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Let’s Dance! Tips for a Great Wedding Reception Playlist

Partying at a wedding reception

Whether you opt for a live band or a DJ, your reception music is going to have a big impact on your reception and your guests. Say your reception lasts four hours. Set aside an hour or so for introductions, eating and cake-cutting – you still have three hours of dance music to plan. Assuming each song is about four minutes in length, that’s 15 songs per hour or about 45 songs total. And it’s up to you and your DJ (or band or both) to choose those tunes.

To make sure your playlist is all it can be, start with two lists:

  • Must-Play

Most couples have a list of “must-play” songs that they really want to have included. These typically include the bride and groom’s first dance and dance music for the wedding party, as well as other favorite songs or songs that have special meaning for the couple. That’s your first list.

  • Nice-to-Play

The second list contains songs you’d like the DJ or band to play – but they’re not absolute must-have songs. Remember, your vendor will be creating a mood and a “flow” for your event. Don’t make too many restrictions – but include these songs to give your vendor an idea of the type of music you’d like to see included.

Depend on Your Vendor

Beyond these two lists, you need to let your DJ or band know the type of music you want to include in your reception. Think in terms of broad genres – rock, country or Big Band, for instance – or eras. Also, let the vendor know about the “style” of your wedding and the ages of the people who will be attending the reception. Then let your vendor decide on which songs to use to “fill in the gaps.” An experienced vendor will include a mix of songs aimed at engaging and satisfying all your guests, not just a select few.

Follow these three simple steps and you can count on having a reception you and your guests will enjoy and remember.