As an Event DJ, I have the pleasure of being a part of a number of weddings each year. Wedding reception bookings make up a large proportion of the work I carry out, and they are definitely some of the most enjoyable gigs. Being able to create the perfect Wedding DJ Playlist is something which is important to me. It takes time, and the content can vary greatly from couple to couple depending on a number of factors, not least their musical tastes. While I appreciate the rare occasions I’m given free licence to play whatever I personally feel is most suitable, there is usually a serious amount of input from the clients prior to their big day.
Setting the Mood
I usually go high energy from the outset where weddings are concerned. The majority of the crowd are likely to be in jovial mood by this point of proceedings and more than ready to boogie. The first dance will generally be a slow ballad, where guests are invited to join the bride and groom at some stage. Where to go from here? Well, one option is to follow up with another ballad or slow dance number initially, and then takes things up tempo. Bruno Mars’ Marry You is a solid if somewhat unimaginative transition track. Disco tends to work well with mixed age groups. The early stage of proceedings is also a good time to get the kids involved should they be in attendance, and putting on a few cheesy child friendly songs at this point doesn’t kill the mood. It can actually help to get people onto the dancefloor with the little ones in tow.
The First Dance
This is obviously a personal choice from the newlyweds, and arguably the focal point of the evening. I’m a fan of the more obscure selections, when you know some thought has gone into the song choice and there is meaning behind it. Couples will often go for the most popular chart ballad of the time which is absolutely fine, but I feel it’s a real waste of what should be a once in a lifetime event. Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud and All of Me by John Legend are the two most popular first dance tracks of recent years. Some of the more interesting and original options include Angels by The XX, Phil Collins’ A Groovy Kind of Love and Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana.
Wedding DJ Playlist Essentials
Those of you looking for inspiration and ideas can do a lot worse than looking through Spotify. A search for wedding playlists will bring up a multitude of results and while there you will discover some shockers, Spotify works well as a starting point. Here are some tracks you are likely to hear at the majority of weddings;
Wedding DJ Playlist Top Ten
Come On Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
YMCA – Village People
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Marry You – Bruno Mars
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
September – Earth Wind & Fire
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Dancing Queen – ABBA
A successful Wedding DJ Playlist relies upon the client and DJ working in harmony. While it’s important for the bride and groom to have a significant amount of input when it comes to the songs they want to hear, the DJ needs to be given freedom to switch things to some extent should a change be required. Admittedly, the happy couple are the priority, but getting all the guests dancing and enjoying themselves is key to creating memories and making the reception an evening to remember. In my experience, the tried and trusted classics are the songs that should make up the bulk of any Wedding DJ Playlist. The DJ also needs to be flexible and expect a number of requests from the crowd on the night. It’s impossible to please everyone when it comes to an event with such a wide variety of attendees, but a skilled DJ will be able to create an atmosphere that keeps people on the dancefloor and talking about the wedding for years to come.