How to Guarantee a Fun Classy Michigan Wedding"
As Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a changing.” 50 is the new 30!
Wow factors are a must and wedding attendees demand fun. Precision, research and personality are necessities for executing the “Wedding of the Year!” AND it all starts with… your wedding DJ!
Gone are the days of slow dancing to Frank Sinatra's greatest hits all night…sorry Ol' Blue Eyes. Today your guests want to get dressed up, they expect to be impressed, and they come ready to hit the dance floor! Bringing the fun will guarantee that your guests will stay well past the cake cutting and not leave for another party. When they talk about your wedding in five years, the amazing surf & turf will take a backseat to the memory of your aunt doing the Robot and the full on dance-off that ensued.
A great DJ has a lot of responsibility during your reception, but it’s crucial not to forget the legwork that must be done prior to your big day. Your DJ should be assisting you with 1) building a flexible timeline, 2) organizing wedding music requests, 3) providing a backup plan for mishaps (car accidents, equipment failure, etc.) 4) keeping your event on schedule (especially if there isn't a coordinator), and 5) work with your vendors to make sure all of your wedding day memories are captured!
So let’s get to the point… how to make sure your wedding is the party to remember for years to come!
1. Get On Your Feet! The High Energy Grand Entrance
Choosing an up-tempo song that your guests will stand up & clap along to is guaranteed to get the energy flowing! It will set the reception apart from the wedding ceremony/cocktail hour and will set the tone for the rest of the celebration!
2. Dancing! It’s Not Just for After Dinner
As the energy booms from your fantastic grand entrance, continue with a 10-15 minute dance party. Your guests sat through the beautiful ceremony and mingled during the cocktail hour, so it is a great time for you to remind them that this is a celebration and the fun is only beginning!!
3. Spice Up Your Dinner Time Playlist
We all love the Rat Pack and the old time classics, but it ensures that “I-heard-this-same-song-last-time-I-was-at-a-wedding” atmosphere. Instead, play adult contemporary music that everyone will recognize. Artists like Jason Mraz, Michael Buble, Leona Lewis, and Taylor Swift all have wonderful songs that fit the mood of an elegant wedding.
Bonus Tip: A live performer (guitarist, singer, strings troupe) will also enhance your dinner's ambiance.
4. Don’t Follow The Rules! Keep The Party Flowing!
While so many people rush to get their first dance, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, cake cutting and bouquet toss out of the way… I do not recommend it! “What? Why? I can get everything out of the way and then just have fun! Right?” WRONG!!!” By you getting all your special moments out of the way, you have just allowed your guests to say goodbye, to relax and cash out. You want your reception to always be moving forward. By spacing those moments throughout the reception, a very natural flow will occur. Also, unless all of your guests are professional dancers, no one can survive on the dance floor all night. Try to time your dance segments to about 35-45 minutes with your specialty activities in-between for a night that offers fun as well as time for your guests to catch their breath.
5. People Want To Dance!
Your guests do not want to hear the entire five-minute song, a small pause, and then another five-minute song. Boring!! They came to have FUN! By hiring a DJ who can “MIX” (blending songs with similar tempos together to create a seamless flow of music) you are guaranteeing to keep the dance floor packed, as well as play a lot of different genres of music. A DJ that is skilled in “Beat-Matching/Mixing” can play a new song every 90 to 120 seconds. A sample mix could include songs by Michael Jackson, Guns-n-Roses, Bon Jovi, Rihanna, Aretha Franklin, Usher, Bee Gees and James Brown all mixed with perfect transitions in a ten-minute timeframe. Mixing allows for versatility and dance floor control. If a song is falling on deaf ears, a great DJ can seamlessly move into a different song before the dance floor is evacuated, saving you the embarrassment of an empty dance floor. Make sure your DJ is able to read-the-room without needing you to hold his or her hand along the way.
OK! If you decided to skip the meat of this article, here's my best advice. You wouldn't test drive a car without tires and you would never dare purchase a house without a roof, so do not plan your wedding without a fun, talented, and professional DJ. Meet with a lot of different DJ's. The simple fact is that not all DJs are created equal. Honestly, few are amazing, a fraction are okay, and most of them shouldn’t be allowed behind a set of turntables. The internet has made it incredibly easy for anyone with a laptop computer and a business card to consider themselves a wedding DJ. Be sure that your DJ can and will play the music you want, that they can walk the line of classy and fun, they are reliable and professional AND that they know… A reception's purpose is to CELEBRATE you & your partner's love for one another.
Congratulations and best wishes on finding the DJ that’s right for you!!
Timothy J Montemayor - TJ Monte is a special events DJ and Master of Ceremonies in South East Michigan specializing in Weddings, Black Tie and Red Carpet Events. With over 20 years of special event DJing under his belt, his skill and attention to detail as well as the ability to “read the room” makes TJ Monte one of the best kept secrets in Michigan.