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Perfecting your Playlist

Did you know that you are able to influence the mood and actions of your guests? Music can be used to cue guests for room movements, mood changes or program transitions. Consider the tone you would like to set when making musical selections for your cocktail hour and reception. Use music to set the tone for each progression of the reception and to guide your guests throughout the evening.

While it is not necessary to develop an extensive playlist, it is a good idea to discuss genres, decades and artists with your deejay or band. If you are hosting an elegant ballroom reception, light jazz plays wonderfully. If you are hosting your reception in a barn and want to keep the tone casual, consider playing light country tunes. Giving guidance to your deejay can be helpful, but don’t construct such a detailed playlist that your musical professional does not have any flexibility. Sometimes strict guidelines can create an unnecessary challenge. Give your professional deejay or band their own creative license and let them use their expertise and experience when reading the crowd for your event.

If you prefer that the deejay is not involved in announcing activities or releasing tables, speak up. Often deejays may mingle throughout the reception and interact with guests. Many guests will be reuniting with family and friends and might prefer not to be disturbed throughout dinner with casual banter or announcements. If you wish the deejay to only announce your entrance and the toasts, remember to provide an itinerary on each table so guests know when to expect the cake cutting and first dance.

The standard sequence of events begins with a cocktail hour filled with light, soothing music, followed by dinner. Keep the volume of the music low so guests can enjoy their meals and converse with one another. Following dinner, the Father of the Bride will address the guests, thanking them for coming. He will then turn the microphone over to the Maid of Honor and Best Man. Once the toasts are complete, the first dance takes place. 

The best time to shift the mood and encourage guests to dance is preceding the first dance. Upbeat music will encourage guests to take to the dance floor for the remainder of the evening.

Regardless of whether you hire a live band or a deejay, breaks will be needed throughout the evening. Bands typically take a few 15-minute breaks to rest and refresh. Your deejay is able to take breaks throughout the evening while keeping the music playing. Since these professionals work long hours with an early afternoon setup, music during your reception and a late-night tear down, remember to notify your caterer to provide food to them during dinner.

Ask your vendor in advance about any additional equipment rental fees. Also inquire about their contingency plan should a band member or deejay not show or become ill. Remember to address what the deejay or band plans to wear as they should be properly dressed for the wedding’s level of formality. When planning an outdoor reception, design a contingency plan should the weather take a turn for the worse. |NWD|