Puppy Love: Dance The Night Away

When our DJ asked for out list of “must play” songs, my response was probably a little more than he bargained for. I will openly admit that I was the overbearing bride who attached a multi-page Word document to my reply email, and I’m not sorry I did! I knew that the music selection would play a huge role in establishing the tone of the reception, and I was going to do everything in my power to ensure we ended up with photos like these:



Since those are in fact shots from our wedding, clearly it was a success!

Now, my document started with the specifics that were requested by the DJ: first dance, father-daughter dance, last dance, etc. I already mentioned that our first dance was to Brad Paisley’s “Then” and my father-daughter dance was to Amos Lee’s “Sweet Pea.” For the last dance we went with a song that in my mind completely captured the feel of our wedding. In fact, I liked it so much I had already used its lyrics on our bar.


So when the night ended, I exhaustedly rested my head on Mr. D’s shoulder while Blake Shelton’s “Honeybee” played over the speakers.


But anyway, back to all of the dancing that made me so tired in the first place! The next section of my Word doc was other “must play” reception songs. These included Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” so Bridesmaid M could be her bad MJ-loving self:



Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” a classic at any party, but particularly awesome in my book since the White Sox won the World Series in 2005. An unexpected added bonus with this song was that our youngest guest turned out to be a major fan. Clearly, the baby loves Journey!


Another must-play song was in honor of all the times the females in my family who had cuddled up on the couch to watch Dirty Dancing. While we did not attempt a lift, I did successfully get my grandmother on the dance floor with “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”:


There were a few others that made the cut, but I think you get idea! The next section in my document was the We-Don’t-Care-If-You-Play-These-Specific-Songs-But-Here-Is-A-List-To-Give-You-An-Idea-Of-The-Feel-We-Want-For-Cocktail-Hour. In case you weren’t aware, I am a big country music fan (Nashville will do that to a girl), but I knew that not all of our guests shared my enthusiasm for this genre. I didn’t want fiddles and twang to scare people off the dance floor, so I used the cocktail hour to play some of my country favorites. It was in a barn after all! The above mentioned list included Randy Travis “Forever and Ever, Amen”, Zac Brown Band “Chicken Fried” and Tim McGraw “Green Grass Grows”.


Finally, the last section in my document was We-Don’t-Care-If-You-Play-These-Specific-Songs-But-Here-Is-A-List-To-Give-You-An-Idea-Of-The-Feel-We-Want-For-The-RECEPTION. This list looked a little more like Taio Cruz “Dynamite”, AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long” and Pink “Raise Your Glass”. As I noted with this list, basically I wanted the DJ to do whatever he had to do to keep people dancing. All I can say is that he certainly fulfilled that request!




How much control will you have over the music selection?

Do you want people dancing the night away, or are you aiming for a more low-key reception?

*All photos by Lotus Blossom Photography


Girls Get Ready

Arriving at the Venue

The Dalmatians Rehearse

Dress Me Up

An Ode to My Bouquet (and the ‘Bee)

The Dalmatian First Look

Solo Shots

The Boys and Girls

Last Photos as Fiances

Prepping the Scene

The Dalmatians Say I Do

Newlywed Pics Take 1

Newlywed Pics Take 2

Cocktail Hour Barn Style

It’s In the Details

Wise Words and Good Eats

And We Danced

The Reception

Let Them Eat Cake

What’s Cake Without Ice Cream?


Mrs. Dalmatian

Nashville, TN
Wedding Date:
May 2012
Shopping Online
Two Names Enter, One Name Leaves
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  1. Member
    debeachgirl 543 posts, Busy bee @ 7:56 am

    I want people dancing all night. I don’t think it will be a problem since they the venue coordinator said after my brothers wedding that was the most dancing she had ever seen. So, since over half the guest list is the same and the same DJ, I am not worried.

    Plus our DJ is a personal friend of ours who doesn’t usually do weddings (expect for a few close friends) and normally plays at our favorite local bar. Add into that the fact that FI actually does all the speaking on our DJs annual mix and I think he will play just what we want.

    I love your lists. SILs sister sent her DJ a list he couldn’t open it and never told her. Yeah that went over well when none of her songs were played. I think it is good to send lots of options. Looks like you succeed in getting people dancing!

  2. mswallaby Bee
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:02 am

    Oh hi, fellow overbearing bride with an extended DJ playlist! We gave our DJ a list of, like, 8 hours’ worth of songs. Oops. But it worked out amazingly for us too, and I would tell other brides and grooms to be specific in their playlists if they don’t want to hear wedding mo-town all night. Also, loooove that Blake Shelton song! Your sign is so cute!

  3. Member
    TwoNerds 180 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:30 am

    WE did something very similar – gave our DJ a list of “Must Play” songs for both cocktail hour and the reception, as well as a list of “Do Not Play” songs, suggestions that are more than enough to fill the time. We want him to have flexibility to keep the dancing going, without having all kinds of crazy stuff that we don’t like.

  4. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:41 pm

    It looks like your dj did a great job of keeping people on the dance floor! I wish we were clearer with our dj, especially on what had to be played, it makes a difference!

  5. painauchocolat Bee
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:17 pm

    I like that you kept in mind a general type of songs for keeping the party going and left the details up to your DJ. Our DJ veered off our list during the dance part of the reception, which was fine by us, as it kept the guests dancing.

  6. msfox Bee
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:38 am

    I love all the dancing pictures!!! We ended up giving our DJ a short list of “must plays” (maybe like 10?), and then two very specific “do not plays” (anything Adele and Moves Like Jagger.. so overplayed in my life lol!). He did an awesome job at filling in the gaps!

  7. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:03 am

    This is awesome! I love these photos! Your dance floor look so fun!

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