Reading The Room

Posted by Dave

Wedding receptions tend to be musical time capsules.

Often, the first hour or more is devoted the favorite songs and dance styles of the oldest guests. This is quite practical, for three reasons: First, the 65-and-over crowd are (after the bride and groom) the first to take advantage of the dance floor. Secondly, their music generally doesn’t interfere with conversation or dining. And finally, they are also – as a group – the first to go home.

If they are hearing songs they know and enjoy, Baby Boomers are the next to hit the dance floor in large numbers. And – while they tend to sit back down when current Rock is played – they will help get the party going, as long as the up-tempo tunes are Classics (ie. from “their” era.)

For a combination of reasons (the desire to visit first, a need of “social lubrication”), the bride and groom’s closest friends often don’t even begin dancing until after some of the oldest guests have departed for home. Actually, this is a good thing, because – if they haven’t already gone – both the volume and repertoire of current music will send most Seniors scurrying for the door.

My suggestion for brides is to allow your professional music provider some leeway in “reading the room.” If you instruct them to play wall-to-wall loud and fast music, they will be obligated to do so. But giving them a measure of discretion on the timing and volume of tunes can really benefit your party.

All your guests should enjoy your wedding and reception. That means they should all get to hear “their” favorites. The good news is: the Time Capsule (oldest to newest tunes over the course of a few hours) approach is frequently the best guarantee of a positive response to the question, “Is everybody happy?”


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