Choosing the Right Music for Your Event
When it comes to the music for your event, hiring a good disc jockey (whether you’re looking for a DJ in Orlando or somewhere else) is only the first step. Once you’ve chosen your DJ, you need to work with him or her to choose the right music. Here are some key points to consider:
What is the nature of your event? Is this a wedding, an anniversary, a celebration of some other sort, a general party, a fundraiser, or a corporate event? The type of event, the size, the guests, and the venue will all affect the type of music you’ll want.
What impact do you want the music to have? Think about the atmosphere you want to create. Do you want your guests to mingle and talk quietly to each other? Or do you want them dancing? Do you want a mood that is relaxed and mellow or dynamic and high energy? This information is important so the DJ can not only play the right songs but can play them at the most appropriate volume.
Just because you want the music to be more of a background element doesn’t mean your DJ is restricted to instrumentals that might just put your guests to sleep; there are plenty of middle-of-the-road songs that can create the right mood without being distracting. Of course, if you want folks moving and up on the dance floor, you’ll want different songs—or at least, different renditions. You might want music specifically designed to get folks up and doing dances such as the Electric Slide, Conga, folk dances, and other popular line dances. This can be especially effective if you have a DJ who demonstrates the dance and then leads it so that everyone knows what to do and is going in the same direction at the same time instead of stepping on each other’s toes.
What are your favorite songs? If your event is a personal celebration such as a wedding, birthday, or anniversary, certainly you want the music to reflect your tastes. On the other hand, you need to consider your guests as well. Hours of nonstop Gregorian chants might seem like paradise to you, but your guests may have a totally different opinion. Even if it means playing some songs that rank far down on your preference list, keep your guests in mind. If the event is honoring a person, couple, or group, you should include some of the favorites of the guest(s) of honor on the playlist.
I recommend a mix of music from a variety of genres so that everyone will likely hear something they’ll enjoy. Years ago I did a wedding where the bride and groom insisted on choosing every song and the order in which I was to play them. The entire list was comprised of techno and heavy metal music. I wasn’t surprised—although the bride and groom seemed to be—when the reception ended early because the majority of guests left right after the cake was cut.
A good DJ will want as much information as you can provide about your music preferences. Many DJ companies offer the convenience of creating your music playlist in a specially designed section of their websites—although you should still talk with the DJ before you finalize your list. If you aren’t sure what to request, tell the DJ what stations you have programmed into your car radio—these are obvious representations of your favorite music (excluding the talk stations, of course). An experienced DJ can make a playlist using that information and requests from your guests at the event.
In a future blog, I’ll explain more about choosing music for specific types of events.