When considering the music for your wedding reception, it is helpful to think about your wedding reception as three distinct segments; cocktail hour, dinner service and dance party. This allows you to consider different genres that you may not have thought about. Let’s break down each musical part of the wedding reception timeline. (For more on wedding reception timelines, click here.)
Cocktail hour. The cocktail hour is a great time to play some of your favorite songs. While it may be “normal” to play light jazz or standards, there is no rule that you must follow. If you love acoustic artists, they make a great soundtrack to the mingling of your guests. If you’re hoping to have a fun wedding reception, you can start the evening off with favorites from the 80s. Anything goes for your cocktail hour.
Dinner Service. During dinner service, many couples opt for jazz without vocals so that guests can converse without distraction. As dinner service begins to wind down, consider adding some of your favorites. You can add electronic, oldies & motown, alternative ballads or whatever you like. It gets your guests ready to dance leading up to the party.
Dancing. Most receptions will open with traditional wedding dances for the couple, family and bridal party. (For more on these, click here.) At the completion of these dances, your guests will be invited to join you on the dance floor. Consult with your DJ to develop a list of must play, try to play and do not play songs. While it may be tempting to try to plan out every song for the night, it is highly advised to resist that temptation. A professional DJ is skilled at reading the crowd, selecting the best song to play next and keeping your party going. An experienced wedding DJ will understand that everyone is passionate about ‘”their style” of music and know how to tap into that passion and present it in a manner that everyone on the dance floor can get excited about together. They will know how to correctly weave in and out of many different styles of music and, ultimately, keep the party going all night long.
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