- Choose your top ten or fifteen songs you most want to hear at your wedding reception and allow your professional DJ to use his experience to keep your guests entertained. You will be amazed at how fast the night goes by, everyone wants ten minutes of your time. Most couples don’t even hear the majority of the songs that are played because they are visiting with their guests. It’s your DJs job to get your attention when these special songs are being played for you and to make sure that all of your guests are having a great time! But most of all, that your dance floor stays packed with dancers! Stay in touch with your DJ several times throughout the night to make sure you are pleased with their performance or if there is anything you want changed. Yes it is your special day, but your DJs reputation is also on display. Your DJ should never choose a set list in advance like an iPod and neither should you.
- Your wedding reception doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s! Of course there are traditional things that most receptions do like a first dance together, a father/daughter dance, etc. But you should decide if you want fast or slow songs, or even to skip certain things completely if you personally don’t like them or want them. You are a unique couple, and while your DJ may have seen and done it all many times before, the most memorable weddings are the ones where the bridal couple did something different and personalized it for themselves!
- Pick a song or style of music to have your wedding party introduced to when your reception is about to begin. If you can’t think of anything, ask your DJ to find something for you if you let them know what mood you’re trying to create! You can be announced classy and formally with wedding party names only, or high energy and fun with nicknames added in that you provide, or even humorously, it’s completely up to you! A popular method is to give a little background information about your attendants, just a sentence or two about your friendship with them, after announcing their names so your guests get to know them and can strike up a conversation with them too.
- Basic things like professional quality speakers, several different lighting effects, thousands of music selections, and most of all, an experienced wedding DJ who can involve the crowd and keep you involved the entire evening should never be an extra charge! Your DJ should specialize in doing several things throughout the night that will keep you interacting with your guests, and that will ensure a full dance floor from start to finish. Extras should only be things like fog or bubble machines (many banquet halls don’t allow them), or super large bass speakers, or karaoke (sometimes great for company parties, not so great at wedding receptions). Cheap DJs will not give you a complete package and you just may end up with a DJ emergency too. Or if your DJ is only used to performing only in bars and not having to take requests or adapt to other age ranges and tastes in music, he could actually shut down on you!
- Don’t play price games with other DJ agencies! You may notice many other DJ Agencies will talk endlessly about their equipment, or who their DJs are, but they won’t put their prices online for everyone to see. Or they may give a vague range of several hundred dollars in-between their inexperienced or bar DJs and their actual professional DJs who have some experience under their belt. Other DJ Agencies being vague about their prices makes it easier for them to slide their pricing around based on how much they think you’re willing to pay. Some companies even train their salespeople on how to overcome your objection to their initial higher price by offering lower and lower prices until you agree to something. Then they’ll turn around and shop your event to other DJs to see who’ll work it for the lowest price and keep the difference! The golden rule is to remember you get what you pay for, so don’t cut corners in areas that are important to you and your wedding.
When it comes to your ceremony, you want your guests to remember the perfect details… the bride walking down the aisle, the perfect vows that were written and the look in each other’s eyes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your ceremony, whether you choose outdoors or indoors, from a DJ’s perspective:
- Consider having a lapel microphone for your officiant. You want everyone to be able to hear everything that is being said. When the officiant wears the microphone, he is between the couple which helps the voices of the Bride and Groom to be heard.
- For outside ceremonies, keep in mind that the wind may be a factor. A location by a lake or general body of water tends to create more wind which could lead to the sound bring unclear, even with a windbreaker on the microphone. Consider a decorative trellis for the officiant to stand under that may cut some of the wind out.
- Depending on the time of the year, bugs may be a problem for your guests. The hot, muggy days of Summer and Fall in Georgia tend to attract unwanted visitors. Add some torches to add to the decoration and keep the bugs away.
- Something to keep your guests cool on a hot day is always appreciated. Some fans for each guest to have are a great idea and many printing companies can add your wedding information on the fans for you so that they serve as a favor leading to money saved, which is always a plus when planning a wedding. Some cold bottled water may also be offered depending on your venue.
- Always have a backup plan. Weather can be unpredictable and whether it is a light sprinkle of rain, or a downpour, you do not want anything to go wrong. You spend a lot of time preparing and planning the details of your wedding. The last thing you want is to have it all turned upside down due to Mother Nature stepping in.
- Work with your planner and your DJ, or whoever may be providing the music, to make sure all the presentations are timed right. You want to make sure that there is a cue system set up for when the music needs to be changed. It may be a visual cue or some form of communication such as a walkie-talkie, there just needs to be clear communication between the coordinator and the DJ or music provider.
- When selecting music for your ceremony, make sure that the music is appropriate. The length of the song is also important. If the walk down the aisle is a long one, you want to make sure that the song is long enough for the whole distance.
- For unity candles, sand mixing and other smaller ceremonies taking place, you always have the option to have some music played during that time. The main thing to keep in mind is that if it is something that will take about 30 seconds or less, a song may not work since most songs take more than that to really reach a meaningful point. However if something is taking place that will take 1-2 minutes or longer, consider having a song playing in the background to add to the moment and avoid silence.
- If you are having any readings done during your ceremony, a wireless microphone should be used. You want everyone to hear and understand what is being said. If you believe the reader may need a microphone stand, make sure to ask for it before hand.
Every ceremony is different. There is no perfect recipe for what you want for your day. What you do with your wedding is what makes it special, what makes it memorable and what makes it enjoyable. We are here to simply provide some tips for you to keep in mind while you plan it all. With over 15 years of combined wedding experience, we have seen quite a few things that come out perfect and many that did not work the way they were intended. We work with your coordinator to anticipate some of these things when helping you plan your wedding entertainment and offer any advice that you may ask for.