Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Music Musts: DJ Tips & Tricks

Our DJ’s motto is “great music…great party,” and I couldn’t agree more. In the coming weeks, I’ll share all the ins and outs of working with him to plan our reception, including the grand entrance, sing-along contest, and playlist. But to start things off, here are my top tips for working with your DJ to ensure a fabulous party that leaves everyone happy.

Remember that it’s your event, and you call the final shots about the timeline, music lineup, and so on. Want to be certain there’s absolutely no garter toss or cake smashing during your party? Have a special announcement you’d like made just before dinner? Be sure to speak up and make sure your DJ knows just when and what to say throughout the evening.

On the other hand, your DJ has likely planned hundreds of parties just like yours, so her suggestions about timing and the order of events are certainly worth listening to. You may go into the meeting thinking your way is the best way, but the DJ might offer a point-of-view you never thought about before. For example, our DJ suggested doing the anniversary dance right after the cake cutting, so that the venue staff will have time to plate it while guests are dancing. It was advice well-taken.

Don’t skip a written pronunciation key. Even if you think most of the names of your family members and wedding party are easy to pronounce, it never hurts to cover your bases. My sister’s name, Kellie, is mispronounced surprisingly often. Neither you nor the DJ wants to kick the night off with a botched grand entrance, so it’s better to be safe by providing a basic guide in advance and going over it a couple times before the big day.

Also, remember to submit your “don’t play” and “must play” lists. We all have special songs we do and don’t want to hear throughout the wedding. Make sure your DJ is kept in the loop.

Ask about his policy for guest requests. How does he handle the situation when a guest comes up and asks for a song on your “do not play” list? Does he set aside a certain amount of time during the party for requests and dedications? Make sure you’re on board with these plans in advance.

And finally, be clear about the equipment you’ll need throughout the night. Since our cocktail hour will take place on the patio, our DJ will need to come prepared with extra-long cables and speakers that can be easily moved from the patio to the ballroom before the grand entrance. He’ll also need to bring along sound cables to hook up to our laptop during the slideshows.

What have you learned so far in working with your DJ? Have you faced any major challenges along the way?

(Photo Credit: Personal Library)


  1. Love this post. Defining and recognizing what you need or want from your entertainment makes things a little easier.

  2. Sounds like you found a great and helpful DJ! For us, the search continues . . . thanks for the tips!

  3. I love a really good DJ. It makes my job as a photographer so much easier during the reception. Everyone's happy and having fun which ensures great pictures! ~;o)