Reader Jeremy Sexton writes: “I’m doing my first wedding gig next weekend and I’m wondering what I need to make sure I have in my ‘crate’. I know every crowd is different, but any tips?”
Meanwhile, reader Grant Elliot needs some similar advice. “Obviously I am not going to play crazy hard techno ravey mashups,” he says, “but what are some guidelines for DJing an event like that ‘cratewise’?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Just think “every age group”. You’ll want 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and now, you may even want some formal dances (a foxtrot, a waltz) for early on. Find out what the bride and groom want as “their” song and make sure you’ve got that. Take only huge records, and don’t worry at all about genre or mixing – this is about big tunes everyone knows, not largin’ it on the 1s and 2s. Also, you tend to find that you’re playing background music a lot of the time at weddings, with the real dancefloor action only happening towards the end of the time you’ve been booked for. So be prepared to play fillers for the first few hours, building up to the huge tunes later.
I can’t emphasise enough how there is no such thing as cheesy music to a wedding crowd. Even if the wedding is between two cool young people, the chances are their aunts, uncles, grandparents, assorted neighbours, family friends, dozens of kids etc will all be in tow too – few of whom probably go clubbing, and many of whom probably don’t even like music that much. At a wedding, you’re far less likely to be asked to “play something credible” as you are to “play something we know!” so throw the taste book out the window and dig out the guilty pleasures instead.
Finally, sort your tunes out carefully. One of the problems with digital DJing is that you can take all your music with you, but too much can actually make it harder to know what to play. Do your homework and then, play from the records you selected before getting there.
if you’ve played weddings and survived the experience, or indeed if you are a wedding DJ, please also help Jeremy and Grant out by posting your thoughts in the comments…