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The good, the bad and the ugly

The Quest for Requests

Here’s the scenario; you booked a DJ for your wedding months ago and are now in the final stages of planning the big day. You’re getting all the final bits ready and then you get an email asking for ‘DJ requests’. Should you send a playlist? Should you ask friends and family for their opinion? Should you just list your favourite bands? Should you include some stuff for the oldies? If this sounds like your brain at the moment, read on for a bit of help & inspiration on your wedding DJ requests.  

If you’re as indecisive as me then you’ll need to put aside a fair bit of time to think about your wedding DJ requests. It’s a big thing after all. One of the key things to remember though, is trust. If you have spent some time finding a decent DJ, then you will be getting their experience thrown in with the price. A good DJ will read the room very well - they will recognise when to switch genres, when to include music for different ages and when to put on those absolute bangers. 

Our Experiences

Having fulfilled so many requests for our lovely clients over the years, it would be unfair not to give you an insight into the various ways in which people plan their evening music. Disclaimer: none of these are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ & it really depends on how much control you are willing to relinquish to your DJ. We’ve experienced the following approaches:

  • Strict ‘do-not-play’ lists 

  • Loads of requests as a spotify playlist 

  • A very minimal list of 5 requests

  • A fully timed and ordered list of when each song should be played from the beginning of the night do until the very last song (OK- maybe there is a wrong way)

Our DJ Gareth James says ‘For a packed dance floor, the first song following the first dance has to be a banger! If you’ve booked a sax player, a well known sax anthem like Jubel is always bound to go down well.’

Should you allow your guests to request?

Do you trust your friends and family to only choose decent music? Allowing requests on the night can really help boost numbers on the dancefloor and ensure all round enjoyment. There are many ways of implementing this including the trendy ‘RSVP with song choice’, the ‘on the night, off the cuff’ requests and many more creative ways. 

I once met a DJ who had a pile of postcards and a mini post box on a table next to his DJ booth. There was a little sign that read ‘Requests Box’ and you could write your song request down, pop it in the post box and hey presto, he’d play it! 

If you’re at all interested, my personal approach at our wedding was to provide the DJ with a ‘do-not-play’ list, due to my work in the wedding industry and Shut Up and Dance being a bit of a busman's holiday. This worked well for us and we had a great do with music that we loved albeit a not very full dance floor. We didn’t really consider the music that other people would want to dance to and perhaps if we were to do it all again we’d trust our DJ a bit more to have free rein. 

If a full dancefloor is your aim then read on…

The Full Dancefloor

This is the subject of a future blog but you’re in luck - I can give you an insight right now. If you want a full dancefloor for the majority of the night then you must first tell your DJ this. Once that’s cleared up we recommend you request a reasonable amount of songs i.e. 20 that you know your wedding party will love. Here’s the trick though, and you might not like it; getting a full dancefloor means opening up to music that’s not just your favourite music, it’s about the wedding party as a whole. 

Look down your wedding guest list and pick out a friend, an older relative and a younger relative. Picture all 3 on the dance floor. Now look at our evening wedding music playlist. Which song from that list are they likely to all be really enjoying and dancing to? The song you pick needs to go on the wedding DJ requests form without hesitation. 

Our Wedding DJ Requests Form

If you’ve booked a DJ with us we will ask you to fill in our form 4 weeks before the wedding. We’ve combined all of our joint experience to come up with a great way of getting a feel for your faves whilst making it as easy and fun as possible. 

So in conclusion, your requests are really important in ensuring a great night and we can’t wait to see what you put down on the form. We always aim to provide a varied range of music through the night and cater for different age groups. If you can, try to trust that it’ll be great. After all, you've hired a professional DJ to actually DJ at your wedding, not play your playlist. Let me finish with a nice little line I’ve seen on many a meme: 

Good DJ’s play music you wanted to hear, great DJ’s play music you didn’t know you wanted to hear

Why not sign up to our mailing list and get a free handy wedding music planning tool to get you started


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