What To Expect From Me,
Your Wedding DJ
Why am I writing this? I’m guessing you’ve been researching a DJ for your wedding and you’ve seen a lot of different info. From a DJ’s style, cost, equipment, social media presence, etc., we’re all a little different. (Some of us are extremely different) I want to focus on what I do, and how I can help create the best wedding ever.
Let’s First Start After Your Last Dance. What’s The End Game?
This is simple. Best Wedding Ever. That’s my focus and my goal for every event I’m hired for. Not only do I want my client to tell me, “Thank you, tonight was perfect”, but I also want their guests to tell them it was the best wedding ever.
Best Wedding Ever? How It Begins.
From your initial contact with me, I want to create a simple, efficient, stress-free opportunity to learn about my business. This includes the confidence to share my pricing and services with you. I know a few DJs that won’t tell you their fee unless you meet with them at their office or a Zoom call. Others post a low price, knowing there is no way you can have a great wedding with their “bronze” package.
So, you’ve visited my site and should have an idea of my style, my fee, my history, and hopefully what I can do for you. Now the comparing begins.
You Have a List of Great DJs. Now What?
So, you’ve narrowed down your list to a few DJs. Their websites look good or possibly they come with a positive referral. I’m stoked to be in the running! Your wedding is a big deal. I am committed to helping create the best wedding ever.
So, now what? Let's get some coffee, maybe a drink downtown, and share some wedding ideas. I’ll probably bring my wife too. She’s a full-time graphic designer and can offer some creative ideas. (She’s also a top-secret party DJ)
I want to hear about your wedding plans and a little about what you’ve loved, (and maybe not loved) at other weddings you’ve attended. We’re going to talk about music & atmosphere from when your guests arrive, all the way through cocktail & dinner music, dance party music to last dance.
You’ll learn a little about my MC style, which is super minimal. I’ll direct your guests as to what happens next, plus I’ll be the one inviting your partner and you to the dance floor to dance your first dance as a married couple. I’m not a comedian and honestly believe no one wants to hear a DJ talk at your wedding.
After We’ve Met, What’s Next?
It’s kind of a reality TV show for wedding DJs. I’m hoping we’ve “vibed” well together and you’re feeling good about hiring me to be your DJ. I’ve got a bunch of notes from our meeting and a good idea on the style of wedding you want. What’s next? I’m going to send you a proposal for your partner and you to review. If it looks good, you can sign it online, (no need for printing or faxing), then pay your deposit with any popular payment option. Once that happens, I’m officially your DJ. YES! (But now I’ve got a ton of work to do)
So, Now I’m Your DJ!
I’m officially your DJ. Awesome. You can relax for a moment. I’m sure aunt Karen has some important details about your seating chart that needs to be addressed ASAP...
What’s my next project? I need to figure out the exact details for your wedding. I’m going to send over a questionnaire for your partner and you. This becomes a really important document. Everything is cloud-based, so no need to print it or fax it. (It’s not 1985, right?) I’m guessing you’ll have a few questions too, such as, “Should we do an unplugged ceremony”, or “what’s a great song for our formal introduction”. Don’t sweat it. We’re going to review everything together. I’ll share my experience, and make changes and updates as needed. This will also cover your music. Not a fan of newer dirty south rap? I’ll need to know so when your partner’s college friend requests, “Walk It, Talk It”, by Migos, I can politely tell him no.
Four Weeks Before Your Wedding
It’s timeline time! If you’ve hired a great wedding coordinator/planner, awesome! I’ll reach out to them for their master timeline. Since they’re not a DJ, I’ll create one based on their master with music and announcements. Maybe you didn’t hire a coordinator? I’ll create a DJ-specific wedding timeline for you. Don’t worry, Aunt Sally can still attempt to help plan your wedding, but I have a ton more experience. Let me handle the details. I’ll send over a plan for your day, starting from the moment I arrive at your last dance, with all the important details I’m responsible for. I’ll have the initial playlists built for your pre-ceremony, cocktail & dinner times, + all your special moment's music and your dance jams. Now you can take another deep breath and chill. Your wedding now has a master plan! Check out a sample timeline here - AWESOME
Ten Days Before Your Wedding
I’ll need to make sure everything on my timeline is still 100% accurate. From your wedding party's processional song, to who’s doing toasts, to your last dance; let's make sure the plan is perfect.
Your Wedding Day!
Yes! This is what it all comes down to. I’m at your wedding site 2 hours before the music begins. Depending on your venue, I might set up three separate sound systems to cover your ceremony, cocktail, dinner, and dancing areas. All the gear is set up before your guests arrive and will look clean and sophisticated. Your more “techy” guests will recognize my investment in professional audio equipment. (I’ll bring about $35,000 of equipment to your wedding) The other guests will simply enjoy the music being at the proper volume.
Thirty Minutes Before Your Ceremony
This is when I begin the music. We’ve already shared some ideas about this playlist. The audio level is perfect and your guests are beginning to arrive. Right around now is when I’ll get a tiny lapel mic on your officiant and maybe you or your partner, (depends on preference). I can also have a wireless handheld mic set up too. About 5 minutes before the start of your ceremony, I’ll invite all your guests to take their seats. If appropriate, I’ll make an announcement asking your guests to respect your wishes for an unplugged ceremony. Also, I’ll let your guests know what happens after the ceremony, (photos or an invitation to the cocktail hour). Doing this announcement now allows for an uninterrupted segue from ceremony to cocktail hour. This is all professionally orchestrated and very specific to our plan.
Your Ceremony Begins!
Time to get married. Depending on the details, I’ll have touched base with everyone in your wedding party and confirmed what’s going to happen. I'll begin playing the processional song and your planner or I will cue your wedding party to make their entrance. Next, depending on the plan, I’ll smoothly fade out the current song and bring in your entrance song. Once you’re in place, your officiant’s microphone is live and they begin. It’s about to get real! There’s always the opportunity during your ceremony for additional readings, a blessing, candle lighting, or possibly a tea ceremony. (I was hired for a traditional Japanese wedding in the summer of 2016. I loved the experience) Once your officiant presents you as a married couple, I turn up the volume and play your recessional song. Time for the celebration to begin!
You’re Married! Time To Celebrate!
You’ve done it! You’re married and it’s time to enjoy your new life together. Probably a few photos with family before your join everyone for your cocktail hour. What’s the music? It’s a playlist I curated specifically for you, full of jams based on what you told me you love. Your guests are feeling good and the music is great.
Dinner Time – How Does This Happen?
I’ll invite your guests to take their seats for dinner. Nothing unusual here, it just takes a few minutes for everyone to find their seats. Seating chart or not, let's plan on a few minutes. Once everyone is seated, I’m always down to introduce your wedding party and the two of you. High-energy music works best for this. Also, once you’re introduced, this is a great time to welcome your guests and possibly give a shout-out to a few family members and friends. Before dinner is served, a guest can always take the opportunity to bless your meal.
Dinner Music? Another collection of songs you love.
If it’s a buffet-style dinner, I’ll release tables for you. I do this in person vs. over my sound system. It’s more personal and doesn’t interrupt the atmosphere.
Preparing For Toasts
I already have your list of guests doing a toast. I’ll touch base during dinner to confirm everyone is ready. I’ll have a mic set up on a stand next to your head table too. Guests have the option of leaving it on the stand or using it as a handheld. Once it’s time to start the toasts, I’ll make sure your photographers are ready, and then I’ll ask for everyone’s attention as I introduce your first speaker. Wondering who should go first? Let's have your Maid of Honor take the honors. Should we do an open mic? Let's talk about it.
Let's Cut Your Cake
After your last toast, this is a great time for your partner and you to cut your wedding cake, (or something that represents a wedding cake. Cupcake, pie, or? No rules anymore) I’ve seen a few couples shy away from this moment, kind of leaning on a non “traditional” wedding vibe. Let's talk. I think this is a great opportunity to open the dessert bar, plus it’s a great picture. I’ll also have a few songs prepared to compliment the moment.
Time To Start Dancing
After cake and dessert, it’s time to dance! I can ask your guests to make a circle around the dance floor before you dance your first dance as a married couple. This is such an amazing moment! We can run the full length of the song or consider a smooth fade about 1:30-2:00 minutes in. It all depends on what you’re feeling.
Next is your chance to share a dance with your parents. Lots of options here so if your parents aren’t able to attend, or maybe you have more than one set of parents, we can come up with a plan.
Once the formal dances are complete, I like to set up a slow jam and have everyone join the two of you on the dance floor. You might be thinking, “too many slow jams, let's get the dance party started!” I hear you. But let's take an opportunity to have your family and friends that might not dance, (we all have a few, right) share a slow dance with everyone.
Dance Party – Time To Get Down!
This is why I do what I do. I love it. I’ll kick this off with some universally loved up-tempo dance songs that all ages are into. Probably some classics that your grandparents are down with, + some jams that even your nieces are nephews really like. Keep in mind I’m a real DJ. I understand how to read the floor and figure out what’s going to work and what won’t work. I’ll run through your must-play playlist and never play songs from your do not play playlist.
Dance Floor Activities?
Selecting an anniversary dance is a great way to show honor to your longest-married guests. Not familiar with this? Let's talk about it and share a few ideas.
What about the garter and bouquet throw? So many opinions when this comes up. I’ve got a few non-traditional twists to share with you. Overall, this can be a lot of fun and doesn’t have to follow the old school traditions. What else? I’ve seen a lot of break dancing and it’s not uncommon to see some dance battles form on my dance floors. My background is that of a party DJ. If you want that atmosphere on the dance floor, I have you covered.
Your Last Dance & Exit
It’s probably around 10:00 pm and I’ve seen some solid dance moves. The energy is high and but some of your older guests have departed. I think it’s best to put closure on an amazing day a tiny bit early vs. a tiny bit late. I’ll call all your guests back to the dance floor for your last dance. We can go with a mellow love song or something more in the high-energy category. This is your last dance; let’s make it a memorable one.
Your Exit: Sometimes the last dance is the final moment at a wedding. At others, I help set up a grand exit. This can incorporate traditional sparklers, (fire safety is a real concern in Nevada County), or we can go with some glow sticks, maybe some bubbles, flower petals or? This is a great photo opportunity, so make sure your pro photographer is still with us.
Hotel, motel, or Holiday Inn? Time for the after-party.
That’s How It’s Done
Wow. You made it to the end. Thank you for reading.