Do you love a great party? I know I do, and when I go to weddings, I notice when a DJ gets the party rocking. I met with Diana from McKinney DJ to get the inside scoop on wedding songs to rock your reception.
I wondered if DJ’s do anything besides spin tunes. Diana told me A D.J. will be your master of Ceremonies, keeping your flow going by directing your guest’s attention through timed announcements to important functions in the wedding. This is especially important when you do not plan on having a day of coordinator. A good D.J. can heard cats, and coordinate with your event staff and keep your guests moving in the right direction.
What makes an event memorable? I was talking to my husband recently and I could not remember his cousin’s wedding reception. My husband pointed out to me that they did not have a DJ or dancing and the party was a dud. Personalizing and making your wedding unique to you makes it special and memorable. I asked Diana what the most memorable event she has done. A most unusual wedding theme that McKinney DJ has done was a dinner murder mystery where the groom died and the guests had to solve who did it. This was a great memorable icebreaker for the reception guests.
Want some ways to keep the party rolling? Your guests are going to be where you are. So if you disappear, the party will die. If you have a memorable first dance, and then stay out on the dance floor with your guests, they will stay out there with you. So take some time for dance lessons so you can look and feel your best at your wedding.
Do you think line dances are cheesy? This may be so, but line dances are a good way to help your single friends avoid feeling alienated because they do not have a partner and your married guest will love to get up and dance also. Line dances get everyone up and rocking your dance floor with or without a partner. What is the best music to get the reception rocking? Here are some of Diana’s picks.
Reception rocking song:
5 Top Rocky Mountain first dance songs,
“Thinking out loud” by Ed Sheeran is huge,
“All of Me” by John Ledgend,
“A thousand years” by Christina Perry,
“Marry Me” by Bruno Mars
“I Don’t Dance” Lee Brice
5 Top Father Daughter dance songs:
“Wonderful World” Loui Armstrong,
“Because you love me” by Selene d. is huge,
“Isn’t she lovely” Stevie Wonder,
“My little girl” by Tim McGraw, and
“Fathers and daughters” by Leeroy Pennell.
5 Top Mother Son dance songs:
“A song for mama” by Boys to Men
“I hope you dance” by Leeann Womack,
“My wish” rascal flats
“Wonderful world” Loui Armstrong
“How sweet it is” James Taylor
A Special thank you to Diana Roberts McKinney. You can contact her at McKinney Entertainment http://www.coloradodiscjockey.com/ 970-217-9285
WEDDING DANCE instruction
Holly’s hot wedding tips,
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of the Knot best wedding dance,
Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach
Adventures in Dance
(Holly –>) Good morning Diana it’s so good to have you here from McKinney Entertainment on Holly’s Hot wedding tips. (Diana –>) Thank you holly I’m excited to be here today.
(Holly –>) I am so looking forward to hearing about what the hottest songs are for first dances. What can you tell me about that? (Diana –>) You know it changes every year. When the titanic movie came out of course “My Heart Will Go On” was the really hot song. This last year there wasn’t really any one song that we saw consistently being requested. But I did take a look and “thinking out loud” by Ed Sheeran is huge, “All of Me” by John Legend, “A thousand years” by Christina Perry, “Marry Me” by Bruno Mars.
(Holly –>) What about for father daughter dances? (Diana –>) We see “Wonderful World” a lot used for both father daughter and mother son. The thing that a lot of couples like about that is it’s short so they don’t have to dance with their mom and dad for very long because it’s uncomfortable for some people. “Because you love me” by selene d. is huge, “Isn’t she lovely” Stevey Wonder, “My little girl” by Tim McGraw, and “Fathers and daughters” by Leeroy penal.
(Holly –>) Great songs. What about mother son? (Diana –>) That one is a little bit tougher because there aren’t as many songs that are a mother son kind of comfortable feeling. But “A song for mama” by Boys to Men is really good, “I hope you dance” by Leeann Woolmack, “My wish rascal flats” is huge, and then again “Wonderful world” (Holly –>) those are great songs and i’ve seen many of those over the years too. I get a larger variety because I see 400 weddings. (Diana –>) And we see maybe 50. (Holly –>) But I saw all of those absolutely and they were top of my list too.
(Holly à) So Diana, what music is best to get the reception rocking? (Diana –>) Well I think one thing that brides and grooms need to remember is even though you think line dances are cheesy they’re great if you’ve got a lot of single people that are at your wedding because they don’t need a partner to dance. And the most popular line dances that we see right now are the Cupid Shuffle, Caspar Slide, and right now the wobble is still pretty huge. Another song that we see is really popular right now that gets people on the dancefloor is uptown funk, and girls just wanna have fun. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of party it is that gets the ladies up on the dance floor.
(Holly à) Good tips, what about the first dance or getting brides and grooms dancing at their wedding? (Diana –>) One of the things I’d like to share is an experience that my husband and I had. We actually took some dance lessons and only three of them but we learned enough in those three lessons that when we went to my nephews wedding, we danced all night long. Same dance but we had fun with it at the end of the night and people say “Gosh you’re such great dancers” we did the same dance all night long but with different twists to it. The thing to think about that is great and I would encourage you all to consider learning at least one dance is, your groom is going to feel more comfortable on the dance floor. If he’s more comfortable he’s going to smile, he’s going to have more fun, you’re gonna have better photographs, and a better party, so I would definitely suggest that people do that. And the other thing to remember is if you’re on the dance floor that’s where the guests will be as well. So if you want dancing to be an important part of your day that’s where you need to be.
What is the most unusual wedding that you have ever done? (Diana –>) I didn’t do it, Scott did. One of the grooms got murdered. The couple wanted to do something a little different so what they did was have a murder mystery during dinner. And the groom was the victim so of course all of the guests got to try and figure out who did it, and it turned out to be one of the brides maids. But it was really a lot of fun. (Holly –>) What a great way to interact and break the ice and get everyone up and socializing.
What is the most memorable wedding that you’ve ever done? (Diana –>) There isn’t one that’s most memorable, but I think the ones that really stick with us are the ones where couples personalize it. We had one that was based on the movie Princess Bride. That one was kind of fun because we met with the bride and groom and her parents. Lovely meeting very ordinary and as we’re walking out the groom kind of pulls me back a little bit away from the brides and parents and says “Everything we just talked about. Not gonna happen it’ll be different we’ll call you.” I’m like, ok this is going to be interesting. They called us a couple of weeks later and said, “we want to base our wedding on the movie the princess bride. And we want you to pull audio clips out of the movie and play those during the ceremony.” So the bride came in on a carriage, walked down the isle to the theme “The princess bride” and the pastor opened up this huge book and says, “Princess nadia was born in the land of loveland, oh I’m sorry wrong book.” Slams it shut and everyone gets a chuckle and thinks that’s it but throughout the whole thing we played clips from the movie and it was so much fun. And that’s what we really love is couples that make it their own wedding. We had one where the groom was a professional kickboxer, so when i introduced them into the room they came in one at a time. I was wearing a black and white striped shirt with a whistle around my neck and I introduced them as though they were professional kickboxers and had them come into the center, shake hands so I said, “We want a professional dance, nothing below the waist.” And started the dance and it was… just really those are the things that we really love and I think a lot of what I remember is the couples that really make it their own.
(Holly –>) What are the most common mistakes you see couples making? (Diana –>)Probably letting too many other people tell them how to have their wedding. It’s your day, make it your way do what you want. Of course you can take advice from other people but it’s still your wedding, the one I remember the most, the most heartbreaking. The bride and I were the only people in the reception hall, she’s looking at the wedding cake there’s six pieces of cake. There’s a three tiered cake and then three satellite cakes. She’s very very close to being on the verge of tears and I said, “What’s the matter” and she goes, “They’re all white” and I’m looking at the cake and the cake is all white and I say, “I don’t quite understand what do you mean?” and she said, ” I love chocolate cake but they’re all white.” And I’m like, “Why didn’t you order any of them chocolate?” and she said, “My new mother in law said that wedding cake has to be white.” and I thought that is so sad. Ladies, gentlemen have it your way. Do what you want.
(Holly à) What don’t couples know about dj’s that they need to know? And entertainment professionals because you don’t just play music. (Diana –>) And that’s one of the most important things to remember is we don’t just play music. A professional is going to work with your venue, your caterer, your photographer, your video person to make sure you’re all on the same page because they’re going to be making announcements they’re kinda the master of ceremonies they’re gonna help make everything flow. Particularly if you’ve not hired a wedding planner or wedding day of coordinator that DJ is going to do all of that for you and if they need to bump something up or stall a little bit, a good DJ can do that for you. The other thing that I think brides and grooms need to know is a Pro is not going to drink alcohol at their wedding and if you have a canabus wedding they’re not gonna partake of any of the product either. Because they really are there to work, not to (well they are gonna have a good time). (Holly à) But they want their wits about them so they’re on top of everything. But that’s a good point that you’re the master of ceremony that it would be very hard for a “do it yourself” bride to run the whole event. I was that one or two and my experience always was:
A) Your guests now become your staff so they cannot actually enjoy the day
- B) Schedules do not get kept. Things get blown up you miss a lot of beautiful opportunities because it just kinda tumbles out of control. It does very strange things and you end up with a lot of family tension.
(Diana –>) Oh yes. And I would say that is my best tip for you as well. For your wedding day RELAX. Hire professionals let them do your job, their job rather, and just have a good time. (Holly à) Be prepared to enjoy your event. Hire the right people, take care of you so that you can be there and enjoy it and have beautiful memories forever after. (Diana –>) Exactly, and if there is a little glitch, a pro can cover that up and your guests are not going to know. (Holly à) What questions should brides and grooms be asking that they don’t know to ask? (Diana –>) The first question that we almost always here is “What is your price?” and I do understand that because you do have to have to figure out what your budget is and what you can afford. The question that you should be asking first I think though is “Are you available on my wedding date?” Because if I’m already booked (Holly à) Price is moot (Diana –>) Exactly I can’t help you other than to maybe suggest somebody that I know that is available. So I’d say that’s the first question to ask is are you available on my date? A couple other questions to ask “Are you familiar with my venue?”, “How much wedding experience do you have?” because sometimes it’s a club dj that suddenly decided, “Oh I want to be a wedding DJ. Because those look like a lot of fun and I can make a lot of money” But they have no idea how to run a wedding. And I think another question to ask is what is your goal for my wedding day? That way you can determine whether or not the professional that your hiring has the same vision you do. (Holly à) Who can be flexible enough to fix it to be your vision. Thank you so much Diana.