Wedding Day Music: Choosing the Vendor Who Will Get Everyone Moving
When planning a wedding, one has to be honest with themselves about the aspects of that wedding everyone will remember—most of which are confined to the reception. Sure, everyone will be there to hear you say your vows, but in all honestly, what they’ll be talking about tomorrow is the party. The booze, the food, and the music most likely.
Each of these components plays an important role in the execution of the reception, all for very different reasons. But it’s the music that is perhaps the most important. After all, without music—no one is going to get up and moving. And what happens on the dance floor is often what remains most embedded in people’s memories.
It used to be that the big question for a wedding day reception was whether to book a band or a DJ. In recent years, however, bands have become less common. They are typically more expensive, with less options to choose from, and frequently—wedding bands book far in advance. So for the bride and groom who aren’t thinking six months to a year ahead of schedule, a band may not even be an option at all. Plus, with a wedding band, you’re fairly locked into their style of music and repertoire.
Of course, there is also the benefit of a live music performance to consider, and a live band can certainly get people moving. But realistically, we’re seeing less and less bands these days—which might be a checkmark in the band pro-column if you’re looking to do something unique!
Obviously, if you do go with a band, you should make sure you see them live before booking. But what about DJs? How do you go about hiring one who will suit your needs on the big day?
Recommendations can be a great way to start. If you recently went to your cousin Jan’s wedding and were impressed by her DJ, ask for his or her details. And hit up friends who have recently attended weddings or gotten married to find out if they have any recommendations to provide.
When you do come up with a list of potential DJ’s, ask questions about whether or not DJing is their full time career, and where else (in addition to weddings) they may have DJed in the past. If you can check them out at a local club, that can give you a good idea of their presence—while keeping in mind that they probably portray a different persona at weddings than they do at the club on a Friday night.
You can always ask for samples of the DJs mixed tracks or what type of equipment they typically use (and whether they have backup equipment available). But ultimately—you’ll be relying a lot on your own personal feel for the DJs you interview when it comes to making a decision. Which is also why having recommendations can come in handy—it’s often safer to make a selection like this when you know someone who can vouch for the person you’re considering. If you don’t have those recommendations from friends and family, at least ask the DJ if they can provide you with the contact information for a few former clients you might be able to speak to.
But once you make that decision, whether it be a band or a DJ, one of the most important pieces of advice I can provide is to step back and let that vendor do their job. You don’t want to be micromanaging the music on your big day. Sure, you can make a few requests for specific songs you want (or don’t want) at certain times and for important dances, but beyond that? Trust the DJ or band to do their job—that’s why you hired them after all, right?
Your wedding day is a big one, and you should be able to enjoy the celebration as much as anyone else. So get out there and dance, without worrying too much about what the DJ might play next.