How To Create A Wedding Reception Music Plan | Stephen Coleclough
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How To Create A Wedding Reception Music Plan

Making a wedding day a truly memorable event does take a certain amount of planning.

Choosing the right reception venue, flowers, bridesmaid dresses, and catering are crucial to making your big day a success.

Despite spending a lot of time planning the wedding, many couples don’t put too much thought into their wedding reception music.

They often forget to specify which tracks are played during a certain time or pick the first song that pops into their head.

But if you spend some time making a reception music plan, you can dramatically change the atmosphere at your reception, ensuring it is a beautiful and fun-filled event.

Here are a few reasons why making a music plan is a great idea and how to get started!

The importance of creating a wedding reception music plan

Here are a few reasons for creating a reception music plan:

You can match the music to the theme of the wedding

Theme weddings have become very popular in the past few years.

Couples often have vintage weddings, bohemian weddings, fairytale weddings, and garden weddings.

By creating a detailed music plan, you can reinforce the theme of the wedding and improve the ambience of the reception.

The right music makes the reception much more emotional

Music is a powerful tool for shaping emotional experiences.

Having a beautiful song playing at the right moment can bring tears to your guest’s eyes and make the event truly special.

You can even incorporate funny songs to help guests have a few laughs.

You can ensure no unexpected songs ruin the mood

If you leave song selections entirely up to your DJ, you may have an unexpected or unusual song pop up during the reception.

If it happens at the wrong moment, it could feel out of place or clear the dance floor.

Having a music plan eliminates the risk of this occurring.

Tips for creating the perfect wedding reception music plan

Think about all of the guests at the reception

Most wedding receptions have guests that vary greatly in terms of their age and musical preferences.

When you make the wedding reception music plan, think about the kinds of music that both your older and young guests might enjoy.

Specify songs or artists that must not be played

You might have certain types of songs or certain artists that you don’t want to hear during the reception.

These tracks might include cliched wedding songs or songs that certain guests would really hate.

You can give the DJ a list of the items that you really don’t want to hear!

Make a checklist for songs that must be played at specific moments

The best way to plan out your reception wedding music is to create a checklist.

This checklist should contain a list of the most important moments during the wedding reception and the songs that should be played during each moment.

Cocktail hour songs

Many wedding receptions begin with guests mingling and having a few drinks.

You could have your DJ choose the tracks to play during this period or specify tracks that match the wedding’s theme.

You might prefer to start the event with something low key then ramp up as people begin to unwind.

Arrival of the Wedding Party and introduction of newlyweds

You can choose a special song that signifies the arrival of the bride and groom.

If there is a particular song that means something special to the bride and groom, you can use it as both the arrival and departure song.

First dance song

This is one of the most important song choices during the reception.

Most couples opt for a beautiful song which they slow dance to.

However, you might prefer something a bit more upbeat if you want to have some fun.

Some couples even orchestrate sophisticated dance moves for their first dance song, so song selection is crucial.

Dinner music

Most receptions will use subdued and relaxing music while they enjoy dinner.

This allows guests to chat with one another. If you have any songs that you really want to hear during the dinner, let your DJ know.

Father–Daughter Dance and Mother-Son Dance Songs

If the reception has additional dances, choose your songs well in advance.

Cake cutting

Even the cake cutting ceremony can have its own music!

Other special moments

You can also specify music for other moments during the reception, including the garter toss, bouquet toss, garter/bouquet catchers dance, and parents of the bride dance.

Dancing “must plays”

Professional DJs are experts at getting everyone on the dance floor!

However, you might have a few songs that you absolutely want to hear during the reception.

Add them to your music plan.

If your reception has an orchestrated crowd dance or line dance, make sure to make a note of those songs so the DJ can get everyone involved.

Exit song

A great song that means something special to the bride and groom should be chosen for the exit track.

Thanks for reading How To Create A Wedding Reception Music Plan!

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Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is one of the UK's premier wedding DJs and the winner of multiple industry awards and accolades. His favourite wedding song? Love Shack of course - a guaranteed floor filler! You can find him on Twitter at

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