How our friends helped us whittle down our wedding playlist

Guest post by brigittefires
Voting cards from the original Stereo Love Party.
Voting cards from the original Stereo Love Party.

We need 10.5 hours of music to fill the pre-ceremony, post-ceremony (before the dancing really kicks off), and 3-4 hours of dancing. At first we thought it would be easy. Then, two hours into reviewing music, my partner was certain it was impossible to get through 10 hours.

So we stopped trying to slog through the tunes ourselves, and we threw a Stereo Love Party.

What's a Stereo Love Party?

From the original Offbeat Bride post

“I started listing off some of the songs and our friends got really into voting on which songs were good choices and which weren't. A while later we met up with another friend, Karen, for dinner. Then we continued going down through the list. By the end of dinner Karen said, “You guys need to have a party so we can review your whole playlist!” By the end of the night we decided that we would host a “Stereo Love Party” (namely because our friend Steve kept telling us that he wanted to request a song called Stereo Love to be added to the list).”

How we threw our Stereo Love Party

We had four friends come over, we ate some tacos, tested the whiskey fountain, and we voted on music.

The people represented some pretty different lifestyle and music groups, too:

  • Ms. Pregnant Mama and former club girl (R&B, pop, Motown)
  • Mr. Hipster Hubby (Motown, anything obscure, nothing too popular or modern)
  • Ms. Steampunk/Industrial Cosplaying Nerdgirl (very eclectic but versed in the big hits)
  • Ms. Doesn't Dance Much (Goth/Industrial)
  • Mr. Groom “I like metal and fire”
  • and Ms. Bride “It takes a lot of alcohol or a slow song to get me on the dance floor so if I say group dance it means something.”

We had color-coded index cards:

  • Pink for “mingle”: I hate this song, or I like it but I would leave the dance floor to drink/chat. (Also, if someone was too busy not paying attention to vote, I voted this way for them; if they were literally mingling during the song, might as well count that as their vote.)
  • Blue for “slow Dance”: This makes me want to make out with someone or get on the dance floor and be cutesy.
  • Green for “group dance”: I would get off my ass and dance even if I didn't have a dance partner, and/or group sing-along.

We managed to get through 94 songs in about two hours, out of 175 on the playlist, since we were basically only listening to 15-30 seconds of each song. We discussed a couple finer points of music selection; some outliers like Lindsey Stirling which are great Goth/Industrial/Club music that are hard to classify and if included need some special placements, as well as what to cut the cake to.

We had previously been planning on sticking the playlist on an iPod and hitting shuffle; I think now we are going to go through the effort to work just a little harder, to make sure that we get the right stuff at the right time of the party. I'm going to front-weigh the Motown toward the beginning of the playlist, the heavier/more industrial stuff toward the end, and try to make sure there aren't too many fast or slow songs in a row. We even took notes on the songs that have a slow start but pick up (and vice versa), because they can help transition between sections.

We are going to have another Stereo Love Party to finish up the list — mostly because it was fun and an excuse to hang out. I guess dating a DJ for six years really did rub off on me! And I had an absolute blast tabulating (and manipulating) data, which is one of my joys in life.

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Comments on How our friends helped us whittle down our wedding playlist

  1. My future hubs and both sides of our friends have varied and different music tastes. Definitely want to host my own Stereo Love party when we get to it. Thanks for a second article explaining the process a bit more

  2. Wow, deleting the middle half of this entry really changes the entire meaning of what happened!

    We didn’t end up fully “playlisting” the party, BTW, and I’m so glad we didn’t. But what we did do was make a playlist for each section as I sort of explained above. Pre-ceremony, post-ceremony/pre-special dances, post-special-dances/pre-cake, and post-cake dancing. For the second wedding we didn’t even play any music between dances & cake. We had playlists with only one song on them for each of the special things: Processional, recessional, special dances, cake cutting. Just so it was easy to get to the one song we wanted, and also difficult to play something else. But within the chunks of time where multiple songs were being played, we just had playlists twice as long as that chunk of time should be and put it on shuffle. That way if anything was running long/late, we didn’t run out of music.

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