The Song Request Trend
Having been a DJ in Maryland since 1995, I have probably taken over 100,000 song requests. That may sound like a lot of requests but the average client requests about 20 specific songs before we even get to the event. Then at each event we probably get another 15-20 song requests. I also have deejayed over 3600 events in my career. As a DJ, no matter the event, people will always make song requests. It is natural.
The Wedding RSVP Card
A couple of years ago, I noticed a newer trend where couples getting married would include a place for a song request on an wedding RSVP card. The thinking behind this was let your guests know you are looking to make them happy and they can look forward to hearing their favorite song played.
The idea was very cool. The result? Well, not always cool. Some song request included Iron Butterfly’s In A Gadda Da Vida, Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick and N.W.A’s – F Da Police. All of these songs are well respected within their genres but not really songs I would play at a wedding. The good news about the RSVP cards were many guests selected the same song and more often then not, a song I would have played anyway. A while back a bride and groom received 41 requests on RSVP slips. 26 of those requests were for Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars. There were seven other requests that were great and eight requests that were just not great for a wedding.
Unfortunately this left the couple in a bind because they gave their guests the idea that they could have a say in the playlist. When you hire a DJ, remember your DJ should be a professional. The hardest skill for a professional DJ to learn is reading the crowd. After all, every crowd is different. Your DJ will be watching how your guests react to each song. He/She should know when to raise the tempo or slow it down. The DJ should know when its time to change genres. After all, the DJ is supposed to get people to dance and keep them dancing.
When you start sharing input for the playlist with friends and family, most people do not always take into consideration whether your other guests will enjoy their request. Also to build momentum and sustain a packed dance floor, you want to be careful changing tempos and genres too often. When you share the request list with 100 other people, most if not all of them have never selected music non stop for four hours.
As a DJ, I always take requests, but I do not play every request. When I work with a client I spend a lot of time listening to their vision for their event. This vision and the crowd help dictate the playlist. The energy in the room will help dictate the list. Electra Entertainment’s end goal is to keep wedding guests entertained, dancing, and enjoying the party. The RSVP cards are better use for your guests to let you know if they will attend.