Wedding Song Requests

Many of my clients ask how many song requests they should make for their wedding reception. On average, you can estimate about 10-15 songs being played per half hour (with a 3 minute song average). So, should you request 6+ hours of songs for your event or select some of your favorites and let your DJ do his thing?

I like to create a musical vision with my clients where we discuss the music genres and energy as if it were a soundtrack. Some clients really enjoy selecting a lot of music for their event, while others prefer to choose some of their favorites and leave the rest to me. It can be quite time consuming and when you have so many details to plan and keep track of, I am more than happy to help put together the perfect playlists for your event. I just need to know some of your top artists, songs and genres, and I can take it from there.

It’s also helpful to know about music that you would not like to hear. While I take it for granted that you don’t want to hear the Macarena or Chicken Dance, it’s good to know other songs or styles that you would like to avoid. This can often vary from event to event.

I suggest adding music to your playlists that might have special meaning for you, your family or friends. Place a high priority on the ones that you most want to hear. At an event, I naturally play the songs that are less danceable during dinner or cocktails and such. When it comes time for dancing, I choose the songs that are most likely to keep the dance party going. I also consider whether a song will work within the context of the current music, energy levels and the perceived music taste of guests. While I’m DJ-ing, I’m constantly reading the crowd, trying to predict the best song to play next. It is therefore helpful if I have the freedom to choose songs other than what is on my client’s playlists.

In the past, I have had a few events where clients requested that I only play songs from their playlists. This is not why you hire a DJ. Ask yourself, which is more important: DJ plays only our playlist or DJ reads the crowd and we have a better dance party?

I’ve been surprised at some events by requested songs which I wouldn’t have thought would be successful on the dance floor–but were a huge hit. Sometimes those songs had special meaning for families or friends. If you are aware of any songs that your guests might particularly enjoy, I would recommend adding them to your playlists and perhaps leaving a note regarding the song’s significance.

Spotify, iTunes and streaming services can work well for organizing your requests and these playlists can be shared with me. It is helpful if these tools are used along with my online planning system because you can add a note to the most important songs–for example: “please play when we are available to dance” or “please dedicate to___” or even “please don’t play any songs from this artist _______”.

Selecting music for your big day can be one of the most fun aspects of planning. It is probably advisable to work on this over the months leading up to your event rather than wait till the last minute–although some folks do and I’m totally fine with helping them pull everything together quickly for a seamless event.

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