By Eric Herod, Owner of Eric Herod Entertainment

Sarah and Dave Photography

All couples long for that flawless music set for the reception. The only way a music playlist is perfect is if it is perfect for you and your guests. It’s important to establish that first! There is no way a playlist can appeal to everyone. The hope is for a set that pleases most. Keep in mind that at every event there will be some people who won’t dance to anything. Some just don’t dance for whatever various reasons there might be.

The last point before we talk about the music theory behind the “Perfect Playlist” is that wherever you spend your time during the reception is where the party will be. If you want a party with lots of dancing, then you better be out there dancing. It does not matter who you select as your DJ or band. If you’re not dancing, the floor will not be packed with your guests. They came to spend time with you. You are the party!

Now let’s talk playlist.

You want to start it with songs that you LOVE, ones that make you happy, are meaningful, have fond memories attached, or simply just make you dance every time. These are your “must-play” songs. They will be the anchors for a DJ or band to play during the evening, typically every other or every third song is a good approach.

Hayes and Fisk Photography

Then, what are the songs that you know your guests really love? It is important to think about the experience at every turn of your wedding. Think about songs that will make grandparents, parents, and friends bust a move. If you know Uncle Joe will go nuts to “Whoop, There It Is” by Tag Team, make sure it is on the list as a “dedication song.” Give him the spotlight! Your guests and Uncle Joe will remember this.

Lastly, create a “do not play” list if you have songs/artists that you really don’t like or are really tired of hearing. These tend to show up on most DNP lists so often a DJ or band will not play them anyway unless they are specifically added to the other lists. Songs like “Electric Slide,” “Macarena,” and “YMCA,” would be examples.

“Do not plays,” “dedication songs,” and “must plays” are essential for any wedding playlist. Make sure that you take time listening to music, creating lists, and finding the songs that will make you and your guests have fun.

Enjoy your research and get to dancing!

Eric Herod is a certified Wedding Entertainment Director® and owner of Eric Herod Entertainment, a full-time mobile DJ business dedicated to helping couples in Virginia and across the country create legendary weddings that make guests laugh, cry, and dance their tails off. Visit for more information.