Q: Ok, so I know I need to put together a songlist for my wedding. I know this is to help my musicians and DJ, but I’m struggling a bit. What needs to go on the songlist? Do I need to pick songs for the entire evening?
This is a great question! While I get questions about picking songs all the time, we’ve never gotten a question about the songlist as a whole. So, this is great and I’m so happy to share my insight.
First of all, you are right. The purpose of the songlist is to help your musicians, band, and DJ so that they know what songs you like and what you want to be played. What this means is you need to provide both actual songs for the moments that require a specific song and songs to help them know what to play at all other times.
So, I think it’s best when you start with the specific songs because that is usually the harder part. You’ll want to spend time choosing specific songs for moments like your first dance, your processional, and your bouquet toss. Check out our past blog post on choosing your wedding songs to help you out.
In addition to the specific songs, you’ll also be putting together a list of songs or artists or genres of music. This is to help your musicians or DJ plan for the timeframes without specific songs. This will be for the pre-ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing portions.
Now the key to picking these songs is to give your musicians or DJ direction, but not a playlist. As our awesome vendor friend, Su Buchigani from Golden Gate Music says,
“Don’t program every minute with music, you want a balance between structure and flow. You want to give your musicians the ability to react to guests responses.”
You want to utilize your musician’s and DJ’s skill and expertise to feel out the crowd. So, they just need some direction from you. That could mean sharing a few songs you like and some artists. Or it could mean just sharing a genre of music. Or some combo of the three. The best part of this is that you don’t have to list a ton of items or do a lot of work!
Your musician or DJ just needs some direction on what you want to hear and what you don’t. Remember, it’s important to share both what you want, but also your do not play list.
If there are any areas or songs you’re struggling with, ask your music vendors for help. They can provide suggestions or help guide you. And then your songlist is all set!
(Photo credit: Sherman Chu)
To learn more about Su, Golden Gate Music and the beautiful music they make, you can check them out here.
And don’t forge that we can help too! Contact us today to set up a free consultation.