6 Wedding DJ Tips
Weddings are anything but cheap and the happy couple can pay a hefty amount to have a quality wedding DJ on the 1s and 2s. It can be a solid paycheck for what amounts to about five hours of work, but the job is not as simple as it appears to be. Here are six tips for how a wedding DJ can keep the party rocking until the sun comes up (you get paid more for overtime!).
1. Get A Feel For Your Client’s Style
Every wedding is different, and the wedding DJ’s approach to the party must reflect the uniqueness of the couple. Do the bride and groom want to bounce along to “Baby Got Back”? If the answer is yes, then you’ll have a hit on your hands when you play Sir Mix-A-Lot. If they don’t want none, then you’ve got to go in a different direction.
2. Satisfy Guests Of All Ages
The bridal party is asking you to play Rihanna. The groom’s friends want 2 Chainz. The older crowd are clamoring for a Frankie Valli tune sung at such a high pitch that only certain types of dogs can hear it.
How do you balance it all? Keeping the musical tastes of each group at the party can feel like a juggling act at times, but it’s not as impossible as it may seem. During the planning phase, a diligent DJ can request a list of “must plays” and “must not plays” from the clients. It also pays to talk with your hosts to figure out not just what type of music they want to hear, but when they want to hear it. Satisfying everyone could be as simple as playing the Four Seasons during the dinner portion of the evening and saving the most danceable tunes for when people are actually dancing. By playing music for different age groups in separate blocks, a DJ can ensure a good time for everyone in attendance.
3. Pre-Party Planning
Sometimes, musical requests can be welcome, particularly when the guests know of a song that holds special meaning for the special couple. Once the tone of the evening is established, it might be worthwhile to take off one of your headphones and keep an open ear.
But remember, you’re in charge, so it’s crucial to establish how you like to work. Make sure you go over the song request policy at large during the planning stages of the wedding. Some couples will be open to guest input while others will be firmly against it. You may want to ask your couple if they would be open to putting a song request line on their RSVP card. This will give you valuable pre-party feedback, from your crowd while avoiding the awkwardness of on-the-spot requests.
4. Don’t Stick To A Set Playlist
The guests may or may not know what to play and when, but you do. That’s why you get paid the big bucks. When you sense that it’s time to speed it up or slow it down, feel free to deviate from the playbook as necessary.
Some weddings will get rowdy while others will be a bit more reserved. Sometimes, you’ll be able to get a feel for how things will play out based on the couples’ demeanor and the dress code. Ultimately, however, the vibe will be dictated by 100-plus friends and relatives that you’ve never met before. When it comes to weddings, improvisation is key.
5. Nail The First Dance Song
The couple’s first dance as bride and groom is one of the hallmark moments of the night. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll want to check, double-check, and even quintuple-check that you have the song ready to go as soon as you clear out the dance floor for the precious pair.
It’s equally imperative to make sure that it’s the right version of the song – Ben E. King’s version of “Stand By Me” sounds nothing like John Lennon’s rendition, and we guarantee that your bride will notice the difference.
6. Protect Your Equipment
Before a boxing match, referees instruct the pugilists to “protect yourself at all times.” With that sage advice in mind, we would like to take this opportunity to remind DJs everywhere to protect their gear at all times.
Don’t be afraid to gently (yet firmly) remind guests to keep their hands off of your expensive equipment. The headphones are not a prop for pictures, the speaker is not a cocktail table, and the stage is not a platform for a mosh pit.
Of course, stern warnings aren’t always enough to protect what’s yours. To ensure that your equipment is really protected you will need DJ Insurance.
Playing a wedding can be stressful. After all, that’s why we put this handy list together.
Things might not always go your way – you may get screechy feedback on your microphone, folks enjoying the open bar a little too much may hassle you with inappropriate song requests, and you may even get a taste of how – *clears throat* – particular the groom’s new mother-in-law can be. But, even in those trying moments, the DJ must always appear to be in good spirits. The couple is the reason for the party, but you are the person keeping the party going. If you show everyone that you’re having a good time, everyone will follow your lead.
When you follow these simple tips, your evening can be as easy as (wedding) cake. Just be sure to bring business cards for all of the couples who will want to hire you for their future weddings.