Wedding Entertainment: Turn Up The Volume

The key to making your reception a night to remember? Music that gets your guests out of their seats and onto the dance floor.



Your reception is a time to celebrate. It’s important to choose the right entertainment—whether it be relaxed or more clubby—to fit your wedding vibe and your personality as a couple.

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After dinner has been served and the cake has been cut, couples want to let loose and have some fun. Choosing musical entertainment is a crucial step in planning your big day since it drives your reception’s entire vibe. Here are some important things to keep in mind to ensure everyone is rocking all night long.

Live Band or DJ

“If you are on the fence, consider the venue, the size of the wedding, and what style of music you want,” says Brandee Gaar, owner of Blush by Brandee Gaar. “If you are in a large ballroom or on a vast lawn, it’s best to consider a band. However, if your space is smaller or has low ceilings, I would push more toward a DJ.” Keep in mind, too, the type of music you want. “If you are very specific on what you want or you prefer the flexibility of music choices, a DJ may be most appropriate,” Gaar adds.   

Find Your Entertainment

One of the benefits of hiring a professional wedding planner is that you can tap into their expertise with local vendors. “Our knowledge of the industry can save you a ton of money and heartache in the end,” says Gaar. Another option is to check out wedding websites like The Knot or Wedding Wire. “[The entertainer] isn’t able to change the reviews,” explains Kristin Wilson, founder of Our DJ Rocks. “You can always tell when the reviews are genuine.” Look at the band or the DJ’s social media, as well, to get a feel for their personality and what they are like as performers.

Curate the Perfect Playlist

In terms of the tunes you want, communicate the overall vibe you’re going for. Do you want everyone to feel like they’re at a club? Or do you prefer a more relaxed setting?  “Couples should look at it like a collaboration,” says Wilson. It’s equally important to express the genres you like and the ones you don’t. Wilson suggests going over scenarios beforehand just in case a guest requests one of these “no play” songs, so the entertainer knows what to do if your new mother-in-law asks for her favorite tune. The more you talk about your desired atmosphere and song preferences, the better.

Nail the First Dance

Some brides and grooms know exactly what song they want for their first dance as Mr. and Mrs., but if you and your significant other are at a loss, don’t fret. Start by listening to music by perusing Spotify and YouTube or looking up “love” playlists. “Lyrics are important. Find something that lyrically fits your relationship as a couple,” says Wilson. Once you find a song, picture it playing at your venue to see if it meshes: “If you love the song, but it doesn’t fit your wedding, try finding an acoustic version or a cover by another artist.”

Infuse Some Fun

A wedding is the ultimate celebration, so don’t take yourself too seriously. Fun options include spicing up the usual bouquet and garter toss by doing them both at once while playing a song like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” or hiring Hora Loca entertainers. “The Hora Loca is also called ‘Crazy Hour’ and is mostly done during Latin weddings,” explains Gaar.  “It’s the last hour of the evening when the DJ or band plays a full hour of dance music mixing one song right into the next. There are typically dancers, stilt walkers, drummers and a variety of fun props such as feather boas, sunglasses and beads.”

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