Programming your wedding music for maximum success.

Your wedding and reception will have approximately 8 hours of music and when you break it down there is usually 3 to 4 hours of background music before the party starts and rather than treat that time as filler tunes it is a great opportunity to show some personality and give the wedding a signature stamp that will be remembered as unique.

Here is a suggested path for music that 90% of our weddings follow.

30 minutes pre-ceremony as your guests arrive. This is a great spot for string quartet versions of music you like (on YouTube or your music service of choice check out Vitamin String QuartetPiano Guys or Brooklyn Duo)

A 30-minute ceremony where you will need a processional song, register signing and recessional for when you are pronounced married and everyone claps and cheers for you.  Think classy and elegant for the processional, something lovely for register and then something fun to celebrate at the end.

A 90-minute cocktail reception is a great place to show some personality and go with medium tempo Motown, indie singer-songwriter, mellow covers of top 40 songs and this is also a great place to try out Tropical House. There are no speeches or interruptions so set a positive tone and your guests will be in a great mood.

2 to 3 hours of dinner. It amazes me how many DJs throw this time away and put on a pre-determined playlist that is the same every week.  To me, this is the perfect time to play some much that will be personal to you and your families.  Think some classics for the older guests like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald or you can go more contemporary with some Jack Johnson or other cool songs that are not dance floor favourites but will still have the guests singing along and tapping their toes.  Build me up Buttercup and some of those 50’s and 60’s tunes.  Dinner is also a great place to fit in some cultural or ethnic music if you want to give a nod to those international guests and keep Nonna happy without giving up your party choices.  Remember that dinner music will stop and start depending on your schedule for spotlight dances and speeches, more on that in the Blog on wedding flow.

Dancing!  This is where we earn our money as a professional wedding DJ.  If we have done our job right we have been building energy through the earlier part of the day and now you are ready to celebrate.  In a perfect world, we have 4 hours for dancing but the reality is that if there are any delays earlier in the day they all compound to reduce your time for dancing. It is normal to have the dancing start between 9:30 and 10:00 pm most nights.

The first hour of dancing.  Some parties are crazy and the floor is full of both young and old from the very first song.  More realistically you can expect a bit of a dip in the first part of your party.  Think washroom or smoke break and the younger crowd want some drinks before cutting loose.  Typically the first part of the dance is a good time for a set of cultural dancing if that is appropriate for you.  2 or 3 Italian tunes to get them up.  2 or 3 oldies or cross-generational favourites, think Michael Jackson, Abba, or some of those wedding choices.

You hired a DJ because you are fun and have a guest list of fun friends, family, co-workers and buddies from school and university.  Once the party has loosened up your DJ will work in those favourites you requested as well and what the guests are asking for an also use good judgement, remember, we do this every week and have our finger on the pulse of what songs work well together and when to change the genre or tempo.  Every song will be chosen based on the reaction we are getting in real time.  No pre-programmed sets.

End the night on a high note at 1:00 am.  Finish with your guests wanting more and having danced hard.  If we have done our job right everyone will have left having had a great night.  Older guests will have danced in the 1st hour and enjoyed the cocktail and dinner choices and you and your friends will finish up drinks at 1:00 am having relived all the glory days.

With over 30 years of experience let our team at Maximum Music work with you to design a wedding and reception that will be stress-free and tick all the boxes of that diverse and eclectic group of guests that are your family and friends.

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