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Bridal Club Magazine


Choosing Music For The Beach Wedding Reception

Selecting music for your beach wedding reception is something you don't want to put off until the last minute. A successful wedding reception is the result of a team effort between the DJ and the bride and groom. Here are some tips to help you make your reception something your guests will talk about for years to come.

1. Think in terms of a train that gains speed. It starts out slowly but quickly gains momentum. Your reception should build in terms of volume and pace of the music.

2. Select all your "must do" songs as early as possible. This would include entrance music, first dance, father daughter and groom mother dance. The wedding party dance is optional and many brides are choosing to include all the wedding party in their dance festivities.

3. First Hour (Cocktail Hour). Select music that sets the tone for the reception. We recommend that the first hour include, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, and perhaps some big band like Glenn Miller. Keep the music upbeat so that people don't fall asleep during the cocktail hour while waiting for dinner.

4. Second Hour (Dinner). Continue in the Frank Sinatra jazz mode, but then change to perhaps Jimmy Buffet, Bob Marley and John Mayer. Your younger guests will love this and your older guests will be pleased that you played classy jazz tunes before picking up the tempo. If you are doing your first dances after dinner, you will definitely want to kick into high gear or dance music immediately following these dances.

5. Third Hour (Dance Music). 80's music, disco and classic rock 'n roll works well during this hour. You'll want to play something that everyone can dance to.

6. Fourth Hour (Dance Music). Continue same music and reserve the last hour for group songs like YMCA, conga lines (if you want one). Also this is the time to use top 40 or hip hop songs. We don't recommend playing hip-hop too early, because it can discourage some of the older crowd from dancing.

7. Let the music do the talking. Advise you DJ that you want "less talk and more music." It works on the radio and it definitely works at wedding receptions. People want to hear good music and not a gabby DJ.

8. Submit your music list no later that 30 days before the reception. Ask the DJ to let you know what "must do " songs (like for the first dance) he has in his library and those he does not have on hand. Those selections that are not available can be brought by the bride and groom if it is in their library. (If it is your favorite, most likely you'll have it.) While most DJ's have several thousand songs, they don't always have everything requested.

9. Be neat. When submitting your music, keep your list be as neat as possible. Sometimes brides will make changes and use arrows to determine a change in songs. If the list is confusing or the DJ has to work at reading your writing, you could end up with the wrong song, at the wrong time. No need for this to happen, if you are neat and tidy with your music submissions. Also be sure that your music titles are accurate. If you give the DJ a wrong title, it ultimately will not be the song you wanted to hear.

10. Enjoy your wedding reception. A good DJ will have everything written out in an hour by hour format. He or she will prompt you for certain things to happen. It's their job to keep track of these things, so you don't have to worry about what happens and when at your wedding reception.

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