Been a while since I last posted, but no time like the present to dole out some advice on reception music.
Groomasaurus Gal and I decided to forego any DJ or band and use mixes that we put together and play them via our iPod. This is an excellent choice for those brides and grooms who are music aficionados and want to control the flow of music themselves. (Just a side note … instead of making mixes on the iPod itself, I used professional DJ management software called Traktor to mix all my music beforehand). However, a few things to be aware of when taking this route.
Create several types of mixes – The mood of the party may change, so you need to have mixes for every mood and vibe and be able to change these out on the fly.
Create enough music for twice the allotted time you have – To ensure you have enough tunes, make sure you have at least twice what you need. So if your dinner lasts 2 hours, have enough dinner music for 4. If your reception dance time is 3 hours, have enough music for 6.
Choose music that you and your guests both like – Ideally you want everyone at your wedding to enjoy the music, so try to find music that everyone will respond to. And if musical tastes vary to the extreme, try to find some middle ground or even devote certain times of the evening to certain types of music.
If you don’t want to deal with selecting music and want to leave this to the professional, hiring a DJ is a great idea, and here are a few things to find out when you’re screening and hiring a professional DJ.
1) Do they have a specialty in weddings? Some DJs are great at playing clubs but don’t quite have the presence for weddings. Make sure your DJ has wedding experience and the presence to pull off a wedding.
2) Do they have the right equipment (and does it gel with your venue)? Ask about their equipment and their setup, and see if it is feasible for your venue.
3) Will they accommodate to your style of music and needs? Whatever style of music you want to have played (rock, country, pop, dance, etc.), find out if the DJ can play that style. Also, if you have any special requests or activities, ask if they can handle those.
4) Can they act as the emcee for the reception? Some DJs only play music, so if you need the DJ to serve as the emcee and announce the wedding party, make announcements throughout the night, etc, make this a requirement.
5) How do they charge and when does the clock start running? Many DJs will charge a flat fee for a setup and a certain number of hours. Also, find out what any overage/extra hours charges in case the party goes longer than expected.
6) Find out about deposits and cancellations – Ask if they require a deposit and if it is refundable. Also, find out if they allow cancellations and how late you can cancel.
7) Will they play your CDs? If you have specially requested music you want them to play, find out if they will play it or if they stick to their own program.
What will they be wearing? Your DJ is going to be front and center, so they need to dress the part. Learn about what they will wear and let them know about any special attire requests you may have.
That’s enough to get your started. Finally, if your a DJ and need help managing your business, here’s a site that describes DJ booking software and DJ management software products.