How exciting – You’re madly in love and you’re engaged! You have the ring, you’ve picked a date, all of your best friends have agreed to be by your side and your mother knows a great bakery and caterer for you to use. You’re all set, right?
Oh, of course, you need music for the party! Well, no problem there – after all, you already have an Ipod loaded with 650 of your favorite songs. And since pretty much anyone can play some songs for you to dance to, maybe your college buddy that threw the great dorm parties would be perfect for just a couple of hundred dollars. Now you’re all set, right?!
As an elite DJ at Duluth’s Pro Sound & Light Show, a company that performs at nearly 500 events a year, allow me to draw that picture in just a little clearer for you. “Just playing music” has been the main perception of a DJ’s job for several decades now – yet the shape, form and feel of a wedding reception has changed dramatically in that time. To keep up with the changing demands of the party, the scope of your DJ’s work has increased by leaps and bounds as well.
Very few people pay the big money to hire a formal wedding coordinator, and even fewer realize that your DJ largely steps into that role before your event, as well as being a counselor, referral service and salesperson. Providing ideas and suggestions to you in your planning can make a bride’s huge job much easier, since most of you are planning your first wedding. It’s nice to have that expertise to fall back on!
You may want help determining just how the day and evening should flow to create the vision you have in your mind, and to ensure a fun, wonderful night for your friends and family. Your photographer/videographer, the family friend that puts together a great dinner slide show and the venue and catering staff are also likely to coordinate many of their efforts through your DJ, so that everything pulls together seamlessly for you.
What other roles might your DJ play in taking the weight of that day off your shoulders? Think about it – You will be looking to your DJ to MC the event, making all of your announcements right from the moment that you and your bridal party enter the hall doors to great flair and fanfare, high energy music playing. Your guests are all revved up, standing, clapping and cheering for your arrival – because your DJ had them warmed up and ready for you.
From the very first strains, your DJ is playing music to set the mood you desired for each part of the event. It may be soft, sweet jazz during the social hour, blending into adult contemporary ballads and golden oldies your grandparents love during dinner. By the end of dinner, the beat is picking up and your guests are tapping their toes, even while your DJ coordinates a touching round of toasts and narrates an unforgettable cake cutting ceremony. (If you don’t know why you have that big, beautiful cake, other than ‘just because everyone always does’, it’s well worth looking into it!)
Your DJ’s Master of Ceremonies role is beginning now to morph into that of entertainer. Any children present have long since finished eating and are likely to appreciate an early invitation to the dance floor for fun songs and maybe a game or two while their parents finish eating. Then, the lights drop as you approach the edge of the dance floor together. With all of your loved ones gathered round, you are smoothly introduced for that first-in-a-lifetime of dances together. The world becomes just the two of you dancing close, until the clapping lets you know it’s time for the other spotlight dances you’ve chosen – and everyone is right in place because the DJ made sure they would be.
Your party is in full swing now. The dance floor is packed and your guests are having a great time. The lights ebb and swell with the sound, creating the perfect dance floor atmosphere. Guided through the additional activities you’ve chosen, such as a money dance, the bouquet and garter toss and other fun interactions, it likely never occurs to you that since your arrival today, you’ve not needed to worry once about when something should happen.
It all seemed to take care of itself – though the reality is that your DJ has carefully orchestrated it all. Your guests all seem to naturally migrate with any questions or problems to the person who clearly is running the show, leaving you worry-free and enjoying every minute with your new spouse and your dearest friends and family. If the DJ had any equipment issues during the night, you probably were never even aware, since the professional you hired had back-up gear on the spot and knew exactly how to quickly solve the problem without ever disturbing you.
By the end of the night, you are happily exhausted, with the day of your dreams behind you and a lifetime of fun memories to cherish.
I have to ask you at this point – does this sound like the day you have been planning – often for years – and poured thousands of dollars into creating? (The current average Minnesota/Wisconsin wedding runs $25,000 – and much more on a nationwide average!) Does this still sound like a job for your Ipod, which has a lot of great music – much of it not danceable, and certainly not loaded with the songs so many of your guests were at the DJ station requesting? (A professional DJ will have many thousands of songs on hand, in addition to your custom requests.) And does this still sound like a job that your good friend, who throws a great informal party, could have pulled off with no formal training at all? (Again, true professionals attend local and national DJ conventions each year to stay current and fresh, in addition to ongoing in-house training and practice.)
To put it all in one place and perspective, today’s DJ has gone from “playing music” to being your unofficial event planner, counselor, referral service, roadie, technician, light and board operator, on-site coordinator, problem solver, announcer, music expert and mixer, comedian, actor, dancer, crowd motivator, master of ceremonies – oh yes, and disc jockey.
You’ve poured your time, passion and hard-earned money into this amazing day. By keeping in mind that the party is the culmination and climax of the day, you may want to think twice before cutting your budgetary corners there. Leave it to today’s Professional Disc Jockey – and leave for your honeymoon with a huge smile!
About Pro Sound & Light Show DJs – Pro Sound & Light Show DJs provide award winning DJ & Karaoke entertainment for weddings in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan.