Some of the most important decisions for your wedding day are who will be officiating, what kind of food you’ll serve, and what type of music to play. Of course, you want it to go smoothly so that everyone can enjoy themselves. One decision that often gets overlooked is who the DJ should be. There are many DJs in the area with a variety of rates and styles. Some people like to hire someone they know or have seen perform live at other events, while others prefer to let their venue make recommendations based on their own style preferences and budget considerations.
Do you have a DJ picked out for your wedding? If not, we can help! We’ve compiled some helpful advice to give you a good idea of what to expect from our wedding DJ.
We’ll answer some common questions about the process and how it works, as well as provide tips on choosing a DJ that will be right for your special day. We’re sure this post will help ease any worries or concerns about getting the perfect DJ for your big day with all these great resources!
Table of Contents
- 1 Getting To Know You
- 2 Learning The Nitty-Gritty
- 3 Sometimes, More Planning Meetings
- 4 Preparing For Your Special Day
- 5 The Day Arrives
- 6 Playing Well With Others
- 7 The “Clutch Shot”
- 8 Managing the Evening
- 9 A Different Vibe every time
- 10 Secrets of Great Wedding DJs
- 10.1 Eighty-five per cent of guests need to know the song.
- 10.2 Songs work best when they transcend generations.
- 10.3 The genre should change with nearly every song.
- 10.4 The greater good is more important than any individual (except the bride)
- 10.5 The bride is the most important person on the dance floor.
- 10.6 Inviting guests up during the parents’ dances stacks the deck.
- 10.7 Opening with a fast song isn’t a good idea.
- 10.8 Slow songs are a reset button.
- 10.9 Older folks loosen up the easiest but tire the fastest.
- 10.10 Knowing the mom’s favourite song is an ace in the hole.
- 10.11 Watching the people who aren’t dancing is crucial.
- 10.12 Lighting is important
- 10.13 Requests are accepted… reluctantly.
- 10.14 There are a million tricks to dodge bad requests.
- 10.15 DJs hate to play requests off your phone.
- 10.16 They usually don’t play dirty versions.
- 10.17 Being yourself on the microphone pays off.
- 10.18 Guests notice when DJs don’t match the keys of songs.
- 10.19 There’s always a backup plan.
- 10.20 A two-hour dance set should be the minimum.
- 10.21 Announcing the last song is key.
- 10.22 Not every crowd likes to dance.
- 10.23 You get what you pay for
Getting To Know You
When meeting with new clients, I spend a lot of time finding out what they want. For example, do you like light music or darker tunes? Would you prefer to dance on the cloud for your first song as husband and wife, or would it be more appropriate if we did an old-fashioned father-daughter dance instead? All this information helps me determine exactly how much DJ services will cost and then quotes my prices without pressuring anyone into anything that is not right for their needs.
Learning The Nitty-Gritty
When you first start looking for a DJ, the first phase of our discussions gives me an idea about what type of music and moods you want at your wedding. Once we get closer to that date, though, it’s important I know all the details so I can make sure everything runs smoothly on the big day! For example, if there is something special like pronunciation or bouquet tosses, make sure those things are included in my list!
While this may seem tedious sometimes when filling out these forms but it will really help ensure that YOU have a great time as possible on such an exciting night.
It is so important for your day to be perfect. I want it to go off without a hitch, and that’s why I’ll work closely with the venue staff before you’ve even arrived on site. It starts by ensuring there are enough power outlets at my events space and then working out any logistics like food service or equipment placement together with our vendors beforehand- all of which will help make this as smooth an event experience as possible!
Sometimes, More Planning Meetings
Planning a wedding can be an intense process riddled with potential pitfalls. The number of guests you invite could change the layout and size of your venue. Your favourite band might have to cancel their date, leaving musical selections up in the air. You may want more formal meetings 30 days out if any elements seem unstable or unplanned!
The most important part of a wedding is the first dance, and it’s something that should be top-of-mind for me as soon as you decide on your songs. I’ve been in situations where my clients needed an obscure song to get their groove going so they could swing with abandon or do any number of other things but had no idea what was available. If we don’t find anything during our meeting today, please provide some time constraints because sometimes vinyl copies come from overseas, and those take longer than usual to arrive at this shop!
Preparing For Your Special Day
As the wedding day approaches, I prepare by locking in all of your details. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, don’t hesitate to ask! And if any last-minute changes pop up- no problemo: my hard drive is cloned and ready with backups of songs for when a playlist doesn’t go as planned. Plus, I’ll be checking off our guest list one more time before we walk down that aisle together (and double-check everything else)! So you can count on me taking care of every little detail so it will all go smoothly come your big day.
The Day Arrives
When your wedding day arrives, I’m the one with a workout planned! It’s no different for me. As a solo-run DJ service means that all my equipment goes in and out of my van on every gig–this time is just more intense than usual because there are two separate systems to set up and configure. Once everything has been tested, it becomes an exciting game: will music be cherished or despised?
Playing Well With Others
The vibe should be helpful and supportive. A quality wedding DJ is in it for more than the ego, adrenaline rush or need to control everything; they are there with you because they want your day to go smoothly as well. Working together as a team includes working closely with venue representatives so things stay on schedule without unexpected bumps along the way (or if changes happen). It also means alerting photographers and videographers of events during their shoots so that no shots will miss out!
The “Clutch Shot”
It’s the DJs job to make sure nothing goes wrong. A photographer can have a bad photo, but there are hundreds of great shots to choose from. Florists may be short one wilted flower or two – which is quickly forgotten when you see how gorgeous their other flowers are! Caterers could potentially ruin an order with burnt meatballs, yet they will always fill your stomach up and get it done on time despite that small hiccup! But if something fails with the DJ at those critical moments, all bets are off.”
A wedding DJ never gets a second chance, and they must react at any moment’s notice. If the microphone cuts out for some reason, their backup is already ready to go. A song fails to play, so another copy of it can be clicked on in an instant without skipping a beat. The amount of care that goes into your event by the DJ ensures that everything will flow smoothly from beginning to end with no interruptions or difficulties whatsoever!
Managing the Evening
After the vows are taken, and then it’s time for a few speeches from loved ones. Then comes snacks, drinks, and some conversation before I’m ready to start playing music that’ll have everyone on their feet! The songs coming out of my speakers will be based on what people talked about during your pre-wedding discussions and in line with any requests you may have given me ahead of time. But just like how we’ve been getting along these last few hours together so far – there should never be one group feeling left behind because this is an event where anyone can get up in front of all those gorgeous decorations under our tent and dance until they drop (or at least give it their best shot).
A Different Vibe every time
Have you ever seen a DJ playing at your favourite club or party? You can tell people have an amazing time when the room is on fire, and everyone seems to be jumping up and down, singing along. I have found that it’s really important for DJs to know how all different types of music interact so they don’t play three songs in a row from the same genre because people will eventually get bored.
I also think reading crowds helps them keep their set interesting by giving audiences what they want while still keeping things fresh!
In one night, you could go from club hits to country, to EDM, and old school Hip Hop. Of course, as a DJ, you have to know them all well, or else the crowd will not dance hard enough on your playlist. But as my final set drew near, I realized that music was an art form of discovery for me, too- hearing new songs with every passing year while still understanding what makes people happy in their favourite genres is priceless!
Secrets of Great Wedding DJs
Eighty-five per cent of guests need to know the song.
DJs should be thoughtful about the type of music they play at a wedding. The deep cuts may not work as well, so it’s best to stick with more popular songs and get people excited and up dancing. It might seem like your guests want you to mix in some B-sides or remixes, but this is likely how DJs feel when playing weddings–, and if anything starts getting off during their set because of these tunes, then all bets are off!
Songs work best when they transcend generations.
It’s always difficult to find something in common with your 8-year-old niece and 80-year-old aunt, but these intersections are the surest of wedding staples. “Gold Digger” is a perfect example because it features a Ray Charles sample for those older folks while also having vocals from that guy who knocked up Kim Kardashian–something everyone can enjoy regardless of their age group!
The genre should change with nearly every song.
The last thing a wedding DJ wants to do is give guests a reason to request a song. By quickly moving through genres and time periods, you cast the widest net possible to maintain critical mass while avoiding complaints about playing too many songs from one certain genre or era. Some DJs subscribe so adamantly to this philosophy that they organize their music libraries by decade, which helps them avoid requests for specific artists over others who might be more fitting for the event at hand!
The greater good is more important than any individual (except the bride)
When you want to please as many people as your audience, it’s important to consider their age and background. For example, a string of Motown songs might bring older couples onto the floor but could cause some younger members of the crowd to think Smokey Robinson is just another trap producer.
The bride is the most important person on the dance floor.
If you’re not feeling it, you’re doing something wrong, and if she is feeling it – don’t sweat the criticism.
Inviting guests up during the parents’ dances stacks the deck.
Three minutes of father/daughter dancing can seem like an eternity. A pro DJ move asks the bride’s permission to invite others onto the dance floor toward the end of a song. It cuts down on tension, but more importantly, it gives crowds space with which to get their groove on!
Opening with a fast song isn’t a good idea.
It’s always difficult to figure out what the first song should be for a dance party. Some people like opening with a banger, but that can often feel awkward and intimidating when you’re alone on the floor. So the best way is usually to start slow, so everyone has time to get comfortable before jumping in!
Slow songs work to freshen the crowd if a floor loses momentum, as someone’s wife or girlfriend will always force them to dance against their will. They’ll beg you for “Unchained Melody.”
Older folks loosen up the easiest but tire the fastest.
“Going out dancing” used to mean more than just pausing between sips of vodka Red Bull to dry-hump a stranger. Nostalgia for sockhops and formal dances are not as prevalent in younger generations. Hence an older crowd is itching for a chance to get loose like back in the day. The flip side, though, is that this older crowd will tire out quicker, so you must give them early vibes on the night!
Knowing the mom’s favourite song is an ace in the hole.
A good DJ knows the bride and groom’s favourite dance songs, but a great DJ also has their parents’ favourites in mind. Pro tip: it is probably “Cupid Shuffle.”
Watching the people who aren’t dancing is crucial.
Many people think that the only way to get a party started is by getting everyone on the dance floor. But what about those who don’t want to? It’s just as important for DJs and other hosts alike to find ways in which these wallflowers can be pulled out from their shells and become part of whatever excitement there might be going on.
Lighting is important
If I were planning the lighting for a wedding, one of my priorities would be to ensure that the space is as dark as possible. This also applies in almost every DJ situation and should not change when it comes to weddings. The only exception is rotating coloured LEDs, which will create movement on people’s faces and excite them even more than they already maybe!
Requests are accepted… reluctantly.
Weddings are one situation where DJs are forced to honour requests, but most suggestions tend to be self-centred and detrimental to the dance floor as a whole. If there’s one day that’s not about you, it’s this one. So before asking for a polka or something off Tha Carter III, consider how your request will affect other guests on the day of his wedding – is he really going to want all eyes on him at his own party? The DJ should ensure they protect the vibe no matter what musical preferences anyone has for them both (bride and groom) to enjoy their special occasion together!
There are a million tricks to dodge bad requests.
The best we heard was to send the requester to the bride for approval.
DJs hate to play requests off your phone.
Requests are much less likely to be honoured if they need to come from a phone, as any self-respecting DJ is untrustworthy of crackly YouTube rips and LTE networks.
They usually don’t play dirty versions.
If your bride and groom still want to have the “dirty version” of their favourite pop song, ask them about a radio edit. Most songs are created with these versions in mind.
Being yourself on the microphone pays off.
The reality is that most people are terrified of speaking on a microphone, which makes the stereotype of the cheesy wedding DJ loathsome. As such, it’s important to remember that honesty and self-deprecation will go hand in hand with keeping any crowd entertained when they’re necessary for mic use!
Guests notice when DJs don’t match the keys of songs.
DJing is as easy as lining up-tempos, but playing in complementary musical key signatures takes skill. So even if you don’t know anything about music theory, your guests will be able to tell the difference between a song that sounds like someone slamming their hand on a piano and one with chords being played expertly.
There’s always a backup plan.
If a DJ is playing a song that he’s not 100% confident in, you best believe he has another hit ready to mix right back into seconds later if it flops.
A two-hour dance set should be the minimum.
The music for your wedding reception should be chosen carefully because it is the highlight of any party. You want to have a DJ who helps you create an atmosphere that will keep people on their feet, so find someone with experience in weddings and understand how long they need to play per set.
Announcing the last song is key.
People want to know that it’s their last chance to get down, but more importantly, this cuts off “one more song” chants. DJ hates these because the stop time isn’t up to them: most venues have a cutoff time so they can pack up and head home. You’re also upsetting the bride or groom because most DJs have expensive overtime clauses in their contracts.
Not every crowd likes to dance.
Perhaps it’s not really your dirty little secret, but a lot of crowds don’t get excited to dance. But, contrary to popular belief, you might be surprised how many weddings go without the traditional grandmother twirling her bra overhead in excitement for Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling.
You get what you pay for
Music can be the deciding factor in a wedding’s success. It may not have been planned for, but it is still important to find someone good at what they do and who has a style that matches your needs. What you want from them will depend on how much investment there was made into music during other parts of the planning process: if done correctly, then all you’ll need are some basic skills like beat matching or musical knowledge; while if not done so well, then more advanced DJing abilities will be needed to make up for missing pieces – hopefully, this doesn’t sound too daunting!
Your wedding day should be filled with excitement but also a time of great stress and anxiety. A good DJ knows this too and works to help reduce the bridal couple’s worry by arriving ahead on schedule and taking care of venue details before arriving at your destination for the big event! With a great DJ waiting in anticipation across from you during your ceremony as well as throughout cocktail hour after all guests have arrived – there is nothing left up to chance because they were right there caring about every detail alongside you since Day One!