I’ve had a few customers approach me asking if it’s possible for me to just provide the entertainment for the dance portion of the evening. I politely decline these requests.
The DJ’s job is a lot more complicated than some people realize. Our job isn’t simply to play music; an iPod can do that. Our job is to set the tone for the entire evening. To react to the guests. This doesn’t mean simply taking requests. It is our responsibility to see which music guests respond to, and more importantly how they respond to it. This happens through out the entire night.
When the first guest walks in, the music they first hear will influence the entire night. Jazz standards set the tone for an elegant night. Classic rock or country music set a more relaxed tone. Upbeat adult contemporary can set a more bouncy and fun tone.
An experienced DJ will always have their eye on the crowd long before the dance ever starts. We look to see if guests are dancing in their seats or singing along. We look to see if the guests are more rigid when hearing some music than others. We look to see the age range of the guests. We look to see what music is playing when guests are leaving for a cigarette break. There’s so many little details that will help us determine the right music for the night.
We’re there to provide the audio support for the speeches. We adjust the volume on the fly depending on how loudly or quietly the speaker is talking. We’re quick to react should the microphone cause feedback. The last thing we want is to blow somebody’s eardrums with a high pitched squeal.
By the time the dance is ready to start, we already have a pretty good idea of what music people will dance to, and what music people won’t. We know that just because someone isn’t dancing, it doesn’t mean that they are not having a good time. Through out the dinner music I usually tend to play a variety of different music, getting more upbeat as time gets closer to the dances. If the right tone isn’t set, people are going to be far less likely to dance or enjoy themselves when the time comes.
On top of all this, the DJ acts as the time keeper for the night. We need to work with all of the other wedding professionals involved and even the family who are involved in the special dances. We need to know the right time for the MC to announce dinner. We need to know if the wedding party is out of the building taking pictures. We need to know that everybody is ready before the special dances begin.
Most of what the DJ does throughout the night is subtle but has a profound effect on the outcome of the evening. An experienced DJ is working the whole night to ensure that one of the most important nights of your life is a success.