Monday, October 25, 2010

Roles of a Wedding DJ

Since DJs have become such a popular choice for weddings, they are no longer a guy who just “plays music” at your reception. These days, the wedding DJ has transformed into a full-fledged organized entertainer, with many responsibilities.

With a good wedding DJ, you get an emcee (M.C.) who keeps your guests happy and having fun, and you also get a coordinator who also, for the most part, acts as a wedding planner in many cases. Most professional DJs who don’t just play in bars, understand the import role that organization and planning plays.

In most cases, your DJ , handles all the important announcements so that your guests know what’s coming up next during your reception. Don’t fool yourself. This is not an easy task. The ability to communicate well with large crowd is a talent. Knowing what to say, how to say it tastefully, and what professional voice to use is difficult.

The best way to judge if your DJ will communicate well with your audience is really listen to your first conversation with your prospective disc jockey on the phone. Do they know what they are talking about? Is your DJ clear? Do they make sense? Do they sound like they have several experiences to pull from?

Your first conversation can help you get a sense of your DJ’s personality and can help you decide on whether or not you should even think about setting up a meeting. Also, ask for multimedia website information, such as pictures and videos that might portrait your DJ-in-question in action at an actual wedding.

Your DJ is also responsible for the music and the flow of the evening, as well as take on the role of event coordinator. This includes the all the stuff that happens like the grand entrance introductions, the first dance, the father-bride dance, mother-groom dance, the cake cutting, and the garter/bouquet toss.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Have you been to a wedding lately? Was it good or bad? If you answered “good,” there is a good chance that the DJ had a good part of helping you come to this answer.

It is funny how a lot of weddings have so many similarities, but can still be good or bad. There are many traditional activities that happen at most all receptions. The first dance, the bouquet toss, father & bride dance, mother & groom dance, toasts and the cake cutting… we have seen these all time and time again. But these activities alone do not make the wedding reception a night to remember. If you really want people to have fun, your guests need the option to interact.

Dancing Activities are important. Some will argue that group dances are hokey and there are a number of them that really, really are. One example is the dreaded “Chicken Dance”. I personally, hate that song! However, there are some that are very modern and can do wonders for getting people out of their seats.

Even if you as the bride and groom absolutely hate dance activities, these are great ice breakers. If you can sacrifice a couple of songs to the majority of your group and and moving, it may be worth it in the big picture. If you get the people up and dancing with The Cha Cha or Electric slide, they may very well stay up there for the rest of the night.

There are many activities you have at your disposal as options. Others include The Cupid Shuffle, The Apache, The Mississippi Mudslide, The Conga, Souljaboy and The YMCA. Also, there are dollar dances, the freeze dance, The Limbo, the twist, and anniversary dances – where the DJ calls out numbers of years married to leave the dance floor, until the couple that had been together the longest remains.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wedding Recption Money-Saving Tip: Centerpieces

I had to put this money saving tip up as a blog the moment I heard about it. While it is not really my idea, I must admit, it is a good one that I needed to pass on.

Since most brides & grooms book their weddings on a weekend, be it Friday, Saturday or Sunday, they are probably not the only ones using that hall over those days. While it is not always probable, it is certainly possible to have up to four or five other weddings in the very same room you are renting on the same weekend. Most Halls book out their popular rooms for parties in blocks like this:

A - Friday Evening
B - Saturday Morning toAfternoon
C - Saturday Afternoon to Evening
D - Sunday Morning to Afternoon
E - Sunday Afternoon to Evening

Think about that for a second. Do I need to even say where I am going with this? If you, or your the other bridal party(s) are sharing the same colors, or are open to working together, why not share the center pieces and split in on flowers? If you end up splitting in with only one other wedding, that right there is a hefty 50% off on your flowers.

Of course, you will not be able to give the centerpieces away, but honestly, as a wedding DJ who provides great music to the very end of the night, quite often, people do not always want the burden of bringing home the centerpieces anyhow, as I have seen many wedding receptions end with the flowers being left behind.

If this money-saving tactic works for you, the only flowers you have to pay for in face value is the wedding bouquet that the bride will toss. :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chosing a DJ or Live Band for Wedding Receptions

DJ Kenny Casanova of Albany NY - When to chose a DJ or Live Band for Wedding Receptions
Two weeks ago at a hotel on Western Ave, I talked with a cool bartender who had been serving drinks there at weddings for almost twenty years. He said he remembered a time when everyone booked bands and has since seen the trend switched to the selection of the right DJ for the majority of reception entertainment. There are still great bands out there and sometimes they really make the wedding special. But we wondered, “What caused the switch of most brides & grooms these days, over to DJs?”

I think it goes without arguing that the music chosen can make or break any traditional or non-traditional wedding celebration. The food can be really “awesome” or totally “suck,” but it only lasts as long as it takes to eat it. Your musical entertainment is the heart and soul of the party and consumes 75 percent or more of the overall spotlight. The music selection and the dancing that this ensues it ultimately what will send your guests home with a smile or a frown. People remember a good meal, but people never forget a good time.

When people plan a wedding today, they have to really decide if you want a live band or a DJ. It is all personal taste. While both options are the main source of entertainment for a wedding reception, they both offer different things.

The main advantage of hiring a band is to create an impressive visual impression. A good band can really create a great deal of entertainment, as the guests can enjoy the music as well as watch different musicians interact and “put on a show.”

On the flip-side, while a band can bring tons of cool atmosphere to your party, it is safe to say that any band booked will lack the diversity of music that a decent professional DJ brings to the table. Simple enough, a good DJ can download a song before the reception to expand his collection in seconds, while a band has to practice for days to learn how to play a new track out successfully. The learning curve in music is not always an easy one, and bands usually charge when you request a song that is not part of their set.

In the age old debate of Band vs. DJ, there are a number of other important pro’s and cons for both to consider. Which type of entertainment you choose suits your budget personal taste, guest demographics, space allowances, and your dancing ability to bring forth the very best in killer dance moves. Keep an open mind, and consider the following issues:


The music you select sets the tone. If you want a fast fun party with lots of dancing you will want a DJ or band that regularly accommodates this need.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Have you ever told someone “I like all kinds of music” when someone has asked your favorite genre? Whether you choose a live band or DJ, be sure they can play slow and fast, and old and new songs. If you want to involve everyone in the celebratory mix, then changing things up is the way to go. If you decide to book a band, it is important to make sure they are not only good at one genre or type of sound. You want to try and keep everyone happy.


In the price war, the DJ almost always wins. While prices vary depending on the band, no matter how you look at it bands will generally be more expensive than a DJ, since there are more people to pay. While there are exceptions to this rule, such as celebrity DJ’s, and bands trying to get their name out there, for the most part, the DJ will be cheaper.

Space Wanted

If your heart was set on an 12-piece jazz band, you really need to check with your reception hall, as the site may have restrictions on the space needed to accommodate such a request. There is also the consideration of electrical power supply needed and noise limitations, so make sure you stay in contact with your event planner at the hall so that you are not planning something that needs special accommodations that cannot be met.

Do Your Homework!

Finally, no matter which way you go, you really need to do your homework. It is best research reviews or to actually go and see a DJ or band, live and in action before you sign a contract, or give a commitment. Completing your homework will give you an idea of how they work the crowd and read the crowd. Ask for referrals from the last few weddings the band or DJ played. Consider your first-dance song a test. If the band doesn’t know it and is unwilling to learn it, or the DJ doesn’t own it and is unwilling to get it, move on!

DJ Kenny Casanova Albany NY Wedding DJ