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.