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