Working With Your DJ and Creating Great Playlists

Working With Your DJ and Creating Great Playlists

Music can make or break any party and your wedding is no different! From the ceremony to the reception, the music you choose is a huge part of your celebration.


Whether you decide to hire a DJ or go DIY, don’t forget that this day is about both you and your partner and your music choices should reflect that. It’s important that you spend time together discussing what songs you’d both like to see played.


In addition to choosing your own favourite music, you may want to get input from your guests about what songs they’d like to hear during the reception. This can be a great way to add to your playlists and give your guests a chance to feel involved and get them looking forward to partying the night away with you. Some couples add a spot on their RSVP cards for a song request or include a submission form on their website but you can also leave it to the night of by leaving request cards on the dinner tables or at the DJ booth.


Still feeling stuck while creating a list of your favourite songs? Consider getting together with some friends–it’s an excellent bridal party bonding activity–for a playlist party. Grab a few bottles of wine, some appetizers, and pump up the tunes. Keep in mind that you’ll probably get mixed results – you’ll get some great jams you forgot about at the beginning of the night but after a few glasses of chardonnay, the evening might turn into a Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys singalong. If you want to ensure you get a list to pick from, have each person bring a short list of songs with them to the party and then you’ll still have a large list to pick from after!


However you choose your must-plays, another essential list is the “Do Not Play” list. Refuse to do the chicken dance? Does that pop hit remind you of your awkward high school years? If you have a DJ, make sure you communicate these selections so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised while on the dance floor. Decide if you’re okay with guests requesting songs and discuss how you want them to handle song requests.


During your meeting with the DJ, in addition to sharing your personal music tastes, make sure you tell them about the demographics of your guest list so they can be mindful of what music your guests will enjoy as well. If you take the time to get to know your DJ, everyone–you, the DJ, and your guests–will have a better time because of it!


If you’re on the fence about hiring a DJ, here are the top three reasons it’s worth the budget:


  1. They will act as an MC throughout the night, ensuring transitions go smoothly and introducing the wedding party. It’s almost like having a second wedding coordinator!
  2. They’ll set up an excellent sound system, will plan an appropriate setup for your venue, and ensure that your night has a great vibe. They’re skilled at reading a crowd so you’ll know that your guests will be having fun all night.
  3. They’ll create a song list that will be perfectly balanced, keeping everyone on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning!


Skipping the DJ? That’s alright but you’ll need to have someone who can keep control of the playlists throughout the day. Your playlists will need to have more music than you’d expect. Make sure you have at least 3-5 hours worth for the reception. Plus, don’t forget the other parts of your big day – they need music too! Create playlists and include a few extra songs for each event, if the cocktail hour or processional takes a bit longer than planned, you’ll be glad you added a few extra tunes.


You’ll need to include plenty of music to fill up that time; to guarantee a lively crowd, make sure you include a mix of classic love songs and dance hit favourites. A good rule of thumb is to play one slow song to every 9 upbeat dance songs, it will ensure the crowd doesn’t get tired and burn out. Think about it like a rollercoaster.


Once you finally have that list of music put together, take the time to listen to it in full, even if you have to break it into several sittings. You’ll want to listen for awkward gaps, moments of silence, or weird transitions – these can put a damper on even the most eager crowd. Everything’s set? If you’re using a streaming app, make sure you download your playlist onto at least one device! Nothing puts a damper on a dance party more that discovering spotty Wi-Fi is going to continually make your music cut out.