Recently, during the last dance at a good friend’s wedding, a close friend was visibly unhappy by the ballad blaring to close out the night. I asked what the problem was, thinking it was a perfectly sweet way to end the festivities, he said, “do you remember what your last song was?” Even though it was more than four years ago, I did: Safe and Sound by Capital Cities. I remember because I specifically made sure that was the last song of the night. But I did not expect anyone to notice, let alone remember years later. He told me he loved it because it kept everyone’s energy up; energy that poured into multiple after parties.
The goal for any wedding (or any event) is that you pick a great team of vendors who don’t need a lot of management. But don’t overlook the music which is a integral part of your event from start to finish. Below are some tips on making the dance floor the place to be!
Don’t Skip Over the DJ/Band Questionnaire. Usually before your event, even if you don’t have an in-person meeting with your band or DJ, they will send over a questionnaire or schedule a call to discuss your preferences and find out what you do not want. Take this seriously. If you are beyond tired of the Cupid Shuffle or do not want to Get Low with Lil Jon, then make sure they are on your “do-not-play list”. On the flip side (see what I did there?), send over a list of songs you do want. When you hear them sprinkled throughout the night, you and your partner will find yourselves mid-conversation jetting on to the dance floor.
Mix Up the Playlist! I’ve been to some Indian weddings where they played Indian music Lionel Ritchie Style: All. Night. Long. It may just be my personal preference, but if you have a mixed crowd, make sure you include some songs to please everyone. And if you insist on sticking to one particular genre, at least mix up the decades, and play some older songs. This will ensure that the older folks will get out of their seats, who are typically known to defect after the cake has been cut. I made sure to include some Bee Gees, Elton John and vintage Hindi songs from the 70s that had our parents partying right there with us.
Pay Attention to the Flow. On that note (sorry, I can’t stop) make sure you talk to your music provider about creating a flow to the evening. Bands and DJs know to play more family friendly (or older songs, as mentioned above) early in the night while saving the down and dirty songs for late night. I, personally, also love some ballads sprinkled in so that I can sneak in a slow dance here and there, or take a break to get some cake and coffee.
Schedule Enough Party Time, but Not Too Much. If you have speeches and choreographed dances planned, make sure you allot enough time for your guests to actually get up and party themselves. But don’t go overboard, and have four hours of dancing and forget to create a time where people can eat in peace. Events are all about balance and timing, and too much of a good thing is…too much.
Music is deeply personal and taste is extremely subjective. Stay true to yourselves, keep all your guests in mind (at least for a song or two) and communicate on the front-end about your preferences so you can dance the night away carefree.