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Melissa + Matthew: Ethnic Vibes On Their Wedding Playlist

08 January 2022

You better believe that if a bride approaches me with an extreme level of enthusiasm about wanting me to be her wedding DJ, I will bend over backwards for her. Word-of-mouth referrals from fellow wedding vendors tend to spark that enthusiasm, but I'm tickled when they take things even further before we even have a chance to talk. How does a future client become so much more enthusiastic before we talk after they were referred to me?  They head over to my website and get buried in all the content I've created on my blog I've created over the years, and even listen to one of more episodes of The Mike Bills Podcast.  When I first spoke with Melissa about her upcoming wedding on Folly Beach in November, her enthusiasm was something so very refreshing. We talked for quite some time on the phone in early August and her excitement about my style as a wedding DJ definitely was apparent.  While I wish this would happen more frequently, I am non-traditional wedding DJ who is more concerned about "Quality" over "Quantity" as it pertains to my performances at weddings. You'll want to continue to read on to see how I put together their wedding playlist based on several different types of ethnic music selections. Melissa and Matthew's wedding on Saturday, November 27, 2021 (Thanksgiving weekend) on Folly Beach would be something very special. 

For more insight on why brides and grooms should hire a non-traditional wedding DJ, <--Click HERE. It will become apparent to you as you read more about Melissa & Matthew's wedding selections, but I will gladly take ONE of their weddings over 25-30 average weddings that a lot of wedding DJs tend to speak about on social media.  One of the things I've learned over the years is social media tends to be the perfect breeding ground for all types of  falsities as it pertains to the success of their business. Long story short. Don't believe everything you read. :)  While Melissa had decided to contract me to DJ her wedding only a little less than 4 months out, I feel like I had been working wih her for a lot longer. I could tell we were on the same page right out of the gate as it pertained to her musical vision on her wedding day.  Unfortunately due to COVID, she had to reschedule her wedding a few times, only to discuss "finally" scaling their special day down to close friends and family at a private residence on Folly Beach. 

Before Melissa & I even spoke, she already knew what she wanted.  Her family and guests would consist of  a crowd that has ties to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and other areas in the Caribbean.  True professional wedding DJs are never going to shy away from special requests that are bestowed upon them by the very clients that have hired them. In our initial conversations, Melissa let me know that there would be a fairly large amount of  ethnic songs added to her playlist. At the time, I told her no problem. I told Melissa "No problem", because adding ethnic music into a client's playlist is something I had experience with. I've worked with other clients who have roots to diverse, ethnic backgrounds.  At other weddings in the past, I've incorporated Persian music, as well as African music into a client's playlist.  Melissa had told me that she had asked about the playing of ethnic music when she spoke with other DJ companies and did not receive a positive response.  This is unsettling, but not totally unbelievable due to the amount of amateurish wedding DJs who continue to pop up around the area. 

Special thanks to Austin from Coastal Chamber Musicians for mentioning me to Melissa when she was to looking to hire musicians for their ceremony on the beach. If you are looking for top notch musicians who specialize in creating personalized music for wedding ceremonies, and when I say "personalized", Austin and his team will learn to play custom music for your wedding ceremony. Melissa and Matthew's wedding ceremony would be the first time I would hear a string version of "Bad Guy" by Billie Eilish. :) Feel free to click over to their website: Coastal Chamber Musicians

Melissa & Matthew's Cocktail Hour / Dinner Music Selections
Before I delve deeper into some of the totally awesome selections that Melissa & Matthew wanted to be adeed to their playlist, let me just tell you this.  I've had clients introduce me to music that have had a lasting effect on me, as well as permanent placement into my music catalog for use at future weddings for new clients.  As you'll soon read, Melissa took her time to put together a very thoughtful set of music for cocktail hour and dinner.

"I've Finally Found Someone" | Bryan Adams & Barbara Streisand
"Somewhere Out There" | Linda Ronstadt w/ James Ingram
"Here Comes The Sun" | The Beatles
"You're Still The One" | Shania Twain
"Then" | Brad Paisley
"Always Be My Baby" | Mariah Carey
"Cupid" | 112
"Could You Be Loved" | Bob Marley - For more of the Best Reggae Music Selections For Cocktail Hour On Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE
"You Send Me" | Sam Cooke
"Make You Feel My Love" | Adele
"Your Song" | Elton John
"If You Don't Know Me By Now" | Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
"(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" | Nat King Cole
"Weak" | SMV - For more of the Best 90s R&B Cocktail Hour Songs <---Click HERE
"Se Pa Pou Dat" | Alan Cave | born in New York City, Alan Cave is a Haitan-American singer.
"Je taime Avec Ma Peau" | Mirielle Mathieu
"La Boheme" | Charles Aznavour
"Eda" | Michael Brun
"I Believe In A Thing Called Love" | Nina Nesbitt
"Kiss Me" | Six Pence None The Richer
"Take It Easy" | The Eagles
"Jamming" | Bob Marley
"The Way You Look Tonight" | Tony Bennett (From The Soundtrack OF My Best Friend's Wedding)
"Hold You In My Arms" | Ray Lamontagne
"Burujas de Amor" |  Juan Luis Guerra

Right at the beginning of cocktail hour, Melissa had requested these songs be played to set the tone for the beginning of the cocktail hour before her and Matthew would be introduced for their first dance.

"For Me Formidable" | Charles Aznavour
"For Once In My Life" | Stevie Wonder
"Is This Love" | Bob Marley
"L.O.V.E" | Nat King Cole
"Let's Stay Together" | Al Green


"Bachata Rosa"

Juan Luis Guerra

"Mi Corazoncito"


""J'ai besoin de toi"

Alan Cave

"Famn Dous Mwen"

Alan Cave (Stuck On You)


Romeo Santos / Usher


Justin Bieber / Quavo



"You Got Me"

The Roots / Erykah Badu

"Por Favor"


"Love" feat Zazacri

Kendrick Lamar

Dance Music Selections

"I Wanna Dance With Somebody"

Whitney Houston



"Dancing In The Moonlight"

King Harvest



"Truth Hurts"


"Brown Eyed Girl"

Van Morrison


Bruno Marrs / Cardi B

"Danza Kuduro"

Don Omar

"Ms. Jackson"


"I Like It"

Cardi B



"Jump Around"

House Of Pain

"Everybody" Backstreets Back

Backstreet Boys

"No Scrubs"




"Mr. Brightside"

The Killers

"Cheap Thrills"


:Give Me Everything"


"We Are Young"


Forget You

Cee Lo Green

"Doo Wop" That Thing

Laryn Hill


Dua Lipa



"Hold You"


"Who Am I"

Beenie Man

"Murder She Wrote"

Chaka Demu


Ariana Grande


Twenty One Pilots

"That's What I Like"

Bruno Marrs

"Feel It Still"

Portugal The Ma

"Shape Of You"

Ed Sheeran

"This Is What You Came For"


"Hips Don't Lie"


"I Feel It Coming"


"Return Of The Mack"

Mark Morrison




Elvis Crespo

"La Vida Es Un Carnaval"

Celia Cruz

"Lose Control:

Missy Elliott

"I'll Yayad"

Carimi & 5Lan




Michael Brun

"Coming In Hot"


In the weeks leading up to Melissa & Matthew's wedding day, I found myself listening to their ethnic song selections over and over. As is the case so many times, there is music I am simply not familiar with. While I was not familiar with the music, I knew through basic research and analysis that I could learn the selections to the point where they could be mixed in with the other Top 40 / Hip-Hop / 90s songs. For a lot of the longer ethnic tracks, I edited them down and produced those tracks into a medley.  When my clients request special music, it is my goal to bring their vision to life, no matter what the challenge may be. So to hear other DJ services declining on playing ethnic music I believe would be a cop-out, because professional wedding DJs are performers who make anything come to life.

Melissa & Matthew's Special Song Requests

INTRODUCTION SONG: "Marry You (Edit)" | Bruno Marrs
FIRST DANCE SONG: "Perfect" (Remix) | Ed Sheeran & Beyonce
MOTHER / SON DANCE SONG: "Simple Man" | Lynyrd Skynrd
BROTHER / BRIDE DANCE SONG: "I Hope You Dance" | Keisha Renee (Lee Ann Womack cover)
CAKE CUTTING SONG: "Better Together" | Jack Johnson
BOUQUET TOSS SONG: "Just A Girl" | No Doubt
GARTER TOSS SONG: "Pony" | Ginuwine - For more of the Best Garter Toss Songs For Your Wedding <----Click HERE
LAST SONG OF THE NIGHT: "I've Had The Time Of My Life" | Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing)

At the beginning of their reception (after their first dance), they requested "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye for an anniversary dance. At the end of the anniversary dance, we would acknowledge Matthew's parents being married over 50 years!  After wrapping up the anniversary dance, I would play the first dance song for Matthew's parents at their wedding, which was "Leaving On A Jet Plane" by John Denver.  Such a special moment!

Interested In Speaking With Top Wedding DJ Mike Bills?
One more thing. After the last song of the night, Melissa and Matthew's guests were assembled in the front of the house for a send-off but not before the lovely bride and groom would do a private last dance, which consisted of "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran and "No Other Love" by John Legend featuring Estelle.  No true professional wedding DJ would have been able to pull off a night this special without a numerous hours of preparation. So many wedding DJs "assume" that all weddings are the same and embarrass themselves by playing all the same burned out tracks we've heard at weddings for years. Weddings are custom events. No one size fits all.  I'll be thinking about Melissa and Matthew's wedding for quite some time.  I will be adding more content to their post once I receive some photos from their photographer.  Down below you'll see their DO NOT PLAY LIST, which I featured in my recent post about Hiring A Non-Traditional Wedding DJ.   Click the image down below for more information on Do Not Play Lists. You don't know how much it means to me to see a lovely bride and groom make it all the way to the end of another one of my blog posts!  Please take some more time right now to look over my blog and check out more of my helpful content to help you find the perfect wedding DJ for you on the single most important day of your life. All you need to do is click the link up above where it says "Interested In Speaking With Top Wedding DJ Mike Bills", and you'll be taken over to my contact form where you'll be asked to provide some basic details about your wedding. I look forward to speaking with you soon!