How to create a do-not-play list to avoid any unwanted songs at your reception

Weddings and Corpoarate Events

How to create a do-not-play list to avoid any unwanted songs at your reception

The chaos of wedding planning can become overwhelming. We understand you have a lot to think about leading up to the big day, but don’t forget about the music. As your wedding reception approaches, careful consideration should be put into your DJ playlist. Compiling a list of songs you and your guests won’t be hearing on the big day can be the difference between an amazing night and one that will have everyone running for the door.

Although creating a Do Not Play list may seem intimidating, it is essential and relatively simple to accomplish. A system with plenty of prior-planning, the right requests, and the help of a seasoned and reliable professional is the combination that will guarantee a great experience. Keep reading to learn what a Do Not Play list consists of, how to compile a master list, and how to ensure your wedding reception is unforgettable.

Why Is It Important To Create A Do Not Play List?

As you create your wedding reception playlist, it is important to bear in mind that not everyone at your wedding will appreciate the same music. In fact, they could even be potentially offended. With a Do Not Play list, you can rest assured that certain genres, lyrics, or songs will not be played. Whether it includes a song you don’t like or one you believe could be misunderstood, the Do Not Play list ensures these songs are never heard, only leaving room for the tracks and tunes you will enjoy.

When Should You Create A Do Not Play List?

During the pre-planning phase of the reception, you should consider creating the Do Not Play list along with the “must play” list of songs. Indeed, it is essential to have a detailed plan of what guests will, and more importantly what they won’t, hear during the reception. Sharing this information with the DJ or band in advance is a clear signal that this is an important part of the wedding festivities.

Where Do You Start When Creating A Do Not Play List?

To get going, brainstorm what kind of music might be inappropriate. Whether it is an old classic like Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose,” or the latest hip-hop single, think of everything you don’t want to hear during your reception. Make sure to think of songs that could eventually lead to embarrassing situations – these are the songs you must not forget to include in your Do Not Play list.

Should You Ask Guests For Song Suggestions?

Whether you’re having a DJ or booking a live band, it’s always a good idea to ask your guests for song suggestions prior to the wedding. Reach out to family and friends to disclose some of their ideas. If a certain genre that you or your partner aren’t particularly fond of is requested, add a few songs of that genre to the list and keep the rest off the table.

How Do You Compose The List?

Once you have the list of songs you don’t want played, compile them together to form a master list. Consider pagination to make it easier for the DJ to scan through, and keep different genres separated to avoid any mix-up. If you hire a DJ from you can be assured that the party runs smooth and it makes finding the songs on your master list much simpler.

Should I Send It To The DJ In Advance?

Send the Do Not Play list to the DJ at least one week before the wedding. This allows for ample time for the DJ to plan their set and rehearse the music ahead of time. Every wedding is unique, so care should be taken to make sure the music chosen is appropriate to the occasion and tailored to the atmosphere.

What Are Some Tips When Creating Your Do Not Play List?

• Stick to the Do Not Play list: Provide the DJ with the same list you and your partner originally came up with.

• Make sure you and your partner agree: Sit together and decide on the exact songs that should be included on the list and why.

• Avoid hatred towards genres: Your partner may not be particularly fond of country music and all the power to them. Stick to songs you don’t like.


Compiling a Do Not Play list for your wedding is a vital part of ensuring all your guests have an absolutely fantastic time. Talking with your partner, friends, family, and the DJ can yield positive results for the playlist without sacrificing any potential embarrassing situations that could arise. Creating an on-brand playlist with an organised Do Not Play list will ensure your wedding is tailored perfectly to you, your partner, and your guests’ unique needs and wants.


When Should We Create A Do-Not-Play List?

You should create your Do-Not-Play list alongside your “must play” list of songs during the pre-planning phase of your wedding reception.

Are There Any Tips To Remember When Compiling Our List?

Yes! Always make sure to stick to the Do-Not-Play list, make sure you and your partner agree on what should be included, and avoid hate towards any certain genre of music.

What Are Some Suggestions We Can Give Our DJ?

When hinting at specific songs or genres to the DJ, provide details such as BPM, notable melody changes, breakdowns, drops, and specifics that you like or don’t like.

What Is The Best Way To Organise The Do-Not Play List?

Organise the Do-Not-Play list by genre, paginating it to make it much easier to scan through. You could also consider hiring a reliable and experienced DJ from, as this will make compiling the list even simpler.

When Should We Send Our Do-Not-Play List To The DJ?

You should send the Do-Not-Play list to the DJ at least one week before the wedding, as this will give them enough time to plan the set and rehearse the music.

Toronto Wedding DJ

Elite Entertainment provides upscale, professional, award-winning DJ service for weddings and corporate events. Servicing Toronto, Ontario and surrounding area.   Our Toronto Wedding DJs Take A More Modern Approach To Your Reception That means no cheesy jokes, NO dead-air, and NO gimmicks. We mix the music live, back to back, beat to beat to keep your dance floor packed all night! Choose your playlist with our online planning tool. We also have planning forms for your timeline keeping your event organized and each event on time. We will work with you step by step to ensure your wedding day is stress free

Looking for more info?

Feel free to call us with your Questions: 416-477-2829

Port Credit Hockey Association Dinner Dance

Another Great event with Port Credit Hockey Association Dinner Dance,  Storm by the Port.. This is our 7th year with this group.. Lots of fun, food and dancing..  This years event celebrated the Clubs 60th Anniversary.. Along with our DJ and Photo Services, the event featured a Silent Auction (Great job Dom!!) along with a 60’s Live Music Band during cocktails. The event was held once again the Lakeshore Convention Centre in Mississauga…. Thanks to the staff for all their help #TorontoPhotoBooth, #TorontoDJ      

More Toronto DJ Events!