In-demand mixtress Mia Moretti — Katy Perry and Janet Jackson are fans! — tells you how to get your guests dancing, what to play during the cocktail hour, the ideal length of a first dance, and how to deal with mixed requests from the bride and groom.
Go with a DJ if your musical taste is diverse: DJs can genre hop a lot easier than a band can. That said, a band brings a certain kind of energy and can soften the hard stuff, like Nicki Minaj, and give some edge to the soft stuff, like Bing Crosby.
If you can book a DJ and a band, more power to you: Make sure they compare playlists to avoid overlap. It'd be pretty bad if they played "Little Red Corvette" twice in one night. Not that anyone would complain. It's Prince.
Acoustics are important: If your DJ isn't familiar with the venue, put her in touch with the manager to scope it out. If the sound system is inadequate, ask your DJ to bring her own.
It's fine to tell your vendors what to wear: I adhere to the same dress code as the guests.
Do it your way: My wedding fantasy is a few friends and family members on my brother's farm in Sonoma, with all the goats and llamas around, and a local folk band, Foxes in the Hen House, playing the reception. May sound weird to you, but it's perfect to me.
Pick ceremony songs that are meaningful to you: Walk down the aisle to something you love — even if it's sexy D'Angelo and you're getting married at a conservative house of worship. Play an acoustic version; it'll sound sweet.
Don't micromanage your playlist: Send a screen shot of your most played on iTunes and cut yourself off there. If you know every song that's about to come on, what fun is that?
Stick to soft background music during cocktail hour: I love French '70s rock, bossa nova, and even indie music like Lorde or Lana Del Rey.
Your first dance should not be a long one. Two minutes is ideal. Sometimes I have to edit Frank [Sinatra] down to keep the party polite.
I prefer dinner then dancing. If you interrupt the meal with dance sets, you're sort of messing up the flow. Have a full-blown disco party in a different room later.
People want to get down to familiar pop songs: It kills me a little to play "Blurred Lines," but it gets them out of their seats.
And don't neglect the classics: The Jacksons' "Blame It on the Boogie," James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing," and KC and the Sunshine Band's "Boogie Shoes" should always be played.
Weddings are not about being cool: They're about bringing people together. Speaking of awesome, uncool things, I love a good conga line. Get on board with that.
At a wedding, the DJ can't say no: A bride will tell me, "Don't play hip-hop." But then the groom comes over and says, "Play Jay Z!" What can I do? Suddenly I'm playing "H to the izz-Oâ€‰...â€‰V to the izz-Aâ€‰...â€‰That's the anthem, get'cha damn hands up!" And the crowd goes wild!
— As told to John Ortved