Everyone’s talking about making your wedding night epic, right?
We all know that an empty dance floor means it was a bad night. But what almost no one understands about throwing an epic party is the concept of building momentum.
It’s not the DJ who will make your wedding night epic. It’s getting your party into a groove that builds momentum throughout the evening, so that when the time is right your guests will automatically get up and start dancing. And that will happen even if you’ve hired a rookie DJ, as long as you build momentum.
So, how do you build momentum at a 6 or 7 hour wedding reception?
This will require you to get somewhat strategic about the timeline, so that you can keep the evening moving smoothly without boring your guests. You'll also want to consider what style and tempo of music that will be playing throughout the evening.
Please refer to the graph below to have a better understanding about using beats per minute (or BPM) to pick out the music for your wedding night.
Many people do not realize that music engages not only your auditory system but many other parts of your brain as well, including areas that are responsible for movement, language, attention, memory, and emotion. That's why it's important to be playing music during specific moments at your reception that reflects the kind of mood you want to see on your everyone's faces.
Guest arrival & cocktail hour
When people start shuffling into the reception hall, they'll want to hear happy, upbeat songs that they already know and love. This will put them into a cheerful mood where you'll see them swaying and singing along to the music. Just imagine how loud they're going to yell when you're getting introduced.
Let me start by saying that it's perfectly fine if you want to be introduced at your reception with a slow song playing in the background. However, if you want your wedding night to follow the graph above then it's recommended that you pick something much more upbeat, around 110-130 BPM.
Dinner & Toasts
The momentum will naturally take a nose dive when the dinner bell rings and that's okay because we can make up for it later. You don't want people attempting to talk over the music while they're eating. Slow the BPM down, lower the volume and take this moment in.
As tables are starting to be cleared, the tempo should start gradually getting higher to lighten the mood as your Best Man and Maid of Honor get ready to give a toast.
You can pick whatever song you want, it doesn't have to be any kind of tempo. In fact, it's almost preferred that it's a slow song for many obvious reasons. However, this is talking about the tempo of the music prior to the First Dance getting played.
As soon as your traditional dances are done, you will more than likely be opening up the dance floor to everyone so you'll want them to be in the right mindset to get out there.
If you still have dinner music playing right before you start dancing then it people may not be mentally prepared to get out there.
Now that you have guests on the dance floor, the music tempo will be allover the place for the rest of the night. A pro DJ will know when to take a "hard left turn", by completely shifting the tempo, and slowly transitioning from fast to slow.
In conclusion, a 6 or 7 hour reception will have anywhere from 120 to 200 songs played that night. Whether you intend to come up with those songs yourself or put faith in someone else to be your DJ, that's entirely your call.
Some couples are very "IN TUNE" musically and enjoy picking out the majority of their wedding music together, while others prefer to trust a professional.
No matter what it's important to understand the important role that building momentum has on making your wedding night epic and how music will help.