Set the Mood

Music will set the mood of your ceremony and reception, and ranks very high on your “To Do List.” It is important to begin your selection process as early as possible. Many popular musicians and DJ’s are booked several months in advance, especially for Saturday nights. Take the time to go and listen to them and then interview them, even if a friend or family member has recommended the musician or DJ.

Just the Right Mix

When deciding on music, consider the size of the guest list, the reception area, and your budget. Also think about the age ranges of your guests. Grandma won’t want to dance to the latest gyration and your college friends won’t want to dance a waltz, so your difficulty will be finding musicians who can please everyone.

Selecting the Music

Look for the musicians or DJ’s who are flexible and are experienced at performing at weddings. Ask them for a list of songs they perform and how much they will allow you to determine what is played. Do you want just background music or are you’re looking for dance music? If you have a special, unusual music that you want them to play, you need to ask if they will do this. Most bands will require at least a month to learn the song(s), and may ask you to provide a digital copy to them. For a four-hour wedding reception, you will probably need fifty to sixty songs, and not all performers will want you to pick every single song.

Get Up and Dance

The musicians and DJ’s who are experienced with weddings will know how to select music which will appeal to all of your guest; because of this, it would be wise not to insist that all of the music be a certain type. You should also question the performers as to how they will meet everyone’s taste. Each performer will have their own method of “relaxing the crowd”, but the standard way to get everyone out on the dance floor is to “ease” them onto it. Start with one type of music- perhaps slow – then gradually move into more active music. Another great technique is group dances such as “The Chicken Dance” or “The Macarena.” Once your guests are on the dance floor, they tend to stay there, waiting for another great song or dance.

There will be certain songs that you will want played at particular times during your reception. The first dance is traditional for the bride and groom. Usually this is a slow song that means a lot to the couple. The parent’s dance is also one for which to choose a special song. There are several other opportunities to select the songs you want played and your music provider should have a list of them all. You should receive a questionnaire when you sign the contract that has space for you to fill in your music selections. You will then need to return this list prior to your event so the musician is sure to have your desired music. During the reception, allow the musicians or DJ to have some flexibility for special requests from your guests

Rob Black, Manager

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