Make Your Reception Sing with the Perfect Wedding Tunes
A wedding DJ/MC does a great deal more than play the music at your wedding. He or she is responsible for several important aspects of your ceremony and reception. They cue your ceremony music, announce your grand entrance (whoop whoop!), manage your timeline, and provide the sound equipment for your ceremony and rehearsal.
This guide to wedding entertainment will help you finalize what you want, how to choose a band or DJ, and how to get what you want.
String Quartet, Band, or DJ?
These aren’t your only options but, as you start to plan your wedding style, you’ll be able to see which type of music will be the best fit. And, you don’t have to pick just one – something classic during cocktails and then something rocking after dinner is a fine choice too.
Your guest list and the energy of your friends is something you’ll want to take into account – if you’re planning a smaller wedding with lots of little ones then a few hours of crowd-pleasing songs for young and old might be all you need. Alternatively, add a note on your invitations asking for a favorite song. When you get back the RSVPs, you might be swayed to choose a classic wedding band or know a DJ can cover more musical bases.
7 Critical Questions to Ask Your Wedding DJ or Band
Will you be the DJ at our wedding?
You need to know if the person you’re communicating with is actually going to be the person entertaining your guests.
How would you define your “style” when making announcements?
We bet you remember those events or parties where the DJ played everything you wanted to hear and everyone danced until they couldn’t boogie anymore! With the right wedding band or DJ, you too can have a night like this. So when you ask the question about their announcement style, you’ll want to look for key components such as smiling and happy, energetic, open to your style of music, and overall positive personality.
Do you have a “light show”?
Some bands or DJs bring things to help create a party atmosphere like disco balls, strobe lights, etc. They may also have rentable signage, so this is an important question to ask if you’re looking to create a more personalized set or additional upgrade to your wedding décor.
Are you familiar with the reception space and its acoustic, power and amplification requirements? If not, will you check it out beforehand?
If you’re not working with a Wedgewood Weddings preferred vendor for your venue, it’s important for your DJ or band to confirm the acoustics of your reception area so the sound is crystal clear!
What do you typically wear?
Most DJ professionals know what’s expected as you probably don’t want your MC in a t-shirt and jeans. Clean attire, nice shoes, a collared shirt and dress pants, or even all black shirt and dress pants is standard. A string quartet will probably dress more formally and you might feel comfortable telling a band that anything goes!
Are you open to playing songs that are special to us? For example, traditional religious music or music that isn’t mainstream?
This is one of those things you can’t always assume. Confirm they have everything you want to hear. Create a list of all the songs you MUST hear so they can prepare. Then, after you book, you can determine when you’d like these specific songs played, and how the wedding DJ or band can accommodate.
Is there a standard set duration?
Finding out how many hours they’ll be performing their services makes sense to get everyone on the same page. You might also want to know if they can extend their set, if they’ll require breaks and if they can guarantee to stop before a noise ordinance kicks in. This is good to call out before signing contracts. They’ll want to know how long your wedding will be and confirm your music needs for the reception. Later, once the time of service is confirmed, you’ll know how long you can boogie with Aunt Jane and Uncle Joe!
What to Expect From Your Wedding Entertainment
Firstly, no one is a mind reader. Set them up for success and provide:
- A Day-Of timeline so they can be ready when you are
- A list of must-have songs
- And a list of any songs that are particularly special to you so you can make sure you’re in the room when they’re played
- An announcement cheat sheet, so they don’t accidentally mistake Bill for Bob
- A heads-up on whether you want them to take requests from enthusiastic guests
Great wedding entertainers know exactly how to energize a room (or calm it down if needed). And although you’ll probably provide a song list, give them space to choose the timing of each piece so that it keeps the crowd entertained. Some songs which are incredibly emotional for you two might not have the same impact for your guests. Or, if they feel energy waning they might know the perfect tune to cue up next.
“Your DJ can really make or break your wedding reception atmosphere. We see a lot of DJs come and go, and it's always your best bet to go with someone tried and true.” Tori, ValSerVenience Director, Wedgewood Weddings Eagle Ridge
“Vibe with your band or DJ! Some will provide you with videos of their work - watch them! If the crowd is having a blast you can bet your guests will too!” Elle, ValSerVenience Director, Wedgewood Weddings Las Vegas
“Guests really love two things about a wedding; the wedding ceremony and the entertainment! Talking to couples after their wedding, they’re always happy if they decided to go big with the entertainment.” Tami, ValSerVenience Director, Wedgewood Weddings Fresno