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Wedding DJs – Music Selection

by Nik Edser

Wedding DJs (if you are hiring the right ones) will be experts at their music selection and shouldn’t need too much input from you as the client to ensure a great night for all.  Of course, this will vary with the experience of the DJ you hire.  (NikNat Entertainment only have award winning wedding DJ specialists on staff).  In this article, we are going to look at why it is best to not tell the DJ what to play all night.

We once had the privilege of providing the music for a bridal couple as a sub-contract job through another DJ company (all involved shall remain nameless for privacy).  Because the couple were far enough removed from our personal service, it will be safe to tell this story here.  As usual, I called the bride well in advance to the big day.  Oddly, she seemed a little wary and I got the feeling she didn’t think I knew what I was doing.  She insisted in sending a list of songs they wanted for the night to me.  That wasn’t a problem, as I told her this would give us an indication of what sort of songs to blend in with what else we know will work well.  She seemed a little concerned that we would play other music not on the list.  I explained that it is our professional and skills she is hiring to be able to decide what music to play and that it would all be fine.

On the night, just after I arrived to set-up the Groom gave me a massive box of CDs they wanted to be played!  He then asked me to play a certain CD in it’s entirety from start to finish during canapes.  I mentioned this was highly unusual and that we usually like to mix it up a bit, but he insisted.  So I did what he asked and felt like I was a “lazy DJ” just sitting there playing one CD.  It was a great CD and a great artist, but … too much of the same thing can get a bit boring!

Next came dinner, and I was given another CD.  This also was given by the groom with the instruction to play it in it’s entirety because the CD was very important and meaningful to them.  So again, I felt a little insulted with my skills being reduced to playing CDs (that frankly a child could have done).  However, things turned around after the 4th track into the album …

The bride came up to me in a little bit of a bad mood and said to me “Excuse me!  We gave you specific instructions about what we wanted played, and my husband gave you a CD to be played right now.  We would appreciate if you do as we ask please!”.  To which I calmly replied (showing her the CD cover to ensure it was the right one), “You mean this CD?”.  She confirmed it was the one she wanted.  I then had to tell her “Well, this IS the CD I am currently playing!”.  Her jaw dropped and she was in a stunned silence for a few seconds.  Finally she broke her silence with a sheepish “Ummm… sorry.  Well we don’t really like this music.”

I composed myself and remained professional and just laughed it off with her making a joke of it.  I then suggested to her in a calm and friendly way “Hey, I have an idea.  You know, I perform at over 200 weddings per year, so … I sort of have an idea of what works and what doesn’t.  Do you think you could just give me a shot at picking the music myself for the next 20 minutes, and if you don’t like it, we will go back to playing the music that you provided?”  She agreed.

The rest of the night she was over the moon with the music played and even told me at the end that she should have trusted my judgement right from the start.

So, the point of this story is … it’s fine to let professional wedding DJs know what type of music you like, but please don’t insult us by telling us every track we need to play or limiting to a list that you provide.  It works much better when you trust us to use our skills and incorporate the music you want as well.  We hope these tips have helped you to make a better informed decision before you hire a DJ for a wedding.


Warmest wishes,

Nik Edser