A full dance floor is the ultimate sign of a good time. But if you think putting together a playlist of your favorite songs and letting it rip is going to do it, it's time to think again. What can you do to ensure the day's music is enough to draw guests in? We spoke with DJ Neza, a pro with over ten years of experience who touts Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian as clients, to find out exactly how to ensure every guest gets out of their seat and onto the dance floor.
Hire the Right DJ
This seemingly simple step can be very hard, swears Neza. "The right performer for your wedding will make the difference between an okay party and an event that your friends and family will be taking about for years to come." To find the right DJ for your celebration, Neza advises checking reviews, references, viewing any available media (in this case, playlists of mixes from past events), and having a conversation with any potential pros before booking. But be sure to get on it quickly—most professional DJs are booked over a year in advance (especially for a Saturday event). Picking a DJ solely based on price is a mistake, Neza warns, adding that "the saying 'you get what you pay for' is very real."
Keep Your "Do Not Play" List Small
Everyone has certain songs that they can't skip fast enough, but Neza advises couples to think twice before eliminating the song of the summer from their reception. "Just because you're tired of hearing 'Despacito' doesn't mean that your guests won't still go crazy over it," he explains. Additionally, eliminating entire genres or artists could really put handcuffs on a DJ that's trying to figure out what the next best move is. "You want to give the DJ more ammo to rock your party, not less," he adds.
Include a Mix of Genres
You and your S.O. might be huge fans of classic rock, but it's important to keep everyone's tastes in mind if your goal is a dance floor that just won't quit. "On average only about 50 songs are played during a wedding reception with dinner and formalities. So, when putting together a playlist for your DJ, be sure to include a mix of genres and artists instead of just songs," Neza advises.
Trust the Pros
"In my experience people tend to not dance because they're simply not ready, usually because the right mood hasn't been set yet. It's up to the DJ to get them into the dancing mood," says Neza. If you're hearing some songs you didn't expect, let it ride and let your DJ do his thing. "If something is not working, I'll go another direction until I strike an emotion. In order for your party to win you need a DJ that refuses to fail."