So, you want to DJ your own wedding? It's the age of budget DIY weddings and customizing your marriage ceremony to make it as you as possible. And DJing your own wedding (with the help of iTunes, streaming services and a good friend to preside over the flow of the music) is an easy way to save tons of money and keep the ultimate level of control over your ceremony and reception.
Though it may seem as easy as putting your iPod on shuffle or lumping all of your favorite tracks into one playlist, DJing any major event, especially a wedding, has its nuances. But worry not: We're here to help.
1. Get Organized.
The key to pulling off a successful wedding, especially one with DIY touches, is organization. And your self-curated music selection is no exception. The first key is to separate the different parts of your day into different playlists, even if some contain only one song. At minimum, there should be distinctions between the processional, the recessional, cocktail hour and dinner, first dance and reception party music. Feel free to craft special playlists for other dances and moments such as pre-ceremony music, an anniversary dance, parent dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, a special final dance or anything else you want to mark during your big day.
Each part of your wedding has its own atmosphere, be it romantic for the ceremony, chilled-out for cocktail hour or a total rave for your reception, and the playlists should reflect those differences.
2. Go Through Your Timeline.
Now... on to choosing the tunes. If you have musical memories together (a song from a favorite concert you went to, tracks that were on the radio the night of your engagement, drunken sing-along favorites from crazy nights out), that's a great place to start. Not only will tying in music from time spent together bring in your personality to your wedding, it can also add a sense of romanticism to an event that it already filled with love.
But it doesn't always have to be a sap fest. Did your best friend used to prank you by playing Josh Groban on bar jukeboxes? Does your fiancé have an addiction to the sweet sound of Pitbull? Throw those tracks in too; it's good to have a laugh (especially on your wedding day).
Asking friends and family to request a song on your RSVP cards not only makes getting hundreds of envelopes in the mail even more exciting, but it can help to guarantee that at least one song will get those wallflowers to the dance floor. Even the most angst-ridden teenage guest can't help but smile and get down when their favorite Spice Girls track gets a spin.
4. Don’t Bottle Anything In!
The most important aspect of planning your wedding playlist, as with every aspect of your big day, is communication. Deciding on a vibe for your reception is important, and it's something that should be easy for you and your betrothed. Are you going for a timeless wedding, or a day that is very 2016? Are you a princess bride trying to channel your own diva-licious tendencies through music or a chilled-out rocker chick with Chucks on under your tulle skirt? Nobody knows you as a couple better than you, so go with whatever theme feels the most natural.
If you're still stuck on how to get started crafting your own wedding playlist, never fear! We've put together a few suggestions to get the ball rolling.
Processional: "Here Comes the Sun," The Beatles
Recessional: "Hooked on a Feeling," Blue Suede
Cocktail Hour: "At Last," Etta James; "The Way You Look Tonight," Frank Sinatra; "Everyday," Buddy Holly
First Dance: "Can't Help Falling in Love," Elvis Presley
Party Songs: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," Stevie Wonder; "The Twist," Chubby Checker; "I'm a Believer," The Monkees
Processional: "A Thousand Years," Christina Perri
Recessional: "You've Got a Friend in Me," Randy Newman
Cocktail Hour: "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," Elton John; "Love Me Like You Do," Ellie Goulding; "Falling Slowly," Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
First Dance: "Don't Want to Miss a Thing," Aerosmith
Party Songs: "I Want You Back," Jackson 5; "Happy," Pharrell; "Can't Stop The Feeling," Justin Timberlake
Processional: "Crazy for You," Adele
Recessional: "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)," Aretha Franklin
Cocktail Hour: "Always Be My Baby," Mariah Carey; "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston; "Young and Beautiful," Lana Del Rey
First Dance: "The Power of Love," Celine Dion
Party Songs: "Countdown," Beyoncé; "Ain't No Other Man," Christina Aguilera; "I'm Coming Out," Diana Ross
Processional: "Photograph," Ed Sheeran
Recessional: "Electric Love," BORNS
Cocktail Hour: "Dangerous Woman," Ariana Grande; "Wildest Dreams," Taylor Swift; "One Dance," Drake
First Dance: "Die a Happy Man," Thomas Rhett
Party Songs: "Don't Let Me Down," The Chainsmokers; "Cake by the Ocean," DNCE; "Cheap Thrills," Sia
Rock 'n' Roll Reception:
Processional: "We're Going to Be Friends," The White Stripes
Recessional: "I Got Mine," The Black Keys
Cocktail Hour: "Everlong," Foo Fighters; "Use Somebody," Kings of Leon; "Drain You," Nirvana
First Dance: "First Day of My Life," Bright Eyes
Party Songs: "Still Into You," Paramore; "El Scorcho," Weezer; "I Want You to Want Me," Cheap Trick