A few couples that have booked me have asked why I have limits as to how many songs can be requested, and it’s always hard to explain why, without sounding arrogant. One of the main problems is that whenever I’m given a long list of requests to play, I feel compelled to try to stick to the list as much as possible, and so do not make so many of my own choices, even though often there are tracks that I would choose, I know would get a better reaction on the dancefloor, and create a better atmosphere.
There are two things that come into play here. First, I always want to play as many songs from the Bride and Bridegrooms request list as possible, and the ONLY reason I wouldn’t play a track from their list is if my instincts told me it would probably clear the dancefloor and/or dampen the atmosphere, and that works fine when the list is not too long, as I can then also choose plenty of songs from my experience that I know will work, based on the songs that have had the best reaction through the night so far, which almost always leads to a fantastic night. Second, if the list is long however, I choose far fewer songs that are not on the list, as I tend to feel a little guilty by not sticking to the clients playlist as much as I possibly can, even though there have been many occasions when I’ve known that if the list had been shorter and I’d chosen more songs from my experience, it would definitely have been a better night for both the bride and groom, but also for their guests.However, the limits are guidelines only, and if a client wants to send a much longer list, that is fine, and I will work as hard as I can to make that list work as effectively as possible. And for those of you that might be wondering, what is the ideal length of a Wedding DJ playlist? I’d say between 5 and 25 songs is ideal.And while we’re talking about the playlist, here is a quick overview of the categories, on the online Event Planner Account, that everyone who books me receives.The categories are:
Play If Possible
Play Only If Requested
Do Not Play
MUST PLAY: This list is for your absolute favourite songs, and the songs that you know will pack the floor for your friends. Tracks that are very special to you, with maybe some poignancy to them. Every track in this list will definitely be played, and I will not use my discretion even I feel it might clear the dancefloor (unless you’ve advised me otherwise).
PLAY IF POSSIBLE: These are tracks you really like, and I always aim to play as many of these tracks as I possibly can. The ONLY reason I wouldn’t play a track in this list, is if I was pretty sure there was a good chance it would clear the dancefloor and/or dampen the atmosphere.
DEDICATION: These are special songs you would like dedicated to people, where you would like me to announce that the song is dedicated to someone, such as your mum, sister, bridesmaid etc.
PLAY ONLY IF REQUESTED: This list is for songs you’re not really keen on, however if your cousin asked for it, that would be ok. The song that is most often put into this list is the YMCA!
DO NOT PLAY: This list is for songs/artists/genres you cannot stand, and that you do not want to hear regardless of who asks for it! The artist most often put into this list is Celine Dion. The song is Agadoo, and the genre is Heavy Metal. This section is also useful to request tracks of a sentimental nature not to be played.
A fantastic article written by my colleague and friend, Anthony Winyard who is a fellow Wedding Host & DJ from the London area of the UK.
Steve Mitchell, full time professional, wedding DJ & Host, Dad and Husband.