Music is one of the most important aspects of your wedding reception. It helps set the mood, keeps energy high and encourages your guests to step outside their comfort zones and onto the dance floor.

Monona Terrace Blog

Photo Credit: Ueda Photography

So when it comes to planning the score for your big day, don’t overlook this important detail. You have three options to give your reception a vibe that your guests will remember long after you say, “I do.” Whether you choose to make playlists on your iPod, hire a DJ or bring in a live band, each route is sure to enhance your reception.

Not sure which one to go with Read on.


Creating unique playlists and combining tastes with your partner will not only save you money, it can also further infuse your personality into the celebration. While it may sound like a great deal of work, the process is actually the fun part. You’ll be able to guarantee song choices that please everyone (especially you!) while including the songs that are part of your love story.

To make things simple, you can book all or most of the equipment through either your event venue or a local audio rental company. Depending on what your event venue offers, you may need a pair of powered PA speakers, audio cables and an audio mixer. At Monona Terrace, we have all the equipment you will need in-house, so make sure to ask your event venue what they can provide before contacting a rental company. Once you’ve put together a playlist and reserved the equipment, all that’s left is to find a trusted friend to monitor the iPod during the event. Bottom line: using an iPod allows you to save money, gives you more space to dance and adds a personal touch that will provide more versatility for you and your guests.

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Photo Credit: Ueda Photography


Hiring a DJ offers an array of musical genres that will add to the mood of the festivities. A DJ offers a balanced and eclectic mix for all ages to enjoy. Your guests can easily request songs they would like to dance to and have their favorite songs remixed.

A DJ’s equipment occupies less space than a live band, leaving you and your guests more real estate. Keep in mind that the DJ you select should be experienced and able to offer suggestions to enhance your list of requested songs. Ask for referrals to ensure you select a DJ who’s the right fit for you.

Live Band

A live band is a great way to kick-start the reception. The energy, sound quality and personality it will bring is a fantastic way to get your guests out of their seats. Bands are great for fueling the crowd’s energy and lending an element of fun to your event. If you have the budget and space for a live band, it’s the perfect addition to the reception.

The goal is to hire a band that’s versatile and flexible. To find the perfect fit, check out several live music venues in your area to get a feel for various bands’ music. Once you find a group you like, ask for sample tunes to make sure your styles are compatible.

When deciding whether to create your own playlists or hire someone, make sure the type of entertainment you select suits your personal taste, budget and space.

Most importantly, communicate with your event venue to ensure you have access to the appropriate equipment to make the celebration seamless.

Want to learn more about these options? Get in touch today with Breanne Chase, Social Sales Manager at Monona Terrace at 608.261.4093.