For most wedding couples, having a full dance floor is a major priority. One way to accomplish that is to include songs requested by guests. Incorporating guests’ music requests is a great way to get them involved and to make them feel special. Of course, accepting requests isn’t right for every wedding, and even those couples who do decide to include them should be mindful of certain pitfalls along the way.
Photograph By: Amy Raab Photography
Choose your DJ wisely. This should go without saying, but equally important as the DJ’s experience and mixing skills is his/her judgment. You want a DJ who truly understands the kind of wedding you’re planning, as well as your likes and dislikes. By choosing a DJ who’s truly trustworthy and who shares a connection with you and your soon-to-be-spouse, you’ll be able to relax knowing that your music – and any guest requests – will be handled in the way you desire.
Consider whether to include requests at all. Since the majority of couples want to incorporate a mix of musical styles, from classics and oldies to currently popular tracks, requests usually add to the atmosphere rather than detracting from it. However, if Aunt Mildred is well-known for her obsession with “The Chicken Dance,” or you know your childhood friends may think it’s hilarious to get the DJ to play all the songs you loved when you were eight (and face it, not every song withstands the test of time), you may decide to forego the requests altogether and rely on your own (or your DJ’s) picks.
Tread carefully with requests solicited in advance. An emerging trend is inviting guests to submit music requests as part of their RSVP or via the couple’s wedding website. It’s a really cute idea, and guests undoubtedly will enjoy sharing their favorite songs. However, keep in mind that by asking guests to send you songs, you’re also implying you’ll actually play those songs – something you may not want to do once you’ve seen the list! A good alternative is to ask a trusted group of friends and family members – people whose tastes you know and can live with – for ideas.
Review any advance requests with your DJ. A good DJ will be able to look at a list of songs – whether they came from you or your guests – and tell you which will be the most successful on the dance floor. You can then use this knowledge to fine-tune the list, eliminating any “dance floor killers.”
Give your DJ a directive about requests made on-site. Almost inevitably, at least a few of your guests will approach the DJ during the wedding to ask for a song. Again, your DJ’s judgment is so important – it’s great if you’re open to having your guests’ requests played, but you want a DJ who’s smart and sensitive enough to politely deflect any requests that clearly contradict your tastes and wishes! If you decide to allow your DJ to play songs suggested by your guests, be sure to give him/her a detailed “do not play” list to avoid any songs that you’d hate to hear on your wedding day.
If you decide to skip guest requests, personalize the music in other ways. Accepting song requests from your guests isn’t the only way to make your wedding feel inclusive. It’s a great idea to include songs that are sentimental to your closest family members and friends. Other couples’ first dance songs, songs you and your friends enjoyed in your school days, your university fight song, your favorite sports team’s theme…the possibilities really are endless. By putting some thought into songs that really will mean something to your guests, you’ll be making your playlist personal and meaningful without totally giving up the reins!