How to Choose Dinner Music for Your Wedding Reception

Music plays an important role in a successful wedding reception and that role begins well before the dancing starts.  The right music can enhance other parts of your event like the cocktail reception and dinner. Done right, it can even contribute to better dance participation later on.


Take it from the top
It’s best to have music playing from the moment your guests begin to arrive.  If your wedding was at a different location than the reception, it may take a while for the room to fill up.  Without music, the space could feel cold and empty and that’s not the vibe you want for your party.  Music makes the room feel warm, inviting and festive, even if only a few guests are present.

Tap your toe, but don’t shake your booty
Avoid playing music that makes your guests want to dance until it’s time for them to dance.  Playing a dance hit or a favorite oldie during dinner will just frustrate your guests.  Plus, if they want to hear that song again once the dancing starts, you’ll be repeating songs.  Instead, choose music that sets a backdrop for conversation, not back-beat for dancing.

No words
Instrumental music works best during cocktail and dinner.  That’s because your guests are trying to talk to each other during those times and songs with singing tend to interfere with conversation much more than instrumental numbers.  When your guests can talk easily during dinner, they build relationships that payoff with better dance participation throughout the night.

If you hired Reception Perfection to DJ your wedding, then you can relax and know I’ll play the perfect music for every part of your special night.  If you haven’t hired a DJ yet, then please check the Reception Perfection calendar to see if I’m available.   If you’ve already hired another DJ, then consider discussing these tips with him or her.


Customer Reviews

I’ve been blessed with some wonderful clients over the years. And, if their thank you notes are any indication, they liked me too. Will I do a good job at your event? Ask the people who trusted me with theirs. Here are some actual comments from satisfied customers.

“The reception was such a success, due mainly to Reception Perfection! I got so many compliments from our guests about how great our DJ was. At least four people told me it was the best DJ they had ever heard. Thank you so much for getting everyone involved and for playing great songs. You made my reception truly memorable and one-of-a-kind.”

—Vikki and Brad

“We wanted to thank you very much for everything. You did a great job. You made our day even more special and fun. I heard nothing but good things about you and how you did a great job. So, thank you very much.”

—Robert and Colleen Miller

“Kevin and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the awesome job you did DJing at our August 14 wedding! You were simply the BEST! So many of our guests remarked on how great you were at keeping everyone involved and interested! Thanks so much for taking charge of our night so we could enjoy ourselves. We had the BEST time that night thanks to your great entertainment! If we were getting married again you’d be first on our list. We’ll definitely recommend you to friends. You have a great gift for making people laugh and picking the perfect music! Thanks for being our DJ. It truly was a pleasure working with you. Thanks again.”

—Kevin and Kelly Stegemoller

“Thank you for helping to make Jason and Nicole’s wedding day a very special memory. I know Jason and Nicole will treasure that day and those moments for years to come. I can honestly say it couldn’t have been more enjoyable or fun. Many of our friends and family just couldn’t believe what a great!! time they had. We would highly recommend you to any of our friends or family. Thank you again.”

—Barb DeHoop

“We had to write you a note to thank you for doing such an incredible, professional, classy job at our wedding reception! You wouldn’t believe how many people complimented your work and asked for your name! Thank you for playing such a key role in our happy day! We had a great time at our reception. Thanks for keeping everything running so smoothly. We’ll both continue to highly recommend you to everyone we know. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!! You did a phenomenal job!! You are by far the best DJ we’ve ever seen!!”

—Molly and Adam Schwallier

“AWESOME job at our wedding reception on August 21! So many people raved about how great you were, and it was so fun to watch our video and see people DANCING the night away and having fun thanks to your musical selections and guest involvement! We couldn’t be happier! You can bet that I will pass your name on to as many people as possible! Thanks again!”

—Pat and Lisa Hamilton

“You continue to be the best DJ we have ever experienced. And all our guests agreed with us. You really made the difference. Chris’ sister was at a wedding two weeks after ours, and she said that after you, the other DJ was just blah! You made sure that our guests had a great time all night long, and I can’t thank you enough. I have and will continue to recommend you whenever an opportunity arises.”

—Teresa and Chris Duhl

“Thank you for DJing our wedding. You did a great job, and everybody had a fabulous time! I had a lot of people compliment you on what a great job you did. Thank you so much for making our wedding day very special! Thanks again.”

—Bev and Joe.

“Thank you so much for your awesome work at our wedding. You did a great job and so many people complimented your talent as the ‘best they’ve ever heard.” We will definitely recommend you to our friends and family. Thank you so much, you made our night perfect.”

̶Will and Alicia Van Eyck

“With so much work and planning involved in my daughter’s wedding, I did not have the time to tell you how much I enjoyed your service. Your professionalism and showmanship were extraordinary. To have someone of your talents was wonderful and a load off my mind. Way to go Greg! You did an excellent job.”

—Ernie Sandona

“Thank you so much for making our wedding day special and run smoothly. You did a great job. Everybody mentioned how good of a job you did. We will recommend you to anybody who needs a good DJ. Thanks again.”

—Keith and Tami Nelson.


These are the most common questions from people trying to choose the best DJ for their wedding reception, party or other event in Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville and throughout middle Tennessee.

Q: What do you charge?

A: Read about my rates and booking process on the Booking Process page.

Q: How long do you play?

A: My regular rate provides for up to 6 hours of music and begins when your guests arrive. If they come at 6 pm, then I’d play until midnight. I arrive early to set-up and stay late to tear down, but that time doesn’t count against the six hours.

Q: Will you play for more than 6 hours?

A: Sure. If you get to the end of the six-hour block and want me to stay, just say so. I charge $100 for each additional hour.

Q: What do you wear?

A: I wear a tuxedo unless you specify otherwise.

Q: How far will you travel?

A: Most of our work is around Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville and Middle Tennessee, but I have gone as far as Minnesota and Michigan. The best thing to do is call, tell me the location of your reception and see if I’ll go.

Q: What kind of equipment do you have?

A: I use only professional audio and lighting equipment exclusively because of its superior sound and reliability. I also keep back-up equipment ready, just in case.

Q: Do you have lights?

A: Yes. My system features a computer-controlled, sound-activated color lighting system. While not extravagant, it washes the dance floor with colored light that dances to the beat of the music. It’s just right for setting the mood at your party.

Q: Can we meet with you before our event to explain the things we want?

A: I offer a “pre-event consultation” where you can sit down with your me and review the plans for your reception or party. I’ll send you a confirmation email about a month and half before your event. It will invite you to call and schedule that meeting.

Q: How far in advance should we book you?

A: A year in advance is not too soon to call. People, who have seen me and really want us at their event, sometimes reserve their date two years in advance.

Reserve your date today. Call Greg at 931-451-0427.

10 Tips for a Great Wedding Reception

Over the the course of 1200 wedding receptions, I’ve learned secrets to successful events. Here are some suggestions for making your wedding reception the best it can be. Of course, the best way to ensure a great time is to hire Reception Perfection to provide the music. But even if you don’t, we still wish you the best and hope these ideas help you achieve it.

Wedding Reception Tips

You have spent hours of time and thousands of dollars preparing for your wedding and reception. It’s vital that it turn out well. These tips can help.

1. Break the ice and fill the floor. The number of people dancing at nine o’clock depends on what you have them doing between 6 and 8pm. If you get people involved early with fun, interactive activities, they’ll be more likely to dance later. Reception Perfection can recommend, and then handle, these kinds of activities.

2. Creative Kissing Games. One way to break the ice is with creative kissing games. They make for fun entertainment during dinner and improve dance involvement later. After all, if you’ve kissed in front of the whole audience, dancing is no big deal. Here are some options.

Sing-for-a-Smooch: Rather than banging their glasses, have guests stand and sing a line from any song containing the word “love.” Once they’ve been serenaded, the bride and groom reward the crooners with a smooch. I will explain everything to your guests and even demonstrate by singing the first song. Not only is it lots of fun, but it also helps your guests get to know the other people at their table as they brainstorm for songs.

Guest Book Copy Kiss: When guests tap their glasses, call a couple from the guest book and have them kiss. When they’re done, the bride and groom exactly copy the kiss. You can even plant the names of friends and family with me . It’s lots of fun and is sure to make a memory or two.

Combination: Start by singing-for-a-smooch, and then switch to the guest book copy kiss.

Bride and Groom Trivia: Place a list of 20 trivia questions on each table at your reception. The bride and groom will kiss each time a table correctly answers a question. I can go table to table with my wireless microphone reading the questions and collecting the answers.

Putting Green Kiss: Bring a putting practice green, a club and a few balls. Invite guests to try their luck. Give them three shots to make one. The bride and groom will kiss for each made shot. Add some fun by making the golfers kiss their honey if they miss!

3. Pray before you toast. If there will be a prayer at your reception, offer it before any toasts. People will quiet down more quickly for prayer than for a toast. You get a nice, quiet crowd for the prayer and you don’t mind when the energy builds during the toast.

4. Use a professional emcee. It takes more than public speaking skills to host a successful wedding reception. It takes humor, a sense of timing and a thorough understanding of every wedding reception event. If things begin to drag, your guests will leave. Most receptions are ruined, not by time taken by each event, but instead by the time lost between them. Once again, Reception Perfection can help. From the introduction of the bridal party through the very last dance, I know what to do and when to do it to ensure a great time. And, not only will I navigate your party through prayers and toasts and buffet lines, I’ll do it in a way that is fun and entertaining for your guests. My experience at more than 1200 wedding receptions will make yours a success too.

5. Don’t try to program all the music yourself. Remember these key facts.

1. Only about 65 songs (4 hours divided by 3.5 minutes per song) will be played at your reception.

2. Your guests will be of all ages and have their own musical tastes

3. Your DJ has tremendous experience creating dance-floor-filling music mixes.

Try this. Limit your requests to a handful of songs that you really want to hear, make sure your guests can request their favorites, and then trust your DJ to put it all together.

6. Use interactivity to build and maintain momentum. Have your DJ lead line dances like “The Hussle”, novelty dances like the Chicken Dance or the Hokey Pokey and other interactive numbers—even if you don’t care to do them yourself. Most people love these novelty dances and they are a great way to give your party a boost throughout the night. Including them in your reception will keep your guests involved and having a good time.

7. Cell Phone Paparrazzi. Ask your guests to capture photo opportunities on their cell phones throughout the night and post them to social media with a special hashtag (e.g., #gregandamywedding. I can explain the idea and announce your hashtag. The day after your wedding, search the hashtag to find hundreds of memories captured through your guests’ eyes.

8. Dance before you greet. Before you greet your guests table-to-table—a process that can take more than an hour—take a moment to dance the formal dances like the bridal dance, the bridal party dance, and the father/bride dance. Once those are done, general dancing can begin while you greet your guests.

9. Factor the dance floor into seating plans. Seat your older guests further from, and your younger guests nearer to the dance floor. Each group will be happier and stay longer.

10. Hire Reception Perfection. We think this may be the very best tip for ensuring a successful reception or party. Contact & Booking for Reception Perfection.