Wedding Music Chat Thursday, June 26, at 11 am
Today at 11 am, DJ Chris Laich takes all your music questions.

Editor’s Note: Washingtonian Online moderators and hosts retain editorial control over chats and choose the most relevant questions; hosts can decline to answer questions.

Published June 20, 2008
Next Thursday at 11 am, DJ Chris Laich takes all your music questions.

Washington, DC
Do you have any suggestions for Cake Cutting songs?

Hello!

Some of my favorites would include:

Recipe for love by Harry Connick

Best is yet to come by Frank S

When I'm 64 by the Beatles

Moondance by Van Morrison

The sweetest thing by U2

Ice Cream by Sarah Mccloughlin

 Love and Happiness by Al Green 

 

Washington, DC
I have very specific ideas about what songs I want played. Will my DJ think I'm a Bridezilla if I give him a detailed play list?
I have done over 1000 Weddings and I would never classify any of my brides as a bridezilla.  It is the biggest day of your life (until you have children) so you are allowed to be as detailed as you would like...that is just my opinion.  I am sure though that many other Djs will think you are micro-managing.  I would suggest you pick as much music as you would like, but only pick maybe 10-20 MUST plays.  The Dj will certainly get all of them on and then use the rest of your list as filler.  
Adams Morgan
I don't want any hip hop played at my reception, but my DJ insists my guests will want to hear it and says nine of out 10 requested songs are hip hop. I think he's wrong--he doesn't know my friends. What do you think?
Sorry, but that is just very closed-minded. I JUST talked to a bride on the way here today and I told her we do a nice mix of 50's - today, BUT it is TOTALLY up to her.  She said that she does not like hip-hop and I did mention that it is HER day; but there may be some guests that may want it.  Regardless, it is up to her what I play.  Most of the time brides may say they are not into a certain type of music, but they trust me to read the crowd and make sure everyone has a good time and if I need to play a few songs from a decade SHE may not love, that is fine with her.  It is about you, but you will be inviting guests that you want to have fun.  Choose music you like, but also consider them.  NO ONE knows your friends and family like you do.  It is that simple.  
washington, dc
We like some tunes with risque lyrics that may not be appropriate for kids. Is there any way you can "scratch" the bloopers out? What's the most popular instrumental piece for the first dance?

Depending on the DJ's cd/mp3 player, they can eliminate objectional lyrics on the fly.  They can also do it at home with certain software.  There are also clean versions of most songs on Itunes.  You have options!

I rarely see instrumentals for a first dance, but I just had one last week at the Four Seasons.  The bride and groom chose a waltz by Elliot Smith.  it was very cool.   Sorry I can't be more helpful on that one! 

Washington, DC
In your opinion, what is the corniest song of all time? Or, which song gets overplayed the most?

Too funny. Top 3 for me would be:

Macarena

Electric Slide

YMCA 

 

But it doesn't matter what I like.  The music should always be about the bride and what HER crowd likes.  Good news for me is that all of my brides think like me!  No line dances!  Nothing cheesy!

 

Overplayed...there are a bunch of songs we play weekly, but they are timeless.  Some may feel they are overplayed, but I would say What a wonderful world is the song I have played the most in my 18 years of DJing!  It is still good though! 

Washington, DC
I'm sure that you get tired of playing the same songs over and over again for different wedding receptions and events- how do you deal with constantly hearing these songs?
I may get tired of certain songs, but if that is what the crowd likes, that is all that ever matters.  I am just there to facilitate that event and not play to myself.  
washington d.c.
Chris - I want a DJ to play at a party but I don't want it so loud that people can't talk. This always seems to happen even when I communicate it in advance. How does one help control volume? K in Kalorama
You should just make sure the DJ understands that you are sensitive about the volume.  It is 'DJing 101' though.  Cocktail hour and dinner music is always background and guests should NOT have to compete with the music.  If at anytime is too loud, just ask a bridesmaid to go let the DJ know.  Any DJ that has done more than 1 wedding understands that the volume should always be manageable for the guests.  Dance-time will be louder, but should not sound like a nightclub.
Arlington, VA
What songs really get guests out on the dance floor? And what songs may be popular but hard for most people to dance to?
Well, every wedding is unique, but for the most part there are some solid songs that work at most events.  Respect, Ain't too proud to beg, My girl,  Dancing queen, Living on a prayer, Sweet caroline, In the mood, Wonderfull world, Brown eyed girl, Sweet home alabama, AC/DC, and of course, Dont stop believeing to name a few (but NOT in that order).  There are of course some more from the 90's - today that work such as:  bust a move, jump around, crazy in love, most Justin, Nelly, and Outkast.  It really depends on the crowd.  Some events  you can throw in James - Laid, Femmes - blister in the sun, and some beastie boys.  
Washington, DC
How do you avoid the cheese factor while still playing songs that people of many generations can recognize and have fun dancing to?
Well, it is tough.  We avoid the macarena, electric slide, cha cha slide, celebration, YMCA, mony mony, hot hot hot, and any line dances, but some brides may find some of the songs I listed in the last question as cheesy.  It all depends.  You CAN have a fun event without line dances, but you cannot eliminate every song that you hear every week.  Certain songs your crowd will love.  But for certain artists, there are a few good songs to choose from, so you don't have to hear the same ones you hear at every wedding.  Also, the music is important, but the DJ's personality will also help you cut out the cheese factor....
Arlington, Va
What's the most unique song one of your brides has walked down the aisle to? Most non-traditional first-dance song?
Hmmmm, I have had a few unique ones include Coldplay and Smashing Pumpkins.  Most of our events are very traditional, but for first dance I think we had a Suicide Machines song last year.  Very odd, but that was our couple's personality!
Washington, DC
I think it's so cheesy when couples are loudly announced like game show contestants when they first arrive at the reception. Is that still the norm? Do you normally announce couples or do they just come out to their first dance? Thanks Chris!

Most of my brides (99%) agree with you.  That is why they hire us.  We don't treat Weddings like football games and we don't ever DJ events where the DJ is the show. I don't think it was ever the 'norm' to do annoucements like that, in my opinion. 

Most of our events, we do introductions of the bridal party and the couple goes right into the first dance.  I think that flows well.

 

But it doesn't matter what WE think, every bride is unique and if she wants that atmosphere, then great.  We just cannot offer that to them.

Arlington, VA
I have always feared the DJ attacking me with the microphone to try to get the crowd on the dance floor. How do you get a room moving without isolating and embarrassing party goers?

Ha ha!

Well, good music and a few drinks, should get some people dancing.  Dj's are not magicians though. If you do a Sunday wedding, outdoors, in August, middle-of-the-day, don't expect too much dancing.  Every event is different though!  The DJ should not really have to encourage guests to dance.  If they like the music, they will hopefully dance.  You should get an idea of the DJ personality BEFORE you hire them though.  Be careful.

 

Arlington, VA
How loyal are you and other DJs to the "no playlist"?

Well, we are 100% loyal. No questions asked. Any good DJ should be.  It is totally up to the bride as far as what she wants to hear.  Now, we do meet with the bride a few weeks out to go over the lists. If she tells us she doesn't want any 70's or 80's, that may be an issue depending on the age of the guests.  But, most brides choose a few they hate (besides the ones we already don't play) and we of course honor that.  We don't take payment until the event concludes, so it is to our benefit to do what we are told!  As for other DJ's, I have heard of some not adhering to the DNP lists.  I honestly don't know how that happens.  This is also DJing 101 to me - follow the brides instructions.....

 

Thanks so much for all the questions! If anyone has any other questions for me, feel free to email me at cl@chrislaich.com. 

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Posted at 09:32 AM/ET, 06/20/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Chats