Please don’t stop the music

Finding the perfect mix of songs for your reception is easy – if you keep your guest list in mind.
Jul 24, 2014 | Lisa Ng

What's a good mix of songs for a wedding reception that will keep everyone happy?

You definitely want to find out the age demographic of the people attending. Most weddings are 60 per cent family over the age of 40 and 40 per cent friends in their late 20s and early 30s. It's good to have this info on hand so you can build your night and playlist around this. I usually start with oldies from the ‘50s and ‘60s to get all age groups on the dance floor, then switch to some fun ‘70s disco funk or ‘80s retro as the night progresses. It's nice to also throw in a Top 40 set after the oldies set so the young people don't feel excluded either.

After 11 p.m. is when you'll see some of the older people head home to their kids and the playlist turns a little more Top 40, with some hip-hop or rock, depending on the tastes of the couple and their friends. Classic Rock is also a genre that gets all age groups involved. People can't resist AC/DC’s "You Shook Me All Night Long.” It's a great sing-a-long song after a couple drinks. Throw in one or two slow songs when the crowd looks a bit tired and need a break. Slow songs are important, as some people will only dance to them or couples are waiting on the sidelines so they can dance together. Your best bet? Hire a professional DJ, so she can read the crowd for you and you can sit back and enjoy your own party. We've worked a lot of weddings and seen it all.

My other tip? Pick songs that make everyone happy without compromising too much on what you really don't like. Leave the super-obscure music at home, or it will hurt the dance floor.

Lisa Ng

Lisa Ng is a Toronto-based wedding DJ and lifestyle blogger.  Her company, hello DJ! takes a hip, fun and young approach to music and reception entertainment. You can learn more about her non-cheesy, Macaraena-free style at or follow the life of a female DJ on her blog, The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide at

Your Comments