Fast and Slow Music-DJ's please weigh in
So our DJ wants us to pick out 20 must have songs at the reception. As far as the fast songs, I've got it. I'll do some Top 40, and some classic 80s. But for the slow songs I have no clue. How many do we need? And also, is it going to stop the party? As I want people up there dancing and having a good time all night. Do I need maybe 3 for the older crowd?

My FMIL requested (on our wedding website) Train-Marry Me, FH is not a fan of this song, so he doesn't want it as our first dance, plus we are doing a remix for that. So can this be one of the slow songs?

Married: 10/08/2011
Reviews: 13
Posted On: Jun 20, 2011 at 10:32 AM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

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Jun 20, 2011 at 1:14 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Although it depends greatly on the ages and size of the audience, we will usually mix 2 slow songs together to pack the dance floor, since sometimes the dancers are a little slow to get on the floor. A rough rule of thumb is to do a slow dance every 10 or so fast dances. It gives the fast dancers a chance to go to the bar or bathroom. Thus, for a typical 2-hour dance party, we'll usually list 8 slow songs, but it's no problem since there's tons of great slow dances for all age groups.
Jun 20, 2011 at 1:38 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Dan had some great suggestions and math equations. We don't have a specific number or ratio of slow vs fast. We try to keep the energy going as much as possible, but we break it up if we see the floor is starting to stutter.
I do believe that 20 "Must play" songs are a little too much... but that's my own personal opinion.

So... I would say choose about 5 slow songs and let your DJ play them whenever appropriate.

Some "typical" slow songs at a wedding might be:

Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers)
Can't Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)
You're The Inspiration (Chicago)
Everything I Do I Do It For You (Bryan Adams)
What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Your Song (Elton John)

Train's "Marry Me" is definitely a nice song... but I find it a little too corny and way too slow, even for a wedding.

Good luck! Hope everything turns out great!

Edited On: Jun 20, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Married: 10/08/2011
Reviews: 13
Jun 20, 2011 at 1:45 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thanks for the help, both of you! I think 5 should be plenty!

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 18
Jun 20, 2011 at 1:47 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Being a serious micro manager, and having had experience with horrible DJ's in the past, we actually did a 15 page play list, including a BANNED music list. Our DJ loved this idea, as it makes his job a lot easier. This list includes our choices for cocktail and dinner hour music. We wanted only bands we have seen in concert. We picked out fast music for all ages, and we prefer rotating 2 slow songs for every 5 fast songs. But then again, we have a slow dance loving crowd of a more mature age, who really need that slow dance break. :)

Also, other than our first dance and the father daughter dance, any "special" dances i.e. FH and daughter dances, will be solo for just enough time for a pic opportunity, and then the DJ will open the floor to everyone. I didn't want to bore every one with performance slow dances.

Good luck!

Married: 10/08/2011
Reviews: 13
Jun 20, 2011 at 1:54 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thanks Carole! Yeah, we are doing the father-daughter and mother-son dance as one, because, really, i just want to get to the party
Jun 20, 2011 at 2:09 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I ask couples what types of music (genres) they like in meetings. Every wedding will have a diverse crowd that will have different tastes, however I will also ask about the demographics of the guests as well as brides family & friends as opposed the the grooms. Most of the time couple's will not know what will drive their guests to the floor. It's the DJ's job as the professional to be able to read the crowd that night & program the music to the crowd. The right type of music at the right time. To play fast or slow, older or newer, etc.. at the right moment depending on the crowd. A DJ should know what typically works in most cases, but every wedding is a case by case event. Every wedding is different. You really can't have a set play list. My sets will change on the spot depending on the mood/ energy etc..
Jun 20, 2011 at 2:21 PM • 
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Jun 20, 2011 at 2:28 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
A wedding should have balance and a good pace for dancing, again diverse crowd. If the music is high energy for a long period of time, the DJ will burned out guests too soon, and couple's that do not dance fast will leave early. I see this mistake all the time at other receptions. Sometimes (depending on the crowd) I will do a long high energy set at the end of the night, 30 minutes to an hour.
Jun 20, 2011 at 2:37 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
The most requested slow songs at receptions of all time:
At Last - Etta James,
Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis,
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton,
Unchained Melody - Righteous Bros.

People won't typically dance slow dance to, Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars since it's not a slow dance at 109 BPM. It's not easy to fast dance with it ether.
Jun 20, 2011 at 8:10 PM • 
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Hidden On: Jun 20, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Married: 05/04/2012
Reviews: 9
Jun 20, 2011 at 8:18 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
@Carole, I'm totally cracking up at your comment because I keep joking that the only place I'm going to be a bridezilla is when it comes to the music, and our DJ might hate me. Actually, I definitely trust that the DJ will know what to play, and when....but music is something both my FH and I feel very strongly about. I don't know if my list will be as long as yours, but I, too, have started a "banned" music list. I get tired of going to weddings and hearing the same, boring, cliched songs. Not to say my wedding won't have a few of them, but there are some that make me want to throw a chair through a window.
Jun 21, 2011 at 6:24 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
@Carole and Stacy - I love that you've also thought about making a "do-not-play" list! It not only helps back up the "no, I'm sorry I can't play that" when other guests request those but it also gives an additional insight into your personalities on what OTHER songs can be played by your DJ during the reception. Happy planning, everyone!
Jun 21, 2011 at 8:09 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Well said, Stephanie!

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 18
Jun 21, 2011 at 8:19 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Stacy....Other than booze, this is seriously one area in which I am a total bridezilla. We only have 60 people, but all are so very different in age and likes. Fortunately, our DJ is a dear friend and is part of the crowd, so he knows us well and knows the crowd. He also knows that I am not a true bridezilla. ; ) He would rather I give him the suggestions, so he can pre-program. If your music sucks, your reception sucks.

Re the "Do Not Play List" ....lmao...There is nothing worst than having to listen to music you hate at your own wedding. Yes, my guests may suggest the "Macarena" but our DJ has the perfect excuse. lolol

Married: 05/04/2012
Reviews: 9
Jun 21, 2011 at 8:25 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
@Carole.....neither my FH nor I are into dance music. However, we know that most other people will like it. So we are totally fine with upbeat dance music, as long as it doesn't sound like it should be in a club (no techno!). I also am telling them no remixes - if it's already upbeat, just play it as is. I hate when they mash it up with other songs. Also on the NO list is: Disco, anything by Katy Perry, "We Are Family," and "Celebration." LOL. I'm sure I'll have lots to add as the year goes by.

@Stephanie - thanks for your input. It's good to know that there are DJs out there who don't mind our lists!

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 18
Jun 21, 2011 at 9:23 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Stacy....lolol....We have the some of the same songs on our Banned list. We also hate remixes. However, we were obligated to add a smidge of disco. However, if truth be told, this classic rock girl also donned her Italian American Princess jewelry and hit the dance floors in the 70's. Hanging my head in embarrassment. lolol
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