The Do-Not-Play Listor: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Trust The DJ
The Playlist and how to trust your DJ to play the right songs. It’s a topic a lot of couples struggle with. We DJ a lot of events in the Calgary area and this topic comes up a lot with the couples we meet.
Most of our couples are concerned with avoiding cheesy wedding music. I’m talking about stuff like the Chicken Dance, Macarena, or the YMCA. And most of our couples want to include their favorite songs in the day. So creating a playlist for the reception seems to make a lot of sense.
We love including your favorite music in your wedding reception. It’s an easy way for us to make your wedding personal and unique. And it’s meaningful to you when you hear a song that makes it really feel like it’s your day.
But picking your music can be tricky – and here’s why.
You won’t be able to force your family and friends to dance to the music you chose any more than you can force them to have fun. You may have chosen the coolest songs, but if your guests don’t respond to them your DJ won’t be able to prevent an empty dance floor.
As a DJ, that’s about the worst thing in the world. So DJs have developed different ways of dealing with the playlist question. Some DJs will only allow you to request a limited number of songs so that they still have the flexibility to keep the party going. Other DJs will play anything you want and put the success (or lack of success) of the party in your hands.
We encourage couples to be involved in the music selection. We want you to tell us what you like. But if we’re given a very long list of Must-Play songs the dance floor may suffer. It all hinges on the songs on your list. If you keep it classic, familiar, and easy to dance to everyone will get involved. But if your songs are eclectic or if your group is very traditional the party may not work out the way you expect.
We’ve found that it works best to have a Do-Not-Play list of forbidden songs, a list of Must-Plays, and a list of songs you’d like to hear. Combining that with our experience and ability to read the crowd we’ll be able to fill your dance floor. We will play all of the Must-Plays and as many of your other requests as possible while still working to keep your dance floor packed!
Which brings us to the second part – trust.
If you want the best of both worlds you need to trust that your DJ understands you and your vision for your wedding. If you don’t have that trust you won’t be able to let go of control and trust them to do what’s best for your party and for your wedding.
So what should you do?
First – choose the right entertainer. This is the most important part. You need to feel understood. Talk about how he will handle your request list and what he will do if it isn’t working.
Second – decide what is most important to you. Is it important for you to hear every song on your list? Or is it more important that your guests are having a great time and dancing all night long? You can have both, but one must have priority over the other.
Ask your entertainer for his professional opinion on whether your requested music will keep people dancing. He should give you an honest assessment based on his experience. If you picked the right entertainer he’ll be a pro – and he’ll be good at what he does. Trust him and take his opinion into consideration.
It is your wedding and ultimately you are paying someone to play music for you. If you need to choose every song that gets played then it is your right to do so. The dancing may not be as good as it could have been though. We prefer to talk as much as we need to with our couples about what songs will and will not be played. There is always a way to work in your favorite songs – even the ones you can’t dance to – and keep your guests having a good time.