Photo: Alison Conklin Photography
If you're the type of bride who wants guests moving and shaking on the dance floor until 2 a.m., you'll need to know how to curate the tunes at your upcoming wedding.
To help you get there, we've gone directly to A-list sensation Jim Eppolito, founder of West Coast Music — an L.A.-based leader in the special events industry for 20-plus years. Jim has led productions at more than 10,000 events and worked with top planner Mindy Weiss to organize the wedding-day programs for such celebrities as Fergie and Jessica Simpson.
"Whether you're into music or not, entertainment is one of the most important aspects to consider when planning your big day," Eppolito says. "So many people neglect to make music a priority and repeat the same big mistakes when crafting a program."
Here, Jim Eppolito's top five music blunders to avoid:
Mistake 1: Not checking sound ordinance laws
"The last thing you want is for a song to cut off right when the party is getting started! When booking your venue, ask about the local sound ordinance laws. If the venue is restricted to a maximum-decibel level or specific end-time, it may not be the best place to host a banging party."
2. Isolating the music program to just dancing
"Each moment of your reception should be enhanced by music. Play a set in the background during dinner to encourage conversation. By incorporating music into the non-dancing parts, you limit the breaks and create a continuous flow for the evening."
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3. Not pacing the music
"An ill-timed music selection can totally kill the vibe and pace of the evening. Build the atmosphere gradually by playing subtle music during dinner and then up-temp dance beats when it's time to get the party started."
4. Not creating a schedule for the evening
"We tell brides to work with their wedding planner or day-of coordinator to create a basic outline for the event. It's a simple step, but one that's often overlooked. Drafting a schedule for the evening allows your band or DJ to color the evening with music at the ideal times."
5. Only playing music you like
"Everyone loves the dance portion of the reception, but people have different tastes in music. It's your wedding, so you should still play your personal favorites, but steer clear of songs that nobody will recognize. To get guests on the dance floor, create a set that has a mix of dance classics and current radio hits, and hire a band or DJ who's skilled enough to make quick changes if the mood in the crowd dips."