How to plan your wedding music: The Must-Play List

Once the ceremony, speeches and general formalities are over, it’s time to hit the dancefloor and get the party started. The reason that the best wedding DJs can guarantee that your dancefloor will stay packed is that they do half of the work before the festivities begin. They make sure they have a good idea of your musical tastes beforehand and they’ll plan your wedding music accordingly. This is where the Must-Play List comes in.

What is a Must-Play List?

A Must-Play List is exactly what you’d imagine. It’s a list of essential songs that you absolutely can’t live without hearing on your wedding day. Your DJ will ask you for one as well as for an idea of your musical inclinations and any particular preferences of the crowd you’ll have at your wedding and she will build her set around that. While you might be tempted to draw up a list of 50 of your all-time favourite songs, it pays to give a little bit of thought to your choices. Here’s how you create the perfect Must-Play List:

Think of your wedding guests

Who will you be sharing the dancefloor with? Would ‘Dreamer’ by Livin’ Joy take you and your university mates on a trip down memory lane all the way back to the college bar? Did you end up belting out ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ with your workmates on a joyously crazy office night out? Were you and your classmates crazy about Bros back in the day? You might be amazed how all of the words to ‘When Will I Be Famous?’ come back after a few glasses of wine when you’re all together. Your wedding is the perfect occasion to re-live some great shared times and to create some new memories.

Make it your own

Choosing the right songs for such an important occasion can seem a little daunting at first. While you might be tempted to source inspiration from the myriad of playlists online, make sure the list remains personal to your wedding. Of course, there are certain songs which will all but guarantee a full dancefloor but including some Must-Have tunes which actually mean something to you and your guests will help to make the day even more special.

Be discerning

Be warned – there’s a fine line between customising your music  to make it your own and indulging in guilty pleasures that are best left on your iPod! ‘This Woman’s Work’ by Kate Bush may be one of your desert island discs but it’s unlikely to keep most of the crowd on the dancefloor (except for me – I would definitely stay on the dancefloor!). The same goes for anything by The Smiths as well as songs falling within the genres of thrash metal, gangsta rap, hardcore and lo-fi. Of course, this all depends how safe you want to play it!

Don’t write a Must-Play Novel!

A Must-Play List should only include the songs that you really need to hear. If it’s not important to you that it gets played, don’t include it on your list. After all, a wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without some drunken requests from the crowd, so you need to leave plenty of time for those.

Trust the DJ

Leave some room for the DJ to what they do best. It’s his/her job to guage the crowd and to know what to play next. Most DJs will have experience of playing to a varied audience, whether it be at clubs, festivals, weddings or parties. One of the reasons you’re oursourcing the entertainment is so you don’t have to worry about the music choices, so once you’ve consulted a wedding DJ who you feel you can trust, you can rest assured that he or she will keep the party going all night.

Spending time to create a good Must-Play List is an investment you’ll be glad you made – so don’t leave it ’til the last minute. Rope in your friends and family (and your partner, of course) and they’re bound to come up with some great suggestions to help you plan the perfect wedding music.

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