Monday, 6 October 2014

A Father And Daughter Dance With A Twist

The father of the bride and bride asked me to do a mix of some songs so that they could funk it up to start the night with a bang. 

                                   They didn't practice and I think they did a marvellous job.

A Dancefloor Dilema - Solved

Something to be aware of is that at most weddings many of the ladies will be wearing new shoes. This can present an issue by the time the evening entertainment comes around, as by then many may have been wearing the shoes for 7 hours or more and so what often happens is that many remove their shoes and dance barefoot on the dancefloor. 
The problem arises because there will always be people dancing while holding drinks (regardless of warnings that may have been announced) and quite often a glass or two is dropped and smashes onto the floor which then can become dangerous for those dancing barefoot.
A solution that many brides use is to have a bag or basket full of flip flops by the side of the dancefloor.

You’ll not only be saving your friends and family from potential injuries but it often encourages more of the girls onto the floor, especially those that don’t like to dance in bare feet.
You can pick them up for between 50p and £2 a pair from places like Primark, Pound shops and eBay.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

How Long Does It Take You To Set Up

It generally takes me under an hour to set up all of the sound & lighting equipment, and I will usually arrive at the venue just over an hour and a half before the start time. If that’s not early enough, you always have the option of an early set up.

Sometimes, due to limited space at the venue, the only time the DJ can set-up is when the room is “turned around”. This is when the tables are cleared, floors are cleaned etc, after the end of the Wedding Breakfast (often after the speeches).

At most venues this takes around one hour. However this doesn’t necessarily mean that the DJ has an hour to setup, because the DJ can not begin setting up, until the venue staff has cleared and cleaned the specific part of the room where he will set-up, and in some venues this may not be done until 1/2 an hour after they started turning the room around.

If you have a very limited time window for me to setup and require music ASAP, I am able to have the sound ready in around 30 minutes and the lighting 15 minutes later.

Monday, 2 June 2014

The Reason For Suggesting Song Request Limit

A few couples that have booked me have asked why I have limits as to how many songs can be requested, and it’s always hard to explain why, without sounding arrogant.

One of the main problems is that whenever I’m given a long list of requests to play, I feel compelled to try to stick to the list as much as possible, and so do not make so many of my own choices, even though often there are tracks that I would choose, I know would get a better reaction on the dancefloor, and create a better atmosphere.
There are two things that come into play here. First, I always want to play as many songs from the bride and grooms request list as possible, and the ONLY reason I wouldn’t play a track from their list is if my instincts told me it would probably clear the dancefloor and/or dampen the atmosphere, and that works fine when the list is not too long, as I can then also choose plenty of songs from my experience that I know will work, based on the songs that have had the best reaction through the night so far, which almost always leads to a fantastic night.

Second, if the list is long however, I choose far fewer songs that are not on the list, as I tend to feel a little guilty by not sticking to the clients playlist as much as I possibly can, even though there have been many occasions when I’ve known that if the list had been shorter and I’d chosen more songs from my experience, it would definitely have been a better night for both the bride and groom, but also for their guests.
However, the limits are guidelines only, and if a client wants to send a much longer list, that is fine, and I will work as hard as I can to make that list work as effectively as possible.
And for those of you that might be wondering, what is the ideal length of a Wedding DJ playlist? I’d say between 10 and 30 songs is ideal.
And while we’re talking about the playlist, here is a quick overview of the categories, on the online Event Planner Account, that everyone who books me receives.
The categories are:

 Must Play
 Play If Possible
                                                                      Do Not Play                                                                                                                                              Custom List                                                                                                   Guest List                                 

This list is for your absolute favourite songs, and the songs that you know will pack the floor for your friends. Tracks that are very special to you, with maybe some poignancy to them. Every track in this list will definitely be played, and I will not use my discretion even I feel it might clear the dancefloor (unless you’ve advised me otherwise).
These are tracks you really like, and I always aim to play as many of these tracks as I possibly can. The ONLY reason I wouldn’t play a track in this list, is if I was pretty sure there was a good chance it would clear the dancefloor and/or dampen the atmosphere.

If I had to list every song I didn’t want playing at a party I was hosting I would be typing till the end of my days. The purpose of this list is for songs that for personal reasons or for utter hatred of the song it cannot be played. If for example you have given me a playlist which has a bit of indie, disco, cheese rnb and current chart stuff then unless requested I will not be playing any punk,  thrash metal rave etc etc as I know from your playlist that isn’t your thing.

The database I use is pretty up to date  however there may be a song you cannot find in  the search engine. The software therefore has a facility for you to type in songs that you cannot find on this list.

If you use this facility on occasions certain guests may inadvertently or in an act of mischievousness request a totally inappropriate song in theses circumstances please use the below.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Playlists For A Wedding Are They Necessary ?

Just a little story to example that sometimes its good to take time out to consider compiling a playlist or if you are a guest making an on line request.

As a quick explanation all clients that book me get access to a music database whereby the bride and groom are able to compile a playlist of songs to be played at their Wedding and they also get information to pass onto their evening guests whereby each guest can choose one or two songs that can be played at the evening Wedding reception.

At a recent Wedding a guest asked me for music from the film Frozen a film I have never seen and therefore have no knowledge of the music I then asked the guest what the track was called and they went on to explain the scene it was from.

I had to accept defeat on that one to which the guest  said "I had the link to choose a song online but never got round to it".

The next request was from another guest who asked for Luther Vandross - 'Dance With My Father'
this was on the brides  Do Not Playlist the reason for this was a very personal one.

Can you imagine if I had played this song!

Food for thought.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Best Wedding DJ !

Who Is The Best Wedding DJ ?

Recently I met with a couple to discuss their wedding day which was in a new quirky venue. 
 They told me of the type of wedding they were looking for, the type of atmosphere they wanted to create if possible, music they definitely did want and music they definitely didn’t want. After listening to what they wanted I explained how I might be able to help, and the way I work and some of the services I offer. We went through the timeline they’d prepared and I was able to offer them a few suggestions on the timings and a few other things. At the end of the meeting I gave them a quote for how much it would cost and left it with them to discuss.

The following day they called me back to say they  wanted to book and thanked me for my time. We then chatted a little further, and the bride-to-be mentioned that they’d previously spoken with another DJ who had told them that he was “The Best Wedding DJ!” and therefore charged more !  he wasn’t interested in meeting with them or finding out more about their day and what they wanted etc. as he knew how to “fill the floor”, which was one of the reasons they decided not to book him.Later on I was thinking about the statement the DJ had made, that he was “The Best Wedding DJ”! It seems such an absurd statement to make for so many reasons.

If you’re a good DJ then you’ll have a busy diary and not so much time to view other DJs performing. If you do get invited to a Wedding 9 times out of 10 you are asked to DJ the night ! so therefore how would any DJ truly know if they were better than every other DJ?

Even if you did view a DJ working, if the age group at that particular wedding was quite young, you’d have no idea how good/bad the DJ might be with a much older crowd for example, which then means you’d need to view a DJ quite a few times to truly have a good measure of their ability.
If you asked 100 people to list 10 things that defined a good wedding DJ you’d probably get all sorts of different replies because it’s so subjective and there can be no agreed defining rules. No DJ can be an expert in every music genre, and the music is different at every wedding depending on the average age range, music tastes, cultural makeup of the crowd, amount of time available for the dancing section (some weddings it might only be 1 1/2 hours if things are running late, at others it might be 5 hours).
Some DJs will state they won so and so competition, which I find to be quite hollow, although I guess most clients wouldn’t know that. How on earth would a judging panel be able to visit each DJ that had entered, at their events, numerous times? And if it was a competition where DJs just perform in front of a judging panel and not an actual wedding crowd, that would just be farcical, how can a wedding DJ be truly judged on a performance of less than a few hours to an empty room/non-wedding crowd with completely different dynamics?!

Some people prefer a DJ that has a great personality and makes humorous comments on the microphone, others hate that, so should the DJ talk a lot, not much, not at all?
Some like a DJ that is an expert mixer and can give the wedding a real club vibe, others have no interest in whether the DJ can do that or not.
Many people can’t stand cheesy music and prefer not to hear too much at a wedding, yet there are just as many people with the opposite view and who love to hear cheesy music at weddings.
Is four slow songs for couples in one night, far too much, far too little, just right? Who’s right?
Similarly what is the right number of Motown songs, or R&B, or current chart hits, or rock & roll etc., who’s right, who’s wrong?
Should the DJ play every guest request?
Some DJs have a huge number of lights while others will have a much more minimalistic elegant setup.
And I haven’t even touched upon the volume levels, the sound quality, the customer service offered before the event, and whether the client felt they had peace of mind about the DJ they’d chosen in the lead up to the wedding and many other things.

To me it’s completely farcical to claim to be “The best DJ” 

I’d suggest that the best way to try to get an idea of whether a DJ is right for your wedding is to either meet with them or have a decent conversation with them on the phone , ask them questions, see if they understand the type of day that you would like, see whether you like their personality.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Anyone Dancing @ Middleton Lodge,Newton Hall Or Anywhere In Between

The majority of couples when planning their entertainment for their wedding imagine in their head that if the dance floor is full then all their guests are having a great time and the night is a success.

However, at almost every wedding there is an uncle that will never go near a dance floor in his life, someone else with maybe a disability that doesn’t enable them to dance, the drinkers that feel it’s their duty to make sure the bar staff are never bored and so on. Essentially, at many weddings you could have as many as 30% of the guests that have no intention of dancing, yet you’ll likely still want these people to enjoy the night just as much as those that like to boogie down?

Also bear in mind that often, the type of guests mentioned above, do not respond well to being pressured into a wedding dance, or made to feel guilty if they aren’t dancing, so when a DJ tells you that he guarantees everyone will be dancing, and that he can get everyone on the dance floor, is that what you really want and more importantly is that achievable.

You hire a DJ to make the event fun. It’s a common mistake that DJs make in thinking that their job is solely to keep everyone on the dance floor. If the only thing that’s fun at a wedding is dancing, then by definition, any guest who doesn’t dance, isn’t having fun! Which clearly isn’t the case, or certainly shouldn’t be. Many people that don’t want to dance still enjoy the music and the atmosphere.

As many of the happy letters I receive from previous couples testify, the dancefloor is very often busy at the weddings I’m booked at, however, I never pressure anyone into dancing or use the microphone to make anyone feel guilty if they’re not dancing, as I understand that the night can be a huge success regardless of how many of the guests are on the dancefloor. For me, it’s about creating the right atmosphere that makes it a fun night, not what percentage of the guests are dancing.

Theres is always one exception however and that is if the bride and groom have a special song to end the night with its only polite to join them onthe dancefloor before they sweep off to start their life together and you never know you may enjoy that area known as the dancefloor.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The First Dance Ideas @ Durham Castle,Eshott Hall Or Anywhere In Between

With a dozen things on the wedding checklist, the first dance is often a last minute consideration for many couples. We all remember those Julia Roberts rom-coms with the classic, ever-romantic first dance scenes, but not every couple is sold on the idea of timeless tear-jerkers. To follow are some alternative ideas to help couples break away from the customary first dance and plan something different and unique.

Be Rebellious

It goes without saying that your wedding is all about you. Don’t be afraid to ignore the lovey-dovey classics and embrace your own musical taste. Whether you decide to raise eyebrows with some heavy metal, unleash your inner Sid Vicious and hidden tattoos, or go head to head in a rap-off to your favourite rap song, guests are sure to be entertained if the happy couple are enjoying too.

Plan A Routine

 For an element of surprise, why not dazzle your guests with a fancy dance routine? You don’t have to be a professional to master the robot or do the twist.

Create A Medley

For couples who just can’t decide on that one special song, crafting a medley or mashup of favourite songs could be the perfect solution. If deejaying is not your strong point, hiring a professional DJ who will be able to turn your selected tunes into a sleek medley is a must.

Involve your Guests

Some couples shy away from the limelight, and will dread the notion of the compulsory first dance. If you and your partner find yourselves anticipating the moment with fear, take a different approach: shrug off any awkwardness by getting your guests up and dancing too! For those that like cheese, Gangnam Style, the Cha Cha Slide, and even the conga can be crowd pleasers, and will help get your guests in high spirits for that lively wedding disco.

Other Things To Consider

When choosing your first dance song, be it a timeless classic or something alternative, here are a few things to bear in mind:
  • Length of song. While you may enjoy a song with a ten minute drum solo, it could become a bit tedious for your guests. Opting for something short and sweet is usually a good idea.
  • Your dress. Despite picturing yourself jiving and jumping into the jazz splits, your outfits may be too restrictive. Consider alternative party outfits following the ceremony.
  • The lyrics. Pay attention to the lyrics of your chosen song, and ensure they are suitable for everyone present, especially your grandmother!
If you’re still stuck for ideas, get in touch