Hello fellow Bridechillas! Are you ready to DJ your own wedding? This is Brandon Stiles again, founder of Atlanta wedding DJ company Uptown Down Entertainment with the 3rd and final installment of ‘10 Quick Tips to DJ Your Own Wedding’.
Did you miss Parts One and Two? Go check those out first!
In this final section, we’re going to go over how to set up your sound system, how to prepare your MC (or yourself) to revive a dying dance floor, as well as cover some key elements to keep in mind if things start going wrong.
STEP 7: SETUP THE SOUND SYSTEM
Setting up a simple sound system like the one we’ll be using to DJ our wedding is not tough! It’s essentially going to be two speakers on a pole, a microphone and stand, and a way to hook your phone/laptop up to the speakers.
Remember, plug everything in FIRST before turning anything on- that way you’ll avoid any loud pops (which can damage the equipment). Also, make sure everything is turned down to zero before turning the system on- that way you can raise everything to the proper listening level and not risk blowing out your eardrums!
Finally, once you have a song playing, stand at the back of the room furthest from the speakers and check on the volume- if it’s at the level you want it, go a LITTLE bit louder; once people start filtering in, their clothes/bodies will absorb some of the sound, so you’ll want to go with a little more volume to make up for that.
STEP 8: HAVE SOME MC TRICKS READY
What happens if your dance floor starts to die down a little bit? Maybe one of the songs you played just didn’t connect like you thought it would, or a slow dance cleared the floor.
In my book “How to DJ Your Own Wedding”, I go over what I call ‘CPR Songs’- these are a list of songs I have that, when played, do an amazing job of bringing people back to the hardwood. A great one is ‘The Wobble’- put that one on, and you’ll have a resurgence!
These songs are usually popular group-dance songs or song with singable lyrics.
Either way, have a few tricks up your sleeve that will get people revitalized and back out to dance with you!
STEP 9: PLAY THE TUNES IN THE RIGHT ORDER
This is where having the benefit of an experiences DJ comes in handy- having an inkling for which songs to play in what order is what most people call ‘reading the room’.
However, YOU can do this too with just a little guidance and information. If you’re a bride or groom, you obviously don’t want to be standing at the laptop station all night, picking songs- this is why I recommend having a friend or acquaintance MC.
But if you don’t have one, there are a number of different ways to maximize your chances of playing to the room.
One way is to order your playlist by decade- start the night off with 60s and 70s (disco or something similar)- this way your older audience is engaged. It also happens that a TON of sing-a-longs were popular in the 70s, so even young people are able to connect to these tunes. Then when the night gets later and the newer songs start (new hip-hop or Top 40), the older crowd is probably on their way out, and your close friends are sticking around (so you’ll know exactly what songs to play then because you know them a lot better).
STEP 10: RELAX AND ENJOY THE NIGHT- YOU’RE MARRIED!
This is more of a mentality than a ‘step’, but it’s extremely necessary to remember: relax and enjoy your Wedding Day! The good, the amazing… and the technical difficulties.
I’ve performed at hundreds of weddings, and while there have been many little problems here and there, I’ve never ever seen one that ‘ruined’ the day; people usually end up looking back and laughing at the problems that they thought were huge deals when they happened.
Receptions are actually pretty free-flowing and easy! Once you get past the beginning dances and the toasts (the more formal parts), the rest is almost improvised as you go along.
So when you want to DJ your own wedding, just know a few things are going to go a little wrong- it’s almost unavoidable - but just roll with those punches and enjoy the day where all your friends are coming together to celebrate YOU guys!
You are ready to DJ your own wedding!
That brings us to the end of our series on DJ’ing your own wedding.
If you feel like you could benefit from a little more information and training, check out my new book and course on DJ’ing your own wedding. There you’ll get a special Bridechilla offer for the 90-page eBook and video course that will walk you step-by-step on how to successfully DJ your own wedding and make sure your friends have an awesome time.
-- Brandon Stiles