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Common reception formats

June 21st, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Arrival of guests at reception site

Some guests may arrive early to the reception. Definitely be sure all reception to-dos are complete by the start time of the wedding. All wedding vendors should be wearing proper attire for early arriving and late staying guests.  All tables should be set-up including cake table, entertainment’s table, sign-in table, food tables, and tables with chairs for all guests.  If you have a seating arrangement, all seating lists should be at the reception with everyone’s name with where they are sitting. I recommend seating arrangements as many wedding meals are buffet style serve your self set-ups, and having assigned seats and table dismissals makes for a much less crowded and frantic buffet line.

Introduction of wedding party

This step is not mandatory, but it is nice for everyone to know who the wedding party is as many have not met before your wedding. I personally LOVE this, and love doing it.  The most fun intros that I have done were similar to introducing a team with a sports theme behind it.  Similar to this…  Create a “Reception Planning Guide” (I call mine a “Run sheet”) and make sure your master of ceremonies is fully prepared prior to your wedding. This details, among other things, the order of entrance into the reception site with their names and titles. The order of entrance is as follows: parents of the bride, parents of the groom, ushers with bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer, special guests, best man, maid/matron of honor, bride and groom.  In addition, review the pronunciations of the wedding party’s names with the master of ceremonies.

Introduction of bride and groom

This is always the last of the introductions. Everyone should stand before the bride and groom enter. In addition, a special song can be arranged with the music entertainment and a special announcement made to punctuate a true grand entrance. Also, inform the master of ceremonies how you would like to be introduced: Mr. and Mrs. Smith or John and Jane Doe.

Blessing

This is another step that is not mandatory, but for the religious couples makes a nice setting. If you invite the person who performed the marriage ceremony to the reception, I would recommend having them conduct the blessing. If they are not able to attend, a parent or family friend is a good idea. Lastly, the master of ceremonies could give the meal blessing. Be sure to communicate with whomever is giving the blessing in advance so they are prepared to give a personal touch.

Meal

Your guests want to eat! Bride and Groom, be sure to stop and take a moment to eat. The bride and groom should probably be first through the line if it is a buffet.  This may be your only chance in the day. Most guests know to wait until the bride and groom start the food line. So don’t be late!

Cake Cutting

This is the traditional bride and groom making the first cut on their wedding cake. Then, the bride feeds half of the piece of cake to the groom and the groom feeds the remaining half to the bride.  The cutting of the cake is a ceremony intended to symbolize the caring and sharing for one another.  Forks may be used as they make the image very attractive for the photographer.  Forks may also minimize the possibility of someone being hurt with the more playful squashing that sometimes happens.

Toasts

The toast is when the bride and groom toast each other then interlock arms and drink. Immediately following, the best man and maid/matron of honor make toasts to the bridal couple. Be prepared for other family and friends to follow with their toasts too.

Bride & Groom’s First Dance

The Bride & Groom’s Dance is the first dance between a bride and groom as a married couple. The dance is also commonly known as the “First Dance”. The timing of the bride groom dance can vary in the evening based on your preferences. The first dance can be done immediately following the grand entrance with the wedding party circling the dance.

Father & Daughter’s Dance

The Father & Daughter’s Dance or the Father Bride Dance is the dance between the father(s) of the bride and the bride. Brides, if you have more than one father in your life, one can tap the other on the shoulder in the middle of the dance so you can dance with both of them. If you do not have a father, a common substitute is a father figure or even your brother would make a very nice gesture.

Mother & Groom’s Dance

The Mother & Groom’s dance is the dance between the mother(s) of the groom and the groom. Grooms, if you have more than one mother in your life, one can tap the other on the shoulder in the middle of the dance so you can dance with both of them. If you do not have a mother, a common substitute is a mother figure or even your sister would make a very nice gesture.

Special Dances

There may be songs in your life that mean dear to your heart. You can ask the music entertainment to play these songs during the night or immediately following the formal dances. An example would be: If someone dear to you passed recently, you may ask the music entertainment to play Angels Among Us by Alabama.

Bouquet and Garter Toss

The traditional tossing of the bouquet is when the bride tosses the bridal bouquet to all single women in attendance.  Immediately following the bouquet tossing, a chair is set in the middle of the dance floor. The chair is for the bride to sit and the groom to remove the bride’s garter from her leg. The traditional tossing of the garter is when the groom tosses the bride’s garter to all the single men in attendance. The people whom catch the garter and bouquet are said to be the next one to marry.

Dancing and Fun

This is what you pay the music entertainment to do…get people to dance and have a good time.  Give the music entertainment music examples and limitations of what type of music you want but don’t give them a list of 100 songs they need to play.

Wedding reception lighting

February 25th, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I wanted to write an article to cover some of the questions I have been getting lately regarding lighting options for events.  To cover some basic lighting components, we’ll discuss some of the common types of lighting used in dance floor and DJ lighting arrangements.

Vertigo DJ lights are lights that bounce and refract light to create stimulating and magical environments of color. The traditional disco ball is the most well known and popular example of moonflower DJ lighting but this takes it a step further. The main reason that disco balls and other types of moonflower lighting is so popular is that it takes one single stream of light and turns it into myriad bouncing lights, which is extremely cost-effective.

Lighting setups including various types of moonflower lights can produce stimulating, multi-layered effects while saving money compared to other high-performance DJ lighting systems.

Beamers are lights are project solid beams of light across a dance floor. Texture and depth are added to the light with the addition of fill lights. Smart or ‘intelligent’ beamers can move in time with the music or to some other type of preset pattern.

Beamers are generally best used in combination with stage lights as the intensity of beamer lights is that they fade significantly the further one gets from the light source.

Strobe lights are another mainstay of DJ lighting basics. Strobe lights flash intermittently in order to provide a freeze frame or slow motion effect that adds drama to the experience, dance floor or stage.

Lasers are a really cool effect that adds a lot to a party and has gained in popularity in recent years. This is a precise type of lighting that is generally used in conjunction with other more broad lighting.

The mood and effect that is created will depend largely on the way that you combine the various types of lights. For example, stage lights provide a general wash of color and lighting for the dance floor.

The only way to find out what types of lighting will work best for your particular application is to experiment and find out what looks the best. And above all else, listen to the music as you make these critical lighting decisions. After all, the main reason to have DJ lighting is to accentuate and extend the art of the music that is being created.

A good place to start is to ask about a few of the basic types of lights mentioned above and start getting ideas. Beamers, in general, produce the most surreal and full landscape effects. Disco balls and other types of moonflowers (Vertigo) are best at filling areas with lots of light.

Start combining types of light and experimenting with different shades or systems for alternating shades of light. Other interesting experiments include altering the shapes and materials that the light reflects onto.

The addition of lasers are a great way to emphasize particular portions of songs. Any light components can be set up to respond to rhythm and music in general. This can be a wonderful way to build a dynamic light show that will naturally complement a music program of any kind.

Uplights are all the rage these days as well… There is a picture of an example included. They are light cans that can be set to a few different colors to match a room or a decor, but add a lot to a room without being “clubby”. It’s a very classy addition to a corporate party or wedding reception which shoots beams of light up walls and pillars…

Seattle Wedding receptions

February 12th, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Since we are local born and raised AND perform at dozens of weddings in the Seattle area each year, we speak to a lot of people each and every day who are searching for the right entertainment for their wedding. The majority of our potential cleints have never hired a DJ for anything before and have no idea where to start. Unfortunately, with this lack of experience in interviewing for the right person to hire the number one question we get (without fail)  is “how much do you charge?” Cost is definitely an important factor in who to hire… but it’s just ONE factor. It’s not the only factor.  I understand why people ask this question as a wedding is a major investment (and you do have to set a budget for any type of event) but the one thing I advise all couples on is that it should not (should NOT) be the determining factor in choosing a DJ, as a DJ can either make or break a reception.

 Budgets will definitely vary as the average cost of a wedding in Seattle is over $15,000. When you look at the big picture a Disc Jockey usually only accounts for about 5% of your wedding budget (which is small when you consider that this person is RUNNING the show for the majority of the night!). The DJ is one of your less expensive wedding vendors (sure it’s AWESOME to leave in a stretch Hummer limo, but that has no bearing on the success of the night). Without exception, the number one question that all past clients asked themselves was… “Did we have fun?” (Number 2 was how good was the food?) I say give it TWO years tops and your guests will not remember what they ate at your reception… but they WILL remember if they had a good time or not. So here are some things to consider when choosing THE most important vendor for your wedding reception.

A lot of the DJ’s you will run across in Seattle (especially if you are “googling”) charge less because they do not have the same level of experience to offer, which in many cases could result in disastrous outcomes.  The will flash “4-5 hours for $395!” on their websites and google ads.  Since you are familiar with google, try googling “Bait and switch” and read about this tactic.  They upcharge for everything and you end up paying as much, if not more than an honest, up front DJ running a professional business.  They also charge this much because they have to… to get the business.  You will likely see cheap equipment and a lack of experience and confidence… You DON’T want that when it comes to YOUR wedding reception. You want AWESOME! Keep in mind most DJ’s in the market are smaller, part time companies and although their packages might appear similar, the service itself is not the same. Most do not carry the same quality of equipment (and although they say they have a digital system, using their Laptop they also use for School is not professional). In addition most do not carry the essential back up equipment, and although it is rarely needed, if your wedding is the exception it is good to know your wedding will not be ruined because of this. What if the DJ you hire is sick or there is a last minute emergency and they do not have a solid back up plan you could be out of luck (and believe me this happens much more than one might think in the wedding industry). These are just some things to keep an eye out for in choosing a DJ. It is always important to go with a reputable, full time wedding business to handle such an important event.

Seattle Wedding DJ is Seattle’s premier DJ/MC service. We are a well-established company run by a professional, not a “pant’s sagging, snobby club DJ”. My firm specializes in wedding receptions, with over 90% of our events each year being weddings. My packages are all inclusive and include the correct amount of time for the reception and also includes features many companies treat as optional, for instance: a professional digital sound system, upgraded lighting, wireless microphone system, on site back up equipment, and MC service to run the itinerary of your reception and handle announcements. You can find DJ’s “advertised” pricing as low as $400.00 (and remember, Bait and Switch… this is just where they “start” before the add-ons! The average cost of a Full Time, reputable DJ company is typically $1000.00 to $1500.00 (with my company being at the low end of the average). At Seattle Wedding DJ we fully understand that everyone wants to save money, but when looking at the full picture, if you’re spending $20,000 on a wedding, at the end of the day, paying a couple hundred dollars more for a professional, full time quality DJ only costs you 1% more overall. The quality of service received however, will far outweigh the additional money spent as a DJ can make or break a wedding reception.  When you hire a cut-rate DJ… a “broken party” is usually what you end up with.

Wedding DJ/MC checklist

January 29th, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Checklist for the Wedding MC. (Wedding MC Duties Tips and Advice)

The checklist for the Wedding MC is one of the most important items the Wedding MC will use at the wedding reception.  If the Wedding MC follows the Wedding MC’s Checklist closely, the bride and groom can be left with a wonderful memory of their wedding day.

The Wedding MC Checklist will detail an itemized list of everything that needs to be checked out or attended to – prior to, during, and after the wedding reception. Here are 9 general Wedding MC Checklist thoughts that the Wedding MC should be thinking about in preparation for the wedding reception.

Wedding MC Checklist – #1 – Meet with the wedding planners

The wedding planners may be the mother of the bride, the bride, or a professional wedding planner.  One of your first tasks as the Wedding MC will be to meet with the wedding planners to find out what is expected from you and to get information about the wedding reception.  This is also where you will start preparing a tentative wedding reception agenda and wedding run sheet.

Wedding MC Checklist – #2 – Gather background information on the bride and groom

The background information you obtain on the bride and groom will help you with remarks you make during the wedding reception.  You’ll also want information about their childhood, courtship, and engagement. And you might be able to use a detail or two from their forthcoming honeymoon.

Wedding MC Checklist – #3 – Gather background information on the speakers who will be making wedding speeches and toasts.

Unless the bride and groom ask you to give a Wedding MC speech or they specifically request no toasts or speeches, there will be other speakers who will give wedding toasts and wedding speeches and a quick but thought out introduction can go a long way toward helping their speech be successful.

Usually the wedding speeches and wedding toasts will be made by the best man, the father of the bride, and the maid or matron of honor. Other family members including the Mother of the Bride, the Father of the Groom, and the Mother of the Groom may also be asked to make a speech or toast. The information you gather about the wedding speakers will help you introduce them during the wedding reception. A good Wedding MC will take a minute to talk with each speech giver prior to the event starting to give them a few tips to make their speech a success (mic control, cut off point, speech giving advice, etc.)

Wedding MC Checklist – #4 – Prepare the wedding reception agenda

The reception agenda is your detailed timeline of events during the reception and will be prepared in consultation with the wedding planners. From the arrival of the wedding guests to the wedding speeches and toasts to the final farewell, this will be your guide to keep things running smoothly and on time throughout the reception.

Wedding MC Checklist – #5 – Prepare the wedding MC’s run sheet

The wedding MC’s run sheet is much more detailed than the wedding reception agenda.  For example, where the reception agenda will say “wedding speeches and toasts,” the run sheet will indicate who the speech or toast is to, the name of the wedding speaker, and background information for introducing the speaker.

Wedding MC Checklist – #6 – Prepare your material

Now that you have your background material on the wedding couple and the wedding speakers it’s time to put everything together.  You’ll need to prepare your Wedding MC speech, the Wedding MC Opening Speech, introductions for the wedding speakers, games for the audience, jokes and humorous stories, and anything else that is entertaining and keeps the wedding reception running smoothly.

Wedding MC Checklist – #7 – Prepare the “back-pocket” Wedding MC Speech

As the Wedding Master of Ceremonies or Wedding Toastmaster, you may be asked to give a Wedding MC Speech.  Alternatively, if one of the wedding speakers is unavailable at the wedding reception, you may have to step in and give a speech.

Wedding MC Checklist – #8 – Check reception venue set up

Ensure room set up and decorations are scheduled to be completed well before the wedding guests arrive on the day of the wedding.  This is a critical detail. From the seating arrangements to lighting to catering to entertainers…everything must be checked to ensure things go smoothly throughout the wedding reception.

Wedding MC Checklist – #9 – Ensure your clothing is ready

The wedding reception is a special and formal occasion. As a professional wedding MC you’ll be expected to dress the part.  Make sure your suit, tuxedo, or dress, and shirt or blouse are clean and pressed and your shoes are shined.  There’s a lot more to being a wedding MC than having a Wedding MC’s Checklist.

Cavaet… Wedding MC Run Sheet

Wedding MC Run Sheet – The Wedding Emcee’s “Lifeline”

The Wedding MC Run Sheet – also known as the Wedding Reception Agenda or Wedding MC Running Sheet – is a critical tool for the Wedding MC.  It lists every event that will take place at the wedding reception – from the moment the wedding guests arrive to the time they depart. As wedding MC you’ll list the major events of the reception including entertainment, wedding guest activities, wedding speeches and toasts, dancing, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and the garter toss.  Any introductions or attention getting toward a specific event relies on the skill of the MC.

Let’s plan!  And then… let’s party!

Wedding Budget

January 28th, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The most expensive part about a wedding is usually the reception. Many couples are trying some very creative ideas to keep the expense of a nice reception to a minimum. Here are some ideas I have heard in the past couple of months and some that I looked into for some of my clients.

You may not realize it, but a lot of caterers and facilities have great discounts for Friday and Sunday receptions (not to mention receptions in the middle of the week!) Often, they book their Saturdays very far in advance, but are just dying for the Friday and Sunday business. A great way to cut off a large chunk of your budget would be to get married on a Friday evening or a Sunday afternoon. Ask your caterer or reception facility what kind of discounts they offer for the flexible bride.

A great time of year for a Sunday wedding is Memorial Day weekend or Labor Day weekend. That way, you can get married on Sunday, but for the majority of your guests, it is like a Saturday – because they don’t have to work on Monday. Plus, this gives your guests extra travel time or visiting time. You can plan a gift opening for Monday and see your distant relatives again. If you are close to an Aunt or Uncle, you could even ask them to host this for you to reduce your (and your parent’s) stress. Keep in mind that a lot of families plan vacations and camping trips for three day weekends so you might lose some attendees.

Something that is gaining a lot of popularity is the brunch reception. Couples are getting married in the AM and following it with an intimate brunch. Don’t be fooled, though. If you want to be extravagant, you can spend just as much money on a brunch as you can on a dinner. If you choose to make the menu light however, this can significantly reduce your costs.

Also gaining popularity is an hors d’oeuvres reception. A lot of fancy bite-sized sandwiches, mushrooms, and shrimp is less expensive than an entire meal. This works especially well for evening weddings. There is something romantic about getting married when the lights are low. If your church just happens to have a nice hall in it, or grassy area outside, you could get married at 8:00 PM (indoors or out) and invite your guests to remain for some mingling or dancing.

Another great idea, is to check out public parks and attractions in your area. Here in the Seattle area, when you are looking for a reception venue, the possibilities for uniqueness are endless! Woodland park Zoo? Beaches? Country clubs? These ideas are exciting to me because they are so different. Plus, they were very inexpensive! They usually require the hiring of a caterer, but the small facility costs would have been worth it. Call your parks office, or a city administrator for more information.

Ultimately this article was to serve as a reminder that if you are planning a wedding reception… you can have an incredible event, without killing your bankroll.  Be creative…

Wedding Reception Music

January 28th, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Planning your wedding music and working with a DJ may seem daunting in light of all the other things on your mind when planning your wedding. The thing to consider is how impactful your selection is to the execution and success of your reception.  Create a checklist of these essential steps and tasks to help you keep everything straight for yourself and the DJ.

Decide What Music You Want

If you’re having a small, less formal wedding then consider providing your own music on an iPod. I don’t recommend this at all, but it is an option.  It has only one benefit (it is cheap) and MANY drawbacks (namely, it makes your reception look and feel cheap to your guests).  You will still need to plan ahead, providing a variety of jazz, pop-rock and classical music for the events and take someone AWAY from the guest list to run it. You also need to make sure you test out your playlist before the big day. The con list continues…You will not be able to have a transition to change.  Hiring a professional, experienced DJ is the key to ensuring you have a fantastic reception AND you don’t have to do the work, provide/rent equipment, provide music and have an MC to run the itinerary for you.

Choose Your DJ

When choosing a DJ, ask for a tape/video of a public performance or ask to attend a dress rehearsal (most DJ’s don’t do this). If this isn’t available, ask for a sample playlist and look for songs you’d enjoy. Ask for references from past weddings and celebrations or ask your friends and family if they have anyone they’d recommend. Before you agree to hire a DJ, agree on any specifically requested songs, do-not play lists and other requests.  Make sure they have a contract (protects YOU as well as them) and have a great personality (typically this person handles most, if not all, of the announcements and events).

Create Song Lists

Whether you decide on a DJ the entire celebration or portions of your wedding, put down your song options (and narrow them down later) on paper. Organize them by ceremony, reception and dance sections. For the ceremony, include a prelude song to play while your guests enter to the processional song for the court and bride’s entrances, any ceremony or religious music and a recessional. Though you may not have a DJ for the ceremony, the list is still good practice. For the reception and dance, include a playlist for a cocktail hour (if applicable), dinner, couple’s first dance, bride and father dance, groom and mother dance, guests’ first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss and any general dance requests.  It works best if you have a professional DJ who will put time and preparation into your event PRIOR TO the actual day.  Creating a playlist to work from ahead of time is what a professional does.  It is easy to slip a reasonable request into your playlist during the event as they come.

Address the Technical Issues

If your reception and dance take place in a private home or outside, find out about local statutes on noise permits. You may need to obtain one, or at least notify the neighbors, if your dance is going to make for a loud and late party!

Address electrical issues beforehand. Keep the caterer and DJ on different circuits. It is also a good idea to seat guests with hearing aids, pacemakers and other such devices away from the speakers and DJ equipment so the frequencies don’t interfere with their functioning.  Let’s party!

Wedding MC

January 21st, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Wedding receptions are intended to celebrate the love of two people. Celebrate! Family and friends gather to have fun and party with you. A common trend I am witnessing in our current budget-weary, economy, however, is a bit disturbing. Many Brides are being advised by venue coordinators to have their friends help them with organization, planning, and even DJing their wedding.  HUH?!?

When your friends hear you are getting married they will often times offer to help you plan it. They are eager to help because they love you. Some might have experience with planning their own wedding and may actually have some good advice. Although these are good sentiments, weddings are a tremendous amount of work and should be handled by professionals.  The planning can quickly overwhelm you (and your helpful, well intentioned friends) and your budget can get out of hand extremely fast!

While having family and friends help with your wedding may save (a little) cost… it is a burden on them and, ultimately, they aren’t the experts. In one of my recent weddings the Bride had recruited the help of her best friend, sister, and a cousin to do photography. While these ladies were organized and prepared as well as helping the Bride with many important items, they also appeared as stressed as a vendor the whole day without the experience to handle it. They ran around making sure things were in place, and except for the photographer’s cousin, they were not professionals. They could only focus on the tasks they were given. In the end they did not fully enjoy the celebration because they were working not to mention the fact that the photos weren’t what they could’ve been.

Here are 3 ways to avoid having to make family work:

  1. Hire a “Day Of” wedding planner:  Although it’s called “day of” planning,  the planner comes into play about 3 months before the wedding. It will be assumed that 90 days out from your wedding all the major items such as venue, vendors, and catering have been secured. Their job is to plan, coordinate, and orchestrate all that will happen at your wedding. The planner will be there through out the entire event to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. You can find wedding planners in most of the popular sites such as The Knot or Wedding Wire.
  2. Hire family/Friends:  If you can’t afford to hire a professional planner, then have your helpers train themselves on how to plan. Many wedding sites have planners they can use. In return you will pay them for their help even if they don’t want it. Don’t accept their help if they are not willing to get paid. Even if it means a gift of equal value to payment.
  3. Hire an MC:  Professional MC’s are extremely helpful as they help to direct the reception events. A good MC will work with all the vendors and venue staff to ensure that all the events run smoothly. If they also happen to DJ (like we do at Seattle Wedding DJ… shameless plug, but hey… It’s my website!) then it’s a double win for you.

Notice in all 3 suggestions I said “hire”.  Weddings are events that must be managed well in order to make them successful. It also takes a tremendous amount of teamwork among everyone to ensure success.

Have you recently been at a wedding where there was a lack of planning or organization? Or a serious lack of MC skill? Don’t let that be you…. You have waited for this day to happen your entire life. This day, above any other day… good is NOT good enough. Hire the best! (us…)

Wedding Music

January 19th, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Hey folks!  Let’s talk for a minute about MUSIC for your wedding reception…

If you are planning a reception (or any type of party) most likely one of your main goals is for your guests to dance and have fun! One thing that makes a party memorable as well as fantastic is the music that is played at the event. But how do you know what people will want to listen to? Here are a few questions to get you started:

1. Who ARE the guests at the party?

2. What is the age range of those guests? (Do you have to consider kids and grandmas?)

3. What do think  most people at the party listen to (and most importantly, will dance to)?

4. When you think of your party what do YOU want to hear?

5. What images come to mind when you think of your party?

We think, feel, and taste through our senses. Music is one of the most amazing ingredients to twitterpating our senses and making us move. When we eat something sweet, we hum and move. When we laugh, we make sounds and move. So when you think of your party you see people moving, dancing, laughing, eating, and having a good time and all of that adds up to amazing memories and a fantastic evening.

Your music list should include something for everybody. If it’s a wedding with a wide range of guests playing songs from the 70’s and 80’s is always a hit. Don’t be surprise some people even want some 50’s oldies but goodies. You will always fair well playing top 40’s. Top 40’s are songs that are being played on the national radio stations and these work so well because the majority of your guests will know them. Top 40’s do well with mixed crowds because the main streem has either heard the song or the artist at some point.

The key is having a variety of music styles to suit most of the people at your event. A good rule of thumb is that unless it’s a heavy metal or hard core rap or rock theme, stay away from music that is hard to understand or has overly loud instruments. That would be a sure fire way to empty your dance floor!  Other than that… Hire a DJ who knows what they are doing.  At Seattle Wedding DJ, we have the crowd in mind at all times. We don’t play all of our favorites because it is not about us.  It is about you and your guests.  What will keep them dancing and smiling?  The mood of the crowd can ebb and flow with the night as well, so make sure the DJ you choose can read the crowd and understand what will work next!

Let’s talk… and then, let’s party!

Seattle Wedding

January 19th, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Entertainment is an art and a science. No two audiences are exactly alike. Each event is completely unique and it is Seattle Wedding DJ’s job to ensure that your guests are fully engaged and having an incredible time. This article provides a few important ideas of why hiring a DJ vs. a band is definitely the way to go.  Bands are great for a particular type of show, however they are typically limited in reportoire, the ability to take requests and their MC skills.

If you are planning on throwing a big event such as a wedding or corporate party, you should certainly provide the best entertainment possible for your guests to enjoy. There are so many different types of entertainment routes you could choose but one of the most entertaining additions to any wedding or banquet is certainly a DJ.

Depending on the type of event, a professional DJ is usually called upon to provide your guests with the time of their lives. Other forms of event entertainment (like bands for instance) are able to provide varying degrees of entertainment for your guests but they simply do not have access to the extensive collections of music or sound effects that a professional DJ will.

Whether it be a themed party bringing back the 80’s for a night, a trendy party with cutting edge music that is popular NOW, or some mix of both… a DJ can provide it ALL. A band… well, it just can’t. If a band is selected as the primary entertainment at your wedding reception expect them to play two sets, about an hour a piece, with a big break in between and severe limitation on the quantity and breadth of songs they can play and cater to requests with.

DJ’s can also do much more at a wedding event than just simply play music. In fact, Seattle Wedding DJ will also control lighting, act as the primary announcer at your event, and coordinate with the planners of your event to present a professional and entertaining experience for all for your guests to enjoy.

Due to the versatility of Seattle Wedding DJ’s services, many clients take advantage of our capabilities in a variety of ways. Whether you need to have children entertained at a school dance, corporate professionals entertained through a long work event/party, or a group of guests at your wedding comprised of your friends and family ranging from babies to grandmas…  a DJ can easily provide the appropriate entertainment meeting the boogie-down needs of all your guests.

Seattle Wedding DJ is exceptional at executing the perfect reception with regards to MC skill.  Nothing can derail a reception quicker than a hack on the microphone running your itinerary of events throughout the evening.  Skill, confidence, experience, great equipment and so much more go into being an expert at announcements, coordinating/introducing speakers, and ensuring that the flow happens exactly how you drew it up.

Ultimately, whether you are planning a wedding or you are planning a corporate event, a DJ entertainer SHOULD be utilized to make the event pop! If you partner with Seattle Wedding DJ to entertain the guests at your party, you can expect hilarity, fun, excitement, and personality. Also, Seattle Wedding DJ’s services are completely customizable, so if you decide to hire the best for your event, you will be able to fine tune a package to perfectly suit all of the unique needs that you and your guests might have.  Let’s talk!  and then… Let’s party!

Wedding Bands

January 2nd, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

DJ, Band or iPod?  Part 2…

 

How can the couple see or build the song library?

DJ
Ask the DJ if he can email you an Excel or PDF file listing all the music in his library.

Band
Ask the band to provide a demo that includes live recordings of the band’s performances. We have several MP3s on our MySpace music page as well.

iPod
Sit down together and reminisce about important moments in your relationship. Are there songs that remind you of your first kiss, your vacations together? If you know what kind of genre you’re going for, check some websites for playlists.

Who emcees the reception?

DJ
The DJ usually emcees, but sometimes a bride may bring her own MC, or a guest or family member may want to take charge and make the announcements.

Band
Different areas have different practices, and the bandleader only emcees if the bride requests. Sometimes a bride provides her own MC; sometimes she hires one in the wedding locale; sometimes she asks someone in the band to emcee.

iPod
Since no one is being paid to emcee the reception, you’ll have to put one of your guests to work. Maybe you have an outgoing aunt who’s the life of the party or a funny groomsman who’d be comfortable making announcements. This guest will also have to cue the important songs at the right times. Be sure to go over all of their responsibilities with them in advance.

How can a couple make sure the band or DJ has their essential songs?

DJ
At least two weeks prior to the wedding, I ask my clients for a playlist that includes special dances and favorite artists, genres and songs. Even if your DJ doesn’t ask you for this info, you should pass it along with plenty of advance notice.

Band
Make sure to provide the band with these songs, either on a CD or by email. It’s also critical that the bride discuss and decide with the band beforehand whether she wants these songs played live by the band, played by a DJ (if any) or simply played on an iPod through the band’s sound system.

What’s the cost typically?

DJ
Professional DJs run from about $800 to $1,500 for a standard four-hour reception. To trim costs, ask if the DJ is willing to be contracted for less time.

Band
There’s no typical cost, though bands tend to be more expensive than DJs. Hiring a band is like buying anything else — you get what you pay for; the best bands will cost from $1,500 to $2,500 per hour. Costs can be cut by negotiation.

iPod
Playlists are by far the cheapest way to go. When bought alone, MP3s generally cost 99 cents each, but full albums are usually discounted. You’ll need between 75 and 100 songs to cover a standard reception, so look for compilation albums (Amazon offers deals of select full albums for under $5). Also check music stores in your area for gently used CDs at discounted prices.

What are your tips for a flawless night of dancing?

DJ
Playing music your party will respond to is key. Look at your guest list to gauge your crowd — what are their ages, where do they come from, are there more girls or guys, etc.

Band
Make sure the band has a great repertoire and entertaining vocalists with strong communication and interaction skills. A band that gets the audience to participate in the performances livens up the party.

iPod
Your guests might not like the same music you do, so pick a good mix of songs, with something for everyone. Also have a backup iPod on hand; that way, if one goes kaput, you’re still covered. The night before, fully charge the batteries for both. Lastly, plan at least five hours’ worth of music, and have at least two playlists ready: one for background dinner music and the other to get the dancing going.

What trends do you see?

DJ
Pop music is hotter than ever; even hip-hop artists are moving to this genre.

Band
In order to leave more time for dancing and enjoying the band, brides are moving the toasts and formalities (cake-cutting, bouquet toss, etc.) to the dinner hour, instead of before or after the meal.

iPod
One of my fave trends is the hybrid first-dance song. The couple starts off slow-dancing to a traditional song, and then it surprisingly changes into a more upbeat, fun track. Bonus if the bride and groom have unique choreography!