Updated: Jan 14
What does a Wedding DJ do? Do you actually need one, or is your cousin with a Bluetooth Speaker and Spotify good enough to run your party? You'll definitely save some money, but you might regret that. Your cousin was hitting the bar pretty hard and he's just playing Every Morning by Sugar Ray on repeat.
I'm going to countdown the top 4 things your wedding DJ does with a BONUS at the end.
Believe it or not, your DJ can really help you with the planning process. It's more than likely this is your first time planning a wedding, but your DJ has been to hundreds of them. They've seen the best and worst and can give you some pointers on how to put your event together that will keep your guests from checking their watches. You've been there right? Sitting there wondering if you can go grab a cupcake off the table. (Insider Tip, just go grab the cupcake haha)
Feel free to ask your DJ questions too. Get their input on how to run certain events or whether or not your cocktail hour should be 2 hours... wait I'll just tell you right now, don't do that! People are hungry!
The current trend is showing that most weddings are now having the ceremony at the same location as the reception. If this is the case, you're going to need service to accommodate that.
What does that look like?
Well, you're going to need a sound system, microphone (for the officiant) and music. You'll need music for seating, wedding party, the brides entrance, unity candle and then the processional.
It's really important your DJ nails this. It can be the easiest set-up, but a bad microphone or wrong song played can really set the rest of the day off.
Sometimes things happen you can't control, like bad weather or a crying flower girl, but everything else should run smooth.
Make sure to go through all those details with your DJ.
One quick tip, for the Processional, I always punch that in at the chorus or a big part of the song. You want something there that is high energy. Also, pick something that you both really love. I had one couple pick The Office theme song!
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
"And now, uh..it's time to meet the happy couple. Put your..um..hands together for Mr and Mrs Brad and Heather..oh..whoops, that was last weeks wedding haha. Mr And Mrs..(shuffling papers) well..Here they are, it's the main people!"
What. A. Disaster. Your MC can make or break the party. The bad is they talk to much or are too shy, and the good is the right balance in between.
Here's a couple of things you need your MC to do:
-Grab the attention of the group for the blessing
-Give accurate and clear dinner instructions
-Announce dessert and cake cutting
-Prepare those giving speeches and introduce them
-Run the Special Dances
-Make any other announcements (late night snack, last call, shuttles)
There is a difference between a good MC and a bad one. I think you can easily spot the bad one. You'll hear a lot of, "what did he say?" or "when are we going to eat?".
All that is on the DJ.
We've watched you get married, eaten dinner, had 3 donuts, and on a first name basis with the bartender. It's time dance. Up until now, all the vendors have been sharing the load.
But now...it's all on the DJ.
I love this part of the night. My jacket will come off, sleeves rolled up, headphone are put on. It's time to go to work! What's my job? To keep that dance floor alive until you or your guests are done. This is an art. And with anything that someone does well, the DJ must do 3 things to crush the dance:
Before each wedding, I spend a large portion of the week getting all your music ready. Creating folders with your Must Play songs and flagging your Do Not Plays.
Once I get an idea of what kind of music you like, I'll go through my library and find songs I think you will also like and mix well together.
Then, I practice.
Now to be clear, I never show up with a set playlist and just rip through them. It doesn't work that way. But I also don't just show up to your event and "wing it". I will have a few song sets that I think will work, and if they do, I'll go with it. If a song isn't working, I get out of it.
You'll hear other DJs say that "reading the crowd" is how they run the dance floor. I agree with that, but I also think there is more to it. Like, trying new stuff, taking requests (I talk about that here) and finding that blend of songs that keeps 2 different families of all ages having fun.
"Just because people don't dance doesn't mean they aren't enjoying the music."
This is a quote I keep on my laptop.
The reality is, some groups just don't dance. I've had a few of those in a row and started to think, "what am I doing wrong!".
But that's not the case.
Even if the crowd isn't dancing, if they're still at the party, talking, laughing, hitting up the bar, they're having fun! And that's the whole point.
It's not only about that "packed dance floor".
BONUS: CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
Here's a bonus that I thought of as I was wrapping up.
This is really going to make or break your wedding.
The DJ needs to be getting along with the other vendors.
The photographer, caterers, venue staff, anyone else you have hired to do a job.
I've heard stories where a DJ moved dinner service up earlier so they could leave sooner without talking to anyone about it. Or plays 30 minutes past the venues cut-off time.
When the vendors are all communicating and working together, it guarantees a smooth and memorable night.
Until I became a Wedding DJ, I had no idea what they were responsible for or how much of the party relied on them not only being professional, but present, respectful, and flexible.