Choosing songs for your big day can be hard. We get it. In previous posts, we’ve covered how many songs you should request, as well as some tips for song selection, but today the topic of choice is the one that haunts future brides and grooms as they plan their big day: do we play cliché songs people know, or do we play songs we (the bride and groom) actually like? In other words, which is more important: a unique wedding, or a fun wedding?
This is a tough choice. Chances are, you want your wedding to reflect your personality. You’re unique. You’re one of a kind. And, I’m willing to bet that the Cha Cha Slide or the Macarena do not have anything to do with your interests or who you are as a person- and that’s probably a good thing! But let’s set aside the über cliché songs for a moment and deal with the ones that perhaps you’d be more likely to agree to. Songs like “Timber,” “Yeah,” or “Uptown Funk.” Songs that don’t make you look like a total loser when they come on, but they also won’t encourage your guests to whisper to one another about how cutting edge you are.
So the question is, do you like these songs?
You may not, on a gut level. They may be played out and annoying. I’ll admit, when they come on in my car, I change the channel. The strange thing is though, when they come on at a wedding, people dance. I’m not talking like… dink around on the dance floor. I’m saying that people really dance to these songs.
So I will ask the question again, do you like these songs? The question could also be phrased as: do the ends justify the means?
Is it worth it to play songs you’re not 100% wild about in order to get people on the dance floor and having a great time?
The biggest bride-and-groom-planning-mistake we see at weddings we DJ is that there is too many obscure requests. This stems from the misconception that people come to a wedding to dance. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. A wedding is not a club. People are surrounded by family members, old friends, old significant others… there’s a lot more keeping them from dancing at a wedding. They need all the encouragement they can get to take a trip to the dance floor. And, nothing will discourage them more than songs they don’t know.
Simply put, your guests will only dance to songs that they know.
So in an effort to be unique, you may be tempted to choose songs that most of your guests will not know. We beg you, do not do this.
Instead, follow our 80/20 principle. Your guests should be familiar with 8 out of every 10 songs we play. Choose the lowest common denominator from each genre, songs everybody knows and loves. This will get people onto the dance floor.
This leaves, of course, 2 out of every 10 songs in which you can literally choose any songs you want. Let your quirkiness shine through in these songs, your guests will love it. And if they don’t like it, too bad for them… it’s your day!
Balance is hard, but we have found that if the 80/20 Principle is followed, your wedding will be both unique AND fun. And that’s the best part, you no longer have to choose between the two.