Planning a heart-felt ceremony is only half the job when it comes to planning your big day. The reception is just as—and some would say more—important! Your family and friends are there to witness the official joining of your lives and families, but you also want them to have a great time at the reception, too. So one of the best ways to ensure your night is truly memorable is by hiring top-notch entertainment.
You want a deejay who is highly experienced with weddings and will orchestrate the entire flow of your event. They know exactly when to announce you as a married couple, slow down the music during dinner, and then take it up a notch again to get everyone back onto the dance floor. They truly know how to read the room and are so instrumental to the atmosphere and success of your reception. While you won’t need to micromanage every song they play and every pause they make, there is some key information your deejay needs to know that will help make your party as seamless as possible.
Always clearly communicate your wishes in advance with your deejay, because in order for a party to feel effortless, there’s a lot of work that needs to happen behind the scenes. If you’re not sure where to start or what you should discuss with your deejay, we talked to Jason Jani of SCE Event Group about the five most crucial things to communicate before the big day. This way your deejay can get the party started, keep it going strong and give you the reception you’ve dreamed about!
Five Things You Need to Tell Your Deejay
1. The Pronunciation of All the Important Names
If your deejay is taking care of the grand entrance or other announcements, it’s best to give them a phonetic spelling of the names of the entire wedding party, or talk with them about it in advance of the big day. “This is especially important if there are any especially hard to pronounce names (first or last) in the mix” Jani explains. “And if time is a crunch, you can send a voice recording to your deejay so that they can hear the names clearly before your big day.”
2. Whether or Not You Would Like Them to Emcee
Introductions aside, your deejay needs to know if you’re going to require them to be the emcee for the evening. You might not have anyone willing/able to take on the role, or you might prefer to choose a neutral third party; either way, your deejay needs to know this in advance. And, if you do decide to ask your deejay to emcee, make sure to talk about your preferences and expectations: Are there topics to steer clear of? Are there any strained relationships between members of your bridal party or family that might cause awkwardness? How active do you want the emcee to be?
3. All the Songs For Your Important Moments
You absolutely need to let your deejay know what songs you’ve been planning/thinking of for the most important moments of the day. These moments might include your wedding-party introductions, your first dance, the parent and child dances, cutting the cake, or the bouquet and garter toss (if you’re planning on them). And of course, there’s the last song of the night to consider! Here are some great song recommendations if you need ideas:
- The Best Slow First-Dance Songs
- The Best Father-Daughter Dance Songs
- The Best Mother-Son Dance Songs
- The Best Cake-Cutting Songs
4. Can Your Deejay Take Requests From Guests?
As much as your deejay wants to know what your most important songs are, they also want to know what is going to pack your friend groups and extended family on the dance floor. Meaning, if “One More Time” by Daft Punk or “Crazy in Love” by Jay Z and Queen B were your high school or college anthems, let your deejay know. “This way, your deejay can get a better sense of what other songs, artists or genres that will work for your guests,” Jani explains. “And let your deejay know if you want them to take requests. Are you okay with all your aunts requesting ABBA all night?!”
5. The List of “Do Not Play” Songs
“Sometimes we find that the list of off-limit songs is even more important to know than the ‘must play’ list,” Jani says. “Especially if you have talked to your deejay about taking requests from guests. So, while we definitely do suggest that you leave room (within reason) for requests, don’t feel bad about listing anything you hate or strongly dislike, any songs associated with bad experiences in your life, or songs that remind you or your new spouse of past relationships!”
The deejay can either tell guests that he doesn’t have those particular songs available or that the bride and groom have decided that those songs are off-limits! Also be certain to get specific about language allowances (such as dirty words), as well as the volume preferences/requirements of the venue or guests in attendance. “As a general rule, we find that it’s best to avoid explicit lyrics and language at your wedding!” Jani adds. “Clean edits are just as much fun, we promise!”