I’m no authority on music, and I’m not claiming to be one. But as someone who happens to plan (and attend) a lot of weddings, I think it’s only fair I get a say in this. I have heard it all – whether it’s hardcore Punjabi or commercial house, the romantic Arijit numbers, or cheap Bollywood classics. Call it an occupational hazard, but I have heard all possible songs at least a few hundred times.
The week leading up to the wedding is usually one big party, with dance practices turning into elaborate drinking and socialising sessions. While everyone focuses on entertainment at the big events, it’s these small gatherings that get ignored. Here’s where I step in. I break down the ideal playlist, to have handy in case you’re caught in an ‘on the spot’ wedding party situation. My guide is organised as per the progressing mood of the party, so feel free to use your discretion, plug in, and play!
The dance practice is about to begin, your crew is slowly trickling in. There’s a buzz in the room, the wedding excitement is palpable. You want music that helps people warm up. Let them enjoy a bit of banter time and take down a drink or two.
This is the time for good lounge music. A chill deep house mix will really set the mood and yet give everyone the space to settle down. If this music is alien to you, just find some ready playlists on YouTube or SoundCloud and you’re good to go!
You’ve had a good round of practice, everyone’s nailed their dance moves. People are gearing up and getting into party mode. Give them a chance to mingle and snap some Instagram-worthy pictures. A round of shots and some food to line up your stomachs for a night of debauchery is the ask of the hour!
Now is the time for some Bollywood-style Sufi music. Get those upbeat Coke Studio numbers going, and throw in some lovely sing along covers. I’m talking about the evergreen Nusrat classics combined with the new age Kabira and Channa Mereya. Steer away from slow crooning as you want the beat of the party to stay upbeat.
A few drinks in, things are now getting serious. The older crowd starts to leave, and the dance floor is now the domain of serious party animals. People are down to business; they now want to dance and get their groove on. And that is exactly what we’re going to make them do – It’s time to get loud & crazy.
What better way to get a crowd going than to get the popular commercial music blaring. If there was ever time for Chittiyan Kalaiyaan and Baby Doll, it is now! Make it as cheap as Bollywood can get. Unleash the Badshah and the Yo Yo Honey Singh in you. A bit of Punjabi tadka never hurt anyone.
After Party Shenanigans
This particular set is not for the faint-hearted. The last people standing are now drunk (hopefully!) and serious nostalgia has set in. The music you’ve been playing just won’t cut it anymore. It’s time for some old school lovin’ that will get your crowd moving like never before.
Bring out all your music from the 80s and the 90s. All those lovely Salman and Govinda songs will take your party to another level. If you’re an 80s kid, you know what I’m talking about. The list is endless but here are a few songs to get your imagination flowing: Oonchi Hai Building, Kisi Disco Mein Jaaye, Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna…I think you get the drift. Remember, wine rules apply: older the better!
Tulika Agrawal is one of two founding partners at Panodrama Events, a wedding planning company based in Delhi. When she’s not getting people married off, she is busy traveling the world. Passionate about photography, she has just started her travel blog on Instagram to document her explorations.