.
I encourage my couples to add a fair amount of songs for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dance segments (usually around 25 in total) so that way I can determine the general direction that the event should go. But I also make a point that the DJ should also have the flexibility to read the crowd and to be able to change up the direction as it seems fit to ensure that everyone has a good time. There is nothing worse than having a rigid playlist and a crowd who is not enjoying themselves.
But what should be, and shouldn’t be on the lists?
The MUST PLAY list
Some people wield this list with fine precision, others handle it with a battle-ax. The thing that one should remember about this that the very special songs should be listed (the Bride and Groom’s first dance, the Sweet 16’s intro) but not every song should be listed as must play. This makes it more difficult for the DJ to tend to the desires of the client while also trying to pay attention to the crowd on what is drawing them in to dance.
The MUSIC preference form
If you have signed up with Paris Creative, you’ll see I’ve put together a rating system so people can select the type of genres and decades of music they really refer to. This helps set the tempo throughout the night. If you rather 80s Pop or 90s R&B, or really do not want to hear Jazz, just rate it on the 1-5 star scale system.
PLAY IF POSSIBLE wedding songs
This is a great area to put in some songs that you would love to hear. Most of the time I should be able to accommodate your wedding songs into the set. The thing to remember most here is to find songs that can really set the tempo, to put something un-ordinary into the mix. The one thing you do not have to do is to put together four, five, or six hours of songs unless you really really want to.
Be mindful of Speciality YouTube and streaming songs
Couples will sometimes scour for some songs that might have special meaning, and in the process bump into a song that is only available on some social or streaming platforms like YouTube, Soundcloud or others. While some people do post some amazing songs up there the unfortunate reality is that a DJ cannot legally obtain these songs from these sources. Songs that you do pick must have a legal method to obtain. So be mindful of the songs you choose so you do not put yourself and the DJ in an awkward position of not being able to get a legal copy of that song. I dive into this topic deeper here.
Trusting the DJ
Something to not forget about is to trust the DJ. I have more than 25 years of experience and have faced a lot of crowds over the years. I will find similar wedding songs based on your requests, and to read the crowd to determine what many people want to hear. Let my knowledge be the guide to having an awesome night of entertainment.
Selecting wedding songs can be fun
In the end, selecting wedding songs can be a fun exercise or it could be one that makes you want to pull your hair out. Working with your DJ helps to move the process along smoothly.
Photo credit to Gavin Whitner (musicoomph)