by: Jon Bartlett, Remix DJs
Over the years, I have had the great honor of discovering many couple’s music profiles. I have also discovered that each couple’s story is original and their music should be custom tailored to fit their personality and that story. In the movies, music brings each story to life and makes the viewers feel like they have a 3D view into the emotional makeup of the characters. When done right, music can invoke that same emotion in your guests and give them a 3D view into your love story.
Here are four questions to ask yourself when searching for the perfect songs for your wedding soundtrack. The goal is to discover your music profile and plan it out so that your music fits your story like a glove.
1. What’s My Style?
Remember: this isn’t your grandma’s wedding or your friend’s wedding. This is your wedding! If you were to produce a movie about your life, would you trust a stranger to pick the right music for the soundtrack? Or would you carefully pick the best musical director you could find and select the right music that properly represents your story? Obviously, when comparing the two options, the second solution sounds most reliable. We encourage you to be bold and effectively communicate your style of music to your DJ or band. Think of it this way, if you wouldn’t trust someone else to pick out your wedding dress, then why would you let someone choose the music for the most prominent part of your wedding? As the owner of Remix DJs, it always helps me to know that the songs that we play are hand-picked and carry a special meaning to our bride and groom. Even when a selection may not seem correct or common to me, I have found that if there is a tradition or story behind it, it will always be a big hit.
2. What Kind of Mood Do I Want?
While creating your itinerary and planning your order of events for the night, make sure to also consider the mood that you want to convey during each part of the evening. To help demonstrate, let’s focus on one portion of the night: the cocktail hour. Here are a handful of moods and the suggested musical genres that fully encompass them.
Start with some classic vocal and jazz. Artists like Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole
Play some light rock and alternative rock. Artists like Jason Mraz, Beach Boys, Maroon 5, and Jack Johnston
Play some deep and chill house music. Artists like Miguel Migs, Everything but the Girl, Mark Farina and Sam Smith
Start with some folk rock and classic rock. Artists like Iron & Wine, Tom Petty, Florence + The Machine and Mumford & Sons
Play motown, soul and R&B. Artists like Sade, Nina Simone, John Legend, and Otis Redding
As this list shows, there are many moods that can be set to unveil your personality & style.
3. Are there any themes or wordplay that I want to incorporate into a specific moment?
One of the great tools that we have at our fingertips is the internet. Search engines can help you find an endless amount of songs with specific themes or phrases. If you want a list of songs about marriage or love for your first dance, just search it and see what comes up! Do you want some suggestions for the Father/Daughter Dance, or maybe songs about money for the Money Dances? Just search away! For instance, why not play “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon for the Mother/Son Dance or play “Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Peppa for the garter toss. The options are endless when it comes to word play or thematic songs. If that’s your style, go for it!
4. Do I need to pick any classics for the dance party or should I only pick songs from my music profile?
When it comes to the dance party, this is the one part of the night that it helps to put your guests’ styles in the mix. Even though it is important to make sure your DJ or band plays your favorite songs, make sure to allow them to play a good amount of the classics. This will help get your crowd on the dance floor and ecstatically celebrating with you.
Remember that some guests aren’t as outgoing as others, so it helps to play songs that everyone will recognize, especially right at the beginning of the dance party. This will ensure that your dance floor will be packed and that there aren’t any awkward moments of having an empty dance floor. Yes, sometimes your guests may need a few more drinks to help build some liquid courage, but a group of recognizable songs can be just as effective.
Don’t forget that it’s always a good thing to ask your DJ or band to mix up the genres and to seamlessly flow through different styles of music. That way your guests from young to old will not label the music style of the party and mentally check out. It’s good to keep them on their toes and to keep them guessing. When this is done right, it will keep your guests happy and always asking for more. If anything, you may get one complaint (but this is a complaint that will make you smile), “All night I wanted to take a break and relax, but the music was so good that I never got the chance to sit down.” Now that’s the kind of night that everyone truly wants to enjoy with all of their closest friends and family.
About the Author:
Jon’s path of refining his skills as an author and DJ has an unique origin. When Jon first started DJing in 1999, he was extremely passionate about his craft. He quickly discovered that he wanted to dedicate the rest of his life to mastering and sharing his craft with the world.
Three years later, that dream became a reality when he left Kansas City to start touring internationally. For the next five years, he experienced many different cultures and performed in front of 500,000 people. In 2005, he married the love of his life and his focus gradually began to shift back to Kansas City. After having their first child in 2007, Jon’s passion became to bring the same quality of production that he experienced on the road back to Kansas City. However, he wanted to further custom tailor the experience for the wedding industry.
Since creating Remix DJs in 2007, Jon has won multiple awards as a DJ and MC, he began writing for EA Bride Magazine, and has built his own niche in the hearts of couples all over the midwest.