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The boy may not be into every part of wedding planning, but he's all over the music selection.

Our venue had the major benefit of a built-in sound system, with the bonus of being able to have different music in every room! Jon and I decided early on that we weren’t interested in hiring a DJ, partially because of the cost and partially because we’d been to our share of weddings with terrible DJs. So from that point on, we’re flying solo.


Once that decision was made, my only concern was that not having a DJ would disrupt the flow of the evening—not having an emcee to move things along might cause our evening to stagnate, I worried. However, one of our “better dudes” can be a major ham, as evidenced by the poem that he wrote and performed for his new wife during their wedding reception—a Dr. Seuss-style production whose message was along the lines of “Haha! You’re stuck with me now!” We decided that if anyone was qualified for the job, he was.

In the meantime, Jon has been slowly compiling the wedding playlist. He has taken on this task with gusto, as choosing danceable music is apparently right up his wedding-planning ally. I do have to keep reminding him that not everything on the dance floor can be fast-paced booty music, but for the most part, he’s doing a great job! We will also have a separate [quieter] playlist for anyone who is taking a break or isn’t interested in dancing. It will play throughout the rest of the mansion.

Music is a great way to set the tone for your event. Putting together multiple playlists (potentially, there could be different playlists for the processional, recessional, ceremony, introductions, dance floor, and more) can be a lot of work, but it also gives you complete control over the mood of each moment. It's a lot of work up front, but putting together your own customized playlist sets up a framework of how the evening will run–and saves you from the dreaded Chicken Dance!

Think of your playlist as an outline, like you would put together for a presentation. Creating the outline can be a lot of work, but it helps your presentation go smoothly when it counts. Plan ahead, and you've got yourself the outline for an awesome day.

And then, when the time comes,
pump up the volume;
pump up the volume;



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About Heather

Heather is a 20-something lifelong learner who works in higher education and overanalyzes everything. Now engaged to her boyfriend of 6 years, she spends way too much time in coffee shops fueling up on espresso drinks and creatively massaging marital traditions. Follow along as she makes meaning out of the chaos and (hopefully) pulls it all together for her May 2012 Chicagoland wedding.

Connect with Heather
  • We self-deejayed our wedding and, we actually made our own announcement and emceed the various wedding events! It was SO fantastic. We told our own personal story about taking dance lessons when we announced our first dance, we told a nice story about my dad before the father-daughter-dance, and told our favorite cupcake flavors before we cut the cake. It made it so much more personal. And there was no worry about the “flow.” People danced when they wanted, and mingled when they didn’t feel like dancing. It was SO FANTASTIC.

    Good luck!

  • I believe that music is one of the most important details at a wedding reception, so having the right songs, and the right person to present them is very important. A Dj might or might not be a good idea, depending on the style of the wedding.

  • Lucinda

    great blog! thanks

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