A wedding photographer’s perspective
The ceremony is over and now the fun begins as you enter the reception cued by your coordinator and DJ.
Narrowing down your music and entertainment for the big day can be a difficult task. You and your fiance discuss how to please guests, what styles of music suit you, what are the current trends and will they blend with some traditional music everyone loves? Hiring a wedding DJ is an important decision. A good DJ can balance a variety of tasks – music, announcements, entertainment and coordinating with your other wedding vendors.
As a wedding photographer, I find that the best DJs have thoroughly communicated with the couple prior to the wedding on timelines and “flow” of the reception – not just the playlist. In turn the DJ can give a heads up to the photographer and videographer for major moments such as the popular “Dollar Dance” or the Bouquet Toss to make sure those events are wholly captured.
An experienced, professional DJ also entertains during the reception. It is common for a DJ and Master of Ceremonies to work together. Be sure to ask if they require a break and how they will keep the party going. Explain in detail what music you would like played.
Another option for your wedding reception is to hire a live band. You should ask the same questions of a live band that you ask of a DJ – communication, breaks, entertainment, how they work with other vendors, etc. Check with your venue regarding any limitations they might have for live music.
Be clear with your musicians and/or DJs about music choices to be played during the reception – let them know in advance if it is all right to accept requests from your guests and set parameters with which you can all be comfortable. If children are invited to the wedding, will you be comfortable with explicit lyrics in a song requested by a sloshed groomsman? If many of your guests are older, do you want some traditional dance music played so they can enjoy taking a turn on the dance floor? Old time Rock n Roll can get everyone dancing and a great DJ knows the music that will keep your guests moving and having fun until the very last dance.