As I sit in my office on this much chillier afternoon, I am finding myself smiling a lot as I reflect on the past year and all of the amazing clients who hired me to DJ their wedding in 2021. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic still very much a factor, I got to work with some incredible brides and grooms. Those brides and grooms decided to hire me as their wedding DJ because of the musical focus I put toward all of my performances. Those brides and grooms are also couples who took the time to think seriously about how they wanted their wedding ceremony and reception to sound. Since my clients come to me with very particular tastes, they have lofty expectations as to how they would like their music to be mixed. Top wedding DJs are up to any challenge as it pertains to the music for their clients. I am always up to the challenge of putting together the best mixed wedding playlists that don't sound like any wedding they had been to in the past. One of the ways this is done is by leaving the line dances off of their wedding playlist. What exactly would that type of wedding look like?
Let me get straight to the point. What would you say if I told you that I played NO line dances at any of my weddings in 2021? I'll even take this a little further. What would you say if all of my weddings were STILL successful without ANY line dances? Every single time I meet with a client, I am hearing the same complaints over and over again. They've been to a string of their friends weddings recently and they all sound so redundant with same overplayed songs. They've been to these weddings and have seen firsthand what it's like to be around a boring wedding DJ who thinks it's ok to play his own personal record collection and totally forget that the wedding is about the bride and groom, and not them. Most of my clients come to me with pretty strict requirements. The most common requirement is to simply not allow any of the cheesy line dances to be played.
How Did Line Dances Get So Unpopular?
I cannot really speak for other professional wedding DJs, but I've always looked at line dances as novelties. And when I say "novelty", I mean something that might just be used to get the party started, but not a crutch and not something you play at EVERY wedding. A line dance could be something unusual that a wedding DJ could pull out every now and then to energize a crowd. Line dances could be used sparingly by professional wedding DJs. The only problem is so many amateur wedding DJs have jumped into the market and have misused these line dances. Instead of using them sparingly, the amateurs have relied on them, often using them to prop up what might turn into a mediocre wedding dance mix. Since these amateur wedding DJs have relied on these line dances so much, burn out of the songs has occurred resulting in most all of them being placed on DO NOT PLAY Lists.
Line Dances Became Unpopular As Tastes Changed
At the time of the publishing of this post, we're approaching FIFTEEN years since the release of The Cupid Shuffle. There is no easy way to put it other than musical tastes have changed in the past 15 years. All you need to do is examine the music charts, which I provided a snapshot in my first post of 2022. In case you missed it, check it out right here by clicking this link Back in the summer of 2008, dance floors across the country at weddings were experiencing The Wobble, but here we are in 2022 and brides and grooms are staying away from it. Why exactly is this the case?
Popular Opinion: "I Don't Want My Wedding To Sound Like That"
When modern brides and grooms sit down with me for the first time to discuss music, they are quick to tell me what they don't want their wedding to sound like. The conversation usually begins like. "Well, we don't want any of cheesy line dances because we don't want our wedding to sound like all the others......" I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this. I suppose I hear it all the time because I am a top wedding DJ in my market who truly believes in giving his clients total control over their wedding playlist. When you hear the same thing over and over again, you take note over and over again, hence the trend of line dances being left off playlists commences.
Is There Ever A Good Time In 2022 For Line Dances?
After all of my experiences as a professional wedding DJ, the only time I can see that line dances are appropriate for a wedding are when the couple does not care about their music. The bad part about this is when a bride and groom do not take their wedding music seriously, their wedding day has a greater chance of failure. I recently spoke to a prospective client and one of the first things out of her mouth on the phone was she wanted "line dances". Years ago, I would have still jumped through hoops to try to book that client. But, today I have learned to appreciate the bride and groom who are "more into their music" and tend to put their own stamp on their wedding playlist. While I may not book as many weddings (because I might be looked upon as boutique), I firmly believe that couples are looking for "quality" over "quantity". For a discussion about "quality" over "quantity", be sure to click over to the preceding link. Couples hiring me want a customized music experience which includes a playlist of song selections that define them as a couple. From their wedding ceremony to the last song, my clients are ALL looking for something "different" and "unique" as it pertains to their wedding music.
Oh! let me answer that question from up above before I introduce a possible playlist. I suppose that line dances might be thrown on as a last resort if no one is dancing, but would you believe that some wedding crowds don't even respond to them and do not dance? Yeah, you guessed it. BORING! Wow. Talk about difficult! Those are the crowds with people who will approach the DJ table and say "Play something we can dance to....." as you are playing a line dance or even one of the songs you'll see down below. Then, there are the crowds who will sit down after a line dance because that might have been the most physical activity they've had in months. This is bad news for any wedding DJ because you are trying to build upon whatever small amount of momentum you've generated up to that point. There's a better way to keep that momentum going for your wedding. Just don't play the line dances!
What Your Wedding Playlist Could Look Like
The songs you'll see listed here are not a requirement for your wedding, but what brides and grooms have requested over the years. They are songs that wedding guests respond to and could be placed into a "tried and true" category. The biggest point of having a professional wedding DJ is to keep the party going through a seamless transition of songs, not feel like a gym instructor who pressed play on a line dance only to have everyone sit down afterwards.
"Soul Man" | Sam & David - For those couples coming from south Florida, you'll certainly want to add this popular soul duo into your wedding playlist.
"For Once In My Life" | Stevie Wonder - So many of the rat pack artists recorded this song, but Stevie's version has a lot of soul and get people dancing.
"Love And Happiness" | Al Green - Brides and grooms could add anything by Al Green. I placed this on there because it's a personal favorite of mine.
"Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" | James Brown - If I have to explain why this song is a great choice for your playlist, you probably don't like to dance.
"Higher And Higher" | Jackie Wilson - Perfect for the beginning of the evening as you transition from dinner into dancing.
"Jungle Boogie" | Kool & The Gang - Want to get a little funky at your wedding? Be sure to add this song into your wedding playlist.
"Boogie Shoes" | KC & The Sunshine Band - Nothing gets the dance floor hopping like a little KC & The Sunshine Band.
"Don't Stop Until You Get Enough" | Michael Jackson - MJ's first solo record has some bangers, including a personal favorite of mine "Rock With You"
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" | Whitney Houston - One of those ladies of the 80s who brings brides and her girls to the dance floor. Click that link to be taken over to see more Women Of The 80s to add into your wedding playlist.
"Whatta Man" | Salt & Pepa - 80s and 90s hip hop and rap is ALWAYS a good addition to any wedding playlist <---Click here for more selections
"Green Light" | Andre 3000 and John Legend - Green means Go, and this song is a great banger to get you and your crowd dancing.
"Walk Like An Egyptian" | The Bangles - The 80s are TOTALLY AWESOME for any wedding playlist <---Click here for more 80s music selections
"Low" (Apple Bottom Jeans)" | Flo Rida / TPain - This song is self explanatory.
"Shots" | LMFAO -- Make sure your wedding DJ knows about the CLEAN version of this song and make sure everyone is getting their shots.
"This Is How We Do It" | Montel Jordan - After 25 years, this song is still filling dance floors all over America.
"Uptown Funk" | Bruno Marrs - Permanently on the recurrent playlist since 2014.
"Levitating" | Dua Lipa -- In 2021, I officially added this song into my recurrent category. Take a listen to it to see why.
"Stupid Love" | Lady Gaga - This song has an infectious disco vibe to it.
"Like A Prayer" | Madonna - The Shep Pettibone remix of this song is the best.
Want To Talk More About Your Wedding Playlist With A Top Wedding DJ?
Now, that wasn't so bad was it? What you just saw is a "snapshot", a possible "moment in time" for that matter at your wedding. What you don't see are line dances. While every couple and their guest list is different, there is no tried and true playlist to get people dancing. Amateur wedding DJs consult to boring and tired Top 200 playlists all the time, which causes the wedding DJ to get marginalized because that is taking the easy way out. The best way to gauge success as it pertains to creating an amazing playlist is to sit down with a true professional wedding DJ after creating your guest list. Yes, you do need to meet your wedding DJ! Talk with your wedding DJ about the vibe you want your wedding ceremony, cocktail dinner, dinner, and dancing you want to see. True professional wedding DJs will always want to sit down and make you comfortable by wanting to meet you. They will be fully engaged and invested in the overall success of your wedding day from the time you meet until the end of your wedding reception. Thank you for finding me! And a very special thanks for making it to the end of this post. I try to put a lot of time into creating content that inspires brides and grooms as they are trying to find the best wedding DJ for their big day. If you made it through this post, you are most likely trying to find a great wedding DJ. I would love to speak with you. All you need to do is click the link up above and you'll be taken over to my contact form. I look forward to speaking with you soon.