Finding The Right DJ Entertainment For Your Wedding Reception – Three Easy Steps

What makes for a great wedding? I have always told clients that there are three things that people remember about a wedding when attending.

1. The food – Not what they ate, but whether it was good or bad

2. Your dress – That vision of you in your dress will be in their mind

3. The entertainment – Whether they had a good time and stayed until the end or left soon after dinner

The reception hall could be decorated like it came out of a wedding magazine, the flowers and your dress could be breathtaking. You could have hired the best wedding photographer and your menu could be a “foodie’s” dream come true, but if your wedding entertainment is lacking – your guests will not be engaged in the fun and your party could be a flop.

So many times each year we work with some of the area’s best wedding planners (doing custom wedding lighting design) and the client chooses to skimp on their DJ. Maybe it’s a friend of the family that gave you a great deal or the DJ from your local bar. Every time these couples don’t realize what they did until it is too late and their wedding is less than they expected.

Here are some simple things to pay attention to when looking for your wedding entertainment.

1. The Master of Ceremony: You should be able to see a video or hear audio recording of your potential DJ doing a wedding introduction to see if this is the voice you want announcing all your special moments. Mispronunciations, stumbling on their words or a cheesy DJ/Radio announcer voice – this is a quick way to rule out the “weekend warrior” DJ or “club DJ” who don’t have enough wedding experience. Playing music is only a small part of what your Master of Ceremony will do for you on your wedding day. They keep the pace of the party going. They coordinate all the behind the scenes things like making sure your parents are in the room and your photographer is ready. They even cover when the meal takes too long by getting guests dancing. A great MC is worth their weight in gold when it comes to the overall success of your reception.

2. The Gear: Is your cocktail hour outside? Do you have a fire pit and plan on using it later in the night? Then you probably want a DJ with wireless speaker capabilities (main system transmits audio to a remote speaker placed outside or in separate room for facilities with multiple rooms). Having more than 100 guests? Your DJ should bring the right sized sound system for your venue and guest count. That means bringing more than just a pair of speakers on stands. (Subwoofer or multiple pairs of speakers). Ceremony on-site? Your potential DJ should have a completely separate system for this purpose so they are not moving gear through your guests during social hour – trying to reset gear as part of their main system.

3. Reputation: Is their website up-to-date? Do they have blog posts or social media post with recent weddings? Do they respond to your phone calls and emails in a timely manner? (within the day) Do they have recent independent third party verified reviews? (The Knot, Wedding Wire)

DJ Prices can range from a couple hundred dollars to over $2,000 for 5 hours of service. I am sure DJ’s know what they are worth and price themselves accordingly. So, don’t expect a $500 Craigslist DJ will give you the same results as a $2,000 full-time wedding DJ. You will know the difference. Your guests will hear the difference. Choose your wedding entertainment wisely. A great DJ will keep your guests engaged and on the dance floor. A bad DJ can scare your guests away in as little as 30 minutes after dinner ends. Who wants that at their wedding?

Golf Theme Wedding Entertainment and Food Ideas

While decorating a golf theme wedding can be relatively easy, it is much more difficult to think up ideas for the food and entertainment. Depending on how far you want to carry the golf theme, you will have to be creative so that you can keep both the golf lovers and the neophytes happy. The key is to create a mix of tradition and fun. You may be extremely serious about your sport, but others will feel a little lost if you don’t create some diversion for them as well.

When it comes to food, it is easiest to go back to the traditions of country club golf. Set up a “19th hole” with classic drinks like martinis. You may have to explain the meaning to the non-golfers, but that can be a great time for the older generation to tell their long golf stories. Serve the hearty fare that golf aficionados deserve, such as steak and potatoes. To give it a more upscale twist, create a popular baked potato bar with a variety of fillings along with carved prime rib.

Bringing golf into the entertainment can be a bit of a challenge for guests who are not as excited about ‘the greatest game’ as you are. Aside from having a DJ or band, you can have a miniature golf tournament or rent a putting game for the reception. You do not have to be a golf pro to enjoy a little miniature golf! The golf innocents will still have fun watching others play at some skill games, and the fact that you have put so much of your own personality into the reception will certainly be appreciated.

For friends and family who are avid golfers, you can hold a pre-wedding scramble or short tournament the afternoon before the rehearsal dinner. Invite the wedding party, of course, as well as people who have travelled a long way to see you. Holding the wedding at a resort-style venue where the hotel is close-by or attached will make this easier. In addition, your guests will be able to party and play all weekend. If you are not leaving for your honeymoon right away, you could even have another round the day after your wedding under your new names. How about getting a couple golf shirts embroidered for you with your new initials?

Carrying your golf theme throughout the wedding does not have to mean leaving out those who are clueless about your sport. Have fun with it and serve up the best golf fare and entertainment. Who knows? You may even convert a few friends and family and get them out on the course by the end of the party.

Best Wedding Entertainment Options For Big Weddings

The best wedding entertainment options may not include big bands that play traditional music, but we’ll let you decide that after you see some of our great selections. Making the decision to hire a band shouldn’t end in over the top stress attacks, but if you’re not sure what to do, you may be struggling. That’s why we offer great entertainment solutions for weddings of all sizes.

The bigger the wedding, the bigger the band?

Perhaps not… Let’s consider what your wedding reception style is, before we pick the best wedding entertainment for you.

Formal – Ball room style dancing, formal or black tie attire, evening wedding.

Semi-Formal – Indoor usually, semi-formal attire, may be afternoon or evening reception.

Casual – Indoor/outdoor, semi-formal to casual attire, afternoon reception.

As they imply a variety of dress codes, these wedding styles also imply a variety of band options.

Best options for a Formal Wedding Reception – include a Big Band Era, Swing Band, String Quartet, Classic Ensembles, Latin or Salsa, or Orchestra – specialties might include a theme or musical era with selected music options. One of my favorite options is to hire a Big Band for the music and add lookalikes for some variety in music selections and entertainment options. Not everyone will be dancing, so having a variety of entertainment can make the formal reception more fun for everyone.

Best options for a Semi-Formal Wedding Reception – include Latin or Salsa, String Quartets, Jazz Bands, Swing Bands, or Show Bands featuring themes, more modern music, and specialty tribute artists, or specialty acts.

Best Wedding Entertainment for Casual Receptions – include specialty acts, String Quartets, Specialty Tribute Artists or bands featuring indoor/outdoor option themes, more sing-a-long music, softer music for strolling or dancing on smaller dance floors might be included.

The bigger the wedding, the bigger the band? Feature bands with artists who sing well known covers, a cover band, or a 10 piece ensemble that offers more options might be a better band selection for the big wedding. Or a few string quartets entertaining in different areas of the reception? Hiring an event planner, or music agent to help you plan your wedding reception offers better choices.

One of the more successful wedding receptions I remember was a house party reception where the bride had hired four different bands to play in different areas of the house, gardens, and barn – turned ballroom. The early part of the reception was decidedly casual to semi-formal, but later in the evening when the lights came up in the ball room, the four bands came together as one ensemble and ball room dancing went long into the night.

How exciting your wedding and reception can be, when you hire the right bands for the right job!