One of the things I hear the most from our clients is that selecting the music they wanted for cocktail and dinner times is one of the hardest tasks they did while planning their wedding.  Hiring a professional wedding DJ that knows what to do to deliver the results you want is one of the best ways to make this easier on you.  Below is a guide to help make selecting music for these times easier for you.

Keep it general for your Cocktail and Dinner music.

Cocktail Hour

When it comes to creating the music list for the cocktail music its best to keep things general.  Unless you have been planning your cocktail music playlist since you were three, this will end up being a waste of time if you take too much time picking each song that is going to be played during this time.  We (professional wedding DJs) don’t even spend that much time on it.  The reason is that this serves as background music, Most of your guests will be socializing during this time and not really paying attention to it.  So when we pick music for this time we start with a type of music that won’t interfere with the socializing aspect of the cocktail hour.  Genres that we have found that really works for cocktail hour are cool jazz (Jazz covers of popular music with no lyrics), Pop Instrumentals and soft rock. Keep it slow paced with little or no lyrics and no loud guitar solos or anything that will detract from the socializing and get your guests attention for the wrong reasons.

Dinner Hour

During dinner, you will get people’s attention with the music while they are eating.  Making sure your guests are familiar with the music is best to get the best results for dancing.  When people hear music they are familiar with and like they are happy and happy people like to dance.  Stay away from obscure music here or it will disengage people and will take work to get them back into the wedding for the dancing part of the evening,  Some ideas of what we have found works great are Standards (Sinatra, Dean Martin Etc) Soft Pop (Buble, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson etc) and even soft songs from the 70’s 80’s 90’s and today. All of the songs we would pick would be music that most people would know and be familiar with.  If we can get them tapping their feet and singing along during this time, guaranteed they will be on the floor later.  We have found that when brides and grooms pick obscure music for dinner, it is generally a lot harder for us to get people engaged in the event and out on the dance floor resulting in a slow start to the dance portion of the evening.  If all of your guests are familiar with and love the obscure songs then that is definitely the way to go.

In summary, Let your professional wedding DJ guide you as to what is best for these times for music and stick to selecting genres (types of music)  You can select the songs you want to dance to for the dancing portion and inject your tastes into your formality music,  That is where people will remember it and you will enjoy it the most.


When you’re looking for a Wedding Disc Jockey in Orange County for your wedding reception Music Man Event Professionals is always the easy choice. We are experienced, professional, and know how to entertain you, your family and guests on your special day.

If you want to have an AMAZING wedding reception we’ll get everyone dancing and having a GREAT time – we guarantee it! For pricing and availability call Mark at (949) 940-8998 or use this convenient online inquiry form and he’ll follow-up with you promptly!