No matter what you’ve done to prepare for your Wedding, remember this: Music Enhances the Memories!
You’ve purchased a Beautiful Wedding Dress. You’ve spent thousands of dollars on Photography and Flowers and Food. You picked the absolute perfect Venue to host your amazing wedding. But after all of that, your Wedding will be judged by how entertaining it was and if the music was good or not.
Music is the most important enhancement of any event, especially weddings. So, if you’re considering a Band, a DJ, a string or brass group to play live music, or all of those combinations, here are a few tips to think about that will help you make decisions and add the great finishing touches to your Wedding.
1. Don’t dance alone for too long!
When it comes to those traditional pre-arranged dances such as the first dance or father/Bride dance, you don’t have to stay on the dance floor in the spotlight throughout the Entire song. The DJ/MC or Band can do several things to make this moment a little shorter without being obvious. Have them make an announcement to ask others to Join you on the dance floor, or the Emcee will simply ask everyone to applaud you as the DJ fades the song and moves right on to the next scheduled dance. If you’re asking people to join you on the floor half way through a song, be sure to ask a few couples ahead of time to be prepared to get up there and get the rest of the crowd into it.
2. Silence isn’t beautiful
Every Wedding Ceremony needs music, especially the crucial period just prior to the start of the ceremony, approximately 20-30 minutes. As your guests arrive, you need to have music playing, possibly a hired musician or the DJ playing pre-recorded music. If you choose a DJ, you can play anything you want! Sometimes our clients choose classical chamber music, or strings arrangements of Popular songs such as the group “Vitamin String Quartet”. You can also choose acoustic music like Jason Mraz, Michael Buble, Jack Johnson, James Taylor, or Jazzy hits of the 20′s 30′s and 40′s. Either way, this sets the mood for what the evening is going to feel like, but Silence is not an option. Even in the most serene setting, a Wedding is a celebration and should be accompanied by great music!
3. Before you hire a musician, think about the Space!
If you are having a beach wedding ceremony and you hire a harpist to play, it’s possible and quite likely that unless the harp is amplified, the sound of crashing waves and wind will drown out the instrument. In fact, this could even be the case for a string quartet. Ask the Venue coordinator what the acoustic limitations of the venue are and instead of a harp, maybe you hire a DJ to play amplified pre-recorded music, or hire a sound system for the harpist to apply a microphone to her performance. These are things to consider no matter if you’re on a beach, a mountaintop, near a waterfall, or in a large church.
4. The Church has Rules!
If you’re having a Church Wedding Ceremony, remember, even if you’re a Member, it’s not just Your Church. There are almost always rules regarding music when it comes to churches and synagogues. Many locations require you to use their musician or pianist/organist. Some churches will not allow ANY secular music, meaning you’ve got to throw that strings version of Chris Brown’s Forever out the door and stick to traditional pieces like Pachelbel’s Cannon in D, or Bach’s Air on a G String, or Ave Maria by Franz Schubert! Before you assume, you should ask about any music restrictions at the church.
5. Take charge of the Music
You’ve hired a pro Band or DJ for the reception, the band has 200 songs in their repertoire, the DJ has 25,000. You have options! Make sure to tell the entertainment what you do and DO NOT want to hear. You don’t have to pre-program every last second of the reception music, but you shouldn’t just say “Have at it Mr. DJ” We like to have the guidance of the Bride and Groom because we play songs that say something about you as a couple, your personal music tastes are important! At the same time, maybe there’s a song you hate or that has painful memories associated with it, make sure to ask that the song is NOT Played. Beyond that, obviously you should trust the pro to play great music but don’t be afraid to step in and ask the band or DJ to play more of your style of music if that’s the feel you want your wedding to have and the entertainer is straying too far from it.
6. Don’t Blow your guests eardrums!
DJs and Bands LOVE loud music, maybe you do as well. But, it’s not a good idea to blow the speakers out at your wedding. Granted, as the night goes on and the dancing is really cranking, the music should be louder, but make sure you have a word with your entertainment beforehand to keep the music at a tolerable level as the evening progresses. We can say for sure that we always watch our volume levels, and there’s nothing worse than being asked to turn down the music, especially when we know it isn’t very loud…but, sometimes, DJs and Bands can’t tell with certainty if the music is getting too loud, especially if they’re into the dance set and working hard. It’s not a bad idea to ask an attendant to keep their ears open to the volume and if it’s a problem to assign them to ask the entertainment to turn it down so you and your fiance don’t have to worry about it! Either way, you want everyone to have fun and there’s a time and place for the music to progressively get louder.
7. Dirty Words Do Hurt You!
Your Wedding is no time or place for explicit language…whether delivered in a speech by the drunken groomsman or in the MUSIC. Keep in mind, older guests will be offended by foul language at your wedding, so there’s no reason to play it in the music, considering we have edited versions of songs. Most songs are edited for radio, but there are some that are still questionable and could offend some in attendance. Ask yourself if the song is Truly that important.
9. Heavy Metal is probably too heavy.
I love hard rock and classic rock. I also love some heavy metal and punk, but there’s an appropriate time and place for that music, and it’s almost certain that your wedding is not the place. If you MUST fit it into the evening, don’t have it played during dinner…and don’t stop the dancing just to appease your need to hear Tool or Slayer. I promise you, 90% of your guests will not appreciate it. Play that music at a planned time, maybe you and your buddies have a mosh pit routine you want to do and the guests will find it hilariously entertyaining and might even want to get involved, that could be interesting to see grandma in a pit! Either way, don’t insist on including it if it doesn’t fit the overall mood of the event, or just play it really late in the evening when most of the older folks have gone home. If however, you have a Heavier more edgy wedding planned, by all means, Rock On!
10. Don’t get stuck on one genre of music
You love 80′s New Wave, or you are a Hip-Hop connoisseur, Great! Now, just don’t play that music all night at your wedding and we’ll all be happy. Too much of a good thing is never good. Mix it up, that’s what DJs do really well. We want everyone to enjoy themselves and feel like they have a chance to dance to the kind of music that makes them move, so it’s best to play short blocks of 3 or 4 of the same kind of music and then mix out to something else. As the night progresses and we’re left with die hard dancers, then we can cater to whatever style of music they want to hear the most and stick to that for a while. In general the rule for Music Entertainers is, play a great mix, everyone has fun!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of tips, keep coming back for more great tips on our Jamaica Wedding DJ Blog.