Wedding Tips for working with your DJ

So you are planning an Wedding or Event in most cases this may be your first time working with a DJ, MC, Event Planner, etc… Here are some helpful tips and things to consider.

How many songs do I give my DJ? 

Very good question and as a paying customer that depends on you from a customer service point of view. Some wedding couples or event planners elect to pick out all the music. Some leave it all up to there DJ entirely. As a wedding DJ or event DJ I prefer somewhere in the middle. If my client picks all the music then I’m pretty much just playing from your list and just organizing your music. I have no ability to read the crowd because you picked all the music and by contract I should play all your music if you made them “Must Play”. This also makes the DJ not responsible at all if your guests dancing or not.

As a DJ I prefer to get about 10-20 songs from my clients. We want the wedding or special event to reflect our client’s vision plus typically they know there guests better than we do. You should have a discussion on music because what comes out of that is music that may go on the “Do Not Play List” or if you like this song you may like this other song so it gives your DJ a idea on building sets and an idea of what you want and don’t want.

Music is important to couples
Timeline Wedding DJ

Does the timeline impact the DJ’s performance?

Yes, It does! Your DJ and MC should be included in the planning process and in most cases should have a great influence on your final timeline for the reception if you are planning your wedding and here is why. We already pointed out the importance of great MC skills. You MC has to make transitions and keep people’s attention. May I emphasize “Attention”. Now a days that’s harder than every with smart phones and everything that is going on. Keeping people’s attention on the wedding and event is an art in some cases. If you are having an wedding or an event where you have to move people from place to another that even makes it more difficult to keep people engaged.

So making sure your DJ/MC is engaged during the timeline review is important. When it comes to music your DJ is usually planning several songs out and planning his or her strategy to making the music you selected flow. Playing songs in an order where they peak your dance floor to bringing your dance floor down when it’s time for a transition.  If you have elected to have an interactive DJ/MC then they are planning interactive dances etc… Bottom line if you selected a great DJ/MC they are Entertainer. They have worked on their craft to be a performance non the less. Why wouldn’t you make them their influence on the timeline count?

What does a Master of Ceremonies (MC) do for you! 

An MC is the person that makes the announcements, introductions, or is the official host of the Wedding or Event. This persons job is to communicate information and lead the night on. Some event planners and couples over look this part. If you put things in perspective if you asked who wants to stand up in front of everyone and speak how many people would raise their hand? Next who wants to stand up there and wing it with no script? Who is looking over things to keep things moving?

Making sure you have a great MC to communicate and take command of your event can be critical to the success. Please remember being a DJ is one set of skills and being a MC is another set of skills. Put those together and you have yourself an DJ/MC or entertainer. This is where price for services start taking shape based on talent.

Y-it Entertainment DJ Wyatt Hill
Reception Tables Wedding DJ

Don’t ask the DJ to call tables for the Buffet.

What the heck is this? If you are having a elegant and nice wedding and event you are going to have a DJ/MC call tables like it’s a cattle call? Really? What does a DJ/MC know about serving food? If your caterer or event planner is pushing for this I would second guess even hiring them. Now if you are doing Buffet your DJ/MC should announce that they your guests shouldn’t just get up and that someone will be around to excuse the tables. Let’s keep your wedding or event pro and elegant.

Should I ask the DJ to make last call for the Bar?

This is where there is two schools of thought. As a Wedding or Event DJ I prefer not to make the announcement. When you make that announcement people leave the dance floor and rush the bar. It always seems you also have to make this announcement at the peak of a full dance floor then boom this killed it. I would also say most parties with open bar your guests are typically already at the “Feeling Great” spot and trust me the last thing they need is another drink before they leave.

On the flip side most places charge you a flat fee per person for an open bar so as a client you may want your guests to take advantage of that open bar to maximize the expense. You may have provided all the drinks for the bar and the person you hired is leaving so you have to close the bar as you don’t want to pay more. I understand this completely just from the hundreds maybe thousands of parties at this point I don’t think it’s worth the announcement. Let the bar close organically. Trust me your guests don’t need another drink 45 mins before the end especially if they are driving.

Drink and Bar Wedding
Coordinator - Wedding and Event

Hiring a Wedding Coordinator or Event Planner to work with the DJ.

So we already discussed how important it is for the DJ/MC to be included in the Timeline, Planning, Floor plan so how does the Wedding Coordinator come in to play? Well, they make all the other points come together. They fill in the gaps of all the vendors you have for a seamless event, however you would be surprised that most planners and coordinators rarely reach out to the DJ/MC. So let me say this again the person making the announcements, communicating whats next, making the transitions rarely hears from the wedding planner or coordinator! That’s correct because just like with DJ’s there is tons of options at different price points and everyone thinks it’s easy to put together a timeline in excel or use Word with some fancy font and boom I’m a wedding planner and as soon as introductions are done they disappear. Happen’s all the time. So when selecting a coordinator and planner we recommend you find a wedding planner/coordinator that has lots of events under their belt with great reviews. Ask questions how they plan on working with your DJ/MC or Band. We have a few we recommend HERE. Bottomline if you are hiring a wedding planner or coordinator make sure they know how to work with a DJ/MC.

Does speaker placement matter?

Excuse me but, “Hell Yes”!  Let me park you in front of speaker for awhile and see how you feel. We always insist that the DJ be on the edge of the dance floor so you have speakers, dance floor, then tables. This helps with music not killing the first people sitting and with the speakers pointing the direction of everyone so people can hear. If you selected an interactive DJ why would you want them in the corner of the room? Makes no sense yet I can tell you venues, event planners and caterers time and time again present floor plans like that. Think about that last concert you were at. Where was the speakers placed? Towards the people. Away from the person speaking. On the sides of the sage. Always include your DJ/MC in the floor plan process.

Floor Plan is important to the DJ

Do Details Matter? 

They do! The more your DJ knows the better they can recommend and personalize your event. It could be song specific. The reason you chose a specific song. Possibly another thing at your event that is important to you that you want done. Most Pro DJ/MC’s have seen many things that have worked and many things that haven’t. I’m sure there is things they have yet to see as well, but we ultimately want your event to be the best we can make it as your DJ/MC.

By Wyatt Hill Y-it Entertainment

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