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What Does A Wedding DJ Do?

"This is not a side hustle or a way to make a few dollars on the weekend. All I do is DJ. It's my career and something I am insanely passionate about."

Matt C | Owner | Someone Said Yes | Grass Valley, CA

Wedding Reception in Grass Valley, California

What's Our Goal?

This is simple. Best Wedding Ever. That’s my focus and goal for every event I’m hired for. 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, 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 on 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 know my style, fee, 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 what you've loved (and maybe not loved) at other weddings you've attended. We will talk about music & atmosphere from when your guests arrive through cocktail & dinner music and dance party music to the 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, and I'll invite your partner and you to the dance floor to dance your first dance as a married couple. I'm not a comedian, and honestly, I 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 hope we’ve “vibed” well together and you feel good about hiring me to be your DJ. I’ve got a bunch of notes from our meeting and a good idea of the style of wedding you want. What’s next? I will 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’ll officially be 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 essential details about your seating chart that needs to be addressed ASAP... 

What’s my next project? I need to figure out the exact details of your wedding. I’m going to send over a questionnaire for your partner and you. This becomes an indispensable document. Everything is cloud-based, so there is no need to print 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 I can politely tell them no when your partner’s college friend requests “Walk It, Talk It” by Migos. 

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. I'll add the initial playlists I've built for your pre-ceremony, cocktail & dinner times and all your special moment's music and dance jams. Now you can take another deep breath and chill. Your wedding now has a master plan with music! Check out a sample timeline here - AWESOME

Ten Days Before Your Wedding

I'll need to ensure everything on my timeline is still 100% accurate. Let's ensure the plan is perfect, from your wedding party's processional song to who's making toasts to your last dance. 

Your Wedding Day!

Yes! This is what it all comes down to. I’ll be 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 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 starting to arrive. Right now, I’ll get a tiny lapel mic on your officiant and maybe you or your partner (depending 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 situation, I'll confirm the details with your planner and possibly chat with everyone in your wedding party and confirm what will 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 for additional readings, a blessing, candle lighting, or possibly a tea ceremony during your 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 you 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 excellent. 

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 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 the 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.  

 

What if you want to do something a little more interactive and fun as your guests are invited to the buffet? I can invite them to the buffet, play a popular dance song, and encourage them to dance their way to their dinner. This can be fun if you have the right crowd! 

Preparing For Toasts

I already have your list of guests doing a toast. I'll touch base during dinner to confirm that everyone is ready. I'll also have a mic on a stand beside your head table. Guests can leave it on the stand or use it as a handheld. Once it's time to start the toasts, I'll ensure 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? Here's what I think about open mics LINK

Let's Cut Your Cake

After your last toast, this is an excellent 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, leaning on a non "traditional" wedding vibe. 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 complement the moment. Let's talk. 

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 a fantastic moment! We can run the entire song length 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. There are many options here, so if your parents can't attend, or maybe you have more than one set of parents, we can devise 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 think, "Too many slow jams; let's start the dance party!" I hear you. But let's take an opportunity to have your family and friends who 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 and nephews like. Keep in mind that I’m a real DJ. I understand how to read the floor and figure out what will work and what won’t. 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. This can be fun and doesn't have to follow 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. I have you covered if you want that atmosphere on the dance floor.

Your Last Dance & Exit

It’s probably around 10:00 p.m., and I’ve seen some solid dance moves. The energy is high, 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 little 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 genuine 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. Check out this blog post I wrote about private last dances LINK.

Now What?

Hotel, motel, or Holiday Inn? Time for the after-party.

That’s How It’s Done

Wow. You made it to the end. 

Still feel like more research? I get it. Wedding DJ Blog

How about checking out some really sweet custom Photo Booth Overlays I've created for previous clients? Click HERE

Want to watch a promo wedding video my wife thinks is really funny? Fresh Beets Promo

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