As a professional Wedding DJ with over 20 years experience I thought I would provide you with a tip of the day to make sure you have a fantastic wedding.I’ve presided over hundreds of weddings over the years and I was reflecting on how things have changed.
There are now lots more different types of venues available from castles to country manors, from barns and marquees from hotels to specific functions suites and many in between, all of varying shapes and sizes.
In line with the choice of venues there are now more things on offer to keep your guests entertained throughout the wedding from photo booths to roulette wheels, from caricaturists to table magic, from candy carts to chocolate fountains and many more besides.
Now whilst I’m sure all of these have their place, there is also a danger that these water down the main event and rather than enhance the day actually act as a distraction to it.
If you want a packed dance floor you need to focus your guests attention in the room where the music is.
If you are offering a range of other activities it will take your guests away from the room where you want to focus your party.
Consider how the venue is configured, what additional entertainment you really want and where this is located. Think about where the bar is located compared to the room where the music and dancing takes place. If the bar and entertainment is elsewhere it will mean your guests will gravitate towards it and away from the party.
The day is all about two people, it’s about the Bride and Groom, if you want your guests to be on the dance floor, then if that’s where the Bride and Groom can be found, then it will come as no surprise that that's where your guests will be too.
As a professional DJ with over 20 years experience I thought I would provide you with a tip of the day to help you get the right DJ for your wedding.
There are lots of DJ's out there and the prices vary significantly.
If you believe that all DJ's are the same and that the only difference is the price then let me enlighten you ... this is not true.
If you want a quality DJ for your Wedding Day it's unlikely that you will be able to secure their service for the lowest price.
DJ's are no different to most things in life, if you want quality it is likely that you will have to pay for it.
Don't just employ a DJ on the basis of their price.
And don't be fooled by the claims a DJ makes on their marketing materials.
I spotted this one recently. A DJ claimed that he was "the number 1 Wedding and Party DJ" and low and behold two weeks later he declared he had done his "First ever party".
So be wary.
Meet with the DJ first before you book them.
Quiz them about their experience, their approach, ask to see feedback from previous customers and find out how their involvement will enhance your wedding day.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life.
If you're looking to book a DJ focus on quality and not the lowest price.
Foundation Futures, Fundraising Event at Sage Gateshead
I was asked to DJ at this event for over 100 business and MP guests at the Sage in Gateshead for Foundation Futures to help raise funds for a new Mini Bus to support this outstanding organisation.
They had never put on an event like this before and MP Ian Mearns compered the evening.
Foundation Futures are a specialist teaching service working with the most at risk, most vulnerable and most disadvantaged young people in NE secondary schools. Many of them are excluded from school, some are at risk of becoming so. All of them are full of untapped potential but have faced deprivation and poverty of expectation. Many if not all have suffered some kind of abuse or neglect. They work long term with them 2 days a week for a full academic year. They expose them to activities, visits and opportunities they would never normally have access to. Throughout they work on their social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and are consistent, and sometimes very tough.
The event was to showcase this approach. It’s to galvanise the local business community in the spirit of helping each other find those reliable young people to staff their businesses and bridge the skills gap.
It’s to showcase these young people’s potential and help others understand that instead of shaking their heads and turning away there are things that everyone can do to reduce the problems these young people suffer and cause.
It was also an attempt to raise £10,000 to buy a new mini bus as the one they use at the moment won’t pass its next MOT!
I offered my services and set about supporting the delivery of the whole event, liaising directly with the Sage at Gateshead to agree the set up area, access and parking arrangements. This included a site visit and arranging early access to reduce the inconvenience to the guests and disruption to the event.
A great night was had by all and significant funds were raised towards this very worthwhile cause.
"Just a quick note to thank you once more for your time and the entertainment. You nailed it! The perfect end to the evening" - Phil - Foundation Futures, Fundraising Evening at Sage Gateshead
"Ian Conway is a top bloke. His disco is just fantastic. He knows how to play to the crowd and please his audience. Professional and reliable and utterly great value. What a nice man. He played at our charity fundraiser for Foundation Futures #championingfutures event at Sage Gateshead and did a great job. I would highly recommend him! Thanks Ian" - Sue Gorton-Davison, Foundation Futures
Choosing a Wedding DJ Top Tip 9 - Ceremony Music
As a professional DJ with over 20 years experience I thought it might be helpful if I offered a few tips to help you get the right DJ for your wedding.This is the ninth in my series of bite sized tips which will look carefully at the music you choose for your wedding ceremony.
The wedding ceremony music is normally made up of three distinct parts:
When choosing your music think carefully about songs that carry an appropriate message and importantly are songs that have some significance to you both as a couple.
Listen carefully to the songs you select as it is important to remember particularly with the processional and recessional songs that it is extremely unlikely that the whole song will be played.
Make sure you are clear on which version of the song you would like as there are often many versions of the same song.
The best you might hope for would be around a minute or so of the song.
Think about your venue and the time you have and how the music you have chosen fits so the right part of song is played at the right time.
Songs with a long introduction before the melody and lyrics kick in might need to be edited so that the right part of the song is played e.g. whilst walking up the aisle.
In terms of the recessional song it is likely that you will want this to kick in immediately at the first chorus and again some editing may be required.
A professional DJ can cue your songs at the right part in a live environment and ensure the song is played at the right time and even if the DJ isn’t going to be present during the ceremony ask if they can edit the music for you.
Finally if you aren't engaging a Professional DJ or musician for your ceremony music double check you have the music in the right format for the venues play out system, make sure you know who is going to press the button to start and stop the music and finally make sure they know their cue.
Rachel and Camron were married at 4pm at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle.
Ian started DJing in 1980's and has played great music for hundreds of functions across the region.