(Closed) How much guidance to give DJ?

posted 8 years ago in Music
Post # 4
1213 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi, we haven’t booked our DJ yet, but one of my mates is a DJ and he says that once he has the must play and do not play lists he can kind of get a feel for the type of music the couple wants. Are you meeting with your DJ or just emailing/calling? My friend says that if the couple can give a few guides such as ‘mellow music until after dessert, then more dance music’ that and the lists is enough, he knows his way around an event because he does this nearly every week!

Post # 5
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Be careful about it though. I went to a wedding once where the bride had narrowed down the choices so much with do not plays and do plays that there wasn’t much dancing except for the bridal party. She had a wide range of ages there, and most of us had never even heard the songs that were being played (and they weren’t dancing songs). A DJ is a DJ for a reason – he knows the songs that can get people on the dance floor, and when certain songs are appropriate. I would give him a few must plays (and maybe a few do not plays), but don’t plan out the whole reception. Traditional wedding songs are there because they’re fun, and even though they get annoying, it’s kind of disappointing as a guest when they aren’t played.

Post # 6
54 posts
Worker bee

I actually asked my DJ this same question!  We want to make sure that butts stay on the dance floor but that we are also happy with what music is played.  My Fiance is kind of an alternative music type of guy – he has some strong feelings about the do not play list. 

What our DJ suggested was a play list of 50 songs, with 20 of them starred as “must plays”. 

As far as the do not play list, he suggested 10 songs – he mentioned that he had been at a wedding once where the do not play list was so long – he had to read it everytime a song was requested by a guest or a song he wanted to play – but the groove was ruined because he was jumping back and forth to this do not play list all the time.

My Fiance and I decided to put bands/artists on a do not play list – mostly my Fiance, but things like Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, etc. are a huge no no for my Fiance.  We also have decided to not do any organized dance songs like The Electric Slide, YMCA, etc. We thought these songs would be easier to identify on do not play list instead of listing individual songs (and easier for our DJ).



Post # 7
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We went through our DJ’s big list of songs and crossed some out to DNP and highlighted the ones we wanted played.  Then I added a small list at the end that weren’t on his list that i want played.  I won’t be heartbroken if some of the ones I highlight don’t get played, as long as everyone stays on the dance floor.  I feel like that is 90% of the reason I got a good dj/mc is not just to pick songs and play them, but to set the tone of the event and make sure everyone is having a good time.


So, I didn’t want to dictate TOO much what I did and didn’t want.  But, if I hear and Kool in the Gang, I might punch someone!

Post # 8
4485 posts
Honey bee

A good dj who is a professional worth their salt will play music that the crowd responds to. Must play and do not play lists are good for them to have and they should be made aware during interviews before you hire them as to what your (and your guests’) favorite genres are and what they don’t dance to at all. But since they are the professional, it is their job to pick out music that the crowd enjoys. If the couple gets too picky, to the point where they themselves pick out nearly every song, then there is no need to hire a dj at all.

As far as the lists go, most djs say they prefer 5-10 must plays max. Do not play lists should include anything that is not acceptable to be played.

Post # 9
5154 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I picked genres that I liked (and didn’t) and then songs I absolutly wanted and songs that we were using (father/daughter, mother/son, Mr&Mrs, entrance, etc) and then are leaving the rest up to him….I figure this way I don’t have to stress about that and we will have a wide variety!

Post # 10
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

our dj uses a “must play” and “NEVER play” plus a redlight and green light list.

the must plays are songs that the bridal party dances to, or songs that you will be pissed if you dont hear (tops – about 4-5 songs)

never play are songs that if you hear them  you will throw something at his head for playing them.

then the green light songs are songs that you like that you think are good for it, red lights are songs that while if played you wouldnt kill him but arent exactly your favorite

if you trust your DJ you shouldnt have to pick TOO much – he should be able to read the crowd 🙂

Post # 11
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

We were pretty specific. We went so far as to name as friend as our “DJ liason”. We put together our own mix for the cocktail hour, and that was our big musical indulgence. We had some “must play” and “do not play” songs fpr the reception, but the “do not play” list was longer. We trusted our DJ to play a mix of current an universally appealing songs, and he did an AWESOME job.

Post # 12
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Our DJ made the point that some of the songs you love, you may listen to relaxing or driving, but not dancing. His whole reason to be there is to keep people dancing. So I’d be inclined to keep the Do Not Play list to stuff you really really hate, and then a short list of Must Plays, and after that let him judge the crowd and choose accordingly.

Post # 13
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

We’re just saying no organized dance songs.  No must plays–free reign.  We assume he knows better than we do.

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