Planning your wedding music involves more than just “picking songs you like". Other things to think about include: What will your friends like? What will your parents and their friends like? And perhaps most importantly, what seems to work at the event as the DJ reads the crowd to keep your guests up and dancing on the dance floor. At most events, the best way to please everyone is by having the DJ play a good variety of music, something for everyone. A good mixture of fast and slow dance songs, Oldies, Pop, Rock, Top 40, just to name a few. As a bride and groom sit down to choose their music, there's a little math involved: A typical wedding reception lasts 6 hours. Most songs are between 3 and 4 minutes in length, so a DJ can play about 15-20 songs per hour. This means that he'll be playing approximately 110 songs at a 6 hour reception.
Before you sit down and choose 110 great dance hots to heat up that dance floor, one really important thing to keep in mind though is that much of the 6 hours of music is simply soft background or easy listening music while guests arrive, during cocktails and especially during dinner. Also your first dance, the bridal party dance, cutting the cake, garter and bouquet take up quite a bit of time. The bottom line is this: At a typical 6 hour reception, there are usually about 2 full hours left for “Party Time". Therefore there is time for about 35 dance songs, with 6-8 of those being slow dances to give the crowd a chance to catch their breath and get close to their loved ones. So after all is said and done, this leaves about 25 to 30 fast dance songs in the last few hours of a typical 6 hour reception.
So choose wisely! Also, don't forget a few guests requests (Most brides do allow the DJ to take requests. ) and very very important: Please allow the DJ to “read the crowd" and be flexible enough to allow him to do his job in making sure that the party keeps going by adjusting the playlist as he sees what works and what doesn't. There are billions of combinations of songs that can be played at a reception. Trying too hard to pre program the evening instead of letting the DJ use his judgment can often result in a reception where the guests enjoy the music but really don't dance much. Final word: Choose some of your favorites, let the DJ take a few requests and then let him use his experience to keep your guests on the dance floor. This combination is your best bet for a fun, successful reception.
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