While your wedding ceremony is a time to gather your closest friends and family members to watch you exchange your vows and marry the love of your life, the reception is ultimately where you determine the vibe. And nothing quite sets the scene at the wedding like the dance floor.
Even if you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to get bogged down in the small details, it’s important to get your wedding music squared away to ensure you and your guests can have an amazing time dancing the night away. Whether you choose a DJ, a band, or your own playlist, here are some tips and tricks to nail the right music on your big day.
When Should You Actually Start Planning The Music?
While music can seem like something you can wait until the last minute to work on, if you plan on hiring a professional, you’re going to want to start thinking about it at least six months before your big day.
According to Jessica Bishop, founder of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com and author of The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer, you’ll want to book sooner rather than later. “Most DJs and bands are the types of service providers who can only take on one event per night, so if you’ve got your heart set on a particular vendor, it’s better to book early.”
The Best Hacks To Cut The Hassle
If you want to find a DJ without going through a million trials, you can always try asking around. Because DJs are used for a number of events, chances are your friends and family have some good recs. Bishop also notes that checking out DJs online can help you find the perfect match without having to even meet them. “Most professional entertainment providers will have videos of their performances/services on their website so checking those out could save you the hassle of in-person meetings or interviews,” she says.
If you don’t want to go the professional route, it’s definitely possible to put together your own music for your wedding without lots of inconvenience. Though, it may require a little more planning than just hitting “shuffle” on your Summer Jamz playlist (but you can always go that way, if you really want to).
Bishop recommends you and your spouse-to-be create a shared playlist of songs that you would love to dance to during your wedding. This way, for months before the wedding, whenever you’re out and about, you can keep adding the music you enjoy hearing to your playlist, creating hours of songs to jam to. And while Bishop says it’s definitely possible to DIY your playlist for the wedding, it’s still important to have someone available on the actual day who can man the controls. “Make sure you have someone who can serve as an emcee or at least handle music transitions, such as stopping or starting the music at key moments, like the cake cutting and toasts,” she says.
How It Worked IRL
Ashlyn, a 24-year-old newlywed from Old Lyme, Connecticut, went one step further when curating a playlist. She invited all of her friends to contribute to a master wedding playlist, bought a huge speaker from Costco, and on the night of her wedding, put her phone on “do not disturb” and hit play.
“Having our own playlist was so amazing. I went through a heavy emo phase with a lot of my friends that attended, so hearing throwbacks was so funny and hyped us up,” Ashlyn says. She asked her closest friends to contribute songs, allowing her to set a vibe that might have been missed if she had gone the professional route. “Thinking about songs that aren’t ‘wedding dance songs’ but special songs with you and your guests through the years was something that made the night so much better for us as compared to a DJ.”
Jessica Bishop, founder of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com and author of The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer