1)The key is to hire the best DJ or Band that you can afford.
A talented entertainer, will read the vibe of your guests and play the appropriate songs needed to get them out on the dance floor. When you preselect an entire play list, you will greatly increase the risk of your guests not dancing and leaving early.
2)Provide your Band or DJ with guidelines...not rules.
The more flexibility you give your professionals, the more empowered and equip they'll be to do an amazing job for you.
3) Create a simple do not play list for your DJ.
This list should not be a mile long. Simply list 5-20 songs and possibly 1-2 genres that you don't like. Avoid blacklisting any given artist. Nowadays, artists are crossing over into new genres and producing fresh new sounds that you may actually like.
4)FEED YOUR VENDORS!
Any vendor who will be on site for your reception AND will be working 4 hours or more, should be fed (on your tab). This may sound crazy, but it's impossible for vendors to perform at their highest possible level when their starving. Vendor's needn't be fed the same expensive menu as your guests. Just be sure that the meal is ample and HOT (vendors tend to through a fit when their fed stale/soggy cold boxed vendor meals).
OK, so now that you know what to do and what not to do, you're probably wondering which songs you should choose. As I had mentioned before, you shouldn't selecting entire play lists, but there definitely are a handful of songs that you should choose (and I do mean a handful).
Songs you should choose:
Father Daughter Dance/Mother Son Dance
These really are the only songs that you need to worry about. Not too bad, right?
Other optional songs for the micro-managing type are:
Though you can select these optional songs, I'd recommend leaving the selecting up to your entertainer. These moments will take place in the middle of a dance set, so it'll be key to keep the right energy going.
Popular First Dance Songs:
At Last, Etta James Unforgettable, Nat King Cole
The Best is Yet to Come, Sinatra
It Had To Be You, Harry Connick, Jr
Can't Help Falling In Love, Elvis Presley
L-O-V-E, Nat King Cole or Joss Stone
Lucky, Jason Maraz Feat. Colby Cailat
Feels Like Home, Chantal Kreviazuk
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Better Together, Jack Johnson
By Your Side, Sade
Popular Father Daughter/Mother Son Dance Songs:
The Way You Look Tonight, Sinatra
Isn't She Lovely, Stevie Wonder
You Are So Beautiful, Joe Cocker
Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
Daughters, John Mayer
Unforgettable, Nat King Cole
How Sweet It Is, Marvin Gaye