We receive this question quite frequently and always ask the bride and groom as well if they are comfortable with having guests request songs at their wedding. Some couples automatically answer that question by placing a space in their invitations for guests to request songs before they even have a chance to arrive at the wedding. This option is fine, especially if you are easy going and trust your DJ to make the choice of what songs to play at what time and what is wedding appropriate to play at your reception.
However, not everyone is comfortable with letting their guests guide the music atmosphere of their wedding. A strict “No Requests” policy can also be in place, although not highly recommended. You want your guests to be a part of your wedding and enjoy it with you, not just spectators.
The best choice generally is a median between the two extremes. You want your guests to hear songs that they enjoy and want to dance to, and also be able to go up to the DJ and requests something that has a special meaning to them. You also want to make sure that you have a competent and courteous enough DJ to be able to screen the songs as they are being requested and make judgement on what should be played at what time. Usually a good “Do Not Play” list can be very helpful to a DJ so that he or she knows what songs to stay away from, even if they get requested.
Our general guidelines include communicating with the bride and groom before hand to know what songs to stay away from and also with the guests if they request a song that does not fit the format being played. Keeping the flow of music going is very important to an event. If a DJ is playing a top 40 format and the dancefloor is full, and someone requests “My Girl”, although it is a great song, it would not fit with the flow of the music at that moment. We would make a note of the song and advise the guest that it would be played at a later time.
The main thing to keep in mind when making the decision on whether you want to allow your guests to request songs or not is to have clear communication with your DJ. Communication is key, so let your DJ know what you do and don’t want to take place during your wedding. In the end, your DJ should be professional enough to make the decisions on the songs as they are being requested, without having to constantly bug you on specific requests.