Wedding music brings to mind the classic moment when the crowd stands, and the bride begins the journey down the aisle whilst the "Here Comes the Bride" wedding march plays. What happens when the formalities are over, and your closest family and friends are ready to dance the night away in celebration? After taking part in planning hundreds of weddings, I've compiled a list of common pitfalls and shortcomings that are common mistakes - and how you can ensure your wedding music gets the party started right!
Understanding there is a difference between the DJ role and MC role.
Often they are indeed one in the same, but if that’s the case, understand that person takes on two roles. A great DJ will not only exhibit a high energy approach and love playing music for your crowd, but also takes the time to premix the songs that you love. This ensures the flow is seamless and keeps your guests on the dance floor. The MC is the voice behind your wedding, he announces your wedding party and entices people to get on the dance floor. Make sure that person reflects who you are and what you hope to portray on your big day.
Not meeting the DJ/MC prior to the wedding day.
Often couples pick a DJ company but won’t ask to meet the person or persons performing at their wedding, prior to the big day. You likely will want to make requests and recommendations as to what songs will be played. More importantly, you’ll want to make sure that you connect with that person and like their personality. They will be your spokesperson and the one responsible for entertaining your crowd. If they can't impress the two of you, how will they be able to entertain a large room full of people with varied tastes and personalities. Make sure that person reflects what you hope to portray on your big day.
Sticking to One Genre
Whether you decide to have a live band or a DJ, it is always a good suggestion to mix up the genre of music selections. Appeal to a wide variety of tastes by incorporating a variety of genres and decades to appeal to more than one group. The best wedding music brings a little something for everyone and peppers in the old with the new.
Not playing songs that you Guests Will Want to Hear
Though you may not love popular songs from today or from past decades, many of your guests do. Those guests are your guests and it's up to you to be a gracious host. While you absolutely should play songs you love, be sure to also appeal to your guests for part of the evening.
Not Having a Sound Check Before the Start Time
Make sure that the any and all equipment works properly in your venue, prior to the start time. You’ll want to ensure that nothing goes wrong when it’s time for the music to play. Holding a sound check allows a much lesser chance for something to go wrong.
Not checking in advance to see if the room has adequate power to accommodate the number of musicians you have selected.
More musicians means more instruments and more powerful amplifiers and other sound equipment. If the venue is a historic one, you may not have enough power to accommodate a large (or even a small) band. Doing your due diligence in advance will allow you to contract a generator to remedy the problem or avoid paying for a band that you can't use.
Not checking noise ordinance laws.
It is extremely important to be aware of all noise ordinance laws in the town that your reception will be held in. In addition, you will also have to check with the venue to see if they have any noise level restrictions before the wedding day. Be sure your entertainers are willing to turn down the decibels should a problem arise. The last thing you want to have to do is stop a totally happening party due to noise restrictions.
Not Making a “Do Not Play” Playlist
It's a guarantee that the bride and groom will have songs that they don’t want played at their wedding. Whether it is simply due to the fact that they dislike the song or because it reminds them of something negative from their past. It’s important to make a list of songs that shouldn’t be played throughout the reception and ensure that your DJ or live band receives a copy of that list.
Choosing Inappropriate Songs
If the bride and groom are young and enjoy popular music, it’s important to keep in mind to not play anything too racy or inappropriate during the reception. It is respectful to keep the music in good taste, as you may have a lot of guests from the older generation or children. Be mindful when deciding if a cons is appropriate to play for your varying attendees, and ensure your wedding music gets everyone dancing!
Ensuring that the Music is at a Good Sound Level
Your wedding reception is not the same atmosphere as a dance club a Saturday night out with friends. While you may like that environment, remember that this is a wedding and not all your guests can appreciate that sound level the way you can. Ask your DJ or band leader to avoid making it too loud, to the point at which guests cannot converse throughout the reception. Ask them also to be conscious of where the speakers are placed so that you don't upset any guests that are too close for comfort. Another trick is to seat younger guests closer to the speakers than the older guests, as young people tend to have a higher tolerance to such noise than older guests.