At my wedding we had my 90-year-old grandmother and my nine-year-old niece all in attendance. My grandmother was all about the jitterbug and my niece was all about Miley Cyrus. A big difference in musical taste.
You and I both know the number one thing you can do to make sure all people are entertained - is hire a professional, experienced DJ service. Since The demographics of most weddings is very broad – a professional experience DJ service will know what to play and when to play it.
That being said, you may want to give your DJ some direction on your taste in your style and how you envision the night. The ceremony and the cocktail hour have their own feel and vibe – we will cover these in another blog post. Today I want to talk specifically about the reception.
Alright, close your eyes and think about it. Brides you've already done this – now grooms, I want you to do the same - close your eyes right now and envision what everyone is doing at the beginning of the reception.
For the last hour your feet haven't touch the ground. You're running on pure adrenaline and a high that is like none other! You have just married the person of your dreams. You could probably care less what your guests are doing - But that's what I want to discuss right now (A couple months ahead of your wedding). Because you are a thoughtful bride and groom, you are going to think through this process right now and make sure your guests have the best time ever. That they leave this wedding not only with love and joy in their heart – but they can say to each other that this was possibly the best "date night" that they have ever had.
So let me ask the question again. At the beginning of the reception what are your guests doing? Whether the reception is taking place at a banquet hall, barn, tent, or a rooftop in midtown - think about the music that would fit the scene.
In most occasions you would want the energy level to crescendo throughout the night. Rarely do I see (if ever), the reception starting with 128 BPM fist pumping a Avicii or LMFAO. Noooo.... You would want to start with something cool, classy, elegant, yet still a sense of excitement – not elevator music by any means.
The "beginning of the reception" timeframe that we are talking about can last from 1 to 2 hours. This music will be played during dinner, in between toasts, all the way up till party time! This music is something that you would want to tap your toe too, sing-along in your head to you, it just feels good and is familiar. Here are a couple options that I've seen work out very well.
● Frank & Friends (Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett)
● Mumford & Stuff (Mumford and Sons, Lumineers)
● Love Ballads (Norah Jones, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson)
● Your favorite favorites (choose a list of songs that you and your fiancé love to ride around and listen to. But the songs are not quite dancing songs)
We always give the bride and groom the option to pick their formality songs, and rarely we have been asked to help. The formality dances are usually very special songs that are unique to the couple dancing. As the DJ, we can manually cut the song short by fading out – so you're not dancing with your dad for five minutes (sometimes awkward).
Here's a list of formality songs to think about:
- introduction song
Something fun and crazy to get the crowd pumped up and set the tone for the night. I personally feel like it's giving the wedding party a little spotlight for buying clothes, shoes, and putting up with your pre-wedding craziness. Oh yeah - you'll be a little crazy. But it's good crazy :)
- first dance
I think the more personal this song is to the couple – the better. Start listening to songs while you are riding around, or sitting in a restaurant. It will hit you and you will say "this is our song".
- father/daughter & mother/son
I think a great idea is to let your parents pick the song. It's one of those formalities that makes everybody smile and it's definitely a peek memorable moment in your parents live.
- cake cut
I honestly have never seen this song to be one of the most important songs of the night. Nobody is really paying attention to the music and as long as it is fits the scene – anything can go here. Something with the word sugar is usually kind of cool. Sugar sugar, how sweet it is, the sweetest thing.
Depending on your personality – you may want this to be your time to shine as the groom. Getting the garter off with your teeth may be funny ...but not for grandma. So one way to break the ice and make this moment "not so awkward", is to play music that lightens the mood. Remember - You want this to be somewhat funny and create a memorable moment without having guests think OMG "save it for the honeymoon". One example that we use a lot – is the mission impossible theme song.
I don't know where this tradition started, but I think it's pretty hilarious. You've got a bunch of girls in high heels going up for a basketball rebound. Oh, not to mention that they are somewhat intoxicated. So any high-energy song that girls know and love – would work perfect here. The DJ plays a big role in the bouquet toss - making sure the girls are ready to catch the bouquet – the photographers ready to take the pictures – and the bride is not going to chuck the bouquet into a fan overhead.
- last dance
This is a tough one. I think that we could talk about the last dance for an entire blog post. It can go in so many different directions. But here's my thought. Have the DJ announced "this is the last song" and play a slow song. Then expecting an encore have a crazy song lined up ready to go. That way, you will have that last dance moment where you can reflect on the night - how awesome it was – and soak in the moment. But then, the crazy song you can go out with a bang!
Hopefully I have given you something to think about. Comment below if you agree or disagree and – share this post with someone who may like it. Thanks and see you on the dance floor!