How Important Is Your Wedding Reception Playlist

When you ask people what they remember most about weddings, their answers won’t be the flowers or decorations. What makes a wedding memorable is conditional upon everyone having fun. Regardless if it’s a wedding or a birthday party, a good time is measured by delicious food, great drinks, and even better music.

So to answer the question, your reception playlist is very important.

Essentially, you want everyone, including you and your partner, to have a fantastic time. While that sounds like a lot of pressure falling onto the couple, having an awesome reception playlist is not as difficult as you think.

DJ vs. DIY Playlist: Which should you choose?

DJ vs Rental Set up

Rented system with play list vs DJ – Photo Credit – www.snapshotsbyclare.com

First, This section deserves it’s own post and Mike has assured me one is on the way. Second, If you are going to DIY it, do yourself a favor and rent a professional sound system. Give M&M Entertainment a call or text at 207.450.4960 or email at mike@wickedgooddj.com to get the right system for your event. As for the list itself…

Thanks to music streaming apps like Spotify, creating and playing your own reception playlist is easier than ever. One suggestion from a blog post on Kennedy Blue is to make the playlist public to give guests the freedom of adding their own songs, so that there’s a little something for everyone at the reception. If you do go the Spotify route, it’s best to upgrade to a premium account to skip all the advertisements.

Play List Management

But managing your own playlist has major downsides which make hiring a DJ Service a highly recommended option. Although a wedding DJ is an additional expense, the service you pay for is not just music. Good DJ’s are also MC’s, keeping the whole event running smoothly. They keep guests informed as to when things are happening. Your DJ will facilitate each special moment and transition to the next, keeping things running on time. This allows you and your guests to enjoy the day worry free. Plus, DJs are great at reading crowds and changing the vibe to get more people dancing.

Even if you have a family member or friend taking care of the DIY playlist, you might need a few rehearsals to make sure things run smoothly. As previously mentioned on M&M Entertainment, you need to and should be taken care of on your wedding day; the less you have to think about on the big day, the better.

What should you include in your playlist?
Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-groom-fixing-brides-shoe-strap-1758220/

Put on your dancing shoes! – Image credit: Pexels

The Spruce shares all the typical music moments in a wedding, which is a great guide to follow when picking out all the personal, meaningful songs. As for the rest of the reception music, variety is key. Because your guests are all of various ages and have different musical tastes, it’s highly recommended to have tunes throughout the ages to appeal to everyone. Oldies are still goodies, after all. However, if you do have songs you absolutely cannot have played during your wedding, be sure to give that list to your DJ, or whoever is handling the music.

Even though the goal is to get all the guests dancing the night away, don’t be afraid to mix it up with some slow jams. Slow songs give them a break for food, drinks, picture-taking, and mingling. Slow songs will also let the lovebirds have a moment to themselves on the dance floor. Just make sure that the wedding ends on a high with a well-loved dance anthem. Guests should leave the reception with a smile on their face.

Don’t forget, it’s your wedding!

Last but not least, don’t forget to include your own favorite dance tunes in there as well. The Knot said it best, revealing that “the most fun weddings are those at which the newlyweds are having an absolute blast.” “Set an example for everyone by getting your happy selves out there as soon as possible.” Obviously, the playlist should include songs that will get both you and your partner dancing, but something else to factor in for the newlyweds is comfortable shoes. Brogues for men and heels for women can be painful to dance in, and unhappy feet can really set the mood for the rest of the night. To avoid the pain, consider changing shoes for the reception. Another alternative for the bride is to apply heel hacks from a style guide on Pretty Me to lessen the pressure on her feet.

Whether you end up with a DJ or a DIY playlist, your reception playlist surely won’t disappoint with all these tips in mind! 

Exclusively written for wickedgooddj.com By Allison Davis

An April Weekday Wedding in New Hampshire – Chad + Ashley

This one time at Band Camp, Chad, a smooth sax player met Ashley and said “look at that cutie with the Flute over there.” One date, watching Finding Nemo, and she was hooked. Chad and Ashley were headed for a Journey that would land us right in the heart of Portsmouth on a Thursday afternoon with only their very closest family and friends. 

Chad and Ashley's New Hampshire Wedding

One Day, At Band Camp

Chad and Ashley know how to laugh, play, and have fun together in a very rare and wonderful way. It’s almost as if it’s what they do for a living. They are so sweet and fun! Part of the reason they are this way is that they are very good at making the complicated seem simple. Their wedding day exemplified that.

Small Guest List, Large room. Let’s get creative!

With maybe 60 guests, they were able to make very creative use of the Portsmouth Harbor Events Center Ballroom. Lauren, their coordinator, took care of every detail to a T. The ceremony was in a section of the ballroom, completely separate from the cocktail hour. The cocktail hour was completely separate from the Ballroom, until the guests were invited in and seated. Almost like magic, the cocktail hour walls disappeared! The bar was now in the ballroom, and the guests were ready to receive the bridal party with open arms and rowdy cheers!

Simple Elegance

The ceremony was sweet and simple. The only flowers were those being held by the bride and bridesmaids, along with corsages for the groom and groomsmen.  The bridesmaids walked in to Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Ashley walked in to Canon in D. Their ceremony was brief, at 10 minutes or so, but heartfelt, and sprinkled with humor. Ashley’s uncle officiated masterfully. After presenting the Newlyweds, the happy couple exited to OneRepublic’s “Feel Again” Forming a receiving line that welcomed their guests to cocktail hour.

Chad and Ashley's Wedding Ceremony

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The Reception!

Chad + Ashley entering their Wedding Reception

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After a relaxing, yet upbeat cocktail hour, the guests took their seats as the cocktail hour room magically became part of the ballroom. Amanda Perkins from Amanda Rai Photography was there with her assistant ready to capture the introductions and festivities to follow.  Chad and Amanda chose to make their entrance to the tune of Imagine Dragons On Top of the World!

Chad and Ashley's first dance

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They went right into their first dance – Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – They are huge movie buffs, and while almost no one wants “wedding” and “Armageddon” in the same sentence, especially when talking about their own wedding, for Chad and Ashley it was a must! The song and movie had very special meaning to both of them.

Dinnertime fun

Toasts to Chad and Ashley!

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Fun and sweet toasts followed by Chad’s Best Man Kevin, his brother Anthony and Ashley’s Maid of Honor Jasmine, and dinner was underway. During dinner the glass clinking began getting overwhelming, so we leveled up. Now everyone at a table had to sing a line or a verse of a song with the word love in it. That didn’t stop this fun and crazy bunch, in fact each table went around and did it! It was time for some serious action. This time, if they want to get Chad and Ashley to kiss, the whole room had to do the wave! They did it not just once, but twice!

Fun Centerpiece Giveaway

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Let’s get this party Started!
Father Daughter and Mother Son dances

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As dinner was wrapping up, we had a high energy centerpiece giveaway that brought them to their feet! Ashley danced with her dad to the acoustic version of Forever Young by Rod Stewart. Chad danced with his mom to Mom by Garth Brooks, and we kicked of the dancing with Beyond the Sea from Finding Nemo, the very first movie Chad and Ashley saw on their very first date together.

Dancing at Chad and Ashley's wedding

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Guests dancing at Chad and Ashley's Wedding

And the crowd goes wild!

Chad Leading the conga line

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Everybody is getting down at Ashley and Chads April Wedding

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The Shoe Game with no shoes

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Wedding Guests Dancing

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This wedding was so much fun! Thank you Chad and Ashley for asking me to be a part of it!

A Maine DJ’s Proposal Stories

https://www.weddinginclude.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Beach-proposal.jpg

As a DJ in Maine, I have heard many proposal stories over the years. You might think it would get old. No way. You might think the more wild and over the top the better, not necessarily, You may think the more extravagant the better, that’s not even true. In fact believe it or not, there is a difference between over the top and extravagant. Allow me a brief explanation.

Not all Wedding Proposals are Romantic

First and foremost, I want to be clear, Not all DJ’s in Maine or elsewhere are romantic, I am not a natural romantic. As a Maine DJ, it’s bound to come up in conversation more for me than most. More than that though, my intrigue comes from a different place. I am fascinated by people, and what makes one person giddy, and another just shrug.

I’m curious as to how well the proposal fits each personality. Does this sound like something he or she would do? Did you expect her to ask you to marry her? What would make a non-planner go to such lengths to ask for ones hand in marriage? If plans fell through, how was it handled? For me, and perhaps this is why I became a DJ in Maine, I simply really enjoy people. I love hearing their stories, and I love learning about what really matters to them and why.

Extravagent? Over the Top? or simple and sweet?

OK,  the difference between extravagant and over the top. Here it is, extravagant means a trip to France, and he proposed at the top of the Eiffel tower.

Over the top means he (or she) sent a limo to your house to pick you up. When you step inside, there are 1,000 origami cranes he hand folded himself, and a card asking you to unfold each crane because he wrote something on each one he loves about you.

You arrive to him waiting dressed to a “T” on a red carpet. You then enter the old theater to what appears to be Gone With The Wind, until you read the credits and realize that instead of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, it’s starring the two of you, and the rest of the “movie” is a slide show of the two of you in all of the most amazing places you have ever gone together. At the end of the movie are the words “Will You Marry Me”. You look over as the lights come up and he is on one knee with a ring in his hands.

In short, Extravagance equals extraordinary expense, over the top equals extraordinary effort. The one thing I noticed is that, even when they know it’s coming, they are is almost always an element of surprise. Incidentally, this is a combination of two real marriage proposals. I was blown away by the 1,000 cranes story, and the Gone With The Wind story was how my sister’s husband proposed to her.

The Marraige Proposal Stories

Ron & Cindy – How did you ask her/him to marry you? – Plan B

Ron proposed to me on the walking bridge in Brunswick, my home town.  He had planned it out for a few months but was waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ with the ring for a couple of months and then wasn’t sure what that moment would be.  He realized one day when we were having a perfect moment that he had forgotten the ring!  This was when we were staying in a yurt.  He proposed later that week by booking a nice dinner reservation and arriving early to go for a walk on the bridge.

Was He/She Surprised?  Yes!  I was not expecting it to happen that day.  After the previous weekend I thought he would be waiting for a while.  


Mary & Will – How did you propose?

  • We had a trip planned to Zion National Park with many of our closest mutual friends from college to go hiking. On our first hike of the morning, once we got to the top of a lookout, our friends all posed for photos, and then suggested we take a photo as a couple in front of the vista of the entire park. As we posed for the photo, Will proposed. Our friends were all in on the surprise, and Will had asked them to take some photos of the proposal – it’s so special now to have the photos to share with our families and to remember the day. We then spent the weekend hiking and celebrating with our friends.
  • Will had actually gone to Las Vegas for work earlier that spring, and unbeknownst to me, he and a friend had driven to Zion to scout out the perfect location for the proposal!

Was He/She Surprised?

  •  We both knew we were going to get married and had talked very candidly about it. I suspected he might ask me that weekend. But the exact location and timing were a surprise – and it was so special to have all our friends there and to be in nature.

Tyler & Salome – How did you ask her/him to marry you? – Plan B

Salome had kept mentioning wanting to go to these expansive, and beautiful Flower Fields here in California – which seemed like a beautiful place to propose. So that was the plan. I had the ring in my pocket ready to go. However, once we got there – while it was very beautiful – you weren’t able to walk to far into the flowers, remaining on the dirt roads surrounding. Pair muddy dirt roads with the tractors full of tourists going by – it didn’t feel right. I had to come up with a Plan B.

Later that night, we went to get drinks in downtown Glendale where we live, and ended up going for a walk along the cliffs on the ocean at sunset. The clouds created a very beautiful pink/purple sky. While she was taking photos of the sunset I got down on one knee, and when
she turned around – she was shocked”

Was He/She Surprised?
Salome: “I was very surprised! So much so that I asked him ‘You really want to marry ME?” Then I gave him my right hand for the ring instead of my left, oops.”


If I’m being honest, this is my current favorite from last year. Sweet, simple, and very effective!

Derek & Emily – How did you ask her/him to marry you?

 We were up on Prince Edward, one of my favorite places growing up.  The place means a lot to me because my Dad grew up there on the ocean and the small cabin we have is right on the ocean.  He was being weird all day; refusing to go for walks on the beach, then asking to go and deciding not to once people joined (umm, but now I get it!!). 

Finally it was just him and I walking, and my heart was POUNDING.  I swear I felt my Dad near, but there was nothingggg concrete about any of it!  Derek had the ring designed and shipped from California. It went to my mom’s house, and they had code words so I never knew it was coming!  Anyway, we kept looking for sea glass, but when I ‘felt’ him kneel down I’d spin around and ask him if he found a piece, and he’d just pop up and say “nope, nope, that’s not a piece.”  In hindsight I think he was trying to get himself settled on one knee but I kept butting in and ruining it!  Hahaha 

Getting super close to the cabin (the walk was over 2 miles!) he said something and I stormed off a bit, and then he said my name, I turned around, and he was on one knee.  I have NO IDEA what he was saying, I just saw him and the ring, and started crying and saying yes (looking back, he could have been asking to buy a new truck or something but I had NO IDEA what he was saying!!), and we went from there.  When we got back to the cabin, we were able to share the news with family; it was wonderful.  But I did ask him “so you still have 3 days here with us; what if I said ‘no’?”  Hahaha!  What a beautiful day!!

Was He/She Surprised?

 YES.

I hope you have enjoyed these, perhaps found a way to casually slip them passed your boyfriend or girlfriend, just in case they have been thinking about a proposal. I would absolutely love to hear your proposal stories. Send me a note with yours at mike@wickedgooddj.com And of course if you have been proposed to I know a great Maine DJ 🙂 Happy Valentines Day!

~Mike Mahoney – M&M Entertainment