Wedding Sample Playlist
by Alex Cosper

First two hours during dinner: jazz instrumentals, ballads, lounge music

After or during dinner the Best Man gives the toast then the mic is passed around for other toasts

Cake Cutting: this can be done anytime but DJs like to get as many things out of the way as possible that won't interrupt the dancing. Also, photographers don't always stay the whole time and like to get as many things done early on. Caterers also like to get things done as soon as possible.

First Dance: play the love song chosen by the bride and groom after announcing that the couple is doing their first dance as a married couple (this is one of the high points of the evening, so it's very important the photographer is aware and prepared).

Wedding Party dances: these may go on for awhile that might include: father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, everyone in the wedding party dance, the money dance in which anyone can dance with the bride or groom if they donate money

All Dance: if the crowd is composed of all ages it's a good idea to start off with oldies or mass appeal songs that everyone knows then play more for the younger people later on and toward the end of the event

Garter Toss/Bouquet Toss: This is done at more traditional receptions, but in recent years less couples are doing it. The groom removes the garter from the bride's upper leg, hidden by her dress. All the single men line up to try to catch the garter to see who will get married next. Then the single women line up to try to catch the bouquet of flowers the bridge throws over her should to see who will marry next. The bouquet toss can go first and then the garter toss. There are no set rules to doing any of this. It's all completely up to the couple or the wedding coordinator. The winners of the two tosses then get together for a photograph. During all of this, the DJ has a chance to shine and say funny things as long as it's appropriate for the crowd. A typical song to play during the garter removal is "The Stripper" by David Rose or "Legs" by ZZ Top. A typical song for the bouquet toss is "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper.

Back to Music: Many times a ballad will bring a crowd back to the floor, but if you feel lots of energy in the room, a fast song is just as likely to work. If there are more events, try to combine as many at one time so that the rest of the event will just be dancing, since sometimes it can be difficult to get a crowd back out on the floor after a long break. If someone else is planning the agenda, just follow it and do the best you can.

Last Song: The last song should be memorable for everyone, especially the bride and groom. It may even be a song they picked. Many receptions end with a slow dance, but if they request a fast song as the final song, pick something very powerful and familiar. End the night by saying something to the effect of "best of luck to (groom's name) and (bride's name) in the future." If the crowd responds with applause and cheers, let that be how the event ends.

Mass Appeal Dance Songs for Weddings

Kool & The Gang - Celebration
Village People - YMCA
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
Sister Sledge - We Are Family
Bob Seger - Old Time Rock and Roll
Glenn Miller - In The Mood
Beatles - Twist and Shout
Commodores - Brick House
Prince - 1999
Madonna - Holiday
Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive
AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long
B-52s - Love Shack
Frank Sinatra - Theme From New York, New York
Aretha Franklin - Respect

Love Songs for Weddings

Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole - Unforgettable
Etta James - At Last
Anne Murray - Could I Have This Dance
Barbara Streisand - Evergreen
Carpenters - We've Only Just Begun
Frank Sinatra - The Way You Look Tonight
Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings
Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes - Up Where We Belong
Chicago - You're The Inspiration
Dido - Thank U

General Evolution of DJ Equipment

1980s thru 1990s DJ gear: Two Technics 1200 Turntables, 4 to 16 channel mixer with crossfade, Shure SM 58 microphone, two Klipsch Speakers

Early 2000s DJ gear: Mac iBook with MegaSeg software program, Numark CD Mix 2 mixer, Shure SM 58 microphone, powered JBL speakers

Later 2000s DJ gear: Macbook Pro with MegaSeg software program, Numark CD Mix 2 mixer, Shure SM 58 microphone, powered Bose L1 Model 1 sound system.

I like this innovative sound system by Bose because it keeps the speakers and amplifier in one place, eliminating the need for long chords (that someone might trip over, even taped down). Also, the longer the chord the more signal you use, so this system improves that situation as well. The L1 also is efficient in that it's stereo even though the speakers are stacked in one tower. It's all light-weight, easy to transport and easy to set up and tear down. On top of all that the sound quality is amazing. However, this system is best suited for smaller crowds of 200 or less. Bigger crowds require bigger, more powerful speakers on stands. Sometimes multiple speakers are necessary.

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