We know there are endless details that need attention while planning a wedding. So we thought we would give you a few things to think about that might not be so top of mind so you don’t end up saying “We should have…..” So here is a deeper dive into the music logistics so you can make planning decisions that make your wedding an incredible night for all.

Choose special dance songs that are the right length

So you have a favorite song and you’ve known it was going to be your first dance since Kindergarten…. or you picked a song off a list somewhere…. Whatever the reason, consider how long you want to be dancing in front of your guests. We know this isn’t always the most comfortable part of the evening so be sure to listen to the song, make note of how long it is, and consider telling your band or DJ when you would like the song to stop. This thought should also be applied to any other special dances throughout the night, such as parent dances.

Have the band or DJ play a range of genres

We always hear some variation of the following sentence: “I want people on the dance floor all night.” And trust that is our #1 goal. Consider your guest list, the age range, maybe certain cultural aspects, and make sure you are also thinking about the songs that will keep them on the dance floor all night. You may love pop music and nothing else. Think about how an evening of exclusively pop music could effect your guests’ interest in dancing. It is always our recommendation to keep the night varied; a good mixture of classics, pop, motown, top 40s, some jazz during dinner, along with a twist of your own personal tastes. This ensures the party will be enjoyable for everyone.

Pay attention to lyrical content for special dances

One of the hardest things about deciding on parent dance songs is that most “love songs” are written with a romantic tone… Not appropriate for a parent/child moment. If you booked a live band, the singer should be able to modify a couple lyrics here and there but make sure to listen to the song, start to finish, to flag any questionable lyrics. We would offer the same recommendation in regards to cursing, or really any lyric that could make a good moment an uncomfortable moment.

Collect song requests prior to the event

Most bands and DJs will accept requests but there is an interesting boundary between the right amount and too many. I say an interesting boundary because it’s not actually fixed. As entertainers, we want to do whatever we can to make your guests enjoy themselves. However it becomes difficult to entertain when we are fielding a lot of requests throughout the night. As the party hosts, it can be very helpful to include a song request field on your RSVPs or consider whatever measure you are comfortable with to collect requests from your guests. You definitely want to have trust in your wedding entertainment to play songs that are going to serve the purpose of making people dance. So rather than requesting specific songs, it can be preferable to the entertainment vendor to have a handful of “must plays”, a handful of “do not plays” with a list of styles and artists you like, along with ones you don’t. From there, the entertainer can plan a list of songs that align with those directions.

Maybe think twice about the Cigar Bar

Now, we don’t want to create enemies here. We understand cigar bars can be a very important component of the event you are envisioning but make sure you also consider that it takes the focus off the dance floor. Remember when you said “I want people on the dance floor all night.”? Well the reality is that cigar bars give them every reason to do just the opposite. I’ve even heard DJs refer to cigar bars as “dance floor killers”. If having a cigar with your buddies is important to the success of the evening, we would never tell you not to…. Wait, actually that’s exactly what we are doing. Take it or leave it, but we feel obliged to at least share the observation.

Manage your vendors effectively

Our last tip is more of a general approach you can take while planning your wedding. There is an actual study that suggests people who manage others in their careers make the best wedding planners. I can’t tell you where I read it and I guess it doesn’t really matter. It’s a very interesting thought though. Your vendors work for you. In making the decision to have a wedding, you have essentially started a business that you are the owner of. If planning isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a wedding planner. However you go about it, you have to make decisions, delegate, and oversee the process. As the entertainment vendor, we are happy to take the lead on whatever you want us to. But we also want your input and feel we can make the best decisions to do our job when the couple is providing us with good information, thinking things through, and setting us up for success.

Jon Ardito
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