Tips / rules of thumb for arranging a playlist?

I’m getting married at the end of April, and I’m hiring a friend-of-a-friend to be our DJ. He’s been incredibly flexible in accommodating our budget and has offered us a terrific price if we can do a little of the work ourselves, primarily getting all the songs we want, putting them in order and giving them to him on a thumb drive. Getting the songs and putting them on a thumb drive isn’t a problem, but I’ve never been good at figuring out how to arrange a playlist so that it sounds good, not like I just grabbed a bunch of songs I like and hit shuffle. How do I do it? Any guidelines, tips, rules of thumb, suggestions, etc. will be greatly appreciated!

I find that it helps to try to imagine one song fading out and another song kicking in; does it sound discordant in your head? Or does it sound right? If it sounds good in your head, it will probably sound good at the wedding. When in doubt, actually play the end of the first one and the start of the second one.

Also, don’t put two slow songs in a row. About three to five fast ones, then one slow one, is usually about right. Depends on the crowd, of course. Also depends on the time: you might want more mid-tempos early in the proceedings, more faster ones in the middle, and more slow ones as the evening winds down. You might even violate the “no two slows in a row” rule at the end.

If you have a mix of ages, have a variety of eras of songs. Clump them into blocks of five or six from the same era, so people don’t have to constantly jump up and sit down to dance to the ones that make them move. “Medleys” of similar songs are great at the high-energy parts of the evening.

Just a few thoughts from someone without all that much experience, but a little. Congrats on your nuptials!