08th August 2017

Music SOS

Music SOS with Matt Maurice

How Do I Find A Good DJ?

Word of mouth and recommendations are a good start. Also, take a look through the blogs and twitter pages of the leading wedding planners. Some will always mention what entertainment they’ve booked. Google is OK, but remember the top page listings are there because they’ve paid Google. It does not guarantee the quality of their work.

How much should we budget for the DJ?

As much as you can afford, as with everything, the best comes at a premium. Scrimp and scrape at your peril. Generally it’s one of the smaller costs of the day but one of the most important. All your guests will remember the music and entertainment above everything apart from the dress.

What is the average DJs charge for an average 4hr reception?

For any DJ worth their salt you would look to pay upwards of £600 and prices do vary from region to region. Also, expect to pay for travel if your DJ isn’t local to the venue.

How does this compare to a live band?

A good live band would be £3000 +

How much is overtime?

For our DJs it’s £150 + VAT per hour.

How far in advance should we book the DJ?

One year to get the DJ your want, although we do get bookings with just weeks to spare.

What are the advantages of choosing a DJ over a live band?

Cost, choosing a DJ will give you extra cash to spend on things like lighting and dance floors. Djs are also far more versatile in the music that can be played.

Our Playlist

Our tastes cross over hip-hop, country & pop. Will the DJ have a back catalogue that covers all music types and will he be able to blend the genres smoothly?

Indeed he will. Also, your eclectic tastes will go down a storm on the dance floor. Mixing up the musical genres is sure to keep everyone happy.

Will the DJ be offended if we list every single song we want played and don’t give him the freedom to include additional songs?

Not offended, but from experience this can kill the party. If you’re paying top money for your DJ, you’re paying for experience. If you want to choose all the music and in which order you want them played, you may as well plug in an ipod. Good DJs know and have tracks that will link your request list together to create as seamless and flowing a DJ set as possible.

How many songs would typically be played during a 4 hr reception?

Around 60 to 70.

When should we have our first dance?

Never do your first dance too early. What tends to happen is guests will then dance for a few tracks then hit the bar. If the dancing does start early, let the party warm up a little before you both take to the floor. Also, don’t feel you have to complete the whole first dance yourself, inviting your guests to join you half way through is a great way to get the party started.

How does he know if we hate a certain song and is it unreasonable for him to refuse guest requests if the bride or groom has vetoed that song?

I would always ask clients for a list of tracks they don’t like. If requests are received on the night that don’t fit within the clients style and personality, they shouldn’t be played. Guests generally understand this.

What makes a good first dance song? We need help! We’re also need to pick an exit song. Any classics that you can suggest?

Remember it doesn’t have to be slow for the first dance. First dances I’ve seen work best include dance classic Daft Punk’s “Digital Love” and from the 60’s The Turtles “Happy Together”. For the exit, it really depends on what you and your guests are in to. Mainstream finales that work well are The Beatles “All You Need Is Love and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered”. For an encore, “Candi Staton or Florence & The Machine “You Got The Love” work well, or rock them out with Guns ‘n’ Roses “Sweet Child Of Mine”.

The Audience

We know what we like, but are aware that there will be a broad cross-section of generations at the reception. Should we include tunes that different age groups will recognize and enjoy?

Indeed you should, a good corporate DJ will program genre sections of his set to appeal to all your guests, selecting these tracks from your initial request list.

Whereas our friends will be inclined to crowd the dance floor, our parent’s friends will want to mingle and talk. Should be take an understated approach to the music and sacrifice the big dance tracks?

Big dance tracks should be played if that’s what you’re into. I tend to leave these towards the second half of the set. If the music’s good, by then your guest will dance regardless of their age. Hopefully the set up of the sound and position of the bar will allow guest to still talk if they want to.

The Look

What will the decks look like? How much space do they take up?

Depending on what you’re looking for, vinyl decks can be used and on show to offer a more traditional club look. Most DJs now play from laptops for convenience and we feel a smart black or white DJ booth works best for these. These also hide all the wires. Avoid starcloth DJ booths where possible as they now tend to look cheap and old fashioned. Our Dj Booths are 6x4ft and you’ll need to leave two small spaces for the speakers, around 3x3ft for each one.

Can the speakers be hidden? Are they available in white to blend in with white space?

White sound systems are available at a premium and do look amazing when white is the theme. If you have draping, speakers can be placed behind these providing there is enough room.

How can we find out about noise restrictions? Is there likely to be a maximum decibel level at the venue? Acoustics of the space?

You’ll need to speak to your venue regarding noise restrictions and inform your DJ and entertainment of these. If the venue has a traffic light system, these are a Djs and entertainers nightmare but not too big an issue if your DJ knows what to do. If you feel acoustics may be an issue due to the size of the venue, it’s always a good idea to have your DJ complete a site visit.

Do we need a dance floor? I’ve seen a cool one with LED lights. How much do they cost?

Dance floors create a great focal point for dancing. Depending on the size required, expect to pay upwards of £500 plus delivery.

Power requirements?

For a standard DJ set up, 2 X 13amp sockets should do, although always double check how much equipment will be used and the power requirements of the DJ.

How much set up time will the DJ need on the day of the wedding? Break down time?

All DJ set ups will vary but as a rule, for us it’s a minimum of one hour for a standard set up. This can also vary greatly depending on what equipment is being booked.

Is it necessary to arrange a recce so the DJ can see the space?

If the venue isn’t a traditional set up and if you’re looking to book more than just a standard set up, then a site / venue visit may be required. Generally, experienced DJs will be able to adapt to most situations and venues upon arrival for the first time.

Want to know more? Get in touch with Matt Maurice DJs in London here. We also offer event production in London.

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