Sing It Loud, Sing It Proud, Things to Discuss with Your Wedding DJ
Communicating with your wedding vendors is one of the most important jobs you’ll have as you plan your wedding. Well, let’s face it, you have LOTS of jobs and most of which are important, but communication is right up there. If you don’t express your wants (or those pesky things you definitely don’t want), then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and few things can be worse than that. This couldn’t be more true than when it comes to working with your wedding entertainment vendor of choice. So we connected with our friend Debbie Cormier from Arpeggio Wedding Entertainment for all the best advice on things to discuss with your wedding DJ. She’s been helping make wedding planning stress-free for years, so you could say she knows a thing or two (or two million !) about this. Let’s rock ‘n roll right through this in a rapid fire series of advice, shall we?
DJ as Emcee
If you’re on the fence about having your DJ emcee, then talk about it with your DJ. As Cormier explains, “The emcee is there to help smoothly transition between each part of your wedding and inform your guests about what’s happening. They’re like the conductor for your wedding day and will collaborate with your other wedding vendors to ensure a flawless event.” You should find them extremely helpful and feel confident in having your DJ assume the role.
If you go this route, then you might also want to discuss with them topics or people to steer clear of. You know those little family dynamics that everyone wishes they knew about beforehand. Less you end up with foot-in-mouth syndrome and require the aid of a MD to remove it, you want to make sure your DJ avoids that. To that end, Cormier says, bring things like divorced parents, stepparents, or deceased family members to their attention.
“Additionally, if there are any specific songs, announcements, or dedications you would like during the introductions, let the DJ know, [including] any surprises planned during the wedding, such as a special performance, a surprise dance, or a special tribute.”
Reception Grand Entrances + Name Pronunciation
Cormier suggests, “Setting up a phone call, Zoom, or in-person review meeting at least 2 weeks prior to the wedding is ideal. You can also provide your DJ with a list of names they will be introducing, including phonetic (pho-net-tick) spelling.
“Apart from pronunciations, if you have any specific preferences for how the DJ introduces you and your wedding party, communicate those details.”
Music preferences extends to your own requests or favorite songs, guest requests, and “do not play” lists. This is another topic you want to discuss with your wedding DJ because it’ll only lead to a better outcome, and as Cormier tells us, it’s actually helpful for the DJ. Let’s get down to some nitty gritty on this.
Song Requests + “Do Not Play” Lists
Interestingly, Cormier notes, “many DJs, like us, have portals to assist with your music planning, [which allows] couples to create playlists of ‘must-play’ songs as well as ‘do not play’ songs, such as the chicken dance or line dances. You can also request specific songs for cocktail hour, dinner music, and overall songs you like, and if possible, [you’ll hear them included].”
And you shouldn’t feel limited to song requests (or avoidances), you should feel comfortable telling your DJ when you want a particular song played if you know. She tells us that most couples will do this, some have particular preferences for songs to be played during dinner or dancing. There’s also the latest trend of having a last dance, so she’s seeing more of those requests then ever — another point you should discuss with your DJ if you have a vision for the final dance of the night. And to get you started, Cormier has shared a last dance song playlist you might find inspiring.
“We typically encourage our couples to allow requests, but we also filter out songs based on our experience if we believe they may ‘kill the vibe.’ Sometimes, couples include a song request option on their RSVPs. You can review the list of songs requested and eliminate those you do not want to be played, while providing the ones you'd like to your DJ,” our expert suggests.
Dress Code + Set-up
Don’t be shy about this one — dress code, that is. She says, “Communicate your expectations regarding the DJ's attire. Specify whether you prefer them to dress formally, in line with the wedding theme, or in a specific style.“
And last but not least you should absolutely discuss with your DJ the timeline and schedule, including set-up details at your venue, Cormier advises. Make sure they also know if you have a wedding planner and if they haven’t already been in touch, they should be.
Photo courtesy of Move Mountains Co.
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