Wedding music tips from a function centre DJ

As a contracted DJ at a wedding venue, I’m often asked what songs are best for things like tossing the bouquet and garter, what song a couple should be introduced to, and (the most difficult question to answer) “what should my bridal waltz be?”

Here are some tips to help you decide.

Note: according to my WordPress insights, many of my readers are based in the US. Please note that Australian music tastes have known to differ from yours in various areas, but please feel free to read on.

Music for you or music for your crowd?

One of my jobs is to play to the crowd — tailor the playlist to them so they may get the most enjoyment out of the atmosphere. If they’re dancing to Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go, it’s highly unlikely they’re going to dance to Enter Sandman, no matter what your groom’s best man says.

This leaves you at a crossroads: should you make a list of music purely for yourself, or a list to please your guests?

Photo by TranStudios Photography & Video on Pexels.com

If you decide you only want to please yourself (a perfectly valid choice!) be aware that your playlist may not be to the liking of your guests — especially if your tastes don’t align with the standard Top 40 hits or Australian classics. You should consider making a full playlist to give to your DJ or musician of tracks or artists/decades you want to hear. Also make them aware if you want them to take requests from your guests that may deviate from this list.

Alternatively, you can cater to the interests of the crowd by leaving your playlist to your DJ simple. List key songs you want, but allow them to choose the bulk of the music. In this case, you’ll want to let your DJ or musician the genre or decade of tracks you want, and some other artists you want to hear.

Song suggestions from a wedding DJ

Typically your introduction/bridal waltz/bouquet toss/garter toss/leaving circle are one song. These sections will have Spotify playlists that include song suggestions.

Entrance song

The MC goes through the venue’s housekeeping, details when dinner will be, then presents your bridal party! But you may want to consider having some music to accompany your grand entrance! These songs can be literally anything. A popular choice is to have an upbeat party anthem, or just a nice classic. Here are some suggestions:

Bouquet toss

Interested in throwing your bouquet to the next person, but not sure what to play while doing it? Here are the most common suggestions:

As I’m sure you’ve noticed from weddings you might have attended in the past, Single Ladies gets a lot of airplay for bouquet tosses. If you’re looking for stereotypical bouquet songs, consider femme-anthems that are upbeat and a little exciting.

Garter toss

The garter toss is falling out of fashion these days, but if you’ve decided you want to have one, know that the choices of music here are endless. Getting the garter off is weird. So it makes sense the music can be a little weird, too.

Typically, choices range from those sexy R&B tracks to hard rock. The DJ that trained me liked to use Zorba’s Dance, which gets progressively faster. More modern weddings tend to opt for the R&B Pony.

Bridal waltz (the first dance)

There is no “best choice” with an accompanying list (though I’ll still offer some if you’re stuck for ideas). The bridal waltz is considered to be the ultimate personal choice of the happy couple.

Ideally, pick a song that resonates with you. It doesn’t need to be a waltz. It doesn’t even need to be beautiful. It just needs to be something that makes you both happy. Maybe it’s “your song”, or a song that was playing when you first met. Some choose a song that best summarises your relationship.

Here are some songs used as bridal waltzes at weddings I’ve DJed.

Some just pick a song they think sounds good. Themes to favourite movies have been a solid choice, too.

Ultimately, don’t pick something that’ll please your guests. The bridal waltz, as awkward as it might feel if you can’t dance, is just for you and your partner.

The same logic should be applied to the dance with your parent(s), if you’re also having one of those. Don’t try to find a crowd pleaser, just find something you both like.

At the end of the day,

Your music is your choice. There is ultimately no “best” way to cater to everyone. If you decide to go with a DJ, let them (of the venue they work for) know what you want.

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