Some people are wondering, “What do we do about rescheduling our events?”, while others are wondering, “What happens when we cancel our event?”, and then there are those who wonder, “How do we move forward with our event?”Continue reading
Stopping at the cake table briefly, Emily and Alec cut their beautiful three-tiered cake, baked especially for them by Cake Bake, before joining their wedding party at the head table. The wedding party kept Emily and Alec laughing and supported throughout the entire evening.
SoundFire DJ Creed #teamtj&alyssa
Master of Ceremonies, Writer, and Blogger
The wind howled outside as friends and family arrived for the ceremony. Porsha and Reed’s wedding party entered, the men looking dashing in their suits, and the bridesmaids stunning in their burgundy dresses. Walking in to a cello and piano rendition of “You Are the Reason,” Porsha was a vision in her gorgeous dress. Reed and Porsha exchanged vows and rings up in the hayloft, and were pronounced husband and wife surrounded by their loving family and friends down below.
Their journey is a sweet one, for as it turns out Porsha and Reed have known each other most of their childhood. They met as kindergarteners and started dating in high school. They used to joke about eloping in Jamaica if they didn’t find anyone. Reed proposed to Porsha at Peninsula State Park in Door County and they pinky promised to love each other forever. Before dancing for the first time as husband and wife, their favorite things were shared about each other from an interview we conducted before their wedding day. Porsha laughed as she was reminded that her and Reed would never go hungry as long as they had potato salad (their favorite)! Lusaint’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” filled the barn, all eyes on the lovely newlyweds.
With parent dances concluded, the amazing scent of food wafted from the warm tent beside the barn, where the buffet line was set up. Guests enjoyed dinner, while brave family and friends climbed a ladder to ring the cowbell! This signaled Porsha and Reed to smooch! Homemade cake pops were on each of the tables, accenting the fabulous decorations. Toasts started shortly afterwards, starting with Porsha’s dad, who sweetly toasted his beautiful daughter and new son-in-law. Reed’s mom stood half way up the steep stairs to the hayloft, reminiscing about Reed growing up and helping her with the hay, having to climb the ladder—one rung at a time—herself close behind so he wouldn’t fall. Life is a lot like the rungs of a ladder, their wedding day being the top of their amazing journey up the steps to celebrate their love. Reed’s mom ended with reassurance that if Reed and her new daughter-in-law ever need a parent to help them up the ladder, she would always be there.
Soon the dancing started, with the wedding party kicking off the party with “Mamba No.5!” Dancing kept the chilly night at bay, as people packed onto the dance floor to share in the festivities honoring Porsha and Reed. Tyler made sure to play “The Time” by the Black Eyed Peas, “Buy U A Drank” by T-Pain ft. Yung Joc, and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” There was even a request for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller!”
Chicken Booya made for a wonderfully warm late night soup in between dancing and socializing. Porsha and Reed danced the entire night under the twinkling barn lights and our colorful wash lights. “The Git Up,” “Cha Cha Slide,” and the “Cupid Shuffle” were also danced to before the celebration was over. All family and friends swayed and sang with Porsha and Reed for the last song of the night, wishing the newly married couple a happy send off to, “I’ve Had the Time of my Life” by Bill Medley.
SoundFire DJ Creed #teamtj&alyssa
Master of Ceremonies, Writer, and Blogger
Two subs were set on either side of our DJ booth to provide amazing depth in the music throughout the night. Cocktail music was easy listening while Gaby and Kurt’s guests arrived from the ceremony. Chatter and laughter emulated from family and friends outside as the team from Kirsten Jane Photo captured the magical moments of the day, which included group photos.
SoundFire DJ Creed
Master of Ceremonies, Writer, and Blogger
Picking the entertainment for your wedding can be one of the most challenging tasks for couples!
- They want someone to run their day for them so they don’t have to
- They want modern and sophisticated, not tired and cheesy
- They want their experience to be fun, comfortable, and inviting for their guests
- They want their wedding reception to be a unique reflection of who they are!
- It keeps guests centered and engaged. More of your guests stay longer.
- Have you ever been to a wedding where you didn’t feel like you knew what was going on? Lots of couples have. Great entertainers who have proper MC training know how to keep your event moving and your guests informed.
- The memories your photographer will capture at your reception are a direct result of what your entertainer does to “set the scene”. If you have great entertainment you’ll get pictures of you and your guests having the most amazing time at your wedding reception. Likewise, the inverse of that is true too.
- Everything else you’ve invested in for your wedding is enjoyed more, and you get more “bang for your buck” out of it. Decor is enjoyed more, food is enjoyed more, drinks are enjoyed more, essentially the entire experience is enhanced by having great entertainment.
If that’s not enough, the other benefit you’ll have by investing in great entertainment is your family & friends talking about how fun your wedding was for years to come.
What are the top 5 trends couples are looking for to make their wedding stand out in 2020?
5. Production Value
- Theatrical lighting – again, gone are the blinky “Spencer’s Gifts” lights. Theatrical lighting looks more impressive, is more expressive to help enhance the right mood, and looks WAY better in your photos.
- Visual elements – displays, atmospheric effects, pyrotechnics are all elements that can be used to great effect at the right moments. One thing that DJs are adding more commonly now are displays that can have content personalized to your wedding reception.
- Proper sound reinforcement – with non-traditional venues often times having multiple spaces where guests will congregate, it’s important to have sound everywhere so that when the MC is informing guests of what’s happening, no one misses a beat! What about when a guest’s favorite song/song request comes on? Again, they don’t miss it. What about dinner? Have you ever sat next to a DJ setup when the DJ is trying to blast the music on one end of the room so that it’s at a complimentary volume for the other side of the room? Not fun. A DJ that has proper sound reinforcement capabilities can eliminate this problem altogether!
WITH THE RISE OF AMATEUR/HOBBYIST DJs THERE HAS ALSO BEEN A RISE OF NO SHOWS!! Why risk one of the most important services for your day on someone who isn’t professional just to save a few dollars? It doesn’t make any sense. Work with a professional, even a low-end one, to make sure you’re not left stuck shortly before your wedding stressing out over finding a DJ who’s open. Plus, when that amateur bails with your money, good luck getting it back.
Because of how widespread this problem has become, what couples want is someone who is dependable, and the expectation is that they create an amazing shared experience for all of their guests. Which brings us to the next item on our list!
3. An inclusive experience
Now, someone may take the time to learn about you, but how do you know they’ll actually use this info to make your wedding day better? Listen to what else they say, and how they’re trying to understand these personal details. Also, and this is a big one, has the DJ sought out any professional training from mentors outside of the circle of DJs in your local area? This is a huge clue to telling the difference between a DJ that actually cares about bringing the best service to their clients, and one that’s just in it for the side money.
2. Love Story
1. Authentic, Marquee Level DJ/MC Talent & Skill
Marquee level DJs will:
Perform on proper DJ gear: this means some kind of “turntable” style interface. If your DJ performs on a laptop only they cannot create the same experience as a DJ that uses the proper instruments. Of course, it’s not enough to just have these instruments, it’s knowing how to use it with creativity, and fluid/flawless technique.
Know what beat matching & key matching is, and how to actually do it: Beat matching is something that nearly every DJ has heard of, but very, very few DJs know how to do. Some try to use their software to do it for them using a function called “sync” which sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t work. The hidden thing most DJs don’t know besides beat matching is phrase matching. Without getting too technical into music theory, phrase matching is making the music sound like it goes together in the form (i.e. chorus to chorus, verse to verse, etc.)
Read a crowd not just to play what guests want to hear, but to also play what they didn’t know they wanted to hear: It’s pretty easy to figure out what a group of people are into. About 50% of DJs can read a dance floor, and play what people want to hear. That’s good, and it will be a good party, but not a great party. About 1% of DJs in most markets know the skill of reading a crowd to play what people didn’t know they wanted to hear, and that’s FAR more exciting! Ever been on the dance floor when the crowd goes, “OOOOOOHHHH!!!” when the next song drops unexpectedly at the perfect time? That’s the difference.
Use lighting in coordination with the music and the mood: So many DJs set their lights on an automatic or sound reactive mode. It’s especially noticeable when a slow song comes on, or when the lights just do the same thing all night. The fact of the matter is that nearly all lights, even the cheap ones, have the capability to be controlled more deliberately by the entertainer. The entertainer should be able to change the lighting to enhance what’s happening in the moment and/or the music. It makes a huge difference when done right, and it can be headache inducing when it’s done wrong!
Create a unique musical experience: THIS MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT PARAGRAPH YOU READ IN THIS ARTICLE! The reason why some couples choose to DIY DJ their wedding isn’t just about the money. Sometimes it’s about the perception they’ve had of DJs. Likely they’ve never experienced a marquee level DJ. There’s an old joke where if someone doesn’t think they have great musical ability they say, “Well, I can play the radio!” It’s true! Anyone can play the radio!! However, marquee level DJs differ due to the fact that they will create unique musical moments for you. They’ll have your favorite music in a way you’ve never heard it before. It’s the ultimate marriage between familiar & fresh. No one wants to dance to music they’ve never heard before, but at the same time, no one wants to dance to the same songs they’ve heard at every other wedding! The only solution to this problem is by working with a DJ that knows how to take the music you & your guests know and love, and do something creative and fresh that sounds good! A great example is taking the song “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and putting it to the beat of “Timber” by Pitbull & Ke$ha. Now you’ve given two songs that you’ve likely heard to death, and given them new life by putting them together. Plus, you know both songs, so you’re going to instantly be familiar with what’s happening, and where the music is going.
Marquee level MCs will:
Direct Inform and Guide your event so you don’t have to. There’s a proper skill to doing this the right way that only about 5% of DJs actually know how to do. How do you know it’s so few? Ask yourself, “Have I ever been to a wedding where I either didn’t feel like I knew what was going on, or the MC turned me off so I didn’t want to listen to them?” Chances are the answer to this question is yes more often than no.
Personalize, personalize, personalize: Just saying your names with some short, generic statements in between is not proper MC work at a wedding. The sign of a great MC is that some of your guests are going to wonder if this person is a personal friend of yours.
Work in the background with the other professionals you have hired: This starts before the wedding day, and extends all the way through it. Your DJ is the central hub of communication on your wedding day. Nothing happens until they say so on the microphone, and everything needs to be ready to go when they do make that announcement. Nothing frustrates a photographer more than a DJ that starts something without them being ready, and likewise nothing will frustrate you more than not having pictures of an important moment documented in your wedding album.
Always keep the focus on the reason we’re here, not on themselves: One of the biggest turnoffs according to wedding attendees, is a MC that has the appearance of wanting to be the center of attention. It’s important for the MC to be able to command the attention of the room, but the purpose of gathering everyone’s attention should always be directed toward the greater thing happening whether it be the couple, the guests, a first dance, a parent dance, etc. An MC that introduces themselves at a wedding like a stand up comedian is in the wrong place.
Agree or disagree with us? Leave your comments below! Also, let us know what entertainment trends you’re most looking forward to in 2020, and be sure to get in touch with us if you have a wedding coming up where you want great entertainment!
Founder & Professional Entertainer – SoundFire DJ
Master of Ceremonies, Writer, and Blogger
Fortunately, the Red Lion, Paper Valley Hotel had power for Laura and Dan’s Disney themed reception. Cocktail hour was held in the reception hall, with décor to match Laura’s love for Disney. Every guest was assigned a Disney character, which matched with a dinner table. Everything was soft, purple, silver, and fairy-tale like.
After group photographs with their photographer, Jocelyn from Paper Raven Photography,the grand march ensued with style and energy, as family and friends welcomed Laura and Dan’s close friends and family of the wedding party into the reception to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. All the bridesmaids and groomsmen were incredibly supportive and ready throughout the special day to help Laura and Dan in any way. Dinner was delicious, interspersed with guests picking Hershey kisses from a tote, which were wrapped in three different colors. After picking a gold kiss, several people had to smooch another, and others (including Laura’s dad!) told a story about Laura or Dan when they picked a silver kiss. Finally, Laura and Dan got to kiss if guests picked a purple-wrapped Hershey kiss! Toasts followed, with funny stories shared by the Maid of Honor and Best Man, showing their love for Laura and Dan. Dr. Keith conducted a funny, well-researched speech praising his daughter’s accomplishments and welcoming Dan to the family.
Here’s to new beginnings,
SoundFire DJ Creed #teamtj&alyssa
So why is something that is so wonderful so stressful? There are many reasons, but the biggest is simply that we want everything to go right without any snags! Add to this that this is the biggest, and likely most expensive, party you have ever thrown in your life, and the pressure just adds up.
While there can be some really huge snags that can happen with friends & family, there are also huge snags that can happen with professionals. The biggest snag that happens with the people you’ve hired for your wedding day can simply be summed up as: They go out of business, or they don’t show up for your wedding day.
Will this business be in business by the time we get to my wedding date?
What makes this situation even more stressful is when the friend bails, depending on the popularity of your date, there may be very limited availability from professionals in the area. Sometimes you might get lucky and find someone who is very good that can handle a wedding on short notice, but if you haven’t set aside an emergency fund to cover the difference between the cost of your friend and a professional, then that’s another stress.
Again, only deal with legit businesses in the first place, and your risk goes way down.
Bonus tip: If you do happen to have a friend who runs a business as a wedding professional treat their business as if that wasn’t your friend running it. They should do the same for you too. This means don’t ask for any special favors or discounts, and keep the friendship separate from the service they provide as a professional. It may be too hard to do, and it may be best to not hire friends at all.
Before determining your budget allocation for each part of your reception, it’s important to talk to lots of professionals. The best strategy is to start at the top and work your way down. Find the highest priced services in the market. Learn about their service, then ask the next lower, and the next lower. Pay attention to what’s missing as you work your way down. For some services you’ll want the best of the best. When it comes to the major three for a wedding: entertainment, food & drink, documentation; these are the areas that will most directly impact the success of your event along with the memories you preserve from it, and the ones you’ll likely want to invest the majority of your budget. Start there before you get to things like the dress, the invitations, and the favors.
If you start at the top and work your way down, it’ll also become much clearer to you what is an unsustainable, and therefore, unreasonable rate. An unreasonable rate is:
– When the exchange of money is disproportionate to the service or good being exchanged.
Can that be a business that charges “too much”? Yes. Keep in mind that this is very uncommon though as “ripoffs” tend to get called out very quickly by the public and the media. A far more common unreasonable rate is one too low where a business could not survive without a supplemental income from another source. These are the side-hustlers. For example, if you hire a photographer with 10 years of experience that is only charging $800 for your wedding, that means you’ve very likely hired a side-hustle photographer. Why does this matter to you? Here’s why: if that photographer lost their “real job” tomorrow, had to sell their camera to make their rent/mortgage, and your wedding is in 2 weeks, guess who isn’t going to have a photographer for their wedding. It’s the same thing with cheap DJs, unlicensed bakers, etc.
The old saying, “If it’s too good to be true…” sums this point up nicely.
Shouldn’t have to (but it’s a good idea anyway):
Hair & makeup
Venue (if you’re having your wedding at a private residence you may need to purchase your own event insurance)
Tailor/Dress Shop/Tux Rentals
These professionals typically need licenses to run their business, and usually part of keeping and maintaining that license is to have insurance. So it’s a pretty safe bet that they have it, although it doesn’t hurt to ask how their coverage may help you and your event in the case of an incident.
These professionals have zero licensing requirements. That’s why the level of skill and quality can vary so greatly. Insurance from these professionals helps protect you and your event, but it also protects the business owner to help keep them in business should something go wrong at someone else’s event before yours happens.
So, it’s that simple! Hire professionals (not friends/people who do things on the side), expect to pay a professional rate, and make sure your professionals, especially your creative professionals, are insured. You’ll feel A LOT less stressed!
Wedding DJ prices are all over the place…
Everything costs more than originally thought!
It’s not your fault!
The simple fact is, while there are more amateurs than ever before, and new technologies have made the barrier to entry easier into these crafts; the professionals will always stand out because they have put in the work, dedication, and drive to provide excellence in their service.
So where do people often end up when looking for price?
Simple, often times these averages don’t discern between the professionals and the amateurs.
I’ll use DJs as the example. According to one website, theknot.com, the average rate for a wedding DJ in 2017 was $1,231.
Why is this number extremely misleading? In a word: quality. It’s a poll from what couples reported they spent. It has no other qualifying factors to take into account – especially a question that really matters – was the person they hired an actual professional, and did the couple even like the service they received? Trust me, the profession that has the most “my friend does it” people are DJs (photographers a close 2nd). This average DJ cost number used by theknot.com includes the $200-$1,300 amateurs as well as the $1,300-$3,000+ professionals.
Why does it matter? The number one thing that couples say is most important to them at a wedding is that “everyone has a good time”. Since the DJ is the service provider that is going to have the most impact on this, who would actually want someone that isn’t working on a professional level?
What about a percentage?
DJs aren’t just DJs anymore…
Pro tip: if you can’t meet the potential spokesperson for your wedding up front, then it’s likely that the DJ service you’re speaking to doesn’t assign you a DJ till only a short time before your wedding. Do you want someone that only knows you on paper who’s never heard of you until two weeks before your wedding?
It has even grown beyond being an MC and a DJ
Uplighting, or any other decorative service a DJ can provide should be considered separate from your DJ budget. Services like lighting design (includes uplighting, downlighting, architectural lighting, etc.), pyrotechnics (if legal, and the DJ is properly licensed), and atmospheric effects for visual purposes (i.e. dancing on a cloud) are all things that should be under the “decorative” portion of the budget. If you factor decorative services under the entertainment portion of your budget, you’re robbing yourself of getting the best core service when it comes to your DJ.
Photobooth is something that should still be under the entertainment category, but then you need to factor towards the higher end of the percentage range. Also, keep in mind, that if you’re doing a ceremony in a non-traditional location (outside, not at a church), then the DJ can often-times offer a service to help with that too.
There is no such thing as same for less.
Don’t purchase equipment, purchase results.
- Is it of professional quality, and will they have backups in case something fails?
- Is the presentation of the equipment neat, clean, modern, and professional?
- Will the DJ’s lighting make my photos look like a unicorn decorated the place, or will it look classy?
- Does the DJ know how to use their equipment to its most effective extent to get you the results you want?
To illustrate the point. Here is a DJ that has decent quality equipment, but very poor presentation:
The other thing to consider is that with the DJ’s party lighting the photographer is going to have their work cut out for them, and it will likely reduce the quality of the images taken – especially with that laser.
One last thought on this topic:
Let’s say instead of a DJ you were picking out a carpenter to build you an heirloom bedroom set. Would you pick the carpenter that talks about what tools they purchase, or the carpenter that builds the highest quality, most beautifully designed furniture?
If we get back to talking about DJs, it’s the difference between the image above, and this:
So how much should I spend?
That being said, ask yourself what’s most important to you about your reception. If you are like most couples who say, “I want everyone to have a good time.” then be true to that statement, and make the DJ a high priority in your budget. They will make or break the reception, so invest in a high-end pro that will “make” the reception in an exceptional way. I gave a number example earlier in this post saying professionals are $1,300-$3,000+, and I believe that, at the time of writing this, that’s a fairly accurate range of low-end to high-end professionals in the Wisconsin market. Keep in mind that range is for a starting rate, and not a “package”. Below that price range will generally be amateurs, low-end/budget DJ farms (some that contact local amateurs the week of your wedding to send to your event), or the newly hired DJ on which the company is trying out on you.
How much is your wedding experience worth to you? Do you actually want average, or do you want an experience you and your guests can rave about?
A better way…
Normally when we shop for something, the first thing we think of is “What do I want?” Let’s take a TV for example. We don’t start off by saying, “I want to spend $500 on a TV.” We start off by thinking of size, features, brand, etc. i.e. “I want a 65″ Samsung TV with smart features and built in apps.” When it comes to choosing a DJ why not think of this the same way? i.e. “I want a DJ who can gracefully lead my event over the microphone, rock the dance floor, provide in-depth personalization, not be corny, and make my night unforgettable for the right reasons.”
Take a minute to figure out what you want in your DJ. Not sure what that is yet? Talk to DJs without bringing up price. Talk about the quality of the experience. What do they actually do for you? Do they make you feel like just another number, or is your wedding something they actually care about?
1. Hire professionals for everything, do your research, and find a way to get who you REALLY want!
I reached out to a couple of the wedding communities I’m a part of on social media, and these quotes pretty much sum it up:
Hope Dalebroux – “I wish I would’ve started planning a lot sooner than I did so finding vendors didn’t feel like a crisis sometimes lol”
Amy DeJardin – “I wish I would’ve gone with my top pick of a photographer instead of trying to save money on that part of the wedding.”
Andrea Fields – “I regret a few things from my big day I wish I had a different dress. We also had a friend do photos, and that is my biggest regret cause I don’t have pictures that I love or any pictures I wanted.”
Patricia Dufek – “I wish I would have had a videographer and a planner. I REALLY REALLY wish I would have had someone to set up details/decorating/take down. It would have been so worth it, even though my family/friends offered help… looking back it was such an burden.”
Patricia’s comment brings us to the next thing a lot of couples wish they did differently:
2. Hire a videographer
Sandy Meyer sums it up perfectly – “Have a professional videographer, we had a family member do it for us and let’s just say it’s not what I expected.”
Today, wedding videographers are producing amazing work, and great videographers can make your wedding video look like a movie while creating a strong emotional connection. Here is an example from “Films Nouveau” a videographer we’ve had the pleasure of working & collaborating with:
3. Hire a day-of planner, or a full Wedding Planner
There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’ve never done this before, I need help.” That’s why professional wedding planners exist! A lot of planners will even offer different levels of planning for you too. Services tend to range from day-of all the way to full planning. At the very least have a day-of planner to help with decor, coordination, and ensuring details are ready on the day of your celebration. Of course, for the ultimate stress relief – hire a full planner!
Here are a few quotes that sum this up (aside from Patricia’s earlier):
Abi Peterson – “Have a personal attendant to take care of all the ‘little things’ the day of. This way you don’t run back to the venue to make sure it’s the way you want it to look ?”
Amanda Brackett – “I wish I would’ve hired a wedding planner, little details got overlooked(by me) and I think having a planner would have made the whole experience less stressful.”
Jessica Wolosek – “I probably would’ve asked for more help. I really wanted to plan every part of the day, and the week before was quite stressful.”
4. Take a moment, in fact take several
Claire Urness – “With regards to the reception, it’s so go go go, I would recommend just taking time, stepping back and observing. Take it all in. It was advice that I received that I wish I listened to. With the hustle and bustle, having that moment will likely be en-grained in your brain forever.”
5. Make entertainment a top priority
In their survey 100% of brides would have spent more on their entertainment had they realized how much impact it had while they were planning. 78% wished they had made it a top priority during their planning and budgeting, and 72% wished they had spent more time researching before selecting their entertainment.
That’s a pretty high percentage of people who sound like they had some buyer’s remorse.
The fact that 100% said they would have spent more on it for a better outcome is likely a result of the suggestions that bridal sites and magazines recommend as the 5-10% allocation of the budget “for music”, indicating that in hindsight, 5-10% was not enough. Keep in mind that entertainment for an event isn’t “just music” – especially for a wedding. According to Peter Merry, author of the book, The Best Wedding Reception…Ever, entertainment should ALSO:
- Serve as the Master of Ceremonies
- Help you plan an agenda to ensure proper pacing in order to keep guests interested
- Act as the central hub of communication to keep guests, family members, other vendors, and YOU coordinated
- Work with you in advance of your wedding to personalize your celebration in order to create lasting memories for an unforgettable celebration.
It is often said that entertainment “makes or breaks” your reception. For something so pivotal to the outcome & success of your event, it should be one of, if not the very first thing(s) you research & book.
Get a book when you book! – our couples receive a free copy of Peter Merry’s book when they book their wedding with us.
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The audience gave their first of many thunderous cheers for our couple that day. Music resumed, and the ceremony took place with ease.
Part of our preparation for special occasions, especially weddings, is to learn more than just the names of the VIPs. We want to know the relationships, their favorite hobbies, how they met the couple, etc., and we use this information to give charming, personalized introductions for each bridesmaid & groomsman in the wedding party.
After the Grand Entrance, we turned the microphone over to our couples’ parents for opening toasts and words of thanks. During dinner, in order to get the bride & groom to kiss, guests shared stories about Mariah & Brock!
Following dinner we heard toasts from the wedding party, witnessed a special presentation put together by Josh Thompson of Josh Thompson Media, and began our dance by sharing the love story of Mariah & Brock. Sharing the love story has become one of my favorite things to do for my couples at their weddings. It’s something we put together very carefully, and have actually received professional mentoring on both composition and performance to make sure it is always delivered exceptionally well.
Josh Thompson Media
Jenn with Magdalene Photography
Stone Harbor Resort
Do you want an unforgettable experience like this at your wedding?
West met Midwest on 7/7/18 for an epic celebration!
Our day began with arrival and setup at 10am, with one of the first things being rolled in was our new DJ booth. (We’re still coming up with names for it. If you have a sweet idea for a DJ booth name, leave it in the comments!) Followed by the rest of our gear for the day. The game plan for the day? Ceremony outdoors on the lawn, followed by appetizers and drinks inside, the wedding party arrival after departing for photos, dinner, and dancing!
In honor of our couple we prepared and delivered on several musical nuances to please both our Midwestern and West Coast guests. I’d say the results turned out pretty well.
No, it’s not a corn hole toss game … Watch the video to see the reveal!!
To inaugurate our new video booth we’re going to be doing something special for all 2018 and 2019 clients that have booked with Alton before 6/30/18 – we’re going to give you a free animated monogram that will be displayed on the booth intermittently throughout your reception. This is a $350 option we want to give as a thank you to those who have chosen to entrust their events with us. That also means there’s still time to book with Alton to get this service!
Here’s the catch though, and while this should be common sense, we need to say it anyway. The booth will only work for events where it will be compatible with the setting/venue. For the most part that means that it will need to be a place that has rolling accessibility from where we unload all the way to where the booth will be placed. It will not roll on grass or soft surfaces. We will not be able to accommodate stages unless they have adequate ramp access, undersized elevators where the booth cannot fit, and absolutely no stairs.
For venues where the booth is incompatible we will bring our tried & true setup, that our couples have loved for years, to rock your event.
Again, we are so excited to be bringing this new feature to SoundFire DJ, and use it as an amazing tool to enhance your event!
See you soon!!
Let’s start with some pics!
SoundFire DJ is proud to be one of the very few preferred providers that come highly recommended from this wonderful facility. We have had several successful events here, and look forward to having several more.
This space can do so much for your wedding, and I’ve personally seen it hold 350 guests with ease. Not to mention that if you love beer, this is definitely one of the best places to have your reception!
If you’ve already booked, or are considering having, your reception at Badger State Brewing Company, get in touch with us here at SoundFire DJ. We’ll help you bring the very best entertainment in Northeast Wisconsin to one of the very best venues!
The other night I get a call back from a bride I met at a very recent wedding show. She was very interested in our services, and knew the price range, but now her fiancé is telling her he’ll get a friend to DJ the wedding because it will be lower in price. She claims this friend is part of a DJ company. I offer helpful experience to her and say, “Be extremely careful. While you may not go with us, make sure you thoroughly put anyone you’re considering through the paces to make sure they’re professional, skilled, and reliable. I get calls all the time, every wedding season, from couples in a panic searching for someone open telling me about the friend who bailed on them.” I then thanked her for calling and offered to provide any help she may need down the line.
Not more than 20 minutes later I get a call from a DJ. They have the words “Double D” in their business name (smh). I had never heard of them. What does this guy tell me? He was supposed to DJ a wedding for his work-friend he works with at his factory job (this guy isn’t a full-time DJ), and he got asked to stand up in a closer friend’s wedding. He didn’t realize for some time that the two weddings were on the same date! He’s bailing on his work-friend to stand up in his other friend’s wedding despite having agreed to DJ the work-friend’s wedding first. He even said to me “I’d rather stand up in my friend’s wedding than DJ a wedding. You understand!” No I don’t understand. The only thing I understand right now is that you are unprofessional, and have no business taking on an event where you weren’t prepared to 100% commit.
Now this bride is in a panic because she’s without one of the most important services of the day, and she is only a few months away. Plus her wedding falls on a prime date that’s booked up nearly everywhere. She had no contract with “Double D”, and the amount of money involved with this transaction was insignificant enough to where there was no incentive, or “skin in the game”, for either side to press for the agreement being kept. She also sounds completely unprepared to find a professional DJ at a professional rate. Which means she’s likely going to roll the dice again on a hobbyist.Moral of the story: don’t hire the friend who does this as a hobby for your wedding day. Not all DJ companies are actually professional – and be especially careful of the ones that do this as a side hustle. Do your research, and prepare in your budget adequately (at least 10-15% depending on your total budget). Hire the professional that has a solid reputation, works on your experience (instead of selling gear), and charges a professional fee. You won’t miss the few hundred or even a thousand bucks more 10 years later to get who you want, but you’ll regret not having the best possible experience and memories.
At your service,
First of all 2018 is going to be an amazing year when it comes to our weddings. We have more weddings on the books than ever before, and it’s only growing from here. We’re so thrilled that so many couples have chosen us to entrust with the experience that they will share with their guests on one of the biggest days of their lives. They made the investment in us, and they decided that their wedding day was worth it. I want to speak for all of us here at SoundFire DJ when I give a big thank you to all of our 2018 couples!
What are we working on for 2018?
In a word – performance.
SoundFire DJ is already well-known for the awesome delivery of the “Love Story”. We aren’t stopping there though. This past March Alton traveled out West to study with his mentor Mark Ferrell, the OG when it comes to telling the wedding love story, and spent 2 full days doing nothing but learning how to do this better. The results so far are – more “awes”, more laughs, more cheers, more tears of joy, and, most importantly, a greater emotional connection between the couple and the audience when the couple takes the dance floor for their first dance. After the day is done, this results in better memories for all in attendance.
We talk a lot during our consultations about the difference between amateur MCs and professional MCs. Although we already repeatedly receive comments from guests such as, “I can tell you’ve done this before. Were you ever in broadcast?” or “Thanks for not sounding corny like the last DJ we saw at a wedding.” – it’s not enough. Again, we have been taking professional classes to further develop and refine our skills as the spokesperson who will represent you on a microphone in front of your friends & family. This makes a huge difference when it comes to how people experience your event!
The bottom line is your event deserves better than “cheesy shtick”. You have something very real to celebrate, and the spokesperson you hire needs to be in tune with that. We take this very seriously.
Of course, the music is important too, and that’s only getting better as well. For the past few years we’ve been bringing a level of skill to DJing that you rarely see in Northeast Wisconsin. We’re not the human jukebox pressing shuffle on a playlist. We’re DJs. We study the skill of taking you and your guests on a musical journey, and the learning never stops. Until you’ve experienced a wedding with us, you don’t know what you’re missing. We keep the music going with seamless transitions from song to song where everything stays on the beat, along with creative ideas that have crowds reacting like this:
If you’d like to learn more about how SoundFire DJ can make your event look like the pictures above, get in touch!
What a way to send things off! We had such an incredible time with the DuFrane’s & the Groose families. They had a beautiful reception up at The Carrington, which is part of The Landmark Resort, in Egg Harbor (our second time being up there this year). What was also very special about this event is Mike Rakovszky from Advanced Entertainment DJ service came along to co-chair the event under the SoundFire DJ flag. It’s something special when DJ companies can work together to help bring an amazing experience to each other’s events.
Our couple had their ceremony service at a nearby church, and then the doors for their guests opened at 5pm for the reception. Guests were immediately greeted with tasteful selections of Adult Contemporary music based on Adam & Megan’s requests, and music we expertly curate based on their tastes.
Right before we began dinner …
I’m delighted to share that this resulted in an amazing evening for Mr. & Mrs. Groose, and we put together this short video to wish them a big congratulations!
We had the pleasure of working with Vicky Gilson Photography who captured the beautiful memories in which we helped to contribute. Here are a couple beautiful examples of Vicky’s work:
Alton did a fantastic job DJing our event this past weekend!! He was not only an excellent DJ, but he helped us out every step of the way, keeping us on track with our planning. He was very professional and genuinely wanted to make sure that everything went smoothly and perfectly for our day. He kept everyone on the dance floor all night, which was very important to us. We would recommend Soundfire DJ to anyone!!
We didn’t get to know her for very long, but she left an impression on us that will stay with us for a lifetime.
Alton, the owner, was at the Shawano County Park Pavilion for the wedding of Nicholas & Katie Lucier helping them to have a night of a lifetime filled with beautiful memories as we shared their love story, and directed the night to accommodate a very diverse group of guests & special dances. Here is a brief video we put together to wish them a congratulations!
Bayport 2016 Homecoming
SoundFire DJ brought on board the talents of Tyler Hooyman, Nate Losinski, and Serna Al aka DJ Baja to run the dance. Our equipment setup for this dance was nothing short of incredible. For lighting we had 10 moving heads, 4 wash lights, and our truss was illuminated in Bayport’s school colors. Our sound system had 4 dual 18″ subwoofer cabinets (yes, a total of 8 18″ low frequency drivers – the bass was insane), and we flew 4 2-way speakers from the truss to have the incredible skills of our DJ – Tyler come through with crystal clear audio over the 1300 students that were in attendance!
Here are some photos of the guys setting up (just for reference, Tyler, pictured bottom left, is 6’6″ tall):