1. First, every great playlist has 4 traits:
- A mix of genres
- A variety of tempos
- A combination of popular and unknown songs
- A “vibe” that ties them all together and creates the ambiance you desire
Folk can be mixed with pop, rock with country, etc. As long as they’ve all got the same vibe, you’re golden. Remember to think about every generation included on your guest list. What would your parents want to hear? Your Grandma?
You want a mix of tempos so it doesn’t fade too far into the background. If you choose all slow songs, your guests may zone out. If you choose all upbeat, it’ll distract.
There’s a reason certain tunes are at the top of the charts: People want to hear them! It’s essential to give the public what they want, but throw in a few unknown jams to spark their interest.
A compilation is only a success if every song complements one another. They may share a certain theme (romance, for instance), or maybe they tell your love story?
2. Don’t forget live bands.
If you have room in your budget, hiring a band may be worth it. They’ll get your guests excited, keep the energy up, and who doesn’t love a good cover?
3. How do you want to feel after you get married?
When choosing the “vibe” of your wedding dinner playlist, consider how you want to feel after you tie the knot. Celebratory? Romantic? Relaxed? It’s up to you! Find your feel then start choosing your songs.
4. Don’t waste dance hits.
Never waste a good party song on your cocktail hour. Save those crowd-pleasers for later.
5. Make sure your DJ knows your must-hear melodies.
Prioritize! Highlight the tunes you have to hear, and make sure the DJ has them in their collection. If they don’t, you may have to pay extra fees to get them.
6. Create a do-not-play list.
While I love Bublé, he won’t be singing at my big day. Give your do-not-play list to your DJ and make sure they stick to it—even if the tune is requested by a guest.
7. Never skip a soundcheck.
You need to test the acoustics. You don’t want to be running over to your vendor every 5 minutes, telling them to turn the volume up or down.
8. No R-rated music.
Grandma and the kids are still going to be there…hold off on any curse words until dessert has been served.
9. Consider entire albums.
I know what I said about variety, but sometimes one album has everything you need. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Moondance by Van Morrison…there are plenty of incredible albums that can be combined for a simple, impactful playlist.
10. Be super detailed.
Don’t worry about being too Type A when planning. The more details you give your vendor, the more successful they’ll be.
When my brother got married, he gave his DJ a list of 30 songs. It exemplified the variety he was looking for—the “vibe” he wanted.
After studying what my brother gave him, the DJ found related artists and songs to include. He KILLED it at my brother’s wedding. Everyone was on the dance floor—Grandparents included.
11. Don’t stress!
Like I said before, these tunes will be background noise. Don’t worry too much! Save that stress for your ceremony and reception music.