Without music, a wedding misses a beat. A bride would walk up the aisle without fanfare and silence would follow the couple’s rhythmic dance steps.
Something would be missing.
Melodic entertainment holds a wedding together. Thus, another wedding “star” ascends to orchestrate, but not take over proceedings of this long-awaited day.
Jordan Sweet, seasoned DJ and a manager with Complete Weddings + Events, said, “Events require some structure and control. Someone must run the show with the microphone and let people know where to go.” Finding a professional who can put their dreams in order is the goal of a couple planning their wedding.
“Everyone has a style and it is important for the bride and groom to find someone they can communicate with well. It is an opportunity to make those lofty expectations come to life,” he said.
The ability to determine what they want in music needs someone who can interpret and channel intentions. Coming to a meeting armed with at least a few ideas gives initial clues.
For the bride and groom seeking a potential fit for their list of preferences provided, a music professional provides the first hint. Is there an extensive catalog? Does a couple’s “must-play” list fit there? A couple always should include what they do not want to hear on their day-of-days.
Ceremony starts play
“My favorite clients are the ones who know what they want but also are willing to listen to some of my ideas,” said Sweet, who started forming a professional style at age 14. “I can fill in the holes when you point me in a direction. Everyone draws off that energy.”
A venue like a church may designate instruments, accompanist and soloist, but some reasonable aspects may be negotiable. An outdoor venue certainly may have guidelines for music, too.
A single location for ceremony and reception does not limit diverse sounds for a music coordinator experienced in replicating preferred backgrounds at designated moments.
Sweet said the music always should set the scene. Current favorites are instrumentals and classics. Opportunity runs the gamut from Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” with accompaniment from strings, organ or piano. On the other hand, a bride may want to come down the aisle, guests edging her path, to music by Ed Shearan.
Another opportunity for rhythm is the time for conversation over beverages and appetizers before the couple, wedding party, family and friends settle into the reception.
A bride and groom should know who the DJ will be and how that personality will be displayed – over the top, laid back or more reserved. The newlyweds and immediate families should feel assured that the atmosphere designed in advance will highlight the couple, steadily balanced by the person who takes charge of the event. The advance team effort should start the moment a specialist is chosen.
Pleasing the bride and groom first, then the immediate family, does not leave guests behind. A couple should know how a provider engages attendees. Developing an atmosphere of fun creates a good time, so happy guests are still up on the dance floor at the end of the night.
No matter who supplies the services, a feeling of cooperation between music provider and other vendors helps ensure a smooth event. Because Complete can coordinate and bundle DJ entertainment, photography, videography, photo booth, uplighting, plus extras like karaoke and video production, the comfort zone is automatic for a coordinator like Sweet.
“I love having my photographer and others under one roof with me. You can wink at them and everyone knows where to push and pull the timetable,” he added.
A DJ who mingles with guests lays the groundwork, according to Sweet. “It takes getting to know Uncle Dave and finding out how the longest married couple danced to ‘Unchained Melody’ at their own wedding, then inviting them to offer advice to the newlyweds.”
Line, group or ethnic dances draw people to the dance floor. A DJ leading them offers group security. Audience requests provide clues for what a DJ should play, so it might by "Fine by Me," "Lucky" or "The Second Time Around."
Sweet said competitions offer incentives, so he didn’t blink when he once challenged guests to fill a Complete photo booth. A total of 28 people “pushed the envelope” and squeezed into the close space.
While using someone with less experience as a DJ may sound tempting as a budget saver, Sweet stood on the side of selecting a professional wedding entertainer under contract to save heartache – and often added expense – later. Even if a relative is chosen, he said, a contract spells out reliable expectations for the bride and groom – as well as the music specialist.