Years ago I met with a couple to discuss the music at their wedding (like I do with every couple I work with). The bride-to-be was very talkative and involved, making lots of requests (all great dance songs). She was obviously enthusiastic about the upcoming reception and very into the music. The groom-to-be, not so much. I pride myself in providing great customer service, which means, at a wedding, playing music for both the bride and the groom, so I kept trying to get him involved and find out what he liked. Finally he shook his head and said his music would never work at a wedding so they (the bride and groom) had agreed in advance that he wouldn’t make any requests. When I asked him what his musical tastes were he said, “classic rock, Pink Floyd and Rush mainly” and she immediately chimed in that you can’t dance to that music.
To which I replied, “no, but I could put together a great dinner mix with a lot of that.” He perked up. Suddenly he was involved. We listened to a bunch of mellower tracks by his favorite artists and came up with a very cool, classic rock, dinner mix. The wedding went great with lots of dancing (including all of the bride’s requests) and the groom got to hear his favorites during dinner.
Through the years I’ve done similar, personalized dinner mixes for couples featuring every thing from show tunes to steel drum songs and from jazz to Disney songs.
The only rules of thumb that really matter during dinner is volume and tempo. The music shouldn’t be too loud. It should be set at a comfortable volume so your guests can hear it but they don’t have to shout over it. And you don’t want too upbeat a mix or people may get digestive problems (I’m pretty sure that’s not medically accurate but you get the
point.) So as long you don’t expect a selection of thrash metal songs (played at a low volume) you can hear just about anything you want during dinner and it’s a great time to hear some of your favorite artists who are a little more on the chill side.
Don’t know what you want and don’t have any specific artists or genres in mind? That’s fine too. We can program a great set based on what your guests have been enjoying up to dinnertime, so don’t feel like you have to decide on music for while your guests are eating. But just know that the option is out there. So if either of you like music that won’t exactly set the dance floor on fire, it doesn’t mean you can’t hear some of it at your reception. After all, it’s YOUR party and we’re there working for YOU. So why not have us play some of your favorites, even if that includes less-than-traditional wedding music? It’s better than listening to Kenny G during dinner (unless you’re a Kenny G fan of course in which case we’ll dig up our “Silhoutte” album).