Feature Friday: DJ West Entertainment
Trying to figure out how to make the best playlist? Well, look no further as DJ West Entertainment gives us some insight on how to create the perfect playlist!
Who is DJ West Entertainment? How did you begin and why?
We are a husband and wife wedding DJ team dedicated to serving Hampton Roads’ most fun loving couples. Not only do we provide our clients with LITERALLY the best party imaginable, but we also genuinely care about our soon-to-be-married couples. We make it our purpose to walk with you every step of your wedding planning journey, providing the most personal, friendly & fun DJ service for your special day.
We started DJ West Entertainment in 2014 (the same year we were married – we actually DJ’d our first wedding the same month we were married). In 2017 we both quit our full time jobs to take our wedding DJ business full time!
What tips do you have for couples wanting to create the perfect reception playlist? Where should they begin?
Start by making two lists – one “Slow Songs” list and one “Upbeat Songs” list. Use whatever feels most comfortable: pen and paper, Google Docs, Spotify, or Apple Music. Focus on adding as many of your favorite songs to those lists as you can. Don’t forget to include some crowd favorites! If you are having a hard time coming up with songs, “phone a friend!” Ask your bridal party or your family members to send you ideas or their favorites.
Putting together your list of general songs will help you brainstorm ideas for these “Special Songs” for your wedding reception:
- Bridal Party Entrance Song
- First Dance
- Parent Dances (Mother-Son, Father-Daughter)
- Cake Cutting
- Bouquet Toss, Garter Removal, Garter Toss
- Last Dance/ Exit Song
Do you recommend sticking with one genre/theme or having a mix?
All told, you’ll need almost SIX HOURS of non-stop music throughout your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. That’s a lot of music, so I recommend having a mix – three different genres is ideal! Having a diverse selection of music is key to ensure everyone will have a great time and will help create perfect balance and flow.
This doesn’t mean you must play songs or artists that you don’t like or don’t want to include at your wedding. Remember that your “Do Not Play List” is just as important to your DJ as your playlist. For example, a lot of our clients say, “I don’t like country music or I love country” or “I don’t like rap/hip-hop or we love hip hop” or “I don’t like line dances.” And that’s okay, but the goal is to focus less on musical genres and more on the people that will be attending your wedding. What music selections will make them happy and get them out on the dance floor?
What is the best advice for couples creating their playlist?
Most couples know a TON of music! Music is an integral part of most of our lives. We grew up listening to it. We listen to it every day. That amounts to a HUGE catalogue from which we can choose, so the real challenge is usually narrowing down the playlist or uncertainty about what selections will make people want to get out of their seats and dance.
In my opinion, there’s really no “wrong” way to select wedding music. It’s really more of a good, better, best scenario. The most ideal situation that “makes everybody happy” is to have a 50/50 split playlist with 50% of the music reflecting the couples’ taste and 50% of the music reflecting the wedding guests’ taste. More often than not, these tastes will overlap, and your DJ will help guide you through which songs are best for certain parts of your wedding.
You want to know the real SECRET to creating the BEST WEDDING PLAYLIST EVER? One word… THROWBACKS! When people come to weddings, they want to hear the music they listened to when they were in their teens and early 20s. If you aren’t sure about what stirs up nostalgia in your wedding guests, send them a text, give them a call, or add a music request option to your wedding invitations.
Are there any musical trends or popular wedding songs you’ve noticed and see happening for 2020?
One of the biggest trends from the last few years that we expect to continue into 2020 and beyond is using covers/acoustic/instrumental versions of popular songs for important moments – the bride’s entrance, first dance, parent dances, you name it! At the end of the day, couples want their song selections to be unique and reflect who they are. Covers can really help do that.
Weddings in 2020 will also continue to see couples embrace a WIDE variety of music for reception. You can expect everything from Country to Classic Rock to Hip Hop to Top 40! Couples understand the diversity of their guests’ music preferences, and they want to make sure that everyone has the time of their lives!
When it comes to picking a DJ, what advice would you give couples still looking for theirs?
You want to determine if the style of your DJ fits the style of your wedding. You have the right to express your individual personality in your wedding, and particularly your DJ. When choosing a DJ, you should consider things like your wedding style, vibe, music preference, and emcee style. Communicate all of these things with your prospective DJ, and choose someone who is the perfect fit for you! Your DJ’s personality should reflect who you are and what you want your wedding to look/feel like!
Music selection is important as well. You should discuss how you will work together with your DJ to construct your playlist. How will your DJ handle requests? How do they feel about certain genres of music that you like? Also ask them about their emcee style. Your DJ wears many hats on your wedding day, and emceeing is one of the most important ones. Your DJ’s emcee skills = the glue that holds your party together. Make sure that your DJ can communicate with your guests, create your desired atmosphere, and be the life of the party!
For more information, how can couples best reach you?
We love hearing from wedding couples! Please feel free to reach out to us via any of the methods below –