Wedding Music Guide

Live Bands Vs Disc Jockeys
When it comes to your wedding reception music, you really end up having one of two choices: go with a band or a DJ. The type of music that you choose really depends on the type of reception that you want to have. Whether you are going with a formal or informal wedding reception, the possibilities are endless when it comes to music selection.

Live Bands / Orchestras
Bands used to be the first choice for most wedding receptions till few years back. But now people find Live bands/orchestras too loud and noisy in a indoor wedding hall .They find it very difficult to converse within family members, whom they hardly getto meet often,if not for such special occasions.

Some bands are called classical or jazz ensembles while others may simply be variety bands based on the type of musical era or genre you want to have played.Whichever type of band you choose, there are lots of logistics involved in having a band at your reception.
If you have a particular song that you want to have played during the evening or for your first dance, You will have to inform the band well in advance for them to be ready with it.You will ask have to check with them about the stage Requirement.

Before finalizing ,ask them if you can see them play live either at a club or a party/wedding. Most bands will be hesitant to have you come to another wedding, as they are only trying to safeguard the privacy of their clients. You wouldn't want a bunch of random engaged couples at your wedding, would you? If you can't see the band live, ask if they have any of their work recorded so you can see them on DVD.

Disc Jockeys

For many couples, a DJ is an easier and inexpensive option compared to a band. Most reputable and experienced wedding DJs are able to provide a wide range of music. A DJ is all about having a mix of music, which typically will be able to please everyone in your crowd.

A DJ can also make a change in the style of music you want as the night goes on. This is especially important as the dancing portion of the evening starts to ramp up. If you are mixing two cultures, you may want to have a DJ that can play music from both throughout the night. Only a DJ will be able to infuse radio mixes, some of the oldies but goodies your parents adore, and an amazing hymn from your homeland, all in one night!

Wedding DJ's - Where to Start?
It is often hard to know where to start even looking for a wedding DJ. Some popular choices would be your favourite internet search engine, Just Dial , bridal magazines, or maybe your favourite online wedding directory. All of these places you will find those DJ's who are advertising their business. But what other options are there? How about asking your wedding reception venue? They have no doubt seen many DJ's come and go over the years at various events and may be able to recommend someone who is good.

But be careful, some DJ's and venues enter into agreements where the DJ will provide the venue salesperson a "kick-back" if you book with them. If a "kick-back" is involved, how can you be assured of the quality of the DJ.

You can also ask around your friends and family. Have you been to a wedding where the DJ was outstanding. Find out who it was. Have you been to a wedding where the DJ was awful. Find out who it was so you can avoid them!

Talk with other brides and research DJ companies to find out what other people think. Written testimonials on a DJ's website should not be taken too seriously, unless they are a scanned copy of a hand-written note. How can you know if it is genuine, or if it was written by the DJ themselves?

Cost Vs Quality?
Another important thing, the Budgeting Factor.You should consider whether the DJ is within your budget and also whether your wedding DJ budget is reasonable.It is very important that your budget is set appropriately. But shopping around you will find wedding DJ's quoting anywhere between 8000 INR and 30000 INR depending on the packages. Quite often, with DJ's it is a case of "you get what you paid for".

99% of the wedding DJ horror stories you hear about are caused because people just picked a figure (usually a low one) out of the air when deciding on their DJ budget and went with whoever was the cheapest.

Consider how much money you have spent on your wedding reception. A bad DJ can ruin that and if you want to risk having everyone leave early, then maybe a cheap DJ is an option for you.

By doing your research and taking the time to meet with them, you will surely find a DJ who will do everything you want. Find out how they can help make your wedding reception one to remember for all the right reasons. Custom lighting and other personalisations at your wedding can often be arranged by your DJ, which may add to the total quote. Sticking to your budget is important, but so is the success of your wedding reception. Now that you have a shortlist of DJ's, it is important you get to know each of them a little better.There is set of questions U need to ask Your Prospective Wedding DJ before you finalise one of them for your special day...

Karaoke - To Sing or Not to Sing

If you have a wedding coming up, you want it to be memorable. If you are considering adding a karaoke as a package option for your wedding reception because your DJ offers it, you are the type of bride and groom that really want your guests to have fun. Right? It is true. You may want to start of your marriage with something memorable, and karaoke could certainly be a way to do it.

First off, if karaoke is your selling point to choosing a DJ, you really need to check out your DJ to see what his actual karaoke background is. He could be a great wedding DJ, but not that cultured in empty orchestra singing performances. Does he (or she) have good gear and current selections as well as the old classics songs that everyone loves?

While it is hard to exactly explain what it is that makes a DJ "The Best" in the eyes of his or her karaoke patrons, it probably has to with a combination of personality and fast pacing.

Personality. It is something your karaoke DJ either has, or doesn't have. There are no lessons for this attribute. You cannot learn this. The only way to really judge this, however is to see them in living color.

Timing is everything. No dead air, is important. When it happens - PEOPLE CRINGE! Have you ever been on a dance floor and there is a space between songs? What do the dancers do? They either freeze and stand there like deer in headlights, or go and sit back in their seats. BOTH OF THESE OUTCOMES ARE NOT GOOD! Watch the DJ try their hardest to keep everything moving and leave no room to sleep for the karaoke audience.

Once you have chosen the right DJ who also has karaoke, consider these precautions.
1) SCHEDULED KARAOKE TIME - Not everyone likes karaoke, so limit it to either scheduled performances by a few key players, or open up say the very last hour. If you open it up for the entire reception, it will not be special and will become more annoying than anything else.

2) SET LIMITS - Do not allow multiple songs by one guest. Maybe one or two, but you do not want your wedding reception to become a a karaoke concert staring one or two key players.

3) SCAN SONG SELECTION - Make sure your DJ runs all the songs by you, if they could be considered questionable. Some songs out there have ridiculous amounts of adult content and just are not right for a wedding.

So that's it. Karaoke can really be a blast, but be careful. If you are, it can really add to the final flavor and make it a great night for everyone!

Top 25 Questions to ask your DJ [Click the questions]

How long have you been a DJ n how many weddings have U done?
A wedding is such an important occasion, and you don't want your DJ's first wedding to be your own. The number of years someone has been a DJ will give you some indication of their experience level, but some DJs only perform for a few events (and fewer weddings) each year. A DJ with half as many years in the industry may have many times as many weddings under his belt, so you should also ask how many weddings the DJ has done. Also be sure to ask if the DJ has any formal training, either from a DJ company or a DJ school.
Have you played at our reception site before?
Wedding experience is important, and so is familiarity with your reception site. Every site poses different challenges – different load-in and security procedures, different room sizes and configurations, different acoustics, even antiquated electrical outlets that need to be grounded manually. Hiring a DJ that is familiar with your site will give you peace of mind that you won't have any surprises on your wedding day. Obviously, even the best DJs can't have performed at every site in the area (since there are hundreds available in any area), but if he hasn't been to yours, he should be willing to adequately prepare himself prior to your event by visiting the venue and/or speaking with the site contact and studying a floor plan.
How long will you hold our date for us?
When you contact a professional disc jockey, they should be willing to hold your date for you for a reasonable amount of time in order to give you a chance to meet with them. They should also give you ample time after your meeting to make a decision and give you time to interview other DJs.
What makes you different from your competitors?
Any professional wedding disc jockey will take pride in their work, and be able to answer this question honestly and communicate the things that make their services unique. Some DJs, however, will take this opportunity to "bash" their competition and say negative things about specific DJs or agencies. We consider this type of behavior unprofessional, and is a poor reflection on them.
Do u offer a written contract?
All of the wedding disc jockeys you interview may not have the same standards of professionalism. A written, legal contract is one of the first indicators of whether a DJ is professional and reliable. Furthermore, a contract establishes the DJ's obligation to the client and outlines what is required for the DJ's success, by outlining his setup requirements and other factors related to his performance. For this reason, a written contract is absolutely essential and any DJ not using a written contract should not, in our opinion, be considered for a wedding reception.
May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract?
Many wedding DJs attempt to conduct their interviews over the telephone and through email instead of meeting face-to-face with prospective clients. There are two reasons a disc jockey would do this – either they don't feel you are worth their time, or they have something to hide. Some deejays are very different in person than on the telephone and what is presented on their website, and you should insist on meeting in face-to-face so you can judge for yourself.
How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
This is an important question to ask, because some DJs prefer to control the majority of the playlist and supplement their choices with a small handful of your specific requests. Other disc jockeys prefer to let the client choose the majority of the music, and then use their expertise to make it all work. The DJ should be accommodating of your music tastes, and you should feel comfortable with the DJ's approach and the amount of involvement you'll be able to have in choosing the music.
Do you act as the "emcee" and make all of the announcements?
Not all the professional wedding disc jockey will be comfortable with making announcements and serving as the emcee for the wedding,their key role is the keep the music rolling, but they should be able to make the basic announcements whenever needed.
What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
Different wedding disc jockeys handle this situation in very different ways, some opt to use the microphone to try to "energize" your guests and motivate them to dance. Others would never do something like this and prefer to use careful song selection to ensure dance floor success. You need to know what the DJ would do in this situation, and determine if that is the way you would like the situation handled.
Can we visit you at a performance?
Hopefully the answer to this question is "no." We're sure that you wouldn't appreciate the DJ inviting prospective clients to your wedding to see him in action. A professional DJ should be willing to take a stand for his clients' privacy and not offer this as a possibility. Professional wedding DJs never allow this.
May we speak to your references?
Speaking to a wedding DJ's former clients is a great way to get a feel for what it is like to work with them, and any DJ should be ready and willing to allow you to speak with their references. He should also be willing to contact several of these references in advance of providing you with their information, so that they have his permission and so you feel comfortable calling them.
Will we meet again before the wedding?
Just as some deejays will prefer not to meet you when you book them, others will prefer to conduct a "final meeting" in the weeks before your wedding over the telephone instead of in person. While having a face-to-face meeting for the final meeting is arguably less important than meeting personally for an initial interview, the DJ should still be willing to meet you in person for a second time if that's what you prefer.
When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
A DJ should also require the information far enough in advance so that he can adequately prepare for your event. A DJ who doesn't ask for your requests at least a couple of weeks before your wedding may not be able to fulfill them. In addition, the DJ should be willing to accommodate any later changes or additions whenever possible.
Do you take requests from our guests?
Most DJs are happy to do so, but you should also feel reasonably assured that any request they chose to play would not be something you didn't like.
Can we submit a "Do Not Play" list?
Any professional DJ should be willing to honor your requests, including your request for certain songs and genres to not be used. Submitting a "Do Not Play" list will give a DJ a clear idea of your limits and your expectations for their song selection at your wedding.
When do you arrive to set up for our wedding?
When dealing with sub-standard DJs, there are often issues with them being punctual and set up well in advance of your guests' arrival. Professional DJs will always arrive at least a full hour before their scheduled start time in order to have adequate time to set up and get organized before the wedding.
How much of a Advance deposit is required to secure our date?
Almost every DJ will require some sort of deposit or retainer in order to secure your date. This is for their protection and yours. The industry standard for deposits is 50%.
What is included in the cost of my event?
DJs use vastly different systems when pricing their services. Most DJs price their services a la carte, charging an hourly rate and adding charges for any additional equipment needed. Others choose to use a flat-rate pricing system and make their packages all-inclusive. You need to be clear about what a DJ is offering for the price they've quoted you.
How much would you charge for overtime?
Hopefully your DJ will do such a wonderful job at your wedding that you'd like to keep dancing! Be sure that the DJ's contract outlines a specific rate for additional time at the end of the night, whether it is a set price or a pro-rated amount based on the original price.
What do you require from us?
Every DJ will require a few things that you'll need to provide them in order to be successful. The most common are adequate shelter, electricity, and a table for their equipment. Make sure that you understand exactly what the DJ needs from you so you can communicate those needs to your reception site and caterer.
Do you and your crew require a meal?
Some DJs require that they receive a meal at the wedding or simply accept one if you happen to offer. Again, be sure you know what the DJ's requirements are so you can plan accordingly.
What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?
A professional DJ will never consume alcohol or take cigarette breaks during your wedding. If you interview a DJ and he tells you he needs a few drinks to "loosen up" while working, you should probably look for a DJ with higher standards of professionalism.
What type of equipment do you use ? Will you have a wireless microphone ?
Any DJ you consider should be proud of his sound system, and should be using professional-grade equipment. Most DJs understand that you are very unlikely to have a working knowledge of professional DJ equipment, but he should be able to describe his sound system to you. You should not hear very many "home audio" brands in what he describes – the top brands for DJ equipment are Pioneer, Denon, PCDJ, Traktor, Serato, Electro-Voice (EV), JBL, Bose, Mackie, RANE, QSC, and Shure. Every professional wedding DJ should offer a wireless microphone to be used for your guests' toasts, blessing, and any other speeches that need to be made. The industry standard for wireless microphones is Shure, and most professional DJs use Shure wireless technology.
Do you bring backup equipment with you to the wedding?
Even the very best and most well-maintained equipment will malfunction at some point. Your DJ needs to be prepared in case this happens at your wedding. The only way you will not suffer a setback on your special day is if the DJ brings a full second sound system with them to each and every wedding.
When do we have to pay the balance payment and the mode ?
Most of the Professional DJ's Accept Cash ,Cheque or Wire Transfer to the Company / Personal Account. And generally the balance payment immediately after the function.