5 Music Tips to Make Sure Your Reception Feels Like a Party

The quickest way to a blah reception is an empty dance floor, but with a few simple steps, you can make sure your wedding music creates a fun, energetic atmosphere. Your venue, your DJ, and your guest list are key factors in throwing an unforgettable party, but Niall Stevenson of Four Leaf Entertainment shared five tips every couple can follow to improve the vibe:

1. Think modern.

Whether you choose to hire a band or a DJ, the tone of the music is largely up to you, and before you provide your vendor with a list of your favorite songs, it's important to think about the age and personality range among your guests. According to Stevenson, it's great to include a few classic wedding songs to liven up your guests, but most couples are requesting a variety of Top 40 songs and hip-hop hits to bring the energy.

2. Write a "do not play" list.

The vendor knows what kind of music you like, but does he or she know which songs you really don't like? To avoid hearing "Macarena" or, worse, the song you shared with an ex, Stevenson suggests compiling a short "do not play" list for your vendor.

3. Pump up the bridal party.

Based on his experience, Stevenson finds that the bridal party entrances can really set the tone for a wedding, so be sure to choose a fun, upbeat song for their introductions. To quickly check it off your to-do list and get your friends' input, send a mass email to the bridesmaids and groomsmen to ask for entrance music suggestions, then have them vote for the song they love most.

4. Consider timing.

The best way to maintain the party mood is to keep it going, so you want to avoid any unnecessary dance interruptions. An easy way to make that happen: Stevenson suggests that couples do their first dances right after the bridal party entrances to keep the energy up.

5. Brainstorm go-to songs.

If there are a few songs your family and friends absolutely love — some guaranteed crowd-pleasers — then let your vendor know so that he or she can feature them at the right time of the night. Another idea? Request a special song to be played at the very end of the wedding so that everyone leaves on a high note.