When is your list not the best list? - An Edmonton wedding DJ dilemma



Every couple approaches direction with their DJ a bit differently. Outside of a few special required song selections, such as the couple's first dances, some clients will leave it to the DJ company to make most of the musical decisions. Others couples will get very involved, listing a variety of songs in all major areas of a reception. Both approaches are acceptable and most professional DJ's should welcome input from their clients. 

But, what happens when the list provided by the client doesn't go over well?

It can and does happen that the suggestions brought forth by a couple becomes more than suggestion, but direction - a "must-play" or "do not play" scenario. This isn't always terrible, but a DJ can have a hard time managing such requests and making it translate to the dance floor if the list is overpowering and not particularly well planned out. 

In short, while we like to say, "the client is always right", the reality is, sometimes the client has terrible taste in music (at least when it comes to a wedding reception). 

Should a couple eliminate all of one genre or completely focus on a certain style of music, they run the risk of not catering to the guests they've invited. If a couple chooses songs that may be great to listen to in the shower, in the car or while working out, but not so great to dance to, it shouldn't come as surprise when guests don't dance. 

Yet, for some reason it's magically always a surprise and guess who takes the blame? -- the DJ. 

Coming from a professional DJ of eighteen years, here is a quick lesson on how to avoid this issue.

Good Lists

A good list is one that considers all ages and music tastes. There is a mix of oldies, rock, dance, country, top 40, slow songs and other music to serve most people, most of the time. 

When putting your list together, try to avoid too much of any one artist, genre, or speed of music. If your twenty song list has fifteen slow songs, you'll be in for a long, boring night. Your DJ will be hassled by any guests under 60. 

Make your list reflect your music tastes, but also make sure your list thinks about others. 

Bad Lists


If you choose every song on your iPod, it's probably a bad list. If you tell the DJ to completely avoid any of the "boring, traditional wedding cheese", it's probably a bad list. If you say to yourself, "I love all these songs and they rock", it's probably a bad list. 

The truth is, you may not love every song at your reception. You shouldn't have to in order to enjoy your night. So too, a DJ who offers or guarantees everyone will love every song, is full of ^%$. 

It's impossible to get it 100% right, all of the time with such a varied group that most events would be. A good DJ will understand that by pleasing most of the people, most of the time, (instead of trying to please all of the people, all of the time), they'll be doing your reception a great service. 

Final Thoughts

Work harder to find a DJ company you are comfortable with and trust to be professional and read your crowd over offering too much direction. Letting your DJ know your few musts are key and input is good, but remember why you invested the money you did on a good DJ. They know what they are doing. 

If a DJ strays from your list, it's often not because they are choosing to ignore you, but because your list isn't working well with your group. Or, your guests have brought to the DJ requests that they'd like to hear. 

This is your event, but you're holding it to celebrate with your closest family and friends. If you didn't want them to have fun, you wouldn't have invited them. Try to remember that when a professional DJ chooses the songs he/she does in any night. 

A good DJ always tries to make happy the client who hires them. A good DJ also looks around the room and knows when things are working well or are not. A good DJ will have the confidence to try something that helps your dance along, even if it's not on your must-play list.