Updated: Mar 19, 2019
So you've hired a DJ... How do you communicate your music preferences to him or her? I get asked this all the time in my initial meeting with clients. Well, the way I do it is I send my clients a music worksheet which they can fill out (as much or as little as they like) and return to me. While I didn't invent this (many of my DJ friends had been using this technique before me), I find it so helpful as a tool in learning more about my clients's taste and to help me pack their dance floor. Read below to learn more about the worksheet.
1. I send you the music worksheet
After I receive a signed contract from you, along with a small deposit, I will email you my music worksheet. It's a very straightforward document (I use google docs) and easy to fill out. Email me for a sample. It's due before our final meeting, a week or two before your wedding - so you have plenty of time to fill it out.
2. It's organized by the different parts of the night
Most weddings are organized in the same way and order: Ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner then dancing. So that's how I organize the worksheet. Recently a lot of my clients have been changing everything, and that's fine. I recently did a wedding where the cocktail hour was before the ceremony and this year I had several weddings where there was no sit down dinner.
So, while I organize the worksheet in a certain way, if you are doing your wedding differently, that's fine. Just change the order in the worksheet or leave me a note. The main point here is that the worksheet is organized into the sections of the night.
3. Write down genres or songs
For the cocktail hour, dinner and dancing you can give me as little or as much feedback as you like. Dinner and cocktail hour and basically the same thing. They are a great time to play your favorite songs that don't translate so well to dancing. A tip I usually give my clients is not to pick (really) slow songs for dinner. After sitting in the hot sun for the ceremony than drinking for an hour I have seen guests fall asleep at dinner!
For dancing put down all the songs you like and don't worry about whether they will make people dance, or if your guests like it. I will move the songs around as necessary and use what you write as inspiration. The number one thing is not to hold back. My goal as your DJ is to balance your individual tastes with songs that will keep your guests dancing.
There is a place to put "must play" songs and "do not play" songs. If you put a song on your must-play list, it will definitely get played and the opposite for your do not play list. And as you may know, I don't play traditionally cheesy wedding songs, so you don't have to worry about putting those on the do not play list.
4. Check off the traditions you'll be doing
In addition to the different times of the night, all the traditions that accompany them are listed so you can indicate which ones you will be doing. For instance, the different songs during your ceremony, the father-daughter dance and even the garter toss.
5. Include contact info for your planner and venue
This one is pretty self explanatory. Usually by the time I receive your worksheet I have been in touch with your venue and wedding planner (if you have one) ironing out all the details, but I ask for it just in case.
So that's pretty much it. You fill out the worksheet, send it to me a couple weeks before your big day and then I show up and make your guests dance all night. I love going through the worksheets because each one is different and they all show the personality of my clients.