Written By Claire Considine.
From walking down the aisle to walking into your reception, cutting the cake to cutting loose on the d-floor – there’s no denying music plays a massive role in every big moment of your wedding day.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about picking the music for your wedding reception, or if you’re just unsure about where to start, we’ve got you covered.
At Mane Events, we’ve been in the DJing and entertainment business for more than 10 years, so we know a thing or two about compiling the perfect playlist. Here are our top 10 tips for picking the right music for your wedding reception.
1. Start with your existing music collection
Google is great for inspiration – and there are a heap of helpful resources online – but the best wedding music you have is already on your phone or computer. Scroll through your iTunes library, look through your Spotify playlists and pick out anything that brings a smile to your face or reminds you of your husband or wife to be.
2. Take a trip down memory lane
Take some time to think about the soundtrack of your relationship to date. Whether it’s music that was popular in the year you got together, songs that remind you of family or friends who’ll be there on the day, concerts you and your partner have been to together over the years or just a song you both love to sing your hearts out to in the car, these memories are the perfect foundation for your playlist. The more connected you feel to the music, the more meaningful.
3. Gather inspiration from far and wide
Take note of any songs you like in the movies you watch, concerts you go to or events you’re at – whether it’s a backyard BBQ or 60th birthday celebration – there’s inspiration everywhere. And, if you need a little you can always find out what's on high rotation with our DJ's.
4. Ask for recommendations
If you haven’t yet sent out your invitations, ask your family and friends to share their favourite dance-floor song on the RSVP card. Not only will this provide plenty of material for your playlist, but you’ll also have a long list of songs that are guaranteed to get your guests up and dancing all night. Oh, and don’t worry, if your Aunty Betty requests a song you absolutely hate, you can ‘accidentally’ lose her response. We won’t tell.
5. Split your music up into distinct sections
When it comes to your wedding reception music, you should aim to compile two different lists: chill hits for the parts of the reception where you’re drinking, eating and socialising and more upbeat music (aka bangers) that will have everyone on the dance-floor with their hands in the air like they just don’t care.
6. Choose your favourites, but remember your audience
If you and your partner are obsessed with Kanye, then definitely pop a few Yeezy hits into your big day playlist. However, if you only play Kanye’s back-catalogue all night, it might be a bit dull for your guests if they’re less familiar with his music. Try to combine the music you love, with songs you know your guests will too. If you can pick music that ticks both boxes, even better! But don't worry, your DJ will be able to play guest requests through the night too.
7. Pick songs for the big moments
When it comes to your wedding reception, there are a few key moments you should keep in mind when narrowing down songs. The two most important songs are:
Your reception entrance: This is where the party really starts! This song sets the tone for the evening to follow, so pick something that’s fun, reflects who you are as a couple and will kick-start a great reception.
First dance: When it comes to this part of the night, the rules are there are no rules. If you both hate slow dancing, go for a more upbeat song and have some fun. If you hate having all eyes on you while you dance, bring your bridal party in after 30 seconds. Whatever song you choose, just make sure you pick something you’re both comfortable dancing to.
It’s completely up to you and your partner whether you want to have a mother-son/father-daughter dance, a song to toss the bouquet/garter to or a special song for the cutting of the cake. When you finalise your booking with us our easy-fill music form asks all the right questions, so nothing gets missed.
8. Don’t forget to make a list of what you don’t like
What you don’t want to hear during your wedding is just as important as what you do. Make a do-not-play playlist for songs that will never make the cut (we’re looking at you, Cotton-Eyed Joe).
9. Trust your DJ
If you’ve hired a DJ to take care of the music during your wedding reception, then don’t worry about picking every single song you want played; you’ve hired a professional for a reason! At Mane Events, we’re experienced at incorporating your favourite songs into the evening, reading your crowd and picking out tunes we know they (and you!) will love. We also have a heap of suggestions for songs that could work during the key moments of your wedding reception, so if you get stuck or if need a few recommendations, just ask.
10. Enjoy the experience
Above all else, remember that picking the music for your wedding reception should be a fun experience. Whether it’s watching your best mates sing their hearts out to a song you all loved in high school or seeing your grandad bust a move (and hopefully not a hip) on the dance-floor – when you look back on your wedding day, you might not remember specific songs that were played, but you’ll definitely remember the way they made you feel.
Good luck narrowing down your favourite songs, and don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help during the process.