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 grooms 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 10 and 30 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
Do Not Play Custom List Guest List
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.
DO NOT PLAY
If I had to list every song I didn’t want playing at a party I was hosting I would be typing till the end of my days. The purpose of this list is for songs that for personal reasons or for utter hatred of the song it cannot be played. If for example you have given me a playlist which has a bit of indie, disco, cheese rnb and current chart stuff then unless requested I will not be playing any punk, thrash metal rave etc etc as I know from your playlist that isn’t your thing.
The database I use is pretty up to date however there may be a song you cannot find in the search engine. The software therefore has a facility for you to type in songs that you cannot find on this list.
If you use this facility on occasions certain guests may inadvertently or in an act of mischievousness request a totally inappropriate song in theses circumstances please use the below.
I DJ’ed a Wedding last week at an undisclosed venue and ended up chatting to one of the Event staff at the end of the night who told me of a new trend .
Being a bit of a trendy guy I enquire what this new trend was.
He mentioned to me that he’d seen an increase in bookings where the couple hadn’t booked a DJ but instead had used an iPod to play the music.
I asked him how these events had gone and his reply was he felt that virtually every couple probably regretted doing so by the end of the night, because at every single event the guests left far earlier than when there was a DJ or band, and he felt it was because there was a marked lack in atmosphere compared to when there was professional entertainment.
I guess with the state of the economy it’s a route that more couples will explore and unless they’ve seen first hand the results they may well just presume that they can create a playlist with songs they like and that everyone will dance, and it’s a shame that they may well discover the hard way that it actually takes a lot of skill to maintain a busy dancefloor at a wedding and keep all the different age groups and music tastes happy throughout the night.
But not having entertainment, or just as bad, not having good entertainment, can make what was a a good day fizzle out instead of ending with a bang, and thus instead of a fantastic wedding celebration, it became a very expensive dinner party that ends early.
Yet another ramble !