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  • Writer's pictureClaire Ingram


A typical wedding reception can last for around 5 hours. While that may go in a flash, you’re going to need a considerable playlist to fill all of that time.

This is something that typically your DJ or wedding band will take care of, but more and more couples want to have more of a say on their wedding music - not just for their first dance but throughout the night.

Hopefully these tips will make choosing your wedding reception music nice and stress-free.

Think about the 'feel' of your wedding reception

Have you always envisioned a packed dance floor for your evening celebrations or do you want more of a conversation-orientated atmosphere? Or a mix of both at different times? This will drive some of your choices, from the eras you choose to the levels they are played at!

Be clear about the songs you absolutely must hear...

Perhaps you have a favourite band, a song that has a special meaning with your partner or girlfriends? Your wedding is one of the only opportunities you’ll have everyone you know together in a room – don’t waste the opportunity!

…And know what you don’t want

The music you don’t want to hear is just as important! If there’s a particular genre of music you absolutely cannot stand or a song that makes you cringe every time you hear it, or perhaps evokes emotions that you maybe don’t want to be faced with on your wedding day – let your DJ or band know.

It’s your party – your rules.

Ask your guests

If you really want to ensure that you have a full dance floor and are concerned that there’s music to everyone’s taste – then ask! When your gusts RSVP ask them to include a song that they would like played at the reception. Inside your invitation and RSVP packet, include a question on the RSVP card. It can say “This song will get me dancing” or “Play this please!”

As requests come in from guests, maintain control and don’t add them to the list if you don’t like the suggestion.

Book your wedding music in plenty of time

Musicians can be booked six to eight months in advance and so you should decide what type of music you want at your reception about nine to twelve months before your wedding. Start listening to playlists and demos from the DJs and bands you are considering. Expect a timely follow up call from your musician of choice to finalise songs for the cake cutting, first dance and any other significant moments too.

Your wedding music may not seem like a huge part of your wedding, however having music at your reception will set the mood for the evening and fill otherwise awkward silences during times like meals and the cake cutting. Collaborate with your wedding party and DJ or bands to ensure you have the kind of atmosphere that you want on your day!

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