Plan the Perfect Reception Playlist

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

It might not be beautiful like flowers and dresses, or delectable like hors d'oeuvres and cake, but the music you choose for your wedding reception is the foundation for the entire post-ceremony celebration. It's arguably just as-if not more-important than other wedding staples. To choose the music that's right for you and your guests, it's best to start early.

"It can never be too soon (to look for a band or DJ)," says Jim Churski, lead guitarist in cover band Classic RPM. "The better bands book up quick-six months or even further in advance."

Churski recommends taking a week or two to sample various bands or DJs and suggests meeting them in person, if possible, before making a final decision.

DJs with Encore L'Amore Events, which books weddings up to a year in advance, meet with clients up to three times before booking and finalizing the details. DJ Joe Michalski recommends starting the music-selection process up to four months before the wedding.

In addition to sampling the music provider's work, DJ Todd Jones, owner of T.E.A.M. DJ, recommends asking about experience. "Ask them how long they've been doing it-you definitely want the more experienced [DJs]," he says. He also suggests asking about details like equipment and liability insurance.

Once you've made a decision, it's time to select the music.

Ask DJs to view their songbook, and ask bands to view their set list. Churski suggests asking whether they'll acquire new music or learn new songs for couples.

"I think variety is key to keeping people interested," he says. "Remember, not everyone will be the same age or have the same tastes."

When the big day arrives, the DJ or band you choose should be fully prepped on your song-request policy. Should they accept them? DJs with Encore L'Amore Events will take requests as long as the songs aren't on a couple's provided list of songs not to play.

Most importantly, trust the pros.

"It's their day, not ours," Michalski says. "But expect us to use our judgment to keep the crowd entertained and involved.