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  • Brent Miller

5 Tips for Memorable Dinner Music

This week we look at all the ways to make your Dinner Reception music memorable and amazing ->

A typical Canadian dinner-reception in 2024 can last as long as 3 hours. That's a long time for your guests to sit at a table without some entertainment to help liven things up. Having memorable music during your dinner-reception is an incredible ice breaker. It gives your guests something to talk about, rekindling nostalgic music memories, sharing excitement in recognizing songs and sometimes even inspiring singing and dancing before the dance even begins. This week we want to look at 5 specific ways that your reception dinner can come to life, with a variety of music styles and methods to help evoke the type of moments that fit your style the best.

1) PLAY THE CLASSICS Let's begin with one of the most popular ways to set the mood for your dinner reception: Simply begin with the classics. True classic songs like Frank Sinatra's THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT, Sam Cooke's YOU SEND ME or Nat King Cole's L.O.V.E. go a long way to help elevate spirits and conversation.


The best part about these songs is that they are truly universal and appeal to ages both young and old. So while you may be planning on a mix of louder dance music for younger guests later, this a wonderful way to play music that will help the older guests have a great memorable evening too. Some of our favourites here include DON'T BE CRUEL, PRETTY WOMAN, OB LA DI OB LA DA, CROCODILE ROCK, BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP, CAN'T HELP MYSELF & ISN'T SHE LOVELY

2) SLOW DANCES

Another great way to make guests feel welcomed and recognized is to include some special requests within the Dinner Music that are meaningful to them.


It really pays off to take the time to do a little research and find out what your friends' and family's important songs from their weddings and anniversaries are. While some of the older guests may be uncomfortable getting up to dance to Pitbull or Bad Bunny songs later in the evening, they will likely cherish the opportunity to enjoy an anniversary dance with their partner as it surprises them in the middle of your dinner music. If you don't happen to know exactly what your guest's special songs are, there are so many timeless songs like CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE, WONDERFUL WORLD, UNFORGETTABLE and STAND BY ME that are a very good chance of being special to someone. But even better is when you find out a special request ahead of time and it is included within the dinner music to make the evening so much more memorable for these guests you care so much about.


3) SPECIAL REQUESTS

Amazing moments aren't just limited to First Dance songs. There are so many awesome song choices that come from big life moments like graduations, college fight songs, or even just singing songs with your friends in your bedrooms while growing up together. Including these selections within your dinner music is such a clever way to elevate the mood of the room, often leading to dancing and singing from guests right there at their tables. I added these photos from a wedding we loved performing at Ravine Vineyard last year to highlight how amazing it is when your friends hear "their song", this one coming at the end of a speech as it was referenced that they would all do a wild dance growing up to Robyn's "DANCING ON MY OWN"! While this song easily could have been saved for dancing, having this amazing moment emerge in the middle of the dinner made it all the more memorable as the bridal party fearlessly got up and danced around this amazing bride while belting out all of the awesome dance lyrics together.



4) INSTRUMENTAL ROMANTIC VIBES Especially at the beginning of dinner it is often nice to include some instrumental/background selections as guests get comfortable at their tables.


This is another great opportunity to help your guests inspire conversation as we often include a range of popular music here with melodies that are readily familiar like Ed Sheeran's PERFECT, but played in a style that is easy to make conversation over. We often begin with songs that everyone knows, ranging from new selections like Taylor Swift's LOVE STORY or John Legend's ALL OF ME, and then like to delve into songs that you love specifically ranging from songs as broad as One Direction's WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL to John Mayer's GRAVITY to Alicia Key's IF I AIN'T GOT YOU to The Cranberries' LINGER. The sky is the limit as our big music songlist would suggest. 5) DESSERT PARTY VIBES

As the evening progresses, bringing up the vibe becomes a must. Somewhere after the main course has been completed, guests are often ready to get the party started regardless of the fact that dessert has not been served yet.


This part of the evening is what we have found to be the ultimate opportunity. While this is the part of the evening that can often dip in energy, it is so much more fun to embrace this time before dessert and final speeches as a little "pre-party party" and play livlier songs that will get guests moving in the promise that dancing is just around the corner. While everyone has different styles of music they love, the art of our work is to craft the music to elevate the energy in the room using songs that match the style of the event. From UPTOWN FUNK to CAN'T STOP THE FEELING, to I WANT IT THAT WAY to BARBIE GIRL to DON'T STOP BELIEVING there are so many ways to bring up the energy here. The trick is to include song requests that you and your guests will love. Recently for us that has been as diverse as HARRY STYLES, KE$HA, PEARL JAM, WHITNEY HOUSTON, TINA TURNER and ABBA. The songs here really can be as diverse as your music taste.

IN SUMMARY Your reception dinner is a humongous opportunity. These are the moments when your guests will all be assembled together as a group. As opposed to later in the evening when some guests are distracted at the bar, others have brought babies home to sleep, this is the chance to create a memorable evening that everyone will enjoy and talk about tomorrow. It's a chance for laughs, for special moments, for you to share music and memories with your guests to help them feel relaxed, entertained & appreciated. May those moments be as unique as you are! -BM

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