And Now, the Music

The music presentation ultimately sets the tone for a wedding celebration. Certainly, music comes in all styles. It can be casual or sophisticated; classical or rock; reggae or jazz; polka or pop; country or R&B, and everything in between. It can be loud or soft; fast or slow. Music appeals to young and old alike. It can make you feel lively or lethargic, calm or excited, or change the mood and morale instantly.

Music subtly augments a cocktail party and enhances dinner guests’ conversations, creating the mood for a celebration, and adding more joy to the experience. Then, if well read, planned and properly programmed by an experienced wedding DJ, it energizes a dance floor continuously for hours before dancing even begins.

Music is a common element for our everyday lives, but with your wedding celebration, the music should be, well… nothing less than extraordinary. That’s exactly what an experienced wedding DJ must be able to consistently do from the first song to the very last dance.

An experienced wedding DJ should play a wide variety of music styles as part of their music programming, to embellish the dancing portion of your special day and help make it a huge success. It is possible to seamlessly combine ethnic tunes, oldies, and today’s hottest hits masterfully and strategically into a cohesive presentation to allow your guests the opportunity to participate in your celebration and enjoy themselves on the dance floor.

How does this all work?

Music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in setting an environmental mood – dopamine. It produces a feel-good state in response to other certain positive tangible stimuli like food, lighting and more. A professional wedding DJ clearly understands that guests often express their identity through different types of music. It triggers certain emotions shared by guests, enabling them to connect with and convey their inner feelings, without needing to define them. The ideal soundtrack for a wedding affects emotions and behaviors and helps create a sense of belonging.

Something as simple as tempo has a big impact. The tempo (or the speed and pace) of specific music selections affect a guest’s perception of time. A slow tempo creates a sense of well being and makes guests want to stay longer, while a fast tempo increases emotional feedback and makes customers perceive waiting times to be shorter.

An experienced wedding DJ should understand this and know precisely which music selections will enhance the environmental flow to create the atmosphere and enrich something as simple as the cocktail and dining experience. It goes far beyond just playing Kenny G or Yanni for these two hours like many amateur DJs do. Proper music selections in the hands of a professional are just as important as using the right colors, lighting and temperature to create a festive atmosphere.

How to Handle Music Requests at your Wedding Reception

Wedding Reception Dancing - Doing the DipDo you want the DJ to take music requests from the guests at your wedding reception – or not? Some couples do, others prefer not to. There is no right or wrong answer; but please remember, when a guest requests a song, that it’s not possible for a DJ to have every possible song that might be requested – no matter how big a DJ brags his music repertoire is.

Challenges

There are other challenges that requests can present. Sometimes, guests may request songs that simply do not “fit-in” with the music programming, or a requested song may completely alter the mood or environment contrary to what you want. Playing heavy metal or gangsta’ rap, for example, will likely upset or displease some of your guests, especially the older ones. Certainly, songs containing objectionable, foul or sexually graphic language should not be played.

Wedding Reception - Danced So Much My Feet HurtIt’s just tacky to play any song with the “f-bomb” being dropped every fourth word at a wedding. Even though you may like a particular song, you’ll survive if you don’t hear it. Obviously, you don’t want to cause anyone to feel uncomfortable. Your wedding celebration won’t be hampered by a song that isn’t played, but could be significantly and instantly damaged by a song that is played.

An experienced wedding DJ will use their personal experience and professional judgment to know when it is acceptable to honor requests, while amateur DJs may be inclined to play any song that is requested.  (Remember, if inappropriate requests are played, these songs will make you look bad.)

Your Special Songs

You may have specific songs that you want to hear during your reception, dinner or dancing. That’s great, but there’s certainly no need to pick them all. That’s why you are hiring a truly polished professional wedding DJ. That person should know how to properly read a crowd, play the right tune at the right time, maintain music volume and seamlessly enhance the atmosphere.

In fact, outside of your special wedding dances (1st dance, father/bride dance, etc.), all you probably need to do is select a handful of songs you especially like to provide a flavor of what you wish to hear. Maybe it’s the first song you kissed to, or the very first song you danced to. If you would like supply an additional list or specific artists or songs beyond just a few, it’s often best to permit the experienced wedding DJ read the crowd and mix them in where and when appropriate.

Why Hire a Professional For Your Wedding Ceremony?

At a gala wedding I attended at one America’s National Monuments, The Ben Franklin Institute in Philadelphia – where no expense was spared (the groom’s dad was extremely successful and generous), friends of the couple offered to help and wound-up officiating, photographing and DJ-ing the wedding.

On a scale of one to ten, the catered food and drinks, the décor, the cake, the flowers, the Planetarium and the Grand Hall, the amenities, the dresses and tuxedos, the rings, the parents, the attendees, all were elevens. Over the top, world class. In fact, a Ben Franklin impersonator even gossiped and schmoozed through out the night with most of the three hundred guests. There were dozens of staff serving and coordinating everything beautifully: decorating, welcoming and seating guests, serving appetizers and dinner, coat checking, and a valet parking cars.

As to the friends who worked the wedding (officiant, DJ and photographer), well, they were in way over their inexperienced heads. For starters the “DJ” friend provided the officiant-friend with a microphone, black iron mic-stand, and hundred foot cord. The black rig was center stage amidst the white-lit white stage adorned with hundreds of white roses. The black cord snakes its way across the stage in every photo taken and now a permanent scar of the ceremony forever present. The two inexperienced friends with cameras never thought to mention the distraction of the cord (if they even noticed) or mic stand.

When the ceremony started, the officiant-friend never did ask the guests to stand for the bride as she came down the aisle. Seated towards the back, I stood on my own initiative for her. Only then, did the three hundred guests finally stand to welcome the bride down the aisle. Unfortunately, the friend officiating the ceremony forgot to tell guests when to sit down; thereby leaving guests to stand the entire forty minute ceremony! Yes, even the elderly aunts and uncles (some in their nineties) and the mothers with babes in their arms.

The officiant was competent enough to monotonously read the ceremony she and the couple had written, but as to the logistics for conducting an actual wedding ceremony, both were absolutely clueless. Neither her voice nor the staging was engaging, inspirational or conducive for good photographs. The bride and groom stood in the same spot for the entire ceremony, their backs to the guests, divided by the black microphone chord as if they were intentionally being “divided.”

During the ceremony, guests never glimpsed the blissful faces of the bride and groom, except for a moment in profile when they kissed in the middle of the ceremony without any dramatic build up. The touching love letters that the bride and groom wrote for each other were read without the benefit of the microphone that their celebrant cradled in her arms. Aside from the procession and recession, the attendants stood stiffly in place like backups of a chorus line with no part in the actual ceremony.

My suggestion: at your wedding, have friends be guests, not workers. Inexperienced and friendly is no replacement for experienced and professional. Every bride deserves a wedding ritual, fit for a queen, not a hodgepodge of elements cobbled together by friends.

How to DJ Your Own Wedding in 15 Easy Steps – Part 1

As the economy has been a bit tight lately, many brides are looking for ways to stretch their wedding budget. So, if it’s just music you want, then you could try to take a couple of iPods, ask Uncle Bob to man them, and take your chances. Here’s what to do…

Step one: Find and rent an amateur-grade sound system (hoping it works), then figure out how to run it.

Step two: Find and acquire appropriate liability insurance (as more and more venues require proof of insurance prior to set up). It will cost you $300 to $500 for the annual policy since it’s not available for a single day’s use.

Step three: Figure out where to legally purchase the appropriate music across multiple genres (big band, top 30, rap, alternative, country, etc.) for a wide variety of tastes based on the range in ages of your guests.

Step four: Find somebody to program the music in a logical dance flow.

Step five: Find somebody to transport all the gear. Once there, determine the appropriate electrical power load and where to set up based on sound configuration, dance theory and event flow. Set up the gear.

Step six: Find somebody with the experience to “read” a wedding crowd (based on the 11 critical crowd reading reception criteria) to play the right song at the right time for the right reasons. They need to know how to read and then lead your audience in the right sequence, at the right time through the application of proper wedding knowledge and extensive wedding experience by using multiple music genres, tempo, styles, and trends to create or change the energy in a room.

Step seven: Find somebody to take, maintain, and then play song requests, hoping you have all the requested music with you.

Step eight: Find somebody to smoothly transition the music from song to song without any dead air, while seamlessly enhancing key wedding events with music, exactly on cue.

Step nine: Find somebody to tastefully interact with guests, maintain audience participation and crowd interconnection.

For steps ten through fifteen, and interesting statistics from national publications, be sure to read part two.

Wedding Reception Entertainment: Band or Disc Jockey?

Steven Weinmeister Firefall BandBeing a guest at wedding receptions over the years that featured both bands and a disc jockey leaves a lot to ponder. Some receptions had very good bands, some were mediocre, and many that were just plain terrible.

Certainly, modern brides seem to like the appeal of live entertainment at their special celebration because of the energy and excitement a band can bring. Some can play well and, from my experience, can be great at creating an atmosphere that ignites a crowd. They can also keep a dance floor going by extending a jam session.

But for brides seriously debating between the two, here are 15 critical questions to ask a band, from the book “The Best Wedding Reception…Ever!” by Peter Merry:

  1. How will you perform my special songs?
  2. How many songs and genres can you currently perform?
  3. How do you deal with special requests or dedications made at the reception?
  4. Who will be making the announcements at our reception?
  5. Can we see uncut video footage of wedding announcements you have made at weddings in the past?
  6. What training have you taken to develop your skills as a Master of Ceremonies to maintain the flow of the reception?
  7. What is your policy on taking breaks at our reception?
  8. Do you have extra band members available so that breaks can be rotated?
  9. What is your policy on meals? Do I have to feed everyone?
  10. Do you have a DJ on staff to play a mix of requested recorded music during breaks?
  11. How will you prevent “dead air” from occurring at my reception?
  12. What responsibility do you take for directing the pacing and flow of my reception’s agenda?
  13. How will you communicate with the other vendors about my agenda while you are performing?
  14. How do you measure the volume at the reception and can your volume levels be adjusted and turned down if requested?
  15. What can you tell me about your service and performance that sets you apart from all the rest?

On the DJ side, one thing to consider is that an experienced, professional wedding MC/DJ will often do much more than simply play music. Often, the wedding DJ becomes the one assumed to serve as the wedding Master of Ceremonies.

This is the person solely responsible for building and facilitating all the highlights at your reception in a seamless, smooth flow – while simultaneously keeping guests involved and entertained (all without a break.)

DJs play a much wider variety of music than a band, often encompassing the 1920s to the current era, with every imaginable genre. A DJ’s music will sound exactly how it was played and recorded by the original artist instead of the band’s rendition of a particular song. A trained, experienced wedding MC/DJ that has played in a variety of venues should measure the dance volume multiple times, and adjust and control it as necessary.

A DJ often takes far less space (and electric power) to perform – which can be a critical consideration, depending on the venue and guest count. Finally, in addition to the bottom-line cost, let’s face it: if you choose to feed the entertainer(s), with a band, that might require five meals (or more) versus just one for the DJ.

In the end, the decision is up to the bride and groom and the atmosphere they desire; but if a bride wants a band, the best advice might be to hire a professional wedding MC/DJ to work with and do everything the band cannot do (fill in during breaks with a wide variety of music; build and maintain the seamless flow as the MC; properly make announcements; coordinate with other wedding professionals, etc.) We’re being asked to do this more and more, and have enjoyed working with some fantastic bands and singers, like Steven Weinmeister and Steve Manshel from the legendary band, Firefall.

Amore DJ Entertainment

Wedding DJ - Colorado

A hush falls over the crowd. And then you enter.

Welcome to the best party of your life: your wedding reception. As your guests erupt with heartfelt applause, you will feel as happy as you’ve ever felt before.

Whether you and your new husband are at the picturesque Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, the elegant Hilton in Fort Collins, the classy Fort Collins Country Club, or any other elegant venue in Colorado for your wedding, you and your new husband will experience a magical evening thanks to the distinctive professionalism of Amore’ DJ Entertainment, Colorado’s premier DJ entertainment company.

Our secret? Our experience and professionalism are customized to fit your tastes and dreams.

How does it feel knowing that you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind celebration like this! Amore’ DJ Entertainment will entertain and energize your guests in a way that is comfortable and natural. Watch the dance floor fill to capacity!

Music, sound levels, and themes are customized for you. Our professional MCs and DJs coordinate the entertainment with timely announcements and motivating interaction, creating a legendary evening of fun.

 Everything we do is to make your special day perfect.

Consistently serving Fort Collins to Estes Park, Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Greeley, Vail and ALL across Colorado (and out of state by special request) since 1989!

*Professional Wedding MC / 3-Time Award Winning Wedding DJ Expert™

*WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award Winner (Top 5 percent of all Wedding Professionals Nationally)

970-215-2690 office

800-501-5993 (ext. 0) – Outside Colorado

Text: AmoreDJ to 55678 for instant info