Over the years I have had some clients surprise me with a list of songs they got from all of the guests as part of the invitation process. I’ll admit, it can be a fun idea, and it has led to some cool moments. There are also some inherent challenges it is good to be prepared for if you decide to take this route, and this blog article will walk you through some things you might want to think about.
First things first… if 150 people select 1 song each and each song is roughly 3 minutes or longer, you have a base time of 450 minutes, or 7.5 hours. Many weddings in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas of Arizona don’t last longer than 6 hours, even including the ceremony. This leads me to my first point…
Manage the expectations of your potential guests before they even write down a song. Let them know you are just looking for some ideas and you are going to filter through them before they reach the dj and pick some for cocktail hour/dinner and some for dancing. It might be nice to mention that if a particular song has some special relevance to note that so it gets proper attention.
As long as the way you ask for the song suggestions doesn’t make people feel entitled to hear their song you should be fine. I have had guests that wrote down a song that would’ve been totally wrong for the actual group of people at the wedding, and then 5 different people come up when I announce I’m playing the last song of the night that the newlyweds selected, upset that I never played their song, when in reality I had no clue who wrote down what songs, and how long ago it was… They didn’t come up and tell me they were hoping for the song… They just assumed every song would be played, and that just wouldn’t have been possible considering the newlyweds had a general direction they wanted the music to go as well.
I personally don’t think it’s a necessary thing to do in order to have a good party. My planning form helps figure out what the couple having the wedding likes. Beyond that, it’s totally possible to handle requests at the event and play what seems right in the moment and have an excellent time. What’s that old saying about having too many cooks in the kitchen?
It can be useful as a dj to have an idea of what the group tastes might be like, but there are other ways to do that. Maybe have the parents ask family members for a small list of some favorites. I’ve also had clients create collaborative spotify playlists with their wedding party to get ideas for the later evening dance songs. Everyone can add songs leading up to the wedding and then you can trim it down to the best of the best.
If you are trying to figure out what songs to play at your wedding, a healthy mix of your favorite styles and some family/friend favorites will go a long way before the wedding. Once you have the essentials, it’s never a bad idea to tell the dj what your ok with and not ok with and let them read the crowd and field requests with your taste in mind. This is usually a pretty surefire way to ensure a good time for most groups… What songs do you want to hear at your wedding?