Wedding Ceremony & Reception Music Discussions

Will a DJ play what my guests and I want?

The final piece of planning we have to do is choose a DJ.  I have been paying attention to the music at weddings lately and I have been disappointed.  They play slow and boring music during dinner, and only popular tween songs for dancing.  Is it possible to ask a DJ to play specific songs that we want, or will they only play a few of those and the rest will be his/her choice?  I want guests to be able to request something they like and I don't want any certain group feeling left out and sitting at the table all night like I've seen at other weddings.  I understand that the mood changes from dinner to dancing, but I don't want to hear funeral music and then a 180 to Kesha that no one will dance to.  Any suggestions or experiences with a good DJ in the Denver area?  If I ask my guests to request a song on the RSVP will the DJ honor that?

Re: Will a DJ play what my guests and I want?

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    For suggestions for specific DJ's in your area, repost this on your local board. A good DJ will ask you for a list of "must play" songs, but more importantly, for a list of "do not play" songs. Music during the cocktail and dinner hours will always be less robust than what is played during the dance portion of the reception. You want your guests to be able to converse without shouting. That doesn't mean the music still can't be contemporary or upbeat. Let your DJ know the make up of your guests in terms of ages/era's. If you have a good DJ, he/she should be able to "read" your crowd and know which song to play when, based on the dynamic of the dance floor activity.
  • Absolutely!  Mine had me give a "must play" list and a "do not play" list.  ALong wi a full packet i filled out regarding styles, age range of gues, how much involvment, etc it was very extensive.  They also specifically asked me if they are to take guest requests or not. 
  • A good DJ can gauge the crowd, and play songs that keep everyone up and dancing. It all depends on what you want.

    There are DJs who are specialized for a certain type of gathering, but you can pick one that suits just what you want.

    I knew a bride & her father who weren't going to pay the DJ because he didn't play enough old style music for the over-70 crowd at her wedding. I don't know how that worked itself out.

  • My husband insisted on including a song request card in our wedding invite suite. He was going to die on that hill and thought this was the greatest thing ever. There were good things about this, and bad things.

    The good thing was that our guests thought this was fantastic. They loved it. They talked about it constantly. They sent us lots of text messages about how fun it was. Swell.

    The bad things were many. First, some guests took the song request card a little too seriously. Sending us texts and emails like, "What kind of songs are you looking for?" or "Can I really only request one song? Because I have narrowed it down to seven so far." "Sorry I haven't RSVPed yet, I just can't think of a song."

    Another bad thing. We hired a really exceptional DJ. He cost like a million dollars. We decided this was the most important thing in our budget. So when we them handed him a list of about 120 song requests, I kind of felt like... what are we paying him for?

    Another bad thing. After we gave our DJ our insanely long list of song preferences, we spent about an hour going through them with him. Literally, one by one. We had to see if the DJ had the song in his library (we got some super out there requests). Then many songs the DJ was like, "Do you really want this? This will kill the floor." So together, we narrowed the list down significantly.

    Also, asking for song requests sets up what might be called... unrealistic expectations. I was worried that some guests were just waiting around during the wedding for their request. Their request that ended up never getting played because we cut it. And they were.

    But whatever. I wouldn't do it again, but my husband maintains that it was a great idea and got guests involved. So, he would write a very different post about it than I would.


  • jenijoykjenijoyk member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited November 2014

    Also, I think there are other good ways to make sure that the DJ doesn't play boring stuff. Just read every review of every DJ you can find. They will all have "good" reviews. But some DJs will have over the top, "This Guy Made My Wedding" reviews. Those DJ will not play funeral music or music that no one will dance to.

    Also, I know people on these boards hate themes, but I love them. Our wedding was in a 1920s courtyard, in a historic hotel called "The California." It had California-themed signage all over, and we used "Old California" as a theme. This helped us with our music picks. Our prelude music was 1920s jazz. Our dinner music was all songs about California or cities in California. It kept it interesting and unique and meant that there were a ton of different genres being played during dinner.

    For dancing, the DJ started out with some older dance stuff (60s/70s) which everyone danced to, and then transitioned into 80s stuff, and then ended the night with Top 40 stuff (after the older folks had stopped dancing). In the middle somewhere he played a slew of random 90s boyband stuff because my girlfriends and I are all New Kids on the Block groupies (no shame).

    Anyway, the point is that if you get a good DJ, they will ahve a plan for pleasing everyone, they won't just play boring shit, you can make it very "you" and unique if you take clues from your venue and your theme, and no decent DJ will have harsh transitions.

    When you interview them, just ask a lot of questions. What do you do to get people on the floor right after dinner? What do you when the dance floor dies? What kind of music do you like to start with? What kind of music do you end the reception with? How do you adjust the music styles based on the ages of the guests? Do you like song requests? Etc.

  • I wish I could refer to you a great DJ in your area but I'm here in NC. I will let you know that there are great DJs out there who really listen to your preferances, suggestions, likes, and dislikes. Good luck and I hope you find what you're looking for. 
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