You’re getting married – and that requires a celebration that keeps everyone on their feet from cocktail hour to the last phone call! How do you do it best? Create a catchy playlist so people can’t help but jump out of their seats! From the first dance to the last steps, the music sets the tone for the reception and determines the experience of your guests.

When you and your fiancé choose to have a DJ instead of or in addition to a band, you put the responsibility in their hands to make sure that your wedding reception hits the right notes – literally! In addition to finding an entertainment company that falls within your budget and has your wedding date available, you want them to be fluent in your favorite ’90s boy band hits and understand what’s going on on the dance floor when your family does Hora, or know you are going to expect a heavy rotation from Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to keep Great Aunt Jane happy. No matter what you’re looking for, a DJ and their team should be able to work with you and your partner to make your wedding night special.

Here’s what two professional wedding DJs you want to know before letting Spotify take control of the tunes on your big day!

Know how to spot a scam

We all know a guy who calls himself a DJ for playing the top 40 hits at his fraternity parties in college. And whoever thinks to be a DJ means to only play EDM and house. “Technology has now made it possible for anyone to call themselves a DJ,” said Scott Siegel of Purple Parrot Entertainment. “Don’t just find someone on Craigslist or any social media site and look up prices. If it’s too good a price, you have to hope that the person shows up. ”

Siegel suggests having a chat with the DJ to learn more about his business and if he can offer services that suit your specific needs (e.g. you are a country audience but this company excels at hip hop and R&B off). “There are a lot of guys who are like car salesmen and they are very energetic,” he warns. “They have these preprogrammed parties. They go in there, they won’t take any inquiries, they won’t stick to the wishes of the bride and groom because they [think they] to know better.”

In addition to your experience, ask to see pictures and videos of events where a budding DJ has worked. And finally, make sure you bring real equipment – not the same MacBook that you started fresh with 15 years ago!

Don’t rely on WiFi

Siegel also warns against leaving your party playlist live on the internet. “A lot of DJs these days say, ‘I have 50,000 songs and they’re in the cloud,’” he says. “You know very well how often you have already made a phone call somewhere and don’t get a signal. There is a chance that you will not receive a signal in this barn, vineyard or in a catering hall. Or when you walk into a catering hall and the venue says, ‘I can’t give you our password.’ ”Instead, go to a DJ who not only has all of their songs downloaded but also a backup drive just in case has that emergency.

Find out your DJ’s preferred form of communication

Can’t get the Justin Bieber remix you just heard on Pandora out of your head? Siegel wants you to email him right away if you want to add them to your wedding rotation. “I’ve always told prospective brides that my phone is always open. Call me, email me. If you’ve heard a song on the radio and love that song, give it a call right away, ”he says. “It’s no big deal to me to put it in my notes, but you could forget about it in five hours. I like to keep the line of communication open. ”

However, Allstar DJs Paul Groh prefers his customers to share their wishes and notes (e.g. “Please give my regards to cousin Mikes 30.” We recommend that you do not write text messages or e-mails about what you want for your wedding ” “He says.” We are bombarded with online stuff and it is lost. Everything should be in one document. Get the DJ all the information two weeks in advance because if he works Friday night and you have a wedding on Saturday morning, he has no time to plan this. ”

So find out which method your DJ would prefer and make sure you don’t annoy him with 1 o’clock lyrics from the bar when you hear a Lizzo jam that all you have to do is dedicate to your ex-roommate when he does does not stand on it.

Let your DJ know who will be there

Whether your reception is mostly friends, your parents’ friends, or family of all ages, let your DJ know so they can be prepared with music that particular audience will enjoy. “I hear it all the time when I’m DJing for seniors,” says Siegel. “They come up to me and say, ‘I was at my niece’s wedding and they weren’t playing anything [I like] And I sat there all night And it was so loud! ‘ I like to know the whole room. I want to know how many guests are you planning? What’s the demographic? Don’t go in and think that they have it all and know it all because there are more DJs out there who know the current house music and that’s it. If I go to a party that is very Latin American, I have to know this music. ”

Try not to request too many songs

While we provide inputs like “We love 80s rock!”; “Our friends are crazy about Rihanna!”; or “Throw in some Barry Manilow for my stepmother”, will help your DJ go in the right direction, couples don’t have to over-spec. “You have to trust their judgment,” says Groh. “Give them 10 or 20 of your favorite songs and let them do the rest of the work. And if you want to see dancing make sure the songs are danceable. Sometimes what people hear on the radio might not be good for dancing, but the DJ knows. ”

Be flexible with “don’t play” songs

Similarly, be open to what your guests want, even if it’s not what you want to hear. “It’s very common for brides and grooms to say, ‘Please don’t play line dances,’” Siegel says of tracks like “Cupid Shuffle” and “Macarena”. “What should I tell someone if someone comes by – your aunt or uncle – and they want to hear the ‘Cotton Eye Joe’? You might say, ‘No line dances, but if someone asks, you can play it.’ Because the reality is that most of the songs are three minutes long. We’re not going to go and play 20 of them. We don’t plan to play on them, but when someone asks there are times when someone is more willing to do something. ”

Feed the DJ and his team

“Ask how many employees are coming and prepare something for them,” suggests Groh. If you are hungry, you cannot perform. You get grumpy. That’s not good. “If you can’t schedule meals for the entertainment company and other vendors, offer to let them have them eat during cocktail hour six, seven, eight hours plus setup and dismantling before dinner,” says Siegel. “It’s polite to feed, or at least offer, the entertainment.”

Don’t feel obliged to tip

At the end of the night, however, couples shouldn’t feel pressured to tip extra. However, you should check if your signed contract requires it. “It’s at the customer’s sole discretion,” says Groh. “For excellent service somewhere between 10 and 20 percent, but we leave that to your discretion. It is not necessary.”

If newlyweds decide to tip, they can leave the responsibility to someone else or hand it out in the middle of the party. “Maybe they leave it to their mother, maybe their sister or brother,” adds Siegel. “At the end of the night, the bride and groom honestly have many other things on their minds. So if they plan, you might give the DJ an envelope during the night and say, ‘I want to give this to you now because I’ll be busy later. Thank you for being a part of our wedding. ‘ If you give it to the guy during the night when he’s doing a good job, he’s doing it to step up his game a little bit more. ”

But Siegel repeats the tip: “It’s optional, but it’s definitely appreciated!”

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