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Wedding music: DJ, band or satellite radio?

Sirius will broadcast a custom playlist for a Wisconsin couple. No Chicken Dance. No Macarena.
/ Source: The Associated Press

John McHugh and Maggie Lee expect about 50 people at their wedding Friday. Their wedding reception could draw more than 4 million.

The La Crosse couple decided to forgo hiring a band or DJ and let Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. provide the music.

When Lee e-mailed Sirius in February asking if a DJ there could play a few special songs for them, she didn’t expect to have a whole broadcast dedicated to them.

“They e-mailed us back and asked us to send them a playlist, so we sent them our top 10 list,” Lee said. “Tuesday they called and said, ’Hey, do you mind if we make this bigger?”’

DJ Lee Arnold will play the couple’s songs and add personalized dedications over the air, said company spokeswoman Elise Brown. “We just thought theirs was a neat little story,” she said.

The broadcast will be on Sirius’s Standard Time channel, which plays standards and big band music from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme and Glenn Miller.

Brown said she was intrigued by the couple’s request because the 22-year-old Lee was a fan of that musical era. McHugh, 39, said the music brings back memories for his fiancee.

“She was raised on a lot of this music,” he said. “For me, I just like it because you can understand the music and there’s nothing questionable so it’s good for a setting where there are multiple generations.”

Sirius will play the 10 songs the couple requested, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. CDT.

“That’s a pretty huge party,” Lee said. “We have family and friends throughout Wisconsin who won’t be able to join us so we just told them to listen in.”

The couple preferred Sirius over a typical setup for a wedding reception because of satellite radio’s uninterrupted music and because it was cheaper, Lee said.

McHugh is a training specialist for Kwik Trip, a convenience store chain. Lee, who is a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student, said the couple’s wedding song will be “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole.

“There won’t be any Chicken Dance, no Macarena,” she said, referring to other popular wedding reception songs.