Jacqueline ‘Jax’ Vizcaino of Tinted Events and Matthew Campbell of My Wedding Songs sit down and chat about Latin weddings and music. Listen to a cultural episode with topics including:
- Memorable Wedding Moments
- About Jax + Tinted Events
- Initial Questions to Ask
- Common Latin Hits & DJs
- Sound System
- Spanish-speaking MC
- Popular Latin Music
- Styles of Latin Music for Weddings
- Latin vs English Wedding
- Spanish-speaking and English-speaking Songs
- Wedding Planning Tips
Today we are going to be talking about Latin music for weddings. I have a very special guest, Jacqueline Vizcaíno, all the way from the Atlanta, Georgia area. Please say hello.
Hello. Hello. How are you? Thank you for having me. Thank you for joining us and talking about this topic. And I also must mention that she is a wedding planner with the company Tinted Events. We’ll get more into that in just a second. Do you have any memorable moments at weddings?
Memorable Wedding Moments
Well, I do. When I launched Tinted Events, I started in the wedding design space. So we did, full-service florals and decor. So for me, my favorite moments were when the marriers, most times the bride, would arrive at the venue or I would present their bouquet to them in their suite.
Sometimes what would happen is they would gasp. Then they would burst into tears, making an ugly face cry, sometimes even dropping to their knees, and the first time this happened, I almost cried with them, and I was terrified. Meanwhile, what I realized is that I was like, this could be a really good thing, or this could be a really bad thing, and it was always a good thing.
They were so happy, and they would say, Jax, you nailed it. It’s better than I imagined. So really, for those five seconds of not breathing, literally forgetting to breathe because I was just like, Oh, what is happening here? I really learned to appreciate the moment when you realize that you have started off someone’s day or you have transformed someone’s vision to exactly what they want.
So I have to ask then how many more minutes did that add to the wedding just to redo all of the makeup? Trust me, the makeup artist, it was so early, you know, the makeup artist was still there. They were touching up and saying, sweetheart, Oh, please, please, please. Well, you’re okay. You’re okay. But it worked out.
It was always worth it. Those types of moments are you’re hoping that the wedding photographer is there just to capture those moments because it’s such a meaningful time. I have some good shots of that. Yeah, That’s awesome. If you could just tell everybody a little bit about you, your company and planning weddings.
About Jax + Tinted Events
Certainly. So hola, my name is Jacqueline Vizcaino. Many call me Jax, just not Jackie. My cultural background is from the Dominican Republic by way of New York City. Que lo que mi gente. I’m basically the founder of Tinted Events, a destination wedding design and planning firm based on the East Coast in Atlanta, Georgia. I also serve currently on the International Board of the Wedding Association. I’m an educator and also an author. And again, thank you for having me. The main topic today is, of course, Latin music at weddings.
When a couple tells you that they want Latin music for their wedding, what comes to mind as follow-up questions that you want to ask them?
Initial Questions to Ask
Well, many would automatically assume that the nationality of the marriers, or their country of origin, whether it’s one or both of the Marriers or Hispanic or Latin descent, both those terms are interchangeable will dictate the rest of the conversation but really close first in a great question is when I asked them, tell me about the family members that will be attending the wedding that really is the question that opens the floodgates for information because instinctively when they announced their engagement, I could almost guarantee a commoner reference was made in regards to the celebration in the music because in our culture, the Latin culture, music is like way up on our list.
Way, way up there. The comment usually goes as far as the genre of music as they’re congratulating you. Like, I can’t wait to party with you and dance some great salsa. That is usually where they go. So, not asking about their family and how the family dynamics or the family played a role in their lives as they were growing up really is like taking the long way to the destination, because in that story they will tell you the family nationality, they will say they’re Puerto Rican, Colombian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, and they will specify certain people you will get so much information from that one question that then you’ll have enough to go down that path.
I think my next follow-up question to that would be how many of those people are going to be at the wedding as far as percentage-wise because you need to know how many people are of Latin descent, but then there also could be other cultures that are being represented at the wedding as well.
Exactly, exactly. It’s easy to assume Latin music will be the order of the day, but that wouldn’t be doing your due diligence, just as you mentioned, because there are a couple of lanes that you can go down. It could be Caribbean, South American, or Central American, but is Grandma going to be there?
Is she going to need some hits from her heritage? Are your cousins, distant cousins, parents, or maybe it’s a blended or a fusion family? Exactly. And you don’t want to be too heavy on the Latin side, so it can go many roads. It’s funny you say that. One of the most popular lists on our site is the Latin White mix wedding songs for their first dance because that does happen a lot and they want to represent both cultures.
Exactly. And they want to be fair. we live in a world now where our clients want to be fair and diplomatic and it’s not very heavy one or the other. However, you can definitely get people to go into some Latin hits. That is a great transition to my very next question. What Are some common Latin songs that are played at every wedding that every DJ should know every wedding planner should know?
Common Latin Hits & DJs
Well, Matt, that’s a loaded question.
It can be a yes, or it can be a long explanation here. Let’s do the long explanation. Basically, we all have classics, right? In the English music genre, you have Don’t Stop Believin’, Swag Surfing. But for some reason, sometimes it just so happens to be that some DJs will say And I don’t want to speak for an absolute. So I’m not going to say all DJs do this, cause that is not the case, but some will say they play Spanish. I have this. I got you. I know exactly what you want to hear and you know, they’re wide-eyed, bushy tailed and really with the utmost reassurance they respond like I said, I got you and what you hear in 0. 05 seconds is Suavemente or Danza Kuduro or Selena’s Bidi Bidi Bom Bom. That’s their go-to. Now, these are great songs in their own right and have a place on a playlist. And that night. However, it seems to be sometimes a crutch for a DJ who wants to claim versatility, but really they just did not do their homework, or they just, don’t know where that common ground is, and that sweet spot. When it comes to Latin music.
Those are sometimes people’s go-to’s, but there are other genres out there of Latin music. When you work with DJs are there specific questions that you will ask them just to find out if they’re a right fit for your couple? Yes, most definitely. It goes without saying, I’m going to ask them about their experience with Latin music.
Are they familiar with Latin weddings and the culture in and of itself? And sometimes there tends to be that situation where the client feels so comfortable with the DJ that they just kind of leave the Latin to the wayside sometimes if it is a fusion wedding.
But for the most part, like the equipment, Latin music tends to have a lot of bass and percussion and requires a decent sound system. And we want high quality. We want to feel the vibration. We want to feel that bass. Also, how are they approaching the crowd? Are they able to read the dance for the energy there?
But I will be very transparent when I say, and this may be an awkward request, but if the wedding is predominantly Latin or Hispanic, Caribbean, or any of the above. I would strongly suggest that a high-energy Spanish-speaking MC be part of your team. There are some things that are just more difficult to translate into English, the energy behind it, and really, we appreciate, I know I appreciate when I have dual teams.
When it’s not just the DJ, but maybe he has an assistant. Like, they put thought into it, and just the energy behind it really relieves just the pressure of this person. We appreciate their intent, but if they have to do emceeing, then there’s a fine line. So that’s just like my tidbit there for the industry.
No, I’m not a DJ. However, in my second life, I would love to be, because I love music, but I would probably suggest that. Well, I think exactly what you’re saying, even if you’re an Officiant and everybody in the crowd is Latin or speaks Spanish, or it could even be Korean, whatever that culture is, you have to speak that language.
That way you can relate more to everyone. Or at least give them something. , I know so many people, my husband, for example, he’s not Hispanic, but he lived in Miami, knows Spanish fluently, and people just love the effort. Just making those that are present feel comfortable in their own space.
Popular Latin Music
?When talking about music, we all know the very popular hits. We know Marc Anthony, like you said, Selena. Are there other artists that you would recommend that are not on everybody’s playlists that are popular at Latin-themed weddings?
It depends. I would say more of a genre that’s new. Dembow, D E M B O W is one. It’s a genre that’s out now. It’s, kind of like a play on rooted Jamaican dancehall, but with the Dominican twist. That’s becoming very popular. That type of music. I would say probably a lot of times there’s nothing wrong with Bad Bunny.
If you have Bad Bunny with the side of Drake, a Karol G with a side of Nicki Minaj. Just know the flow. People like almost mainstream right what they probably hear on the radio because They’re probably with someone who only hears Latin music on the radio or a variation of Latin music, but then transitioning into those things like reggaeton, dembow, and then those other ones that are very rooted and completely sung in Spanish. Then that would probably be like a way to expose them, to something a little bit different. Perfect. I love the suggestions.
Getting away from specific artists and songs, let’s get into specific styles. Like you were mentioning. Are there specific meringues or cumbias or salsas or bachatas? Is there a specific type of music that you would play at certain moments of the reception? Meaning as guests arrive, and the dancing during dinner?
Styles of Latin Music for Weddings
Yes almost like in the English-speaking realm, you would have Frank Sinatra during cocktail hour in that Rat Pack or something very classical.
Having something that is like a type of mix of boleros. Things that are from the past that we all grew up with and even if we haven’t heard it like we know our grandparents dance better at their wedding that’s kind of where they would go on a cocktail hour. Then in cumbia, there are different types. There’s Mexican cumbia there’s Colombian cumbia so that’s when their nationality comes into play. Where you would put those?
We can’t forget your life elements as well. The mariachi, but then you have that and you have the hybrids, right, where they take a little bit of the mariachi with the more mainstream kind of vibes. So it’s really just the transition of just like in an English wedding or American wedding, you would just go from one to the other, to the other.
By the end of the night, it’s just like everyone’s just having a blast high an energy dance hall-type environment. I think that’s pretty common for most weddings near the end. It’s, it’s party time. It’s time to dance. There are no rules. There’s not too much that’s off-limits.
I always say let’s just not break anything and we’re good. I reside in Atlanta and oddly enough, Atlanta is a destination for people because internationally they can all get here pretty well, pretty quickly, and reasonably.
Most people have a route or two back in Atlanta. So trap music is a thing. So how do you take trap music at the end of the night? Of course, when certain family members have gone to their prospective hotel. You have that trap by because that’s what people are listening to.
But then you take that Reggaeton that Dembow and you kind of meld the two, like that’s a really good compliment for each other, to each other. I love that you’re blending those cultures and the music just to create that party atmosphere. I love that.
Latin vs English Wedding
Are you seeing any differences between a Latin wedding and an English wedding?
I would say Latin weddings are more intentional where they put their Latin music, perhaps depending on the family that’s there. Intentional when it comes to like the first dances and things like that because you’re probably going to have a Latin song. If you have Hispanic Latin parents, you’re most likely going to dance to a Latin song a lot of times, or at least a mix.
But then, really, at the English wedding, I find that they love Latin music. They love it. They’re hearing this music. I always say people are like, okay, well, we listen to Salsa. That’s what we listen to. Well, that’s what you listen to, however, probably underground people are listening to the reggaeton and they’re listening to the merengues and the bachata and all that, but they’re just not telling you that.
So it’s really interesting, especially like Bachat, and people just love it. It’s just the vibe that even if they don’t know how to dance, they’re going to get out there and dance. They’re going to be so excited. It like takes you over. It’s interesting how you see a crowd that kind of comes out of their shell and it’s usually Latin because they’re like, I don’t know the words.
I’m good. I don’t know how to dance and I’m even better. I think it even goes back to, I think of my parents going to weddings and they don’t know the newer music, but it has a great beat. It has a great sound. They’re out there dancing. It doesn’t mean that they always have to be dancing to the older music.
If it has a great beat and it’s fun and the wedding couple is on the dance floor, everybody else is going to fall. Where the couple resides. So do the guests. I am a firm believer in that. And pay homage to the parents and the grandparents and play their boleros and their requests, right?
Let’s get those out of the way. But when you do that, they’re like, oh, okay, well, you gave me a little bit, I’ll give you a little bit. And they have fun. It’s when they’re kind of like fighting against it. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve had clients who are like, do not play any of this, even if my mom asked. That just goes into a whole realm of a different relationship.
But for the most part, you really have couples that are looking to unite within the celebration not disrupted in any way.
Spanish-speaking and English-speaking Songs
Talking about music recently, I attended a quinceañera here in Vegas and they played the Spanish version of Achy Breaky Heart, which brought everybody out on the dance floor. So I wanted to ask you, are there any Latin hits that may be overlooked that DJ should be playing right now?
There’s probably a Latin rendition of most popular songs. period. Aside from Suavemente, group dances I have my feelings about that. However, I find it so fascinating how we’ve done such a great job as a Latin community to take those English songs, and then put our flair on it.
And it’s familiar. I heard it the other day, it was a classic song. It was a love song. And I was just like, why does this sound so familiar? And it’s honestly, you could probably cross-check.
Most popular songs, and they have been done. done in the Spanish language. So nothing is really off limits. It really isn’t. And then, of course, the hooks and things like that. We’ve seen it with mainstream music with your J Balvin and Bad Bunny and, they’re everywhere.
They’re everywhere. And there’s a piece of what we already know, kind of like in the background. And you’re like, that is so familiar. Cause there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. Right? Like they’re all great artists, but they also know what is catchy and it’s catchy, both in the English language and the Spanish language.
Yep. I totally agree. It doesn’t matter what type of music if everybody’s dancing and it has a great beat, who cares? You might have to watch what the lyrics are to some songs. Well, it’s so interesting you say that. So now you’re actually reminding me of something.
So I do South Asian weddings as well. One of the songs everyone knows is Farruko. Now that’s talking about ingesting pills at the club and all this other stuff, right? And I’m standing there and I’m like does anyone know but it’s such a popular song.
They played it at the Sangeet. They played at the Barot. They played it twice at the Western reception. And I was just so fascinated. I was just like, it doesn’t matter. Regardless, the beat transcends anything else or any personal opinion that I may have. Because what I play that with my mom would be tapping her feet at the beat, but she probably would be like, do you realize what that says?
So I was like, you know what, it’s probably a little freeing that they don’t know the words. A lot of the songs that are popular, it’s not even necessarily in the Latin genre, but it’s a lot of the genres where you’re questioning the lyrics as a DJ.
Then you’ve got to say, okay, those aren’t songs I’m going to play at the beginning of the night. Those are the songs that would be. playing near the end of the night when Grandma and Grandpa might already be gone. Exactly. You know, let’s be respectful. You could also something about low lighting and two hours of bar time always making a difference.
Absolutely, getting those drinks flowing. So I have to ask this question, do you have any tips for couples planning their weddings?
Wedding Planning Tips
Absolutely. And really, my tips for couples and Latin-themed weddings would be to incorporate songs that have a personal meaning to them, but also not only to their families as well. Include one or two traditional songs from their culture, and modern hits that they both love. Almost be intentional and ask for requests prior because truth be known, you already know this, you will have the uncle and the dad come and they hired you for the night and play what they want to play and that’s not the case.
So, because that would definitely help, but that would also help them see or everyone enjoy. That tune that they actually had a connection to, don’t be afraid to mix genres, throughout the night. Latin wedding doesn’t have to be exclusively Latin music, incorporating other genres, having fun, and diversity is huge.
That would be my overall advice is that you really try to encompass. Don’t be so afraid. Don’t be afraid of your culture and your nationality and what you know, what you’ve always known or grown up with because your friends and family are there to embrace you. And one of the biggest parts of you is your culture and your nationality.
I love that. I would offer the same exact advice. You just said it way better than I would. Is there anything else you want to talk about today?
In my next life, how can I be a DJ? DJs paid to party. I love music. I am notorious.
I do not know the lyrics for the most part. None. Not even English music, Spanish music. It’s the beat. Period. I always get teased for that. So now, you know, a fun fact about me, I do not know lyrics. I just dance. I dance until my legs, want to fall off. Well, another fun fact, my wife is the same way where she doesn’t know any of the artists or any of the songs.
I just always give her a hard time. She’s like, this has a good beat. So that’s why I like it. Exactly. Exactly. I’m there for it. Whenever I do, I always want to play DJ at every, Function on my iPod and I’m the one that has all the music thousands and thousands of songs But I can only play like 20 to 30 seconds until I fast forward it to the next one because I just can’t wait to see what’s next crazy That’s actually coming up on an, on an upcoming episode where we’re going to be talking about mixing in general. So stay tuned for that.
Just to close it out, how can people find you and reach out to you? Well, I appreciate you asking.
Your listeners can find me on Instagram @tintedeventdesigns
My website www.tintedevents.com
Perfect. Thank you so much, Jax, for coming on today. This has been wonderful and for everybody else, make sure you stay tuned for next week for another episode. I’m going to be interviewing another wedding professional.
Thanks for listening and have a great day. Thank you, Matt.