This is the third day of a week long series highlighting several local New England wedding vendors offering up value tips and information to help brides through their planning process!
Today DJ Nate Downs has graciously offered to share his thoughts on the wedding reception and with tips on how to create a great party atmosphere for your guests. Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to take some notes as Nate shares all about making the most of your reception and DJ experience! Meet, DJ Nate Downs!
Hi! My name is Nate and I am a a professional wedding DJ from Dover, NH. Today I'm going to share some tips on how to make the most of your wedding reception and how to best work with your DJ to create unforgettable receptions!
Engaged couples quickly learn that planning a wedding is a time consuming and stressful process. With so many details to understand and plan for, it can be quite overwhelming. When it comes to entertainment, many couples aren't sure where to start or what questions to ask. While many books and websites offer basic questions to ask your DJ, (do you have reviews? do you hold liability insurance? how long have you been a DJ?), here are a few topics that are equally important to think about when planning your reception.
1. Personality. It is important to understand your DJ's personality and philosophy on wedding entertainment. Whether you are looking for a DJ who's quiet presence is offset through perfect song selection or for a line-dance leading, room commanding DJ there are many styles and personalities out there. When hiring an entertainer you should ask them about their level of interaction with the crowd, how vocal (on the microphone) they will be and if there be any surprises? Yes I said the word 'surprise,' as in surprise props or games involving the Wedding Party or your guests. Your DJ should understand that they are to follow your wishes and recommendations for the evening. You will want to consider the overall style of your wedding so that you can find a DJ to match. Think about the kind of atmosphere you'd like to create and find an entertainer with a similar personality!
2. Content. While your DJ has been entertaining for years and knows how to get your guests up and dancing, it is important to discuss musical content with him/her. Your DJ will want to understand the age groups of your guests, the genres of music of you would to hear throughout the evening and most importantly your 'request' and 'do not play' lists. Your 'request list' will hold valuable insight and help direct your DJ towards key artists and genres of music to be played. Try to include a small set of 'must plays' that are important to you, your fiance and your families. Your DJ will use their knowledge, experience and artistic freedom to mix your requests and other songs throughout the evening.
3. Uplighting. Uplighting, dance floor lighting and other effect lighting, have increased in popularity in recent years. Some DJs include a basic lighting package in their services and some sell them for an additional cost. Uplighting will splash color on the walls of your venue and provide nice ambiance. If your DJ offers lighting, I feel it is important to have an understanding of the lighting they will use. For example, LED lighting produces solid colors as basic uplighting or on the dance floor, does not spin. Whereas strobe lighting could be considered over the top. Ask your DJ for pictures or videos of their lights. If they don't have any, check out Youtube as every light manufacturer makes a video for each model light they produce. That way you can at least see the lights in action. If your DJ doesn't offer lighting think about looking into hiring a lighting company. Uplighting definitely adds much needed contract and interest to your reception images as well! Check out this example below of the uplighting I can provide at receptions.
Hopefully this has given you a little help in planning the entertainment aspect of your reception. Remember to ask your DJ as many questions as you wish and to make sure you are a good match in style and personality. Ensuring that you'll not only dance the night away, but you'll have the wedding reception you've always dreamed of!