Before deciding on a DJ or musical entertainment for your wedding, please take note of some of the truths about some of the most common stereotypes about these service providers.
BANDS / LIVE ENTERTAINMENT TAKE A LOT OF BREAKS
One common concern about hiring a band is that each 40-45 minute set they play will be followed by a 15-20 minute break filled with music from a compilation CD that will bore guests and cause them to vacate the dance floor. But you can manage your band’s / entertainment’s need for downtime so that it doesn’t disrupt the party too much. Ask the band members to stagger their breaks so there’s live music throughout the night (it may cost an extra fee); guests will stay entertained and the dance floor will stay full.
A DJ WILL PLAY CHEESY TUNES
A good DJ usually knows how to read the crowd and keep them satisfied, but ultimately they want to play what you want to hear, but you have to communicate your tastes clearly. Don’t rely on words alone, since terms like ‘dance music’, ‘rock’, and ‘slow songs’ are vague and can easily be misinterpreted. To make sure you are on the same music style page, give them a playlist and a do-not-play list. Most DJ’s want brides and grooms to customize the playlist. People today have grown up with choice and personalization, and professional music suppliers will understand that.
YOU CAN CONTROL EVERYTHING
You can give your DJ a mile-long playlist, but you shouldn’t try to micromanage the music. To some extent, your lists should be guidelines for the mix master, not hard-and-fast rules. Your DJ should know the genre you’re interested in, but let him choose the best way to mix the music – after all, it’s his / her job to keep people on the dance floor. Give your band some flexibility to react to the crowd and adjust the tempo accordingly. When you hire somebody to bake a cake, you can tell them what flavors to use, but you don’t try to tell them how much flour or what kind of sugar to put in. It’s the same with DJ’s / musicians – you need to trust that they know what to do.
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT CAN’T OFFER ENOUGH VARIETY
You’d be surprised by the musical depth a quality wedding band can offer. One indication that a band has versatility is if they have more than one singer – if they have both male and female vocalists, for example, chances are they’re open to a wider range of songs. Though a band may specialize in a style (like big band or soul), they’re professional musicians and should be able to stray at least a little from their niche. And if a few of the songs you have your heart set on aren’t in the band’s repertoire, simply ask them to learn the songs before your wedding.
A DJ WILL SAVE YOU MONEY
Although a DJ almost always costs less than a band, that doesn’t mean you should cheap out on this vendor. If you’re willing to pay for a top-notch DJ, you can get way more than somebody to play songs. A great DJ will talk to your photographer and tell him which songs are coming next. Photographers capture the Kodak moments; it is the DJ’s job to create the opportunity for them to occur.
YOU HAVE TO HIRE A DJ OR BAND – YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH
If you can afford it, you can have the best of both forms of entertainment. Either hire a DJ to spin while the band is on break (and to be your emcee), or divide the evening into two portions. Another option is to hire a band for your reception and a DJ to spin at the after-party. Or, if you can’t spring for a whole band, see about combining just a few live musicians with a DJ. Some companies create packages where, for example, the musicians will play for the ceremony and during cocktail hour, then complement the DJ during the dancing.
SLOW SONGS FIRST, FOLLOWED BY FASTER TUNES AFTER THE CAKE-CUTTING
Some couples request that their entertainers play 50’s rock or big band-style songs early on to please their older guests, and then switch over to more lively beats so the younger crowd can dominate the floor until last call. But it can be more fun for you and your guests if you have your band or DJ mix it up throughout the night. Alternating between speeds, styles, and eras of music will keep wedding guests of all ages more engaged and encourage them to broaden the range of music they’ll boogie to, with truly memorable results.