Tips from one of our Favorite DJs
Music sets the tone for any event. Your wedding is no different. We want to make sure that you have all the information you need to get your guests on the dance floor, so we reached out to our friend Rob from FUNction Pro DJ to give you all the information you need to rock your wedding. See our Q&A with Rob below.
Photo Credit: From The Hip Photo
Do you have any tips on style/type of songs you suggest for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception?
Rob: For the modern ceremony, there are no rules. Your Ceremony is more about the ‘style’ of wedding you want. The Classics (Canon in D, Jesu, Air, Etc…) are still popular; however, if you are not a classical music fan but love the sound, most modern songs are now available in classical instruments. You can find almost any song in Strings, Acoustic, Piano…heck even Bagpipes. Alternatively, break tradition and play songs that you love. It’s your wedding.
Cocktail hour is a great time to make it personal. The general rule on your Cocktail Hour is to have good, mid-tempo music. Not sleepy or too slow, but not quite danceable yet either. A great DJ can use a Cocktail/Dinner hour playlist to gradually build energy by mixing music in key. There’s real science in musical keys. It’s what separates the professionals from the rest.
Now that we’ve bottled up all of that energy it’s time for the Reception. The best thing to do is help your DJ understand what you want and offer suggestions based on what you like. Providing a Must Playlist and perhaps, more importantly, a Do Not Play list will help your DJ get to know you and your family and is very helpful in creating a winning playlist for the entire event. Let your DJ take it from there…relax, and be ready to have a great time.
Photo Credit: Newell + Jones & Jones Photography
How many songs do you suggest during the ceremony?
Most ceremonies are broken into four parts:
Prelude: Background music played before the start, this helps warm up the ceremony space.
Pre-Processional/Processional: Pre-Processional is music that is played for the Wedding Party, Parents, Grandparents, and other honored guests to walk down the Aisle. Processional is the Bride’s entry song.
Recessional: This is the music played for the formal exit of the wedding party. Usually, a fun, upbeat, happy song to celebrate the I Do’s.
Postlude: Background music played after the ceremony.
What trends are big this season?
It’s hard to call anything a trend anymore. Every wedding season is different. I have noticed many couples are less into the formalities (Bouquet/Garter toss, Money Dance) and more into just having a great time with friends and family.
Photo Credit: Caroline Colvin Photography
What is a guaranteed song to get your guests on the dance floor?
I’ve been DJing since my early teens, and one thing is certain, nothing is guaranteed. If it were, anybody could do this job. Great DJ’s know how to read their audience and use that to their advantage. I’ve already spilled the beans on using musical keys to build energy throughout the Cocktail and Dinner hours. Great Dj’s use that time to interact with and get to know your guests, so when the time comes to dance, we dance!
How do you suggest couples involve the DJ in just more than the music?
You’ve already spent so much time, effort, energy, and money picking the perfect vendors for your dream wedding, allow them to do what they do best; Let your team of professionals be the experts. Guide them, set some boundaries, go over likes/dislikes and then let them loose. True professionals will deliver.
Photo Credit: From The Hip Photo
How do you work with couples to figure out their music tastes?
Easy. We meet, a lot if necessary. I make myself available 24/7 to my clients, and if you think I’m joking text me at 11 pm and you’ll be shocked that I actually answer. Phone calls, texts, emails, FaceTime, Skype, whatever is most convenient. The more we talk, the better opportunity I have to get to know you, your fiancé, and family.
Any final advice you would like to give our couples?
1: Hire professionals, research reviews and always meet them in person before signing a contract.
2: The planning process can be stressful. You’ll find yourself in heated conversations about the silliest things. Something as small as napkin colors could drive you mad. My advice: as soon as planning your wedding feels like work, stop. Do something else, then try again tomorrow. You'll find that salmon is a color and it’s not awful, maybe. This is supposed to be fun, and it can be if you take your time and try not to get caught thinking little details are bigger than the day itself. Look, no one is going to walk into your reception venue and say, "THESE are the Center Pieces? Really?… get the kids honey we are leaving.” Not going to happen. They came to see you two get married; everything else is a bonus.
3: Do not forget to eat! I’m guilty of this… I spent my whole wedding day making sure I spent some portion of quality time with each one of my guests; so much so that I forgot to eat. All of those tastings we had and I didn’t get a bite on my wedding day. Today caterers are more than willing to provide you two a plate before the official dinner time. Take advantage of that. Don’t be hangry. It may even be the only 15 minutes you get to yourselves the entire day. Have a nice dinner, just the two of you, after pictures (during the Cocktail hour). Then spend the Dinner Hour mingling and visiting with guests.
Rob Gillen- Function Pro DJ Photo Credit: Devin K Photography
We are so thankful to Rob for taking the time to answer our question. We hope this information helps you and your guests dance the night away. If you would have further questions you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you would like to book Rob for your wedding you can contact him at email@example.com https://www.functionprodj.com/.