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Should Your Wedding DJ Take Song Requests At Your Reception

06 August 2023

Oftentimes when I am creating content for my current and prospective clients,  I think about the basics. The basics of finding the best wedding DJ that fit you as a couple. While I've covered in earlier posts this year about how to find the best wedding DJ in 2023, a lot of my couples come at me with some repeat questions.  One of the first questions that the majority of my couples inquire about is whether or not I am going to be their wedding DJ on the day of their wedding. If you click back a few posts, you'll find out the answer to that question. The second most asked question when I conduct a consultation with my clients is whether or not they should allow song requests during their wedding reception. The answer to this question is gonna depend on a variety of factors, which I will try to cover in this post. Thank you for stopping by my blog, but don't go anywhere because this is going to be good.

First, you should know that 95% of my clients who hire me to be their wedding DJ are very much into their music. They hire me because of my stance toward wedding playlist creation. Since I cannot possibly know your musical likes and dislikes, I give all of my clients the opportunity to curate their own playlists.  No two weddings are ever alike.  Since most of my clients are very much into their music, you might guess that requests are not even an option.  These clients might be afraid that adding in unnecessary requests may dilute the fun they want to have. Think about it this way, you are hoping to only get married once. You want the music to be perfect. You don't want stupid requests getting in the way of all the songs you requested that your wedding playlist unique. I've outlined some of the scenarios I've encountered in my wedding DJ career as to how my clients have handled song requests. 

No Requests At All

Since a lot of my clients over the years have had customized wedding playlists and pretty rare tastes in music, this has been a moratorium at their weddings. Now, in order for a "no-request moratorium" to be successful, the bride and groom really need to have a handle on who their guests are going to be at the wedding, as well as their musical tastes. Why is this? Well, since the bride and groom would like the music to be about them, with limited input from the wedding DJ, they need to have an idea of their wedding guests musical tastes are so that everyone can get out on the dance floor at some point or another.  When I say "No Requests At All", it is an understanding that none of the guests will be allowed to have their requests played if they approach the wedding DJ.  I'll never forget a wedding back in the fall of 2021. "Rachel & Dan" came to Charleston and at least 80% of their guests also came in from different parts of the country. It was truly one of the most epic nights of my entire DJ career. Their were NO requests and Rachel & Dan had a firm handle on who was going to be there and what types of music were going to be there.  Can "No Requests At All" be successful? Yes, but it takes a little more effort in reaching out to the wedding guests to determine their wedding music favorites.  You can actually accomplish this by adding a song request in your SAVE THE DATEs or RSVPs. Be prepared for some odd ball requests, but for the most part, this can be a productive way to get to know your guest's musical tastes.

Leave It Up To The Wedding DJ

You've come to one of the best places to get married in the country, as has all of your friends and family. You want them to have the time of their lives.  In allowing your guests to have the time of their lives, you want them to have fun out on the dance floor.  During the consultation that you have with your wedding DJ, a DO NOT PLAY List should be discussed.  Every single bride and groom has at least 10-15 songs they don't want to hear at their wedding.  Putting together a DO NOT PLAY List is essential in allowing the wedding DJ to not only understand your tastes in music, but also eliminate a lot of the tried and true wedding classics you've grown sick of hearing by attending your friends or coworkers weddings in recent years. When any wedding DJ can combine a list of the bride and grooms DO NOT PLAY songs and their carefully curated wedding playlist, they are able to field requests from wedding guests much more comfortably. Leaving it up the wedding DJ is a very common request from modern brides and grooms, but please don't approach any wedding DJ when the party is peaking to request Nickelback. 

Request After Request After Request

This is a scenario that I've only experienced a handful of times in my entire wedding DJ career.  The primary reason I've only seen this a handful of times is because the majority of my clients have very diverse tastes in music and would prefer their wedding not sound like the other six they had been to in the previous year.  When you allow ALL music and don't give the wedding DJ any ideas of what your DO NOT PLAY List is going to look like, you run the risk of becoming frustrated with the music.  These requests that would be coming from your guests would be in addition to the music selections you placed on your wedding playlist. No matter the situation, I will always show up very prepared with all of the music that has been requested by my clients for their wedding. 

One Request Can Really Get The Party Started

Perhaps your guests aren't into dancing or the music that the wedding DJ is playing is not really a match of their tastes. Oftentimes it can be just one request that can ignite your guests into a dancing frenzy.  Experienced wedding DJs can then take that request and begin to build some momentum for the evening with other songs that might be in the same genre or have the same feel as that one request that got the crowd ignited.  Since every single wedding crowd is different, an experienced wedding DJ will always have at their disposal muisc that can get people out of their seats and onto the dance floor. 

Why I Tend To Be Hot And Cold About Song Requests As A Wedding DJ

One of the biggest reasons I'm cold about requests is because the more alcohol that your guests have consumed, the more crazy the requests will be.  Let's be honest. If the party is raging at 9:30 and someone approaches me and wants to hear "Butterfly Kisses", I either know they are trying to humiliate me as a wedding DJ or they are toasted.  The wedding DJ has a tough job (especially during the transition from dinner into dancing).  It's at this time that any wedding DJ is probably reading the crowd the most. If the wedding DJ has done their work, they will have a plan of attack on how the transition will go as dinner ends and dancing begins.  One thing that bothers me about requests are the comments that wedding DJs tend to get. "Play something we can dance to........" or "Can you play my song next..........." These types of comments hurled toward any wedding DJ are certainly sure to create stress and frustration.  One of the most frustrating situations as it pertains to requests is when someone approaches me and requests a song, but then either does not hear that you played it, or doesn't dance. If you aren't going to dance, then please, by all means do not make requests! It's been my experience that a few requests are fine, as long as they fit with the vision that the bride and groom set forth when they created their wedding playlist. If the bride and groom said no "country" at their wedding, odds are that your "Friends In Low Places" request late in the evening is not going to get played.  If the bride and groom said they wanted no "Michael Jackson",  there's no need to come up and request "Thriller". And believe it or not, there are some guests who will go out of their way to get a song played, even if it's on the couple's DO NOT PLAY List. Yes, you heard that correct.  I've even had some "Never Line-Dancer" couples approach me and ask me to play one of those songs. Isn't it truly amazing how powerful alcohol can be during a wedding reception.

The Verdict: Contact DJ Mike Bills To Be Your Wedding DJ
The verdict is simple. I strive to give my clients exactly what they want, each and every wedding that I do.  During our consultations, I can certainly provide advice as to how to proceed with song requests, but at the end of the day, the decision for the wedding DJ to field song requests will rest with the bride and groom. It is my hope that I provided some insight on this very important topic when it comes to designing the perfect wedding playlist for your big day.  This is a big decision that may take some time to think about when starting to think about creating your wedding playlist. It's a decision that you should not take lightly. If you need any help or advice at all, I would love to speak with you about being the DJ for your wedding. Thank you for making it all the way to the end of this blog post.  It means the world to me that you thought this content was valuable to you as you think about the music for your wedding, as well as hiring a great wedding DJ.  In case you missed my recent post about why no other wedding DJs are on my website, I am an owner-operated DJ company, which means I am the owner of the company, and will be the DJ at your wedding. There will be no surprise who your wedding DJ will be. If you would like to determine if I am available for your wedding day, just click the link up above where it says "The Verdict", or just click back over to my website and click CONTACT. Thank you for finding me!