A professional wedding DJ will do a lot more for your wedding celebration than simply play dance music. Here’s what you can reasonably expect from an experienced pro.
Cocktail hour. While you and your bridal party and family step away for some group photos, your guests will enjoy cocktails and appetizers, and get acquainted with one another. Your DJ will provide your choice of cocktail music — whether it’s classical, background piano, light jazz, Rat Pack vocals, or something truly unique to the two of you. This is your opportunity to put some of your own personality into the evening’s music, by having your DJ play songs that may not be especially danceable, but still have a lot of meaning for the two of you.
Wedding party introduction. Your DJ will play one or more songs for your grand entrance. Keep the music upbeat and energetic, because this is a truly festive moment. Some couples are content to have a single song for the entire wedding party. Others choose a separate song for the newlyweds. Still, others ask that each couple be introduced to its own song. A professional DJ can help choreograph a great introduction while ensuring that everyone’s name is pronounced correctly.
Toasts and speeches. Your DJ will provide a wireless microphone for the Best Man, Maid of Honor, Father of the Bride, minister, or anyone else who plans special remarks. He’ll also introduce each person’s speech.
Cake cutting. Whether you’re cutting your cake before dinner, after the salad, or after dinner, your DJ will make the announcement, so guests may take their own pictures of you.
Dinner hour. Your DJ will play nice background music that won’t interfere with your guests’ table conversations. That means no horns and no screaming guitars. Instrumental music is best for the dinner hour, whether it’s smooth jazz, piano, classical or easy listening.
Special dances. Your DJ will introduce your First Dance, wedding party dance, bride-father, and groom-mother dances, each with the accompanying song you choose. Some companies, like Fourth Estate Audio, like to have the First Dance and wedding party dance, then open the floor to the guests and leave the bride-father and groom-mother dances for a little later. That way, people who have just eaten a full meal won’t have time to get drowsy and think of leaving early.
Dancing. You’ll provide a list of your favorite dance songs to your DJ, and he’ll mix them in a way that flows well and gets people of all ages onto the dance floor. Typically, the older music gets played first, while the parents and grandparents still feel like dancing. Then the music gets newer and more upbeat as the younger dancers take over. Consider all of your guests when choosing your requests. You’re not just picking music for 3 or 4 of your best friends. Everyone should feel welcome and involved for your party to be successful.
Bouquet/Garter. Your DJ will oversee the bouquet and garter tosses, each with its own song of your choosing. Again, make the music upbeat, because everyone will have had a few drinks by then, and you want songs that will add to the excitement of the moment.
Final song. Many couples want to pick the last song of the evening in advance, and your DJ will time the last few minutes of the party to hit that special song at just the right time. There will, of course, be calls for “One more, one more!” But if you’ve chosen the last song, it will indeed be the last song.
And that’s it. A professional DJ will also offer online planning worksheets that let you fill in your preferred cocktail and dinner music, plus your special songs — plus interactive access to his entire song list, so you can choose your favorite dance music. With the help of a true DJ professional, your entertainment will likely be the least stress-inducing part of planning your big celebration.