FAQ

Frequently asked questions, and answers.

Do I Need A DJ For My Wedding Ceremony?

Do I Need A DJ For My Wedding Ceremony?

 

In most cases, music is a natural component of the wedding ceremony. Whether it’s in the form of live musicians, or a DJ, the ceremony music adds to the ambiance of your ceremony.

I was scouring over various wedding forums and found a few interesting questions and comments in regards to the ceremony music. Specifically, if a DJ was needed for the ceremony?

So, let’s take a fair look at that question…

Do you REALLY need a DJ to perform at your wedding ceremony?

 

When To Use A DJ For Your Wedding Ceremony Music

  • An adequate sound system isn’t available in the location of your ceremony – Your guests certainly won’t music coming out of your iPod – you need a sound system to disburse the music to them!
  • Wireless microphones aren’t available – Regardless of how “cozy” and “quaint” the ceremony may be, your guests will still need to hear the officiant. This is especially true for a ceremony held outdoors. A small amount of wind can make it hard for your guests to hear.
  • Entrances for the bridal party require specific timings – This one is easy to overlook. Suppose your bridal party make their entrance as a song is played. What happens when they take longer to come out than the song plays for? Silence? The song is played again? Or (worse yet) – the next song in a playlist starts playing and messes up the bride’s entrance. For this fact alone, a wedding DJ will be a great resource to use. The professional DJ will pre-plan for this, and have the ability to loop the song (or a portion of it) as necessary, or make plans for a secondary song to play if the bridal party entrances extend past the song duration.
  • Song Queuing – The processional song you choose may have an intro. Or, you may have a specific part of the song that you want playing as you enter. How would this be handled without a DJ?

 

Other Benefits A DJ Provides At Your Ceremony

  • Wireless Microphones – to ensure your guests can hear the ceremony.
  • Orchestrated Timings – of entrances, precession, recession.
  • Pre-Ceremony Music – Music playing prior to the ceremony, as your guests arrive.
  • One point of Contact – . With so many working parts involved in making your wedding day a success, sometimes it’s simply worth investing into a DJ to you’re your ceremony music, and to avoid multiple people doing different parts.

 

When You Don’t Need A DJ For Your Ceremony

  • Your ceremony is in a church, that will be playing music through an organ.
  • The venue has a speaker system (designed for music (not just spoken dialogue), and is capable to handle your needs), and offers someone to man a device to play your ceremony music at the proper times

 

Other Options For Your Wedding Ceremony Music

  • A Musician (flute/ violin/guitar) or a Trio/Quartet of musicians
  • Do It Yourself – renting equipment and/or playing through a device (likely more expensive than a DJ)
  • No Music At All (not recommended)

 

How do you plan to handle the music during your wedding ceremony? Leave your comments below!

 

 

Posted by DJ Salty D in FAQ, Weddings, 0 comments
Is It Rude To Have A “Do Not Play” List For My Wedding DJ?

Is It Rude To Have A “Do Not Play” List For My Wedding DJ?

 

So there you are, loving every second of your reception. Great times with family and friends, and the love of your life.

The atmosphere is wonderful. Billy Joel plays across the speakers, and smoothly transitions into Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. You close your eyes and image dancing in the video itself. Everything is perfect.

Just when you think things couldn’t be any better… someone requests a song…

 

 

FML…

No matter how much planning you put in with your wedding DJ on the music that will be placed at your reception, leave it up to someone to play the worst possible song at the worst possible time.

Knowing this, having a “Do Not Play” list outlined with your wedding DJ is something you certainly should have. Any legitimate professional DJ will likely bring it up to you first (during the planning process prior to your reception.)

But, is it considered rude to do this? How should song requests be handled, that you do not want played at your reception? Should the DJ even take requests?

 

The Easy Solution – The DJ Does Not Take Song Requests

Having a “Do Not Play” list is certainly not considered “rude”. It is, after all, your wedding. Your wedding DJ should be accustomed to having this list.

Using the “Do Not Take Song Requests” approach eliminates all of the problems with poor song request choices. You’ll rely on your DJ to play music in the genre’s you prefer, or work from your pre-determined playlist of songs.

However, this does hinder any guests that would want to request a song. No one wants to be shot down by the “Song Nazi” DJ who refuses to take requests.

It certainly is an option, but it may not be the best one for everyone’s happiness.

 

Creating A “Do Not Play” List With Your Wedding DJ

In my experience, song requests from guests vary. Sometimes they come up to us to request a song, sometimes they do not. Either way, it’s a factor that you’ll want to consider. A “Do Not Play” list should be created regardless if you expect guests to make song requests or not.

I wouldn’t recommend spending a ton of time on this list, however. Keep it simple. You have plenty of other, more important, concerns to plan out for your reception.

The best advice is to list any specific songs or artists that come to mind immediately. From there, use generalizations if you have certain types of music you do not want played.

For example, you might tell your DJ “no line dances”. That will queue your DJ not to play songs such as the “Cha Cha Slide” or “Macarena”. You may say “No heavy metal”. You’re DJ will know that anything from Pantera won’t be suitable to play.

I did find several posts in forums that offered a unique, but possibly more complex, twist. You could have one list of “absolutely, positively do not play these” songs, and a second list of “only play these songs if someone requests them”. This approach could work well if there are songs you honestly would prefer not to hear, but would be OK with it of one of your guests requested it.

Finally, your wedding DJ should also know your general preferences of music, by genre. For example, look at the image below. It’s from our custom-build planning tool we developed. This information gives our DJ your true tastes in music, and guides them in selecting songs for the reception.  As you can see, we’d know that “Funkytown” wouldn’t be a good song choice to play:

 

 

 

What If Multiple People Request A Song On Your “Do Not Play” List?

Believe it or not, this can happen. From the example above, you may not want to hear the Cha Cha slide, but every one of your guests may request it. So, what now?

This is where an experienced wedding DJ (hint, hint… Fired Up! Entertainment… cough, cough) shows their value to you. During the planning process, we’ll know exactly how adamant you are about specific songs not to be played. If you ranted to us about hating the song, we’re certainly not going to play it. However, our DJ may ask you (or your day-of planner) about the situation to get confirmation. This approach ensures everyone has a wonderful time at your reception!

 

Wrapping Up…

A “Do Not Play” list for your wedding DJ is anything but rude. It’s a proper tool you should utilize to ensure the music played at your reception flows well, keeps everyone entertained, and keep the “dance floor killers” out of the mix.

 

How do you plan on handling song requests at your reception? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by DJ Salty D in FAQ, Weddings, 0 comments
Should My DJ Attend The Rehearsal Dinner?

Should My DJ Attend The Rehearsal Dinner?

Should DJ Attend Rehearsal Dinner?

 

I was looking for a unique question about weddings and wedding DJ’s. This one was perfect! Should your wedding DJ attend the rehearsal dinner?

Most of the answers I found from vendors in the industry say no. It’s not a necessity, it’s not something that occurs, and you’d have to pay them for their time if you really wanted them there. Plus, do you really want to feed them a meal when they really won’t be helping out much in the rehearsal?

I, of course, have a slightly different thought behind this.

 

When Your DJ Should Attend The Rehearsal Dinner

Again, it comes down to what you are using your DJ for. If he’s simply playing music during your reception, you likely won’t need him at your rehearsal dinner. You (or your wedding planner) will have discussed his/her role in the wedding by this point, and the DJ should know timings on events for the night and what they will be doing.

…Well hopefully, that is. Assuming you have hired a professional wedding DJ that doesn’t screw up like this.

If you’re wedding DJ is playing a bigger role in your ceremony and/or reception, you may want to consider inviting them to your dress rehearsal. Here are a few examples where I’d recommend it:

  • The DJ will be playing specifically timed songs during any part of the ceremony/reception.
  • They’ll be receiving a “que” from someone else, for an event that occurs.
  • The DJ will be providing emcee services (to re-review what will be said during wedding party entrances, etc.)
  • He/she is providing additional lighting/video/photo services, that have specific timings for an effect.

In these situations, it may be a good idea for your wedding DJ to be present. Again, to make sure everything goes smoothly and without a hitch. It isn’t required though (many of the details should be worked out by this time)… but if your comfort factor wants it… go for it.

 

Should Your DJ Be Paid For Attending Your Rehearsal Dinner?

You should compensate your DJ for his time to do this, as it truly isn’t a standard request. You could invite him for the meal itself, but that likely wouldn’t be necessary. It’s an added, necessary expense for you… and your DJ likely has plenty of other work to keep them busy (either for your wedding, or perhaps another event they are doing that day).

Have any of your friends or family invited their DJ to the dress rehearsal? If so, let me know! Did they see an added benefit from it?

 

Posted by DJ Salty D in FAQ, Weddings, 0 comments
Should I Tip My Wedding DJ?

Should I Tip My Wedding DJ?

 

Wow, there’s a ton of different questions and comments of the topic of tipping a wedding DJ. Should you tip the wedding DJ? Should their fee be good enough for what they do? How much should I tip my wedding DJ, if I do tip?

 

First, What Others Say About Tipping…

Let’s take a look at a handful of different websites that provide guidelines on proper tipping etiquette:

  • Gigmasters.com – Gigmasters (a popular portal that connects wedding vendors with couples) states that their members typically agree that 5-20% is appropriate.
  • PerfectWeddingGuide.com – States that tips/gratuities are typically build into pricing with wedding vendors. If you’re not sure if it is, they advice to ask. If you do decide to tip your wedding DJ, 15-20% of their fee is considered a “suitable tip”.
  • TheKnot.com – Another popular portal for couples planning their wedding. Their protocol on tipping is that it is “Optional, yet preferred.”. For a wedding DJ, they recommend $50-150. They also recommend that the best man provide the tip to your DJ at the end of the reception.
  • WomanGettingMarried.com – Recommends you first check your service agreement with your wedding DJ (and all vendors). Confirm if a gratuity/tip has already been included in the pricing. If not, they recommend up to $150 as the tip for your wedding DJ.

 

So, That’s What Others Say About Tipping Your Wedding DJ. Now, Let’s Look At My Take On It.

First, don’t be stingy. The idea that “I’m paying them, that should be good enough” isn’t the proper logic to use for tipping. A tip is to show gratitude to your provider, for doing what they actually said they would do… and/or exceeding your expectations. It should NEVER be considered a requirement, though. Think of it like your waiter/waitress at a restaurant. If they blow you away with great service, you want to tip them for the effort. If they have a bad attitude, are apathetic, etc… why would you tip them for that?

 

When It Comes To Your Wedding DJ, Here’s My Personal Recommendation…

First, I recommend a flat-rate tip amount over a percentage of their fee. Why, do you ask? Look at it this way. DJ #1 charges $1,000, and does a great job. DJ#2 charges $500, and does a great job. Should DJ #1 receive a tip that’s twice as large, solely because you paid them more up front? I personally do not agree with this line of thought.

Second, determine what you think it would be worth to you, to have your DJ do everything right, without a hiccup. Also consider what they did for you prior to the day of your wedding. Did they communicate with you throughout the process? Go above and beyond to help in any way? Plan for that amount to be in an envelop to give to your wedding DJ. Label the envelope as “DJ#1”.

Next, determine a bottom-barrel tip. A tip you’ll give where things went fine, no problems, but your DJ didn’t truly “WOW” you. Plan for that amount in a second envelope, and label it “DJ#2”.

At the end of the evening, have your best man give the DJ the appropriate envelop/tip – based on their performance and your final thoughts.

If, however, you simply were not happy… don’t give them either envelope. They didn’t earn the tip.

Finally, cash is not the only tip that you can give to your wedding DJ, or any of your vendors. A personalized gift can be a wonderful tip to receive. Taking the effort to find a special gift for your DJ can have a bigger impact on your DJ than a few extra bucks. A real nice touch in my honest opinion.

So, there you have it. What are your thoughts on tipping your wedding DJ? For it? Against it? Let me know!

 

Posted by DJ Salty D in FAQ, Weddings, 0 comments
Is It Weird To Have A DJ At A Restaurant Wedding Reception?

Is It Weird To Have A DJ At A Restaurant Wedding Reception?

Wedding DJ At A Restaurant Reception

Here’s an interesting question that couples having their wedding reception in a restaurant will have. Is it weird to have a DJ play at the reception?

If your reception is at the Golden Corral, it might be (well, maybe it wouldn’t be there haha).

If you’re renting out the entire restaurant for your wedding reception… I’d say it’s not weird at all. It would be the same as renting any other wedding venue for your reception. It’s your space for the given time. If you want a DJ at your wedding reception – then have one!

 

What If You’re Only Renting Part Of The Restaurant For Your Reception?

If you’re renting out a private room in a restaurant, it can be a bit different. You do not want your wedding reception music interfering with other guests dining at the restaurant during the same time. Restaurant management likely will not permit it. If the private room is in a completely separate area, or a different floor, you may be able to get away with it. Be sure to talk with the restaurant management before booking the room. Ask how they’ve handled it in the past. If they will no permit it, then you have a decision to make. Do you want the restaurant for your venue, or do you want a DJ at your reception. If they will permit a DJ at your restaurant reception… ask them what their guidelines are for sound levels… and make sure your DJ knows these restrictions as well.

Posted by DJ Salty D in FAQ, Weddings, 0 comments
What Else Does A Wedding DJ Do Besides Play Music?

What Else Does A Wedding DJ Do Besides Play Music?

 

Well, I’m certainly not getting an award for graphic design with that picture 🙂

Ironically, I’ve found plent of posts in furms asking what a wedding DJ does besides play music. So, let’s try to answer this one.

The short answer is this: either A) that’s it… or B) lot’s more!

I know, that’s a pretty wide range of possibilities. However, it completely depends on your expectations from your wedding DJ, what they offer, and what they offer to you for your specific wedding needs.

For the bottom-of-the-barrel wedding DJ services out there, this may be all you get. Someone standing behind a laptop and speakers, playing music. Maybe you’ll get lucky and they can announce when a table can go to the buffet tables to get their food. That’s going to about it.

Don’t get me wrong, that may be all that you’re looking for. If so, a DJ that simply plays music and takes song requests from guest will do you just fine. This is especially true if you have a wedding planner who is organizing all o the details and plan for your reception, and can give your DJ a “cue sheet” of timings for things to happen (play this song during the cake cutting at 9PM, play this song as the last song of the night, etc.)

However, most couples do better with a DJ that can offer more services than simply playing music. In my experience, the majority of couples do not use a wedding planner (cost being a factor)… and we end up becoming their planner by default. There are many details that go into your wedding ceremony and reception (which you’ll likely already know, or will be finding out shortly). Organizing these details simply must occur, and a professional wedding DJ should be able to help you with this need. For example, our custom-made planning tool we developed helps the planning process tremendously. For example:

  • When will the Bride/Groom’s first dance occur?
  • Will there be a Father/Bride dance? Mother/Groom dance? Others?
  • Will you be doing a garter/bouquet toss?
  • What specific songs should be played for this?
  • When will the cake cutting occur? After dinner? Towards the end of the night?
  • Will there be other announcements that need to be made? When? By whom?
  • Etc.

So, your wedding DJ can also be a great help in organizing the details and “flow” of your ceremony and reception!

Other services commonly offered by a professional wedding DJ include emcee services (making announcements through the evening)… as well as additional visual elements. Lighting is typically a major part of these additional services.

Uplighting is a service that your DJ may offer, which adds a wonderful ambiance to your reception venue. Your DJ should be the guide in developing the layout of uplighting. From a backwash light behind the head table… to lighting around the perimeter of the room… to a pin-light on your wedding cake as a highlight. This creative process can be very detailed to plan… and a wedding DJ with experience in uplighting can be a life saver.

Dance floor lighting is another service that your DJ may offer. There are a tremendous amount of options available for lighting up a dance floor, and your DJ should know what will match best with your reception motif.

Monograms are a popular feature that many DJ’s offer for your wedding. A monogram is the design you’ll see at a reception, on the wall or floor. It typically will display the bride and groom’s name, along with the date of the wedding. A very popular, classy touch to add to the ambiance of the room.

Finally, a DJ may also offer videography options with their service. This can be a simple slideshow display of photos and/or video from the Bride, Groom, and family. On the opposite side, your DJ may actually capture video from the wedding ceremony and reception for you. Again, a popular option that most couple will want for the future. Your DJ may provide this as part of their “package” of services.

So, in the end, the DJ is only limited by their capabilities… and how big of a part you want them to play at your wedding!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by DJ Salty D in FAQ, Weddings, 0 comments
Do I feed my wedding DJ? If so, where do they eat at?

Do I feed my wedding DJ? If so, where do they eat at?

 

Here’s a great question I found on the wedding forums this morning. Is it customary to feed my DJ, and where should they eat it at if so?

The general rule of thumb is that a meal should be offered to your DJ if they will be providing more than 4 hours of service. Your DJ will need to keep their body fueled while they perform at your wedding. Working while hungry is never a fun thing to do.

Regardless if you offer a meal or not, it is something that should certainly be discussed prior to your reception. If a meal is not provided (by your choice or theirs), the DJ will need to make plans for eating prior to your reception. A DJ with a diabetic health concern, obviously, will appreciate this planning.

If your DJ is provided a meal, the location of where they eat should also be discussed. There isn’t a hard-fast rule for this,.. it comes down to personal preference, and the etiquette of your wedding. With a less formal wedding, the DJ may even eat at a table with other guests. If your wedding has a more formal flair to it… your DJ should eat out of view. Typically, in another room or area of the venue. The DJ certainly can eat at their booth, but we typically never recommend it. Food and drink do not mix well with electronic equipment.

 

 

Posted by DJ Salty D in FAQ, Weddings, 0 comments