As veterans in the wedding business, we've provided DJs and photo booths for hundreds of weddings, quinceaneras, parties, and events, in Austin and Central Texas. Every event we do has a general timeline that we try to follow, but we noticed that most of the time, the timeline gets off track, for various reasons. When you save time, you also save money, since you won't need your vendors as long! Here are 7, great, time-saving tips to help you stay on track and save time, on your big day!
1. Take Pictures Early - Usually, after the ceremony, cocktail hour begins, and couples will take pictures with their bridal party and families. A great way to save time is to have your bridal party and immediate family show up early to the wedding, and take lots of great pictures before the ceremony, early during the day! You won't be rushed and can take as many photos as time allows. You can still take some pictures immediately after the ceremony, but you won't need to take as many pictures, which saves valuable time!
2. Plan a Faster Plated Dinner Set-up - We often see weddings get off track during dinner, since people eat at different paces. If you're having a smaller wedding, with less than 75 people, dinner should take an hour or so. If it's more than 75, plan for longer. For plated dinners, have the staff put out all the salads and drinks, as early as possible. If dinner starts at 6 PM, have the staff put out the salads and drinks at 5:50 PM, so when dinner officially starts, it will start right on time, and there's no waiting for plates to be served.
3. Save Time in the Buffet Line - With any wedding, saving time is always a great thing. Whether you have 50 guests or 250, saving time at dinner is a must! We've seen some wedding dinners take 3 hours, due to poor planning. A great way to save time is to have two buffet lines. Even if there is only one area for food, a line on both sides will help people get their food, faster! Ideally, have your vendors have two different set ups, so your guests can have 2-4 separate lines. This saves a lot of time!
4. Cake Cutting - Many people schedule cake cutting halfway through the night, and though this is fine, you have to stop everything, turn on the lights, and completely change the mood. If everyone is dancing, this means you'll have to stop the party! We recommend doing cake cutting towards the end of dinner. This gives your guests some dessert, and also saves time. Often times, the cake cutting takes 10 minutes, to get all the pictures, etc. Then, many couples will want the cake cut and served to everyone, which is understandable. See the next tip to save time with cake cutting.
5. Designate a Cake Cutter - After the first slice of cake has been cut by the couple, save some time by designated a staff member or family member/friend, to cut the rest of the cake. Often times couples will take the time to cut the entire cake, which wastes a lot of time, since people usually will form a line to get cake. This can take 30 minutes, or more of precious time. Simply have the DJ announce that the cake will be cut and we'll announce when it's ready. Right after the couple cuts the cake, move on to the toast/speeches.
6. Toasts/Speeches - Toasts and speeches are a must, for any wedding! We've found that the best time to do these, is during dinner, right after the cake cutting. Many people wait until later in the night, but it's best to do earlier, since all your guests are there. During dinner, you'll have your audience captive and sitting down, and you won't have to find anyone who may be somewhere else, try to ask people to stop dancing, turn on the lights, etc. Do your toasts and speeches right after the cake cutting. Be sure your vendors or family/friends are serving the champagne or drinks, as cake is being cut. While the cake is being cut, the toasts are happening, and once the speeches are done, the cake is usually ready, which saves a lot of time!
7. Bouquet/Garter Toss - This last tip can save a lot of time, too! Often times, couples will wait until halfway through the night or later, to do the bouquet and garter tosses. We recommend doing these right after dinner, or within the first hour of the dance. This way, everyone is there to witness these and you'll have more people participating! Both of these should take about 5 minutes, each. The DJ will have to call everyone to the dance floor, and ideally, after dinner, everyone is right there, so no time trying to find everyone!
An important thing to keep in mind is that many older family members will leave shortly after the dance begins, depending on where they drove from, what time the ceremony started, and how long they've been there. It happens at every wedding, especially the weddings where there is a large gap in time from the ceremony to the reception. Keep this in mind when planning your wedding. This is also a great reason why we recommend all of the above tips. These key moments are important in every wedding, so getting these done early, will ensure all your guests will be there to share your moments!
As always, please contact us if you have any additional questions, and we'll be happy to help!
-Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
As one of the top DJ and photo booth companies in the Austin and central Texas area, we provide music and entertainment for weddings, quinceaneras, parties, and events, every weekend, all year long. Around 80% of our events are weddings! So, we know a thing or two about weddings! :) There are many great DJ song lists out there. Simply doing a Google search for "top wedding songs" will bring you thousands of results! Over time, we've noticed that many of the songs in our list, below, always packed the dance floor at weddings! Of course every DJ has his/her own preferred "go-to" songs, and the top songs that are played at weddings and events may also vary by region.
Our job, as DJs, is to ensure that our clients and their guests have a great time! We know there are literally millions of songs out there and there may be some great songs that we left off the list, but these are the top songs that we frequently play at weddings. This song has a range of different songs, from different genres and decades, so that all your guests can enjoy dancing to music they love! That being said, here is our list of the top 25 fun wedding reception songs that get people dancing!
Overall, we play all the music that our clients prefer or ask for, first. If they allow us to take requests, we'll play those songs, as well, if they fit with the client's preferences. Some clients may want only Country and Texas Country, while others may want only 90's, or only Top 40. We generally recommend that you have a variety of music, since your guests may all have different musical taste. The above songs usually pack the dance floor at weddings here in the Austin and central Texas area; however, these songs are great hits and should pack dance floors all over the country!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Here's a great, new mix of some of our favorite 80s songs that we play at many of the weddings, quinceaneras and parties that we provide our DJ and photo booth services for in the Austin and central Texas area! Click, below & enjoy! :)
- Austin's Best DJs Team
One of the most forgotten moments that we see, when we provide our DJ services for weddings in the Austin and central Texas area, is the wedding prelude or pre-ceremony songs. The prelude is the time before the actual start time of the ceremony. It's usually 15-30 minutes long, but can be shorter or longer, if needed. Most couples will pick some of their favorite songs that perhaps may be too slow to play during the dance. Song choices vary from classical, to Top 40, to Country. Whatever songs you choose, choose the songs that you and your significant other truly love!
Also, when you're planning your wedding day timeline, remember that the prelude is when the DJ, band, or live musician will start playing, and charging for service time. Many people will purchase 4, 5, or 6 hours, and start the time from when the actual ceremony starts, which is when the parents and/or bridal party begin to walk down the aisle. So if it's a 5 hour wedding, and the ceremony starts at 4 pm, the 5 hours will begin at 4 pm and end at 9 pm.
For DJs, musicians and bands, who charge by the hour, the prelude is not included. Many people will include a 30 minute prelude, to start at 3:30 pm (if the wedding ceremony starts at 4 pm). This additional 30 minutes changes the service time, so be sure to plan accordingly, and purchase the additional 30 minutes, if needed. We see couples every month, add a prelude and not realize that it will add the extra time. There are many DJs and musicians who charge a flat rate, for all day service, but this rate is often much higher than those who charge hourly rates. We know of a DJ service who offers flat rate, all day pricing, but that all day rate is $2000! Yikes! We are very fair with our clients and charge only for the time you will actually need. We will not charge you extra, such as a flat rate, for time you may need. So be aware and be sure to not forget the prelude!
- Austin's Best DJs Team
If you're reading this, you are most likely planning your wedding and you've discovered how time-consuming it can really be! We often tell our clients that wedding planning is like taking a part time job. There are so many details and so many things to learn. You never think about all the details that go into planning a wedding, until you plan yours! Well, relax, we're here to help!
One detail that is very important, is the first dance song. We provide DJ and photo booth services for over 200 Austin and Central Texas weddings, per year, and to be honest, we rarely see the same first dance song! There are thousands of songs to choose from, which is both a good and bad thing. With thousands of songs to choose from, how do you determine which song is the right song for you as a couple? We often tell our couples to think about the lyrics that truly define their love or them as a couple. It's a tough decision, but a lot of thought should go into it, of course. So if you're having trouble, we have a great list of 80 songs to pick from! Hopefully, you'll find the right song, or at least narrow it down to a few. Here's the link, from our friends at Junebug weddings:
Best of luck in your search for the perfect song!
-Austin's Best DJs Team
With our DJ and photo booth business, we provide services for weddings, parties, quinceaneras and corporate events every weekend, all year long in the Austin and Central Texas area. As technology has evolved, more and more, we're getting couples asking us if they can simply email us a link to their Spotify playlist, or a picture of their iTunes playlist, to use at their event. While this is quite helpful, we suggest that you keep in mind that we can only play about 15-20 songs per hour. Don't forget that the key moments, such as: first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dances, cake cutting, garter/bouquet toss, and other moments, can also take an additional 30-45 minutes. So if your wedding, quinceanera, party or event is 5 hours, including ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner, this only leaves about 2.5 hours for the key moments and dance, assuming everything goes according to schedule. So at most, make your playlist about 50 songs.
Another tip to keep in mind when making your playlist is to minimize the number of ballads or slow songs you play. If you have a few must-play slow songs, the DJ will most likely play them during dinner or cocktail hour, unless you specifically ask to play them during the dance. With only 2-2.5 hours of dance time, we do our best to keep the party fun and energetic! Sure, we may play a slow song or two, but no more than that, unless you ask us to. Also, don't forget that many people often request songs, so be sure to let the DJ know whether it is okay to take requests. Keep in mind, everyone has different musical tastes!
If you absolutely want everything that's on your Spotify (or any) playlist played, keep in mind that DJs play songs in "sets." This means that we group songs together by tempo and genre. The music just flows better this way. It sounds much better to have genres and tempos played together, versus playing a faster tempo dance song, then a slow song, then a country song, then a hip hop song, right after each other. So if you've ever wondered why DJs play 2-3 Country (or any genre) songs in a row, this is why. So if you give us a playlist, keep in mind that the order may change, depending on the genre and tempo of the songs.
If you simply want the DJ to play your Spotify playlist exactly as it is, regardless of tempo or genre, this can be done, but keep in mind that it may not sound great to be switching up music and tempos so often. If this is what you want, you could easily just rent a sound system and let your playlist play, which would save you some money. This isn't ideal, but it's possible. :)
We hope these tips have been helpful. As always, please contact us if you have any additional questions and we're always happy to help!
-Austin's Best DJs Team
So let's be honest, when most people think of wedding ceremonies and receptions, no one thinks about fun songs, or even songs that they have in their iPod. Most people are used to the traditional wedding classical music for ceremonies, and for receptions, the key moment songs can vary, too. Well, we're here to change all that!
We're seeing more and more people making their wedding ceremonies and receptions as unique as they are, by choosing songs that fit them! While there are a variety of genres and we encourage people to choose the music for their ceremony and reception that best fits them, here are some popular Country songs that we see used in many of our weddings.
Country Ceremony Songs
"Beautiful Every Time," by Lee Brice
"Bless the Broken Road," by Rascal Flatts
"Valentine," by Jim Brickman and Martina McBride
"Cowboy Take Me Away," by Dixie Chicks
"When I Said I Do," by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black
"Makin' Plans," by Miranda Lambert
"Lost In This Moment," by Big & Rich
"Look at Me," by Carrie Underwood
"Wanted," by Hunter Hayes
"From This Moment On," by Shania Twain
"Your Everything," by Keith Urban
"First Love Song," by Luke Bryan
First Dance Country Songs
"God Gave Me You," by Blake Shelton
"It's Your Love," by Tim Mcgraw and Faith Hill
"I Don't Dance," by Lee Brice
"I Do," by Jessie James Decker
"You Move Me," by Garth Brooks
"My Best Friend," by Tim Mcgraw
"You Had Me From Hello," by Kenny Chesney
"Making Memories of Us," by Keith Urban
"I Run to You," by Lady Antebellum
"Mine Would Be You," by Blake Shelton
"I Cross My Heart," by George Strait
"You're Still the One," by Shania Twain
"Breathe," by Faith Hill
"Me and You," by Kenny Chesney
"Dance Real Slow," by Easton Corbin
"Amazed," by Lonestar
"Then," by Brad Paisley
"Whatever It Is," by Zac Brown Band
"Holding on to You," by Miranda Lambert
Parent(s) Dance(s) (Father/Bride, Mother/Bride, Mother/Groom)
"My Wish," by Rascal Flatts
"I'll Be," by Reba McEntire
"Anything Like Me," by Brad Paisley
"I Hope You Dance," by Lee Ann Womack
"Like My Mother Does," by Lauren Alaina
"Mother Like Mine," by The Band Perry
"The Dance," by Garth Brooks
"The Baby," by Blake Shelton
"All-American Girl," by Carrie Underwood
"Love Like Crazy," by Lee Brice
"My Little Girl," by Tim Mcgraw
"Don't Blink," by Kenny Chesney
"How 'Bout Them Cowgirls," by George Strait
"There Goes My Life," by Kenny Chesney
"I Loved Her First," by Heartland
"It Won't Be Like This for Long," by Darius Rucker
"Daddy's Hands," by Holly Dunn
"Then They Do," by Trace Adkins
Couple Introduction Country Songs (Reception Entrance)
"Love Story," by Taylor Swift
"Check Yes or No," by George Strait
"Lovin' You Is Fun," by Easton Corbin
"Homegrown," by Zac Brown Band
"Sunshine and Whiskey," by Frankie Ballard
"Me and My Gang," by Rascal Flatts
"Party People," by Florida Georgia Line
"Stuck Like Glue," by Sugarland
Last Dance Country Songs (End of Reception)
"Friends in Low Places," by Garth Brooks
"Honey Bee," by Blake Shelton
"My Eyes," by Blake Shelton
"Carrying Your Love With Me," by George Strait
"These Last Few Days," by Lee Brice
"Your Man," by Josh Turner
"True Believers," by Darius Rucker
"Rewind," by Rascal Flatts
"Baby Be My Love Song," by Easton Corbin
"Just a Kiss," by Lady Antebellum
"When the Stars Go Blue," by Tim McGraw
"This," by Darius Rucker
"Run Away With You," by Big & Rich
"That's Where It Is," by Carrie Underwood
"She's Everything," by Brad Paisley
"Perfect Storm," by Brad Paisley
While there are numerous other great songs from all genres, these are some of the popular examples of Country songs we play at weddings. Don't forget to check out our online music library, for more examples of songs, from a variety of genres.
- Austin's Best DJs
Austin's Best DJs
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!