4. Mix it up.
Don’t be afraid to try different genres. This may
mean throwing in the unexpected song with the
mandatory hit you know is a crowd pleaser. In some
cases, you can use the same artist here and there
to encourage the flow of familiar sounds.
3. “How Deep Is Your Love?” — Bee Gees cover,
performed by The Bird and the Bee
An attention-grabber. Most people are familiar with
the Bee Gees’ original, so they’re probably going to
listen and — as the song plays on — take notice of
unfamiliar voices covering the disco classic. A real
5. Go with the flow.
Make sure there’s a good flow to the music you’ve
selected. I like to start slow and steady, with a
little build up to a more upbeat tempo. Toward
the middle, I like to go all out — the works! This
is a good time for the unexpected and silly little
unknowns, or even funny sound bites.
Toward the end of a good party, there should be
a mellow slowdown, which usually signifies that
the party is coming to a close. This is a good time
to play some “slow jams.” Don’t play one of these
unless that’s your intention, because it’s a powerful
tool, and will signal the party’s end.
4. “To Be Loved” — Joan as Police Woman
Gets right to the point: why are we all here gathered
today? Joan explains it best while still staying in
NOTE: No live tracks! Live music is suited for one place
and one place only: on a stage, live! If you’re not there,
it’s not live.
5. “Somersault” — Zero 7, featuring Sia
It’s a simple choice: my husband and I love Sia and
the song is true to the mood, and even includes the
words printed on our invitation: “You’re the warmth
in my summer breeze/ You’re the ivory to my
ebony keys/ You would share your last jellybean/
You would somersault in sand with me.” (As a
further tie-in, our party favors were jars of jellybeans, with a note at the bottom of each jar that
said, “Share your last jellybean.”)
6. “Day Too Soon” — Sia
The mix is clearly telling a story ... have you figured
it out yet? This slow, soulful vocal shows how this
day has come happily, and not a day too soon.
Below is a sample playlist (the short version)
I created for my recent wedding reception. My
goals were to set the mood, create a theme, and Pump Up the Jams
do it in a fresh, unexpected way with music not So we’ve got the love thing down, now let’s get the
everyone had heard before. The trick was to make it groove on and entice the dancers to move. The
comfortable for every guest, young and old, while not theme’s still there, but the tempo is faster, the
resorting to the clichéd wedding songs we all know beat is funkier, and the mood is fun.
Easy, Breezy, Meaningful
The first six songs are slower ballads, a bit moody,
but with a quirky sense of humor thrown in to keep
things light and interesting for the close listener.
The theme of each song is obvious, and tells us why
we’re all gathered together — to celebrate love.
1. “I Wish U Heaven” — Prince cover, performed
by Bugge Wesseltoft and Anneli Drecker
A great starter for the occasion — a peaceful track
with a powerful buildup, but simple lyrics that
won’t distract. The twist: it’s sung by a woman,
and not Prince.
2. “We’ve Only Just Begun” — The Carpenters
A true classic, and quite literally the beginning of
what’s to come.
7. “You’re My Flame” (Justus Kohncke Vox Mix) —
Zero 7, featuring Sia
We got the beat, and here it is: the moment the
mood will change. Welcome to Uptempoville, otherwise known as “damn, that’s my jam!” This is when
the hips start moving and the party livens up. It’s
also a cool remix by the same musicians in songs
5 and 6, so it makes for an easy sonic transition.
8. “Beautiful Days” — Fantastic Plastic Machine
The colorful vocals on this track are surprisingly
beautiful and the lyrics drive it home. A good
mid-set track, upbeat with lots of highs and lows.
9. “You Sexy Thing” — Hot Chocolate cover,
performed by Deee-Lite
Another unexpected twist to a classic hit. We all
know the 1975 classic, but watch people perk up