Planning A Hagerstown or Frederick Wedding? Here is Your Ultimate Guide to Create a Killer Playlist!

We provide Wedding DJ Services for many couples in the Hagerstown and Frederick MD areas on a weekly basis. The DJ experience gained by celebrating in Hagerstown and Frederick with so many couples and their guests has given our team great insight into what it takes to create a killer party!

At PHE we feel that most of the brides and groups that we provide Wedding DJ Services for do not want a “McWedding” where their Hagerstown wedding is exactly like the wedding we did last week. We have learned that is true of nearly all weddings we DJ in Frederick, Harrisburg, Lancaster, or all of the other areas we serve. Having exactly the same special wedding day as someone else doesn’t make it all that special.

One of the ways to ensure that the Disc Jockey makes your Hagerstown or Frederick Wedding different is through your music selections. Other than your wedding day, I cannot think of any other time in life where a soundtrack is played for everything you do for six hours! It is a very unique day in your life and a way to make it more unique is thru the songs you include in your musical score.

With so many song choices out there it can be a bit challenging to know where to start in curating your list. Below are some suggestions that we have gained through being the wedding DJ Service for couples in the Hagerstown and Frederick areas on a regular basis.

The DJ will score various “scenes” at your Hagerstown wedding celebration.

Your Hagerstown wedding will be much like a movie. It will have romantic scenes such as the ceremony. It will have upbeat toe – tapping, finger – snapping moments such as cocktail hour. Later it will have a full on raging dance party!

This allows you a lot of freedom in selecting specific songs or genres that you really like and fit the vibe that you are looking to share with your Hagerstown Wedding guests. Obviously the song selections will not be the same for both the dinner hour and the dance party so you have plenty of opportunity for your Hagerstown DJ Service to play the your mellow song favorites as well as your toe tapping and full on dance mode jams.

How do I make the best playlist selections for my Hagerstown Wedding?

When selecting songs for any portion of your Hagerstown/Frederick Wedding celebration we like to remind our couples to keep in mind that this is their day! If you’ve done it right, there will never be another day like this one. Don’t focus merely on what the majority of people do, focus on what you want.

It bothers me when I read or hear about regrets that couples have after their wedding. That they wish they had spent more money on this and not that. That they wish they had made different choices. It bothers me even more when I hear that the decision they regret was made due to outside influences. The reason this bothers me so much is that, no matter how you look at it, weddings are expensive and likely the most expensive party you will ever throw. It also bothers me because this is a once in a lifetime event that will never happen again.

Build a team of wedding professionals that you trust. The more members of your Hagerstown wedding team that are solid professionals who work at this every single weekend the more resources your have. Of course resources all only valuable if you use them. Do not be hesitant to seek the advice of others. This means getting more than one opinion on your decisions.

If you decide to use a wedding planner to assist you with planning your event, you should definitely take their suggestions seriously. You should also however discuss it with the vendor you have entrusted to take care of that portion of the celebration for you.

For example, assuming you made photography a priority on you budget list, you likely spent time researching in order to make the best hiring decision you could. For any decisions made regarding the time allotted or scheduled for photography why wouldn’t you discuss it with the person you have chosen to perform the service? Too often I have learned that many of the regret couples have regarding their weddings were avoidable had they only discussed them with the person providing the service.

What song types should make your Hagerstown Wedding DJ playlist?

As mentioned above there are many segments to your wedding. You’ll have the Ceremony which is broken into segments: The Prelude as your guests arrive to the site of your ceremony. There will be the Processional which is when the Bridal Party and the Bride walk down the aisle. Lastly there will be the Recessional which is after the kiss as the Bride and Groom walk out of the Wedding Ceremony. Occasionally a Hagerstown Wedding Ceremony may include a DJ playing a song for a Unity Candle or the pouring of Sand.

The processional, recessional, and unity candle events are all typically single songs. These are very personal songs and typically brides and grooms have no difficulty in choosing songs for these events.

The Prelude portion offers the opportunity to select the most songs. The Prelude will last 30 minutes as your guests mingle and then find their seats for the ceremony. A 30 minute set of songs is anywhere from 7 – 10 songs depending on the songs length. When choosing the music for the prelude keep in mind that you likely will not hear much or any of the songs played by the DJ during your Hagerstown Wedding Prelude.

Typical genres chosen are:

Vitamin String Quartet, The Piano Guys, or any other instrumental only versions of popular songs like “A Thousand Years” or “I Can’t Help Falling In Love”.

Classical orchestral selections from Bach, Mozart, or Handel.

Country Music is very popular at Hagerstown weddings and there are many artists and songs that are perfect for this portion of your wedding.

Top 40 and Pop easy listening selections from artists such as Ed Sheeran, Boyce Avenue, and Sam Smith are also popular prelude music selections.

Each of these genres creates a different atmosphere than the others. My suggestion is to look at the songs that make up your must play list. Take the mellow songs from the list and group them into two groups. Group one are the songs that you personally want to hear played. The second group is mellow songs that you want your guests to hear.

The songs that you want to hear played should be listed as either Dinner Hour song selections with a few slow dance songs added to the open dancing portion of your wedding celebration. Those songs that you are ok with not hearing can be used during the prelude if you desire.

What song types are great for my Cocktail Hour Hagerstown Wedding DJ playlist?

Cocktail hour is another section of your wedding that you will likely not hear much of the music played by your Hagerstown DJ Service.

This portion of the event lasts about an hour and you can plan on about 15 – 20 songs to be played. When the music is left up to us to select we typically do a mix of genres such as: Motown, 80’s, 90’s, Top 40, and sometimes country. We don’t feel that the genre is nearly as important as the tempo. We want an up-tempo song that put the guests in a good mood and makes them bee bop a bit.

What song types are great for my Dinner Hour Hagerstown Wedding DJ playlist?

Start with any mellow songs that you wanted to hear that you left off of the Prelude music list. From there you can go any direction that you would like. You can keep it up-tempo like the cocktail hour. You can keep the music mellow for the entire hour. You can also choose to do what we do when the decision is left to us. What we like to do during the dinner hour is to start mellow as guests are eating and thing bring the mood up as guests are finishing and the conversations get louder.

In my opinion this is a bit of a subtle reminder that the calm is about to be over and the dance storm is about to begin. For the folks that are there to party it gets them anxious for the dance floor to open.

What song types are great for my Hagerstown Wedding DJ dance playlist?

Again, there are no rules. This is your party. You will know your guests at your Hagerstown Wedding Reception far better than your DJ will. That said, you should follow a few tried and true methods if you want a raging dance party!

1. Play the Hits

No matter how you slice it, there are certain songs people just want to hear. Play the hits!

That’s the reason people hear the same songs over and over again at weddings and corporate events- it’s because they work! They accomplish the task of packing out the dance floor and keeping it there. Songs like Billie Jean and Shout or Yeah! By Usher are some examples of familiar songs that many guests look forward to dancing to.

People aren’t interested in you playing your curated list of ‘Top 30 indie songs of the last 10 years on independent labels’. They don’t want to hear your exclusive recording of an acoustic Shins song. They want Motown, Top 40, 90’s pop, etc.

2. Keep it 90% fast songs, 10% slow songs

A good wedding reception playlist will have high moments and low moments- fast songs and slow songs. You want to allow guests’ time for people to dance close. Allow them the opportunity to slow dance, and even opportunities for people to go get a drink so they can enjoy the dance floor even more.

If I had to give you a ratio, I would advise playing about 90% upbeat/dance songs against 10% slow jams. Or maybe every 10-12 songs, throw in a slower one. People want them… just not as much as the fast ones!

3. Don’t try to pick every song

If you have chosen a great Hagerstown DJ Service they know what will and won’t work. You definitely want to put your stamp on the music by including songs you love to dance to but you want to allow the DJ to create based on your guests and what they are reacting to.

Every crowd has similarities and every crowd is also different. When dealing with people you can never be certain what the reaction will be to a certain song. Sometimes you can open with a song and there is a mad rush to the dance floor. The next time you decide to open with that song it may receive a lukewarm response. Allow your Hagerstown DJ the time to feel out your crowd to get the best result.

4. Do let you Hagerstown DJ Service know if there are songs or genres that you hate

Everyone has music they don’t care for. This is your day and you should not have to endure music that you don’t care for. So, make sure to let you Hagerstown DJ Company know any songs you’d prefer not to hear.

5. Don’t let the guests attending your Hagerstown Wedding DJ the wedding.

A lot of people think that they can DJ. They think it is as simple as selecting a song and hitting the play button. That is akin to me thinking that I can be a photographer because all they appear to do is point the camera and press a button. There are a lot of jobs out there that look simple. If I had a dollar for every time I have been told “If you play this song next you’ll really pack the dance floor.”

I am happy to take requests and as always, this is your Hagerstown Wedding, not mine. My suggestion is to allow your guests to make requests however, do not announce that you are taking requests. I also strongly suggest that you leave it up to the DJ’s discretion to play or not play that song request.

If left to us to make the decision we will take the request and if we feel that it will work we will play it. The earlier the request is made the more likely it is that we will work the song into our DJ set. As the end of the wedding reception grows nearer, the likelihood that we will play a request lessens.

I hope that you have enjoyed this article. If you have please share so that others may benefit as well. Our blog is dedicated to providing useful information and tips for anyone planning or thinking about planning an event.

At Perfect Harmony Entertainment we provide exceptional DJ | Photo Booth | Lighting | Amusement service to clients in the four state area. Our dedicated team of DJs perform at events in Harrisburg | York | Lancaster as well as Washington DC | Northern VA | Frederick MD and all neighboring areas.

If you would like to learn more about our services or discuss your event in greater detail please reach out to us in the manner you prefer: Call | Text | Email.

Perfect Harmony Entertainment

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