Oh, I never consume alcoholic beverages at any event I host - not even New Year's Eve! I'm working and my credo has always been - "I never drink when I work-period!" Not on radio, at clubs and certainly not at your wedding!
Group dances are another thing that pops up from time to time... and I can't tell you how frustrated I get watching some DJs play the Electric Slide or some other group participation song and then just leave the crowd to themselves.
What's frustrating is that you then have 5 splinter groups going every which way, bumping into each other and, well, what a mess. That's the whole reason we play group dances - the fun is doing them as a group.
Are you dressed formally at the wedding? Do you drink at the wedding?
Two legitimate questions. I've always been a firm believer that the DJ/Host should look as good as the wedding party. But, I like to go a step further!
I always try and arrive at least 75 minutes before the cocktail hour begins... so that I can set up without your guests seeing me in a less-than-perfect outfit. To me, nothing looks worse than guests arriving and seeing the DJ setting up equipment in a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. When your guests arrive, I try to be perfectly dressed and even greet them with some light jazz as they enter a quiet room. After all, the cocktail hour is to chat with people you haven't seen in a while. Plus, it's to see and be seen. I want them to walk into that banquet room feeling like everyone (including the DJ) is dressed to the nines!
These are the types of things that I analyze to make sure your dance floor stays busy. Things you shouldn't have to worry about - but I most certainly do because I want your night to be the most successful I can make it! The greatest compliment I get over and over is "Boy, people are telling us this is one of the best receptions they've ever been to!"
What if we don't want certain songs played at the reception?
This request comes in from time to time... Normally, I bring music from the 40s through today because I realize there are 3 generations there and I try to play a little bit for each group, looking for the most mass appeal songs from each generation to try and keep the dance floor busy. But, there are times when a bride and groom just don't want to hear a certain song or 2 at the reception. That's fine... I don't play from a rigid set list and each party is different. What one couple doesn't want, another couple insists be played. That's the beauty of a DJ... the selection is great and special requests can be worked in through the night. If the songs that are "banned" do get requested enough, I will usually seek out the couple and inform them of such and let them make the call. Believe me, there's enough in my library to make the night just as successful! Do I suggest one type of music through the night? No, I try and play to the entire crowd. Many wedding preparation books advise the bride and groom that the party is for them and that is true to a certain extent but there has to be a balance that's fair to all the guests. I know sometimes those in their 20s don't like the musical preferences of those in their 40s and 50s and vice versa but, the party is also for the guests - a thank you for their wonderful gift and the honor of having them share this special moment in your lives. Plus, many times, those in their 40s and 50s and 60s give the largest gifts and it's a shame to have them feel left out at the affair.
How about grandparents at the reception?
While some can walk in during the traditional introductions, many cannot so what I normally suggest is introducing them at their tables. I normally do it before the introductions, spotlight them and encourage warm applause from guests.
It's their special day too and they do deserve the recognition.
Oh and one more thing. Please be careful with seating when it comes to grandparents and older attendees. For many of them, it's a tough night if they're seated right in front of the DJs speakers.
I usually let them know it's coming up, ask if everyone knows how to do it and if there's not a lot who do, get out there with them and show them. With wireless mic technology it's not that difficult and it does make me a part of the party and not some guy in the corner playing the music. It's very easy to stay behind the equipment and just sorta watch...
I choose to get involved with the crowd at opportune moments but, most importantly, try not to interfere with the flow of the music. There really is no reason to stop the flow - that really only causes the dance floor to empty and then the DJ has to work extra hard to get them back up again.
I RECENTLY WORKED WITH A PROFESSIONAL...
who was telling me how his brother had read in a book on how he should give his DJ a full list of every song to play - in order - for the whole reception! Well, this photographer told his brother that a qualified professional DJ can't function like that. He or she needs to feel out the crowd, see what they're responding to and select songs to keep the party busy! Of course, a DJ will take suggestions from the couple of honor and guests but the placement of songs is critical to the success of a party! Luckily, he convinced his brother that this was NOT a good idea. His advice was "let the DJ do his or her job - you have a good time"!
Over the years, I've dealt with some very nervous brides... and rightly so. It's certainly one of the biggest days of their lives. So, I'm glad to be able to calmly and professionally answer their questions and calm their fears. It’s years of experience that makes all that possible. To many harried brides, the obstacles to a successful event seem insurmountable. My job is to tackle those obstacles and make for smooth sailing through that day.
Rank Artist Song
1 Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling
2 Journey Don't Stop Believin'
3 Lady Gaga Feat. Colby O'donis Just Dance
4 Beyonce Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
5 AC/DC You Shook Me All Night Long
6 Bon Jovi Livin' On A Prayer
7 Morrison, Van Brown Eyed Girl
8 Cupid Cupid Shuffle
9 Diamond, Neil Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)
10 Def Leppard Pour Some Sugar On Me
11 B-52's Love Shack
12 Usher Feat. Will.I.Am Omg
13 Jackson, Michael Billie Jean
14 Lynyrd Skynyrd Sweet Home Alabama
15 DJ Casper Cha Cha Slide
16 Lady Gaga Poker Face
17 Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow
18 ABBA Dancing Queen
19 Outkast Hey Ya!
20 Usher Feat. Ludacris & Lil' Jon Yeah
21 Timberlake, Justin Sexyback
22 Clapton, Eric Wonderful Tonight
23 Sister Sledge We Are Family
24 Kool & The Gang Celebration
25 Sir Mix-A-Lot Baby Got Back
26 Rihanna Don't Stop The Music
27 Beatles Twist And Shout
28 Brown, Chris Forever
29 Jackson, Michael Thriller
30 Mraz, Jason I'm Yours
31 Isley Brothers Shout
32 Brooks, Garth Friends In Low Places
33 Black Eyed Peas Let's Get It Started
34 Sinatra, Frank The Way You Look Tonight
35 Temptations My Girl
36 James, Etta At Last
37 Ke$Ha Tik Tok
38 Lady Gaga Bad Romance
39 Vanilla Ice Ice Ice Baby
40 Foundations Build Me Up Buttercup
41 Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain Low
42 Jackson, Michael Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
43 Commodores Brick House
44 Loggins, Kenny Footloose
45 Seger, Bob & The Silver Bullet Band Old Time Rock & Roll
46 Presley, Elvis Can't Help Falling In Love
47 Armstrong, Louis What A Wonderful World
48 Village People Y.M.C.A.
49 Bee Gees Stayin' Alive
50 Big & Rich Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)
51 Righteous Brothers Unchained Melody
52 Lauper, Cyndi Girls Just Want To Have Fun
53 Mars, Bruno Just The Way You Are
54 Wild Cherry Play That Funky Music
55 Adams, Bryan Summer Of '69
56 Cyrus, Miley Party In The U.S.A.
57 Taio Cruz Dynamite
58 Beyonce Feat. Jay-Z Crazy In Love
59 Dexy's Midnight Runners Come On Eileen
60 Aerosmith I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
61 Rascal Flatts Bless The Broken Road
62 Kid Rock All Summer Long
63 Jackson, Michael The Way You Make Me Feel
64 Rednex Cotton Eye Joe
65 Flo Rida Feat. David Guetta Club Can't Handle Me
66 Black Eyed Peas Imma Be
67 Lonestar Amazed
68 Flo Rida Feat. Keisha Right Round
69 Jackson, Michael P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
70 Pink Raise Your Glass
71 Train Hey Soul Sister
72 Mraz, Jason & Colbie Caillat Lucky
73 House Of Pain Jump Around
74 Springfield, Rick Jessie's Girl
75 Buble, Michael Everything
76 Johnson, Jack Better Together
77 Perry, Katy Firework
78 Jay-Z Feat. Alicia Keys Empire State Of Mind
79 Earth, Wind & Fire September
80 Jackson, Michael Beat It
81 Young M.C. Bust A Move
82 Cascada Evacuate The Dancefloor
83 Usher DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love
84 Queen Crazy Little Thing Called Love
85 Guns N' Roses Sweet Child O' Mine
86 Franti, Michael & Spearhead Say Hey (I Love You)
87 Brown Band, Zac Chicken Fried
88 Journey Faithfully
89 Ke$Ha Your Love Is My Drug
90 Rihanna Only Girl (In The World)
91 50 Cent In Da Club
92 Pink Get The Party Started
93 Guetta, David Feat. Akon Sexy Chick
94 Griffiths, Marcia Electric Boogie (Electric Slide)
95 Nelly Hot In Herre
96 Four Tops I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
97 Romantics What I Like About You
98 Medley, Bill & Jennifer Warnes (I've Had) The Time Of My Life
99 Iglesias, Enrique Feat. Pitbull I Like It
100 Jones, Norah Come Away With Me
I get many calls asking "Which song should be used to dance with my dad" or "With the groom's mom?" Now, for that bride/father dance, the moment is absolute emotion most of the time (with 2 daughters of my own, sometimes I get a little misty-eyed) but, for most guys, dancing with their moms is pure torture. However, after years of hard work and the tasks of motherhood, moms deserve this moment. So, I'll suggest ways to please mom and yet, shorten the song. Not an abrupt clip of the song... but just a casual moment so that guests don't even realize it's happening. It makes the moment work for both concerned and I always make sure both special moments are followed by a generous round of applause by guests.
Ric Mitchell - Professional DJ
(352-874-7544) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Content copyright 2017. Ric Mitchell. All rights reserved.