Memorable Music

Q: We want our guests to enjoy a unique and unexpected reception. What are some creative ideas for reception music?

A great artist once said "Life without music would be a mistake," and I truly believe your wedding reception may suffer without it as well. Music is universal and a fun and unexpected reception begins and ends with fun and unexpected music.

One of the basic fundamentals of entertainment is to not be predictable or boring. Timing is important, and unfortunately there is no formula. It takes intuition and experience in the music field to be able to surprise your guests — and spontaneity is key.

Music makes you feel different. It changes the mood, and plays different roles throughout your reception. It not only enhances your emotions and the feel of the room, but the tempo of the party. Surprise your guests with jazz ensembles, string quartets or live performers for your cocktails, first dance or other events throughout the night. From your pre-ceremony music to the big grand entrance these tempos change. Check if there are any musicians in your family or on the guest list to make it even more personal.

Make it fun by adding a theme to your décor and music selection. If your look is "Gatsby," then incorporate some newer artist renditions of the classics adding a bit of current “swing” to the mood. Creative yet fun and keeping with the flavor of the night. This style is timeless, sexy, upbeat and welcoming to all ages.

Make it yours by personalizing your play list with a few family favorites. Talk with your entertainment staff so they truly understand your ideas and what your vision is. It's important that they get to know you and that can best be done through conversation versus the standard online planning. Each wedding is unique and special and what's fun to one bride may not be what you had in mind for your reception. Make your taste, style and interests known.

The unexpected will always be a hit. Catch your guests off guard with your mom and favorite aunt rapping their personalized champagne toast to the all familiar "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"! Surprise your guests with a choreographed number featuring your bridesmaids and groomsmen. These are sure to receive standing ovations. Include favorites your families sang together back in the day, a special song when you were small, or one of your high school favorites that, when played, you hear your guests say in unison "Ohhhh...remember this song...?" Encourage your family and friends to loosen up and sing out loud, and… boom! That wonderful feeling of love, friendship and family has filled your room. Spontaneous and unforgettable.

Lou and Evelyn Sizemore are the founders of R&R Productions Professional DJ Entertainment - Event Lighting & Photography, an Alaskan-owned family business, serving Alaska since 1982. For information, visit