What Kind of Music to Play at Wedding Reception?

While dancing to your favourite song at the reception, you shut your eyes and softly draw your new spouse closer to you as you gently swing back and forth. The first dance you’ll dance together as husband and wife You were well aware that the music, as well as the deejay or band that you selected to provide it, would have a significant impact on the atmosphere of your reception. You eventually decide to open your eyes once more, press the STOP button on the tape player, and realise that you’ve discovered the band or DJ that you want to perform at your wedding. You shut your eyes once again, and at that moment, you realise that the first dance is going to be even more memorable than you had just envisioned. Your best achievement as a couple for your reception may also be the one that proves to be the most challenging: creating the joyous and celebratory atmosphere that you want all of your guests to experience along with you and the food, flowers, and other arrangements that you have meticulously planned. To put it simply, it’s the music. From the moment the bride and groom walk down the aisle, through dinner, to the peak of dancing after dinner, and all the way to the moment the last remaining guests leave the dance floor, the music can make or break the wedding. Many individuals associate the “capital D” dance experience with the wedding reception. And it is what you will be able to look back on in the images from your reception and what you will remember over in the years to come. (Who would have guessed that Uncle Joe had those moves in him?) Yes, the music is vital; thus, selecting it in the most effective manner possible is very necessary.

Are You Comfortable?

It is crucial that you are comfortable with the music and the performers, and that they are able to play precisely what it is that you are looking for, regardless of whether you choose a rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, or classical ensemble to perform for you. You may be able to negotiate with a band, string ensembles, and deejays who work together to come up with a “flexible” plan that will give you just the right music from the ceremony all the way through the reception even if you are unable to decide on a specific type of music to play. This may be an option for you if you are unable to decide on a particular type of music. Some entertainment firms even provide packages that include jazz for the cocktail hour, R&B or rock ‘n’ roll bands for the reception, and classical groups, harpists, or pianists to perform during the ceremony. In addition to providing live musicians, a variety of different companies also provide DJ services. The number of players in the band or orchestra might vary anywhere from two to fifteen, or even all the way up to twenty. You also have the option of selecting a single artist. The duration of the performances and the number of instruments that are required are the primary factors that influence the pricing. However, keep in mind that even while what you and your fiancé desire is of the highest importance, the majority of attendees at a wedding still like hearing the standards, which are songs that people “usually” hear at weddings. Therefore, keep this in mind as you prepare a musical evening that is a true expression of both you and your new spouse.

Avoid Being Confined in Any Way

Even if you end up choosing a band rather than a deejay to provide the music for your reception, you could still want to play a record for at least the song that will be played during the “first dance” or at another point in the evening. If not just the music but also the artist and the original version of that song is essential to both of you, then this option may be the best one for you to go with. You want a live band, but you won’t let anybody except Stevie Wonder perform “My Cherie Amour,” the song that was playing when you had your first kiss? Inquire with the leader of the band about whether or not the band will be able to play a record at some time during your reception using the equipment that they utilise. They may also be able to deliver the equipment at a price that is either negligible or nonexistent.


The cost of live entertainment may vary anywhere from $900 for a four-piece band to perform for an event lasting four hours to $4,000 for an orchestra consisting of 15 musicians to play for a function lasting four to five hours. The cost of hiring a DJ may range anywhere from $350 all the way up to $2000 for the same period of time. When you start making enquiries, have your budget in mind, and be clear not just about your budget but also about precisely what it is that you want. Most deejays and bands will be able to discover a plan for you that is within your price limit, particularly if you go to them in advance and be specific from the start about what you want for your event and how much money you are willing to spend.

You need to make sure that references are checked, and you need to settle arrangements with the musicians at least six months in advance. Your preparations will go much more smoothly if you start a year in advance. But regardless of whether you go with a band or a deejay to provide the entertainment for your wedding reception, you should make sure to schedule a meeting well in advance of the big day in order to discuss in depth the songs you want played (and perhaps some that you don’t want played!) as well as the order in which you would like to hear them (if you have a preference). You should also take into consideration each age group that will be present at your wedding and think about what you believe each cohort would enjoy hearing the most. (If you are working with a really limited budget, you may want to think about renting a CD jukebox for your wedding reception that has some of your favourite musicians in addition to the traditional wedding songs. Your guests will have a good time selecting music they wish to hear, and the reception hall will be able to link it up to their public address system.)


It is important that the stipulations in the contract specifics between you and your deejay or band be properly checked by either you (or the parents), or whomever will be paying for the event. Before you sign the contract, for instance, you should advise the musical group to provide a copy of their certificate of insurance straight to the reception hall if the reception hall demands that the musical group have one. That will be one less issue that you will be personally responsible for having to worry about addressing. When it comes time for you to be married, even the little thing that you don’t have to worry about will be a huge relief for you.

How to Make Your Choice?

When you first start looking for music for your wedding, the vast majority of DJs and musicians will offer to provide you a sample of their work in the form of an audio or videocassette so that you may evaluate it. A few of them also provide what they call “showcases,” which are live performances that you may attend. (Sometimes you will be very fortunate, and these showcases will be wedding parties where you will be able to observe without getting in the way.)

Be aware, however, that if you go to see a band play, the kind of music and the quantity of musicians that you see on any given night may not be what you truly want or what you are able to afford. This is something to keep in mind. You are going to want to have a conversation about this with the leader of the band so that you can find out how the sound would change between what you are seeing and hearing at the showcase and what you would receive at your reception. You might also ask a different married couple, along with your photographer and/or videographer, whether they know of a DJ or band that they believe would be a good fit for your preferences. However, before making any final judgments, you should always be sure to listen to a recording and, if at all feasible, visit a showcase first. Remember, this is your day to shine!

What You Should Be Listening for?

When you are listening to the band or the deejay, pay attention to how well they split their song selection between slow and rapid tempos. There is a good chance that some of the guests at your reception will only want to move their bodies to the music while it is playing at a slower tempo, while others will be more animated during the songs with a quicker tempo. In any case, you don’t want your guests to stop dancing once it’s reached its climax and start sitting down. Along these same lines, pay attention to how well the band or DJ transitions from one song to the next, and consider whether or not the transitions are made in a manner that will encourage the guests to continue having fun on the dance floor.

What You Ought to Search for in a DJ?

Christopher Lewis, a deejay in Los Angeles, claims that he and the majority of other deejays in the city would be pleased to add records or CDs to their collection in order to ensure the happiness of the couple. Remember, he reminds them, “there’s a good possibility that we’ll be able to utilise the footage at some point in the future for another event.” It is the same situation with the bands that he collaborates with; if your choice is out of the usual, sheet music may need to be obtained, but it is probable that it will be utilised again in the future. Another piece of advice that Lewis gives to couples is to make sure that they like the deejay’s personality. ” If you think the deejay is too laid-back, too annoying, or not funky enough, look for someone else. In some instances, the deejay will be doing everything from introducing the parents and the couple to talking to guests requesting songs to talking between songs; however, you should look for someone else if you think the deejay is doing all of these things. In such case, you run the risk of being displeased not only for yourself, but throughout the duration of the reception as well.

Final Arrangements

In the days and weeks leading up to your wedding, you should make certain that the musicians know the address and contact information for the reception venue, particularly if they do not perform there very often. Notify the person in charge of the catering that they should make preparations to provide a meal for the musicians or the deejay if this was previously discussed and agreed upon. On the day of the wedding, you should make sure that you have the number of the bandleader’s house phone ready to you in case of any emergency, regardless of how improbable it may seem.

In addition, if you are interested, you should inquire as to whether or not the deejay provides karaoke, which allows one or more of your guests to sing while the deejay provides the musical backdrop. Many engaged couples feel that this is an enjoyable (and sometimes hilarious) approach to include their guests and appeal to the ham that exists in all of us. There is a possibility that the deejay will provide this service themselves or will know and be able to suggest someone else who would; in certain cases, you will be able to pay a “combination fee” for both services. Make sure that you also inquire about requests for songs, sing-alongs, and other activities if you believe that there is a possibility that you may want to add anything of this kind. In conclusion, regardless of whether you go with a band or a DJ, you shouldn’t be hesitant to ask questions regarding anything that could be important to you. Do you want to make sure that the “noise” does not make any of the elderly folks who are attending the reception feel uncomfortable? Inquire about the volume and find out whether it can be adjusted to your liking by simply asking for it to be turned down (or cranked up). Are you looking to supplement the existing images with something a little bit more? Special effects like bubbles and fog are offered by a lot of DJs and bands these days. To reiterate, the sooner in the process you request more services and the more detailed you are able to be, the higher the likelihood that you will be satisfied with the final product. You could even wind up spending less than you would if you waited until the last minute to make a request. After then, there is nothing left to do except to keep your baby close to you as you let loose and dance the night away.

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