Planning a magically, heart-felt ceremony is only half the job when it comes to planning your big day! The reception is just as (and some would say, more) important!  We know that your family and friends are there to witness the official joining of your lives and families, but you also want them to have a great time at the reception, too! So, one of the top priorities is hiring top-notch entertainment

When it comes to planning a truly memorable night, we know that the soundtrack of your ceremony and reception plays a huge role! But, that partnership is a two-sided street, and your DJ needs some key information from you to help make that happen!

To that end, it’s incredibly important to clearly communicate your wishes in advance with your DJ, because in order for a party to feel effortless, there’s a lot of work that needs to happen behind the scenes!

If you’re not sure where to start, or what you should discuss with your DJ, below we have listed five of the most crucial things to communicate before the big day. That way your DJ can get the party started, keep it going strong and give you the reception you’ve dreamed about!

The Pronunciation of All The Important Names

If you decide to ask your DJ to take care of the grand entrance or other announcements, it’s best to give them a phonetic spelling of the names of the entire wedding party, or talk with them about it in advance of the big day. This is especially important if there are any especially hard to pronounce names (first or last) in the mix. And, if time is a crunch, you send a voice recording to your DJ so they can hear the names clearly before your big day.

Whether or Not You Would Like Them to Emcee

Introductions aside, your DJ needs to know if you’re going to require them to be the Emcee for the evening. You might not have anyone willing/able to take on the role, or you might prefer to choose a neutral third party; either way, we recommend that you don’t spring this on your DJ when they arrive to prepare for your wedding ! And, if you do decide to ask your DJ to emcee, make sure to open the dialogue about your preferences and expectations! Are there topics to steer clear of? Are there any strained relationships between members of your bridal party or family that might cause awkwardness? 

All the Songs For Your Important Moments

You absolutely need to let your DJ know what songs you’ve been planning/thinking of for the most important moments of the day! These ‘most-important’ moments might include your wedding party introductions, or your first dance, or the parent and child dances, or cutting the cake, or maybe the bouquet and garter toss (if you’re planning on them), and of course,  there’s the last song of the night to consider! 

Am I Taking Requests From The Guests?

As much as your DJ wants to know what your most important songs are, they also want to know what is going to pack your friend groups and extended family on the dance floor! Meaning, if ‘One More Time’ by Daft Punk, or ‘Crazy in Love’ by Jay Z and Queen B were your high school or college anthems let your DJ know! This way, your DJ can get a better sense of what other songs, artists, or genres that will work for your guests! And, let your DJ know if you want them to take requests! Are you okay with all your aunts requesting ABBA all night?! 

The List of “Off-limits” Songs

Sometimes we find that the list of off-limit songs is even more important to know than the ‘must play’ list! Especially if you have talked to your DJ about taking requests from guests!

So, while we definitely do suggest that you leave room (within reason) for requests, don’t feel bad about listing anything you hate or strongly dislike, any songs associated with bad experiences in your life, or songs that remind you or your new spouse of past relationships! 

The DJ can either tell guests that he doesn’t have those particular songs available, or that the bride and groom have decided that those songs are off-limits! Also be certain to get specific about language allowances (eg, dirty words) as well as  the volume preferences/requirements of the venue or guests in attendance. However, as a general rule, we find that it’s best to avoid explicit lyrics and language at your wedding! Clean edits are just as much fun, we promise!