What Is The Perfect Music To Play At Cocktail Hour?

by | Entertainment Wisdom, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juliet of Polkadot and Moonbeam
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory | www.polkadotandmoonbeam.com.au
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Image via Liz Jorquera Photography

So what happens after those delightful “I Do’s” and the confetti falls? Often the big finale is accompanied by the couple’s party-vibe exit song and extensive crowd cheering all around. But then what? The mood is being taken to such a height, but it’s time for personal congratulations, one-to-one or small-group mingling. Your guests start feeling peckish, and the bar is opened for cocktails and more. The sun sets golden like honey and the mood mellows. It’s crucial to keep the ambience and positive vibes going.
So, the live band or DJ spins some music. It is warm and lively, subtle but has a definite presence. The crowd’s chatter continues without anyone having to speak above anyone else’s volume. When it gets quiet, the music magically gets interesting. There’s entertainment, people may even sway to the music. Anticipation for the reception is definitely building.

Image via The Barefoot Photographer

A great band or DJ will be observing the guests and assessing their mood (Are they chatty? Are they serious? Do they need a pick me up?) as well as considering the demographic, the culture and languages being spoken. They then “spin” the music to cater, and in no time, the guests are smiling, feeling comfortable, having a wonderful time.

So what are the ingredients to spinning the perfect playlist, whether it is a live band or a DJ for your pre-dinner, cocktail and canapé set?

Here are our top tips and tricks to discuss with your musicians:

  1. Play an instrumental with minimum to light vocals only and keep the volume medium-low if it’s a conversation-heavy group. Don’t clutter and overwhelm
  2. Throw in light vocals if the conversation is consistent, but the audience is calm but welcoming some entertainment
  3. Vary the song tempos and styles to keep it vibin’
  4. Don’t hesitate to throw in some entertainment like cheeky duets, classic show tunes, or even the ever-popular Disney classic. We promise it never fails to bring a smile to the young and younger, whether sung or played as an instrumental
  5. Consider welcoming some family participation​ if you have a very fun and sporting couple/group, or in the unlikely situation that the guests appear to be falling asleep!
  6. If you have guests from various countries, play or spin music that speaks to them. Engage them with a classic, movie theme, or chart-topper from their country that everyone including them, could relate to.
  7. Bring the pace of tunes, the energy and volume down towards to end if you plan to usher the audience into a different reception area. This will help re-settle the guests as they find their seats.

Image via The Barefoot Photographer

Polkadot + Moonbeam​ was formed in 2010 in Sydney, when vocalist and songwriter Juliet Pang met Sydney-based wandering musician Didi Mudigdo. Discovering their unique musical synergy when they first met in Sydney, they formed Polkadot + Moonbeam, and went on to perform acclaimed shows at jazz venues and festivals in Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

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