A wedding reception is an occasion to celebrate the union of two people, and nothing gets people up on their feet like a banging playlist full of crowd pleasers and timeless bangers. Whether you opt for a live band or a wedding DJ, the latter will play a significant role in ensuring your reception is a hit. There are several things that your wedding DJ wants you to know, from learning how to hire the perfect DJ to asking your guests for song requests.
We spoke to industry professional Simon Clarke from Hampshire Event DJs, who shared some expert insights and top tips on what wedding DJs wish couples knew ahead of their wedding reception. The first step in planning the musical entertainment for your wedding reception is choosing between a live band or a wedding DJ, or both. Once you’ve made this decision, you can start investigating individual bands and DJs to find the perfect fit for you. Simon advises that you should “Decide what kind of evening you want and then find a DJ with online reviews to compliment your expectations. Ignore sponsored posts online and look for DJs recommended by Google organically (this is usually based on the strength of their reviews).”
Being a professional DJ involves much more than simply making playlists. Your wedding DJ will be investing a significant amount of time and effort into your wedding reception, and as Simon says, “responsible for up to 40% of your day.” Therefore, it is essential to secure your DJ’s services early on in the wedding planning process. Simon advises that you should “secure yours once you’ve booked the venue, registrar, photographer, and dress. Most will only ask for a small deposit.”
Many wedding venues will offer nearlywed couples a list of preferred suppliers to help them make their choices by showing them local and reliable suppliers. While this is an incredibly useful service, couples should remember that they still have the option to look beyond these lists. Simon says “A venue often has many reasons why they recommend DJs. The quality of the experience you will receive isn’t always at the top of the list. Always ask why they recommend them and check those reasons against your priorities.”
Your wedding RSVP is a great opportunity to ask your guests any essential information that you’ll need to know when planning your wedding ceremony. It’s also the perfect place to include some space for any song requests, which you can then pass on to your DJ ahead of time. This will really help to get the party going at your reception, as well as protecting your DJ from any slightly tipsy over-enthusiastic aunties or uncles desperate to sing along to ‘Sweet Caroline’. Simon offers some further advice: “Use your language carefully when asking guests for requests. Asking them to suggest a song the DJ “might” play is better than promising the DJ “will” play it as it gives you the option to veto anything you don’t like or has obviously been suggested as an inappropriate joke at your expense. Make sure the DJ is fully aware of anything you have banned so it doesn’t accidentally make it into the party on the night.”
Finally, if there are any particular songs or artists essential to your wedding playlist, you must let your DJ know. Simon says “Most DJs have years of experience but don’t have a crystal ball. Ultimately if we don’t know what you do and don’t like then it sometimes makes it harder for us to give you a brilliant night. Get yourself in the right mood to think about the music you want. You will select different songs sober at 10am on a Monday than you will at 7pm of a Friday night halfway through a gin. It’s always good to give DJs the flexibility to have some input. If you don’t feel you can trust them to do their job then it’s easier all round if you book one you feel you can