Dj playing music

How do you make a good wedding playlist?

With the right music, you may give your guests a look into the personalities of the bride and groom and establish the tone for the entire ceremony. Finding reliable suppliers is the first step in achieving musical bliss from the first notes of the father-daughter dance all the way through the night's dance beats as the last of the revellers head home.

What should you do first? You should decide whether you want to hire a band, a DJ, or make your own playlist using iTunes. To get the most out of your hired band or DJ, it's a good idea to give them some leeway to adapt to the crowd and use their experience while making musical selections. Communicate the musical styles and artists you want played at your wedding as well as the schedule of activities so that the DJ can provide music that will set the perfect mood for the cocktail hour, dinner, and reception dance. You should also talk about the toasts that will be given and the dances that will be performed.

Looking for the best Wedding Entertainment to put the rhythm into your special day. Look no further, Vines of the Yarra Valley has you covered.

Table of Contents

How to Make the Best Wedding Reception Dance Playlist

DJ playing music

Recognise Sometimes It Is a Popularity Contest

Let's take a step back to the days of high school for your initial choices and look at the superlatives before passing harsh judgement on them. (Kidding.) You may recall that Spotify compiled a list of the most popular songs requested for weddings. Why do you think they are such a welcome addition?

Look at the top ten once more:

  • "Thinking Out Loud," by Ed Sheeran
  • "Marry You," by Bruno Mars
  • "All of Me," by John Legend
  • "Uptown Funk," by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars
  • "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," by Whitney Houston
  • "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.
  • "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé, featuring Jay Z.
  • "A Thousand Years," by Christina Perri
  • "I'm Yours," by Jason Mraz
  • "Hey Ya!" by OutKast

I find no items of surprise here. "You've got some examples of upbeat, enjoyable music in 'Hey Ya!' and 'Uptown Funk.' Songs like "I'm Yours" and "Marry You" are perfect for a wedding since they are incredibly romantic and have messages that are acceptable for a marriage. Then there's John Legend's smash hit "All of Me," which he dedicated to his now-fiancee Chrissy Teigen and which gushes over his feelings for her. Who wouldn't want to hear those words spoken at their wedding?" Cook curated a new version of this song for our playlist, and it has a sick dance beat without losing any of the song's emotional impact.

Some songs, like Pharrell's "Happy" or J.T.'s "May't Stop the Feeling!" may be overplayed on the radio, but they can take on a whole new meaning during a wedding. While most of your guests have likely already heard these songs, Cook believes they are still a welcome addition because of how upbeat they are. They're wonderful for smaller children and get your guests up and moving or singing.

And don't be afraid to start some rookies in your starting XI. Where are the top 40 songs stand right now? Enjoy the current hit tunes that everyone is talking about. (Check out Cook's picks, which include "Mi Gente," "Friends" by Justin Bieber, and "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring SZA.)

Embrace the Crossover

Indie, Country, and Rock and Roll. Hip-hop. What links these seemingly disparate musical styles together, except Nelly's ubiquitous presence in chart-topping hits? All of these songs would fit right in at a wedding celebration. Cook believes "everything goes" during weddings. "Usually, you'll find a variety of musical styles. What matters most is what stimulates positive emotions and gets people up on their feet. You should expect to have access to the entire range." Maybe your mum and her friends have a dance routine set to ABBA's "Dancing Queen" that rivals the one you and your sorority sisters have to "Crazy in Love." (Also, we advise paying for Spotify premium so you can preload your music to avoid buffering issues on slow connections. Please, for the love of God, don't let a dropped connection mess with your 8-count.

Put Frank Sinatra, the Notorious B.I.G., and Dolly Parton in a room together; you'll wonder why you never thought of it before.

Serenade Your Guests...Even If—Especially If—It's Weird

You should take advantage of the fact that your weird aunt is willing to come across the nation and is willing to juju on that beat just for your wedding.

No single song can please everyone.

When guests travel a long distance to attend your wedding, it's nice to honour them with a special song. It's quite selfless of them to make such a long-term commitment. Include a few tracks that you know they'll enjoy here and there.

You can ask guests in advance what they would like to hear by polling them or by including a section for music suggestions on the RSVP card. You guys have to be joyful, and they have to keep people in the mood to dance, so maybe you'll appreciate their selections.

Is there music that encourages individuals to embrace their weirdness?

Cook recommends songs like Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and Outkast's "Hey Ya!" for weddings because of their high levels of emotion. The song "Hey Ya!" was played at our reception. A silly, ridiculous tune like that is great for letting loose.

In addition, Cook suggests fast-paced tunes that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. A great example would be including Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" if you know it will make your mother happy. Many people can relate to this song. That song is a big hit with my 4-year-old daughter, and even my mum recognises it.

Mind Your Sh*t List

We've demonstrated that music may have a profound effect on people's feelings; tread carefully. Do not include any songs on your playlist that have been added to your list of names "in red highlighted" because of negative associations (read: an ex-boyfriend).

""if you have some unpleasant association with it, you don't want to hear it at your wedding—where you should be as joyous as can be," even if it's a song that everybody loves.

Similarly, you shouldn't include a song in your wedding playlist that you know will make other people uncomfortable.

Maybe all the songs on your sh*t list are ones that make you feel down or use the word shit.

"If you've invited the whole tee-ball team you coach on the weekends, you probably don't want any sad songs or songs with potentially objectionable lyrics. It's better to err on the side of caution, yet occasionally it's more entertaining to hurl obscenities over the censored stillness.

Save the First Dance for Everyone

We have no doubt that you have a plethora of excellent tracks on your playlist at this point in your procedure, but just one should be placed at the beginning of the list. " It's important to set the perfect mood for the reception's dancing. At this volume, the celebration has begun! Get folks up and dancing! In order to get your guests to let loose and start dabbing, dropping, and Dougie-ing all night long, the opening song must serve as a beacon of brilliant boppiness. This is why "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon kicks off this playlist. Relatedly, I've finally reached Whitney on the playlist. Put down that glass...

The ceremony is over, the toasts have been given, and the reception is ready to begin. There is only one thing left to do, and that is to dance, of course.

It takes some skill to put together the ideal playlist for a wedding reception. It's all about timing, poise, and good taste. Every moment of this party should be recorded for posterity. You should make sure the playlist contains something for everyone at the wedding, from upbeat modern songs to timeless classics. An extremely difficult task.

Do you feel like you can't seem to get going? There's a chance you don't have the motivation you need. Don't worry. Here is one idea, or maybe fifty, to spark your creativity. Here is a playlist ideal for a wedding reception, featuring some of the most cheesy music ever made and a few sing-along tracks. Check it out. Get a copy of it. Use it.

Cheesy Dance Songs

It's going to take some truly corny tunes to get your guests out on the dance floor. Your wedding celebration should get off to a great start when all the obligatory events have concluded. Find some musical inspo here to guide your selection.

  1. "The Grease Megamix," by John Travolta, featuring Olivia Newton-John
  2. "I Want You Back," by The Jackson 5
  3. "Twist and Shout," by The Beatles
  4. "Dancing Queen," by ABBA
  5. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," by Whitney Houston
  6. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," by Beyoncé
  7. "Cha Cha Slide," by DJ Casper
  8. "Y.M.C.A.," by the Village People
  9. "Macarena," by Los del Río
  10. "Footloose," by Kenny Loggins

Rock Classics

Are you pumped up and prepared to rock? We're not talking about some unknown band here. As an alternative, this area features timeless rock hits. You'd better be ready to air-guitar as soon as the first chords sound. These songs will definitely perk everyone up.

  1. "Bat Out of Hell," by Meat Loaf
  2. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," by Queen
  3. "Close to Me," by the Cure
  4. "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  5. "More Than a Feeling," by Boston
  6. "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith
  7. "Brown Eyed Girl," by Van Morrison
  8. "Sweet Child o' Mine," by Guns N' Roses
  9. "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf
  10. "Livin' on a Prayer," by Bon Jovi

Find the best Melbourne Wedding Singers to add to your wedding festivities.

'90s and '00s Pop Tunes

Next, let's take a trip back in time using the magic of music. It's an undisputed fact that the 1990s and 2000s were the golden years of pop. For this section of the evening, you can get your guests feeling super nostalgic as they dance along to some throwback favourites.

  1. "Hot in Herre," by Nelly
  2. "Bye Bye Bye," by 'N.S.N.Y.C.
  3. "TiK ToK," by Ke$ha
  4. "Hey Ya!" bAll-Start
  5. "All Star," by Smash Mouth
  6. "Thong Song," by Sisqó
  7. "Oops!… I Did It Again," by Britney Spears
  8. "Umbrella," by Rihanna
  9. "Say My Name," by Destiny's Child
  10. "Hollaback Girl," by Gwen Stefani

Sing-Along Songs

Your guests will be in the mood to sing and dance as the night draws to a close. Now would be a great time to turn on some sing-along tunes. Here, we're referring to universally recognisable songs. You can't go wrong with any of these songs, from "Sweet Caroline" to "Red Red Wine."

  1. "Sweet Caroline," by Neil Diamond
  2. "Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey
  3. "Tubthumping," by Chumbawamba
  4. "Africa," by Toto
  5. "Love Shack," by The B-52's
  6. "Ice Ice Baby," by Vanilla Ice
  7. "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. "American Pie," by Don McLean
  9. "Red Red Wine," by UB40
  10. "New York, New York," by Frank Sinatra​

Romantic Slow Songs

We need to turn down the volume and get romantic before the night is through. Ultimately, this celebration is meant to celebrate romantic love. While the following selections are perfect for the first dance, you may also use them elsewhere in the playlist.

  1. "Unchained Melody," by The Righteous Brothers
  2. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," by Aerosmith
  3. "You're Beautiful," by James Blunt
  4. "Thinking Out Loud," by Ed Sheeran
  5. "The Lady in Red," by Chris de Burgh
  6. "Can't Help Falling in Love," by Elvis Presley
  7. "Your Song," by Elton John
  8. "You're Still the One," by Shania Twain
  9. "Halo," by Beyoncé
  10. "Make You Feel My Love," by Adele

The Value of Hiring a Professional D.J.

A photographer is hired not just to "push a button on a camera," but rather to catch fleeting moments in the most flattering lighting possible. You don't hire a baker so they can throw together some Kroger cake mix and bake it for you; you hire them to make a delicious, uniquely adorned cake. A disc jockey is the same way. What you're actually paying them for isn't to "play tunes on an iPod," but to:

Host and direct a gathering, serving as somewhat of a de facto second organiser.
Make sure you and your guests have a blast and dance the night away by setting up a high-quality sound system and making sure it sounds amazing.
Create a playlist that will have people on the dance floor at all times and will have them feeling like they're experiencing a roller coaster ride.

DJing is a "activity" that everyone can do, but being able to successfully steer a party and not just pick songs at random and hope for the best is something that can only be learned via practise, trial and error, and experimenting. Nothing that your classmate Schwarz, who always has 'fire mixtapes,' is likely to have.

Pointers for Putting Together the Perfect Playlist

Play the Hits

There are some songs that are popular no matter how you slice it. Turn on the radio's top hits!

In other words, the reason why the same songs are played at so many weddings and business occasions is because they are effective. Songs like Usher's Yeah! or Billie Jean's Shout are effective at luring people to the dance floor and keeping them there.

Nobody cares if you play the top 30 independent songs from the last decade by unsigned artists. They have no interest in hearing your private acoustic rendition of a Shins song. They're looking for songs from the likes of Motown, the Top 40, the '90s, and beyond.

Keep it 90% Fast Songs, 10% Slow Songs.

Ideally, a wedding reception's playlist would include both upbeat and moody tunes, or rapid and slow tempos. There are periods for people to dance closely together, times for people to dance slowly, and times for people to go have a drink so they can enjoy the dance floor even more.

If I were to offer a percentage, I'd say 90% upbeat/dance tracks and 10% mellow jams is a good balance. Or maybe once every ten to twelve tracks, you could include a ballad. Most people desire one, although they aren't as in demand as the faster ones.

If you want your playlist to have a good flow, you should include both fast and slow songs.

Play the top 5 pop songs on the radio that month

Play the top five most popular songs of the month, with an emphasis on the top five fastest tracks. If you take a look at the Billboard Hot 100 or listen to the radio for a few hours, you'll quickly learn which buttons to push.

These tunes will be modern and exciting, while still being accessible enough for everyone to get up and dance to.

Don't leave any silence between songs.

When you're DJing, even two or three seconds of silence may make the room feel VERY strange and kill the vibe.

Ideally, there wouldn't be any awkward pauses or anything like that when a DJ changed tracks. This is the "active" component of DJing, and it's one of the reasons why you can't just "set it and forget it."

Although moments of silence during the dinner music or the cocktail hour are to be expected and even encouraged, there should be no such moments throughout the main dancing portion of the event.

Download the songs before you get to the venue

It's more difficult to compile a comprehensive music database after the demise of CDs and the rise of streaming services.

DJs, on the one hand, can play whatever song they choose because of the vast music library at their fingertips. The only drawback is that listening to the tracks requires an active internet connection.

Worse yet, what if you prepare a Spotify playlist and travel to your event location, only to find that it is in the middle of the woods in Nowheresville? Your phone has exactly one bar of service when you turn it on. To have your music abruptly stop in the middle of a song so that your shaky connection can "buffer" is, believe me, a tremendous letdown. If this is happening every 30 seconds, it's even more frustrating.

If you plan on using a streaming service to DJ your wedding reception, remember to make your playlist available "Offline" before you head to the venue. This will create a copy of the tracks on your device, which you can remove at a later time. Just taking this one simple action can spare you a lot of misery later on.

To learn more about the many wedding DJ packages and deals we provide, read this post.

What are the wedding DJ packages and specials?

Only play a song for about 90 to 120 seconds.

Most people would rather not listen to an entire song. A DJ set is exciting because of the unexpected and eclectic music selections. The ideal length for a song is between 90 and 120 seconds.

But (and this is where your own personal expertise comes in), there are some songs that really shine when played in their entirety. Remember the choruses and bridges of your favourite songs. Songs like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "I Want It That Way."

Keep your songs to a maximum of two minutes, unless there is a very memorable section that occurs after the two-minute mark.

The cost of the reception's entertainment might vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Prices can change from one provider to another, and they certainly won't be consistent no matter what kind of expert you wind up employing. A D.J. will often cost less than a band of the same size. A hefty sum may be in order if you plan on booking many musical acts (for example, a string quartet for the ceremony and cocktail hour, a band for the reception, and a D.J. for the after-party). Because of this, some couples opt to forego hiring musicians and instead create a custom playlist of their favourite songs to play at the reception. It's true that this style of party entertainment is perfect for some engaged couples and occasions, but it might not be for you.

Think about the kinds of songs your loved ones enjoy dancing to at other weddings you've gone to or at a nightclub. Your guests are likely to enjoy the same musical styles and songs from their past weddings as they celebrate with you. Try to get the night started with some all-ages dance floor hits, as the older population tends to be on the dance floor and the younger crowd at the bar. When your younger pals have made their way from the bar to the dance floor, that's when you can start playing the music that'll really get the crowd going.

Lastly, there is something about remembering the good old days that gets everyone out on the dance floor. No, you need not listen to nothing but oldies all night. But don't forget to tell your DJ about the music that your guests have fond recollections of. It will provide them more information with which to make music selections that your visitors will enjoy. During the cocktail hour and supper, you can subtly play certain songs that will make your guests feel nostalgic. Remember that song you and your closest friend listened to nonstop on your last road trip? If you play this song while you're having dinner, she'll definitely look over at you and give you a grin.

FAQs About Wedding

Wedding ceremonies usually last between 20 and 30 minutes, which is ample time to cover the basics (words of welcome, a few readings, your vows, the ring exchange, and the final pronouncement).

Ideally, guests should schedule time to arrive 30 minutes before the invitation start time of the ceremony (expect to carve in extra time for larger wedding guest lists). If you've arrived after the ceremony commences, slip into the back row or wait for the coordinator or usher to guide you to the seat.

The newlyweds, their parents and the wedding party make their grand entrance to the reception. The bride and groom are introduced for the first time as husband and wife.

The tradition is based on an Old English rhyme that dates back to 19th-century Lancashire. It describes the items a bride should have on her wedding day: "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe."

The rehearsal dinner occurs the night before the wedding, typically after the ceremony rehearsal.

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