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 (woohoo!), manage your timeline, and provide the sound equipment for your ceremony and rehearsal.
This insiders guide to wedding entertainment will help you finalize what you want, how to choose a band or DJ, and - most importantly - how to get what you want.
String Quartet, Band, or DJ?
These aren’t your only options but, as you start to define your wedding style, you can choose 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 modern 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 pick a DJ who can cover more musical bases.
7 Critical Questions to Ask Your Wedding DJ or Band
1. Are You Part of the Band? / Will You Be The DJ At Our Wedding?
You need to know if the person you’re communicating with is going to be entertaining your guests.
2. How Do You Define Your ‘Style’ When Making Announcements?
The best announcements are correct and entertaining yet smooth and seamless. This is about you, not your MC.
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 critical components such as smiling and happy, energetic, open to your style of music, and overall positive personality.
3. Do You Include Visual Effects?
Some bands or DJs bring equipment to help create a party atmosphere like disco balls, strobe lights, etc. This is an important question to ask if you’re looking to create a more personalized set or additional upgrade to your wedding décor.
4. Are You Familiar with the Reception Space And Its Acoustics, Power & 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 vital that your DJ or band to check the acoustics of your reception area, so the sound is crystal clear for every guest!
5. What Do You Typically Wear?
Most DJ professionals go for clean attire, proper shoes, a collared shirt, and dress pants. All-black shirt and dress pants are standard. A string quartet usually dresses more formally, and you might feel comfortable telling a band that anything goes!
6. Are You Open to Playing Songs That Are Special To Us?
For Example, Traditional Religious Music, Explicit Lyrics, or Music That Isn’t Mainstream?
This is one of those things you can’t 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.
TIP: If you have a must-hear song, ask them to play it twice. Your guests probably won’t notice, but it means you have two chances to hear …even if you’re in the middle of photos the first time it’s played.
7. Is There A Standard Set Duration?
Finding out how many hours they’ll be performing their services gets everyone on the same page. Also find out 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 your event schedule and confirm your music needs for the reception and ceremony. 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 your wedding entertainers up for success and provide:
- A day-of event timeline so they can be ready when you are
- A list of must-have songs
- Plus a list of any songs that are particularly special to you so you can make sure you’re in the room while they’re playing
- 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. Moreover, although you’ll probably provide a song list, give your wedding entertainer space to choose the timing of each piece so that it keeps the crowd buoyant. Some songs which are incredibly emotional for you two might not have the same impact for your guests. Alternatively, if they feel energy waning, they’ll know the perfect tune to cue up next.
Thoughts From Our Experts
“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, Director, Eagle Ridge by Wedgewood Weddings
“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, Director, Stallion Mountain by Wedgewood Weddings
“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, Director, Fresno Fields by Wedgewood Weddings