Thursday, July 16, 2009

Those Darn Song Selections

Those Darn Song Selections

For those of you that follow me on Twitter (Hawaii Wedding) you know that waiting for those “darn song selections” is an ongoing process.

In our bridal questionnaire, we not only ask for your wedding ceremony songs but for all of your special moments such as bride and groom entrance, cake cutting ceremony, first dance, father/daughter dance, etc. In addition, we also ask for the demographics of your guests, type of music that you want played , favorite artists and your “do not play” list.

Why do we ask for all of these songs when your wedding may still be months or even a year away?

Actually, the reason is that selecting song selections tends to be the number one procrastinated item in wedding planning , and in many cases, a lot more difficult than couples think. We ask these questions from the very beginning so that during the course of your planning when you listen to music you are more aware of songs and their lyrics and can start deciding the “feel” you want for your wedding.

Our goal is to send out your preliminary timeline with your song selections at least two weeks prior to your wedding day and a final timeline the week of the wedding. This process allows vendors an opportunity to see the entire day at the two week marker and confirm their timing and clarify any discrepancies and they can finish preparations for your wedding day.

What are the potential problems with the delay of providing song selections?

1) Your musician may not know the song, or your DJ may not have the song in their music library. By identifying this early, we can make the appropriate adjustments on the song selection, or the DJ has time to research and add the requested piece to their library for you.

2) Your musician or DJ often has several events in a week’s time with back-to-back gigs, or in some cases other job, so sending your final song selections the night before the wedding may seem like you “made it” but they may not even have time to access their computer before loading up for the next event. Fortunately with internet access, I’ve literally had some DJs that had to download music on-site, but it can potentially (and sometimes has) caused delays.

3) Special performances (i.e.: hula, etc.) can also be a challenge when the performer’s CD does not work, so we always suggest sending a copy to the DJ in advance to allow them time to check the CD before the event day. This avoids potential problems and unnecessary stress later.

4) Disappointment that your special song request is not played.

Why do you ask for our guest demographics and favorite artists?

The more we know about you, the better we are able to serve you. By knowing the demographics of your guests (ages, where they are from, etc.) we have a better understanding of what types of music may be most suitable. Having your list of favorite artists gives the DJ a better understanding of the type of music that you like to hear as well.

Why do you ask for our do not play list?

The typical do not play songs are YMCA, Chicken Dance and the Electric Slide. Ironically, these same songs have also been on the “must play” list for clients that liked the group participation or because it held another significance to them (i.e. bridal party met at Oktoberfest).

The other do not play songs you want to consider are songs that may remind you of a situation or perhaps even a past relationship that you may not necessarily want to be reminded of on your special day. An example of this is when my father-in-law passed away a couple of years ago a DVD slide show was made with a beautiful song on it, but every time I hear that song it makes think of him which brings emotions of happiness and sorrow.


Marino - Ninja Entertainment said...

Dianna, you should be a DJ! LOL

These are WONDERFUL tips to help you put together the "soundtrack" to your celebration. Waiting until the last minute is never good, especially for something as critical as the music of your event.

Let me add a few more tips to help choose the songs for certain moments of your celebration:

Ask your family & friends for requests. They can give you ideas as to what they want to dance to, or to help remind you of songs that hold a lot of happy memories for you. Before one wedding several years ago, a bride-to-be was stuck trying to figure out what songs to play to get her friends out on the dancefloor, until her sorority sisters reminded her about their pledge song (Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot)...and that opened the floodgates, brought back a lot of happy memories, and helped her finalize her soundtrack! (To cap it all off, she and her sorority sisters even did their "Pledge Dance" to the song at the reception, and it was the highlight of the night!)

Listen to the radio more carefully. If a song strikes a chord in you, pull over and write down the name and/or artist of the song, so you don't forget it when you meet your musicians or DJ. The same goes for any song you see on MTV or VH1.

Ask your DJ or musician for suggestions. Your DJ has been to hundreds of weddings and has played a variety of music for all elements of the celebration. Ask him for some suggestions and his professional opinion!

Dianna Shitanishi - Hawaii Weddings and Events said...

Thanks for the great additional tips Marino!