How Many Requests?

We are moving into the busiest time of year for weddings.  This is also the time of year we get calls and emails from our couples that are filling out their planners and get to the section about “music requests” which leads them to ask  how many songs they should  request.  Music can be an important part of your wedding reception.  It can help set the tone, show off your personality, and bring energy to the reception, so it is important to make sure that your music selection sets the right mood.

So how many requests should I make on my ‘Music Requests” page?

Let’s look at the numbers.  The average wedding reception in the State College and Altoona area is about 5 hours.    This often includes a cocktail hour.  Most songs average about 3 minutes.  This means you should request 100 songs right?  Well, not exactly.  Keep in mind after cocktail hour, your guests will be seated, you will have introductions, your dances, cake cutting, toasts, dinner.  Your dinner will average about an hour.  The cake cutting and other events will be about a half hour.  That leaves most receptions with about 2 to 2.5 hours of dancing which is about  40 – 50 songs for dancing.

Now, when filling out your request page, this page can be used in two ways. If you have very specific music tastes and want the DJ to stick only to your specific songs or musical styles, you can potentially plan out every single song to be played at your reception. You are more than welcome to request 50 songs, but it helps to leave some wiggle room for guests requests.  Don’t forget about your parents and the older guests.  Often times, they are going to be some of your bigger gift givers, and they will appreciate hearing “Runaround Sue”  or “Twist and Shout”. Even though these songs cater to the “older” crowd,  your  younger guests will know and have fun with these songs too. Also keep in mind that while you may love and request certain songs or styles of music, despite the songs being great, they may not be conducive for creating a great wedding reception atmosphere.

Most music request pages average about 20 requests.  This allows for the bridal couple’s favorite songs to be played, while still allowing the DJ to do their job by keeping the energy flowing, keeping all the guests happy, leaving room for the DJ to take requests from your guests during the reception, and helps everyone to have fun and create a memorable event. Remember that since your DJ is a pro, they will know how to make all the music you both want and need work together to make your wedding work.

One thing to definitely put on your music request list ahead of time is any songs that might be out of the ordinary.  For example, of course we will have the Penn State fight song in our database but probably won’t have the Michigan fight song unless you request this on your music request page or during your planning.

It is actually just as important for the DJ to know what songs you do NOT want to hear. So if you feel like you need to request and plan every single song for your reception just to make sure certain songs or types of music are not played, don’t knock yourself out and cause yourself undue stress and include the songs or styles you don’t want on your “Do Not Play” list. Save the Request list for the songs and styles that you want to make sure are played during the course of the evening.

Your music is an important part of your cocktail hour and reception. Your styles and tastes should most definitely be a part of the music selection, but don’t let it overwhelm you. If you want certain songs to be played during your cocktail hour, dinner, or reception, shoot for requesting about 20 songs.  If you have less, don’t worry about it – your DJ knows what to play to fill in if needed. If you have more – the DJ will strive to get all of your requests in within the available time.

If you still feel stuck, here is a link to some popular wedding songs.  Hope this helps.