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Reception Ideas

Song requests from our guests - yay or nay?

So we're not having a DJ or a band.  Instead we're putting together a playlist and using an iPod.  In my experience, DJs tend not to have a wide variety of songs, especially ones my fiance and I tend to like (at my bestie's wedding the DJ only had about 4 Prince songs - GASP) and we felt like we could save big bucks if we just "played DJ" ourselves - plus we can avoid hearing top 40 songs (most of which are, in our opinions, garbage) and things like the Chicken Dance.

My fiance and I do have pretty eclectic tastes - there's not much we absolutely hate, but the things we really like might not sit well with our guests.  It's our day, of course, but I don't want to OFFEND anyone by playing songs they're not comfortable hearing.  I've been slowly compiling a playlist (which will be set to "shuffle") for a few months, at least, and I feel like I have some pretty good variety on it.  I just add songs to it as I hear them on the radio, or wherever.

But now I'm wondering, should I ask our guests for their opinions?  I'm thinking of maybe adding a song request thing to the invitations, so our guests can request their favorites.  They can each send us a song or two that they'd like to hear at the reception - of course we'd have the ultimate say in what goes on the iPod and what doesn't.  If I do this, should I make sure I state that not all the songs will get played, so nobody is disappointed?  Or just go with the simple request and if their song doesn't get played, they'll live?  OR should we avoid it altogether and just play songs that we've chosen ourselves?  I'd like my guests to be happy and have a good time, which is why I'm considering the idea of song requests.

I should also add that we're not doing mail-back RSVP cards - instead we're including our email address and cell phone numbers so people don't really have an excuse to tell us whether or not they'll be able to attend.  If we do the song request thing, I'll ask guests to include this in their emails/text messages.

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Re: Song requests from our guests - yay or nay?

  • If you are looking for a good mix of songs that will get people dancing, go to the experts.  Every band that has a web site also has a play list.  See what they recommend because that is what usually works for the pros.  Be careful about asking friends or you might get "What Does the Fox Say?" (See You Tube - very funny)
    MRSreadcomicbooks
  • @Lauderdale Pink Exactly my biggest fear with having a DJ! We'd hear the same ol' corny stuff all night. At least if we ask for requests, we have the ultimate decision in what gets added!
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  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think it is nice to do this when having an iPod wedding.  My cousin didn't and my mom wanted to request a song and when I said "There's no DJ to request a song to" she was disappointed.  There are lots of ways to ask guests what songs they would like to hear.  Here are a couple RSVP cards with them:
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  • @doeydo That cassette one is really cute! Thanks for the cute ideas! :)
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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I would be careful about using the shuffle feature. This can problematic with slow songs. You don't want to have a slow song, a fast song and back to a slow song. One or two slow songs in row per hour is better IMHO. My sister used an iPod, but she set her play list in order.

    Be sure to hide the ipod or people might go and change your playlist. This happened to her. She was super ticked when someone played Cupid Shuffle and some other songs she didn't want played.

    GL! :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    doeydo
  • @photokitty ; I guess I could always toy with the playlist too, and see how things can go together. That just sounds like a lot of extra work, but it might be something my fiance would enjoy more than I would.  If anyone touches the iPod, they'll have ME to answer to - haha kidding, but I'd definitely do my best to kick their butts!  I've already told my fiance he won't be fiddling with it either - he'll have a hard time with that part, but it's just got to play.
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  • We had an iPod wedding (well, technically Spotify) and asked a couple of people for song requests. It was fun to see them get excited and jump on the dance floor when their song came on!

    Also, I second the suggestion NOT to use shuffle for dance music. Some songs just sound really weird next to each other. The abrupt transitions can kill your mood. And you'll want to make sure you have slow songs scattered throughout the evening.
  • This is definitely a "know your crowd" situation. Is the Ipod wedding a common thing amongst your group of friends?

    It's been discussed before, but there is something about a live DJ with the interaction, lights, and other bells & whistles that my crowd prefers. You won't find us cutting a rug at an Ipod wedding.

    Asking for song requests implies that it would be a lively party atmosphere, but Ipod weddings are "background music" in my circle.
    indianaalum
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You know a lot of times with DJs you typically have discussions with them about the music you like and dislike.  If you like Prince then you ask them to make sure that he has a lot of prince songs in his mix.  If you don't like, say Justin Beiber, then you ask him to not play a single JB song even if requested.

    Just because you went to one wedding and the DJ didn't suit your likes in songs doesn't mean that you should scrap the whole DJ thing.

    indianaalumSTARMOON44
  • @itzMS I know a lot of the guests enjoy dancing, but I'm thinking a "background music" feel might actually be a plus for what we want.  The venue has all the proper hookups to really push the music through the place, so it's not like it will be quietly playing off in the corner or anything.  I know that I, for one, won't be dancing at the wedding... so it's definitely not my biggest priority.  But at the same time I know many of the guests will want to, and they definitely can.
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  • I would never do this but that's because my family likes terrible music. Proud Mary is played at every single wedding in my family. I'm not hating but... well, yea. I'm hating.
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  • @Lauderdale Pink Exactly my biggest fear with having a DJ! We'd hear the same ol' corny stuff all night. At least if we ask for requests, we have the ultimate decision in what gets added!
    That does not have to be the case.  We had a DJ.  The company gave us a form to fill out.  It asked for style of music to be played during cocktail hour/dinner.  It asked for what songs you wanted played for specific dances (first, father/daughter, anniversary, the tosses, etc.).  It asked for a "must play" list, a "do not play" list, and a "would like to play" list.  Our "must play" and "would like to play" included way more songs than could be played during our reception to give the DJ some variety to work with and to gauge the crowd without playing stuff that annoyed us.  He ended up playing 2 songs that we didn't request which we had no problem with.  
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  • mysticl said:
    @Lauderdale Pink Exactly my biggest fear with having a DJ! We'd hear the same ol' corny stuff all night. At least if we ask for requests, we have the ultimate decision in what gets added!
    That does not have to be the case.  We had a DJ.  The company gave us a form to fill out.  It asked for style of music to be played during cocktail hour/dinner.  It asked for what songs you wanted played for specific dances (first, father/daughter, anniversary, the tosses, etc.).  It asked for a "must play" list, a "do not play" list, and a "would like to play" list.  Our "must play" and "would like to play" included way more songs than could be played during our reception to give the DJ some variety to work with and to gauge the crowd without playing stuff that annoyed us.  He ended up playing 2 songs that we didn't request which we had no problem with.  
    Same here. We had a DJ. We had a "definitely play" list and a "do not play" list. We told him to be nice to people that made requests but to ignore them. We had an hour long meeting with him where we talked music and he took a bunch of notes. It must have worked because he was FANTASTIC!
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  • mysticl said:
    @Lauderdale Pink Exactly my biggest fear with having a DJ! We'd hear the same ol' corny stuff all night. At least if we ask for requests, we have the ultimate decision in what gets added!
    That does not have to be the case.  We had a DJ.  The company gave us a form to fill out.  It asked for style of music to be played during cocktail hour/dinner.  It asked for what songs you wanted played for specific dances (first, father/daughter, anniversary, the tosses, etc.).  It asked for a "must play" list, a "do not play" list, and a "would like to play" list.  Our "must play" and "would like to play" included way more songs than could be played during our reception to give the DJ some variety to work with and to gauge the crowd without playing stuff that annoyed us.  He ended up playing 2 songs that we didn't request which we had no problem with.  
    Same here. We had a DJ. We had a "definitely play" list and a "do not play" list. We told him to be nice to people that made requests but to ignore them. We had an hour long meeting with him where we talked music and he took a bunch of notes. It must have worked because he was FANTASTIC!
    Our DJ also checked in with us during the reception to see if we still wanted a couple of our more out there choices to be played since they didn't fit the vibe that he was getting from the crowd.  We had the dance floor packed, even my 68-year-old mother was out there dancing to "Love Shack".
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  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    We are doing the same thing at our wedding.  A good friend of ours has offered to let us borrow his band's speaker equipment for the night (and will set it up and tear it down for us too).  We've been keeping a running list of songs we'd like to play and will set up a full playlist before the wedding.  My plan was to ask my VIPs if there are any songs they would like us to play and leave it at that.  With at least an expected 125 guests in attendance, we wouldn't be able to accommodate all song requests anyway.  I figure this way, we get a little variety beyond what my FI and I would pick, but the list of requests would be manageable, especially since we may have to go out and find some of the requested music.
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  • I put a line for a song request on my RSVP cards and it was the worst decision I made. I was hoping to get an idea of the music people like to dance to. Instead, I got everyone's favorite sappy love song. We ended up playing 75% of the requests during dinner because if we played them during the hour we had for dancing, it would have almost been all slow dances. One guest actually called us out on playing her song during dinner because she wanted to dance to it (ironically, she didn't have a date and there weren't any single men present, so I really wonder who she was planning to dance with). If you want to get an idea of your guests tastes, I think I'd bring it up casually when you're at a family gathering or out with a few friends. "Hey guys, we want to make sure there's something for everyone at our wedding. What kind of music do you really like to dance to?" Make some quick notes and use that instead of putting it on your RSVP card.
  • Though I see no issue with using an ipod for the wedding music, don't knock all DJs! I good DJ should discuss with you before hand what kind of music you like and allow you to give a "Play" and "Do Not Play" list. 

    I agree about not using the shuffle feature. Plan your selections out so that the music flows well. 

    As for the song requests, you could ask in your invitation or put a line on a response card (personally, I would have a response card and then also give your phone # and e-mail address on the card). Or, you could casually ask your friends and VIPs what music they'd like to hear. 
  • I think that's a great idea! We're not having a DJ either and have started a playlist on Spotify and already have a couple hours of music but I'm thinking of doing that also. I think people will enjoy hearing the songs they requested and it will make the party that much more fun for them. I absolutely LOVE the RSVPs that look like a cassette! (Shown above)
  • We allowed it so that people would get to hear songs that they liked. We did tell the DJ no depressing slow song or anything vulgar. If someone where to request that type of stuff the plan was from him to nicely tell the person "I'm not sure if I have that, I'll look into that" and if they came back asking for it again "Sorry I don't have that one with me."
  • indianaalumindianaalum member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited November 2013
    I have a couple of thoughts

    1) Yes, it is your day, but if you have "quirky" musical tastes, you might find the dance floor empty and end up with a dull wedding. Case in point, I have  favorite song that I LOVE that is kinda old and unusual, but when it played, only 3 people danced and I felt slightly disapointed. Why did it happen? Because I chose a non-mainstream song. Reality is, people dance MORE to popular songs that most people know. That is why you can find "most popular wedding song" lists all over the internet. Those songs, as much as they are overplayed, are almost guaranteed to get people on the dancefloor dancing.

    2) DJ's have playlists, so you usually know upfront what songs they own. Our DJ company agreed ahead of time to purchase any song they did not have if we wanted it. They stuck to it and purchased one we wanted. Also, they allowed us to give them songs to add to the list if we had some weird "hard to find" song. Ask these questions when booking a DJ

    3) A reputable DJ will also have a "do not play" ;list, so if you HATE Cupd Shuffle, you will not hear it (even if Aunt Sally tries to bribe the DJ)

    4) Not sure what DJ's you have met, but any DJ I interviewed, have songs in the 100,000 or more type of range. They tend to have more songs than you can possibly have on your IPOD. trust me, they do if you go to a company that is reputable

    5) Dancing is not required for weddings, but realize, those weddings usually last longer. be prepared for that, if that is your plan

    6) We picked about 200 songs for our wedding, so if that is what you REALLY want, a DJ will let you have as much or as little control as you want. We had a list of "must play", "play if time" and "do not play" list. A good company will let you have input
    STARMOON44
  • @doeydo Where did you find the cassette RSVP. This is exactly the look I want.

    Thanks
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
  • HaileyDancingbearHaileyDancingbear Arkham Asylum member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I don't think it would be a bad idea at all to gather some song requests beforehand, especially since you'll be able to pick and choose which ones you'll actually play.  That would cut down on requests during the reception, and guests would be excited when their song comes on.  Also if you're looking for advice on what you should play at your reception, there isn't a better group of opinions than the ones who are going to be dancing to your playlist.  
    image
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