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August 12, 2014

The task of planning out your wedding music can be daunting for those who just like to dance and don’t like to think about it. What should I play during cocktails? When should we do our first dance? What if people don’t dance? These questions can lead you to put your wedding music on the back burner because let’s face it – it isn’t the most fun to-do item. Good thing our friend Lisa Ng (a veteran wedding DJ) is here with her Top 10 Tips for getting groovy with your wedding music…

Top 10 tips for planning your wedding music!

The “dance party” part of your wedding is very important and we encourage you to just dig in. Take care of it in advance if you can and cross it off your list. After all, what’s a mood without music? The more prepared and thoughtful you are with the planning of your music, the better the atmosphere of your entire event. Being able to put your trust in a professional DJ is the best choice, but what if you can’t afford it? You can always ask for the lead DJ’s protege… but if you truly can’t make it work – you’ll need to result to your iPod, laptop and some speakers. No matter how the waves are delivered to your guests ears, we think you should take the advice below to heart…

  1. Open the dance floor with a slow classic like Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love to get all the couples onto the dance floor – THEN switch to an accessible fast song like Twist & Shout to keep people dancing. People can’t help but want to dance to the classics.

  2. Consider doing your first dance right after your grand entrance; it’s easy to do while you have everyone’s attention and it helps to get any nerves out of the way for the rest of the night.

  3. Don’t feel pressured to play the WHOLE song for your first dance. Cutting it off halfway is perfectly acceptable. Sometimes 4 minutes is just too long.

  4. If you’re up for it, create your own playlist for cocktail hour and dinner time – then give it to your DJ. They need to slightly differ in that cocktail music should be lively, fun energetic tunes and dinner should be mellow standards and instrumentals.

  5. At the start of the party stick to the classics and then move to more modern Top 40’s as the night progresses and the older guests retreat. Rap isn’t easy to digest right after dinner.

  6. Keep your “do not play” list to 10 songs max. You want to give your DJ some flexibility to read the crowd. Also decide before hand if it’s ok with you that your guests request songs… sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s annoying for you and the DJ.

  7. Definitely rent (or make) dance floor lighting. It can make a huge difference in your dance party atmosphere.

  8. Want to keep everyone happy? Ask for song requests on your response cards, it’s a fun way to be able to read your crowd ahead of time. Don’t feel like you have to include them all – they should serve only as suggestions.

  9. Break up the fast songs with 2 slow songs every now and then. Couples often get drawn back onto the dance floor for the slow songs and then end up staying for at least another song or two.

  10. If DIY-ing your music playlist, use Mobile Beat’s Top 200 Most Requested Songs of the Year for great ideas of what is trending on the dance floor.

Bride rocking the DJ stand!

Image Credits

Darling wedding DJ cake topper: Mud Cards // Printable music sheet: Tangles Graphics // Bride (my friend Jaymi!) rocking the DJ stand: SWOON by Katie


About our guest contributor:

Lisa Ng is currently the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women — and in the past spent many years as a professional Wedding DJ. She writes daily about food, travel, beauty, style and life advice. She recently made the move from Toronto, Canada to Los Angeles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @helloLisaNg or on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay


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