Wedding party music, what will work best?
What makes a great wedding party? Is it an expensive venue? A fantastic band or DJ? Expensive sound and lighting? Well, any of these might help you win half the battle, but the truth is that it’s the people at a party that make it happen, all the entertainer has to do is have the experience and skill to keep it going once it starts, a bit like fanning the flames of a fire. My other favourite analogy is “it’s a bit like a game of tennis, two great players will make for an exciting match, but get one player who just doesn’t want to play or can’t cut it . . . And it’s no fun at all” So it’s about both sides getting involved.
So your wedding party, what to consider?
The main aim of a wedding party is to bring together the often very diverse range of people who are attending. At the average wedding, this can range from young children to grandma & grandad and everyone else in between who will all have very different ideas about what good music is and what makes a good party. As you can imagine this presents anyone providing the music with a bit of conundrum.
So a balance of music that everyone can relate to is usually the way forward. Often the problem isn’t so much the music itself; it’s the way it’s presented, cheesy old-school links and too much chatter; not from me, you’ll be glad to know. If I have to say anything, I make it relevant and to the point. Not to mention timing, like any great comedian a professional musician or DJ, knows all about timing. The best comics can make the simplest joke hilarious with nothing more than careful timing.
Should I choose all my favourite tunes? It is my day after all?
The most common request made before the day is “no cheesy wedding party music under any circumstances”. Now I agree the days of Agadoo and Superman are numbered but banning anything remotely party or danceable, just to be cool, is one sure-fire way to ruin your party, it’s why they call it party music, not driving music if that makes any sense? In other words just because I might choose to play a bit of Barry White or Abba at a wedding it doesn’t mean I drive home listening to it (that would be Coldplay as an example). Often the bride or groom, will send me lists of your favourite ‘driving’ music, and as much as it is your day if the aim is to get everyone dancing then a list of your ‘driving’ music just isn’t going to cut it (especially if you love bands like Coldplay or The Lighthouse Family . . . as good as they might be you can’t dance to their music). This is not to say that kind of music can’t be included in your day, just at a more appropriate time such as during the pre-dinner drinks or the wedding breakfast, there is always a way to keep the personal music included and everyone happy.
Now I’m not saying that new, cool or alternative music should be left out, if it’s got a party beat and you can dance to it then it’s very much in, join the old tunes to the new ones with the right amount of skill and grandma will have no idea she’s bopping away to a bit of David Guetta, Beyonce or The Killers, I’ve seen it hundreds of times. Also remember it’s not a concert to be studiously listened to or critiqued; and it’s not a genre specific night club; the music at a wedding is there simply to give everyone an excuse to have fun and dance with people they would probably never spend an evening partying with, think about it; how often would all of your families and friends ever be in the same room at the same time?
Choosing the right entertainer
So it’s not easy being a musician or DJ at a wedding party, but with the right attitude and sensitivity towards the audience and a clear idea about what’s to be achieved a great time can be had by all.
On a more personal note, I feel it’s important for you to understand how I perceive my role as the entertainer. Often musicians and DJ’s crave applause or feel that it is a cabaret evening where people should sit and listen, or worse still, it’s JUST a wedding. None of these thoughts ever enter my head. It’s your day, and you are the stars of the show. I’m at your big day with the sole responsibility to make sure the music is the best it can be so that you and your guests can have the best time they possibly can, not to be told how great I might be. So although it is important that I am a professional singer, saxophonist and DJ (you wouldn’t want to book me if I was rubbish!) being told that isn’t my motivation for being there, you are. There is nothing more fulfilling than to be told two weeks after the day, when the dust has settled, that you were a big part of making one of the most important and significant days in any couple’s life a success. It really is something else to be trusted with that kind of responsibility, but I do genuinely love doing it. I perform as a musician and DJ at parties and corporate events as my living and take what I do very seriously, always looking for new ways to make it that little bit more entertaining.
So that’s my take on what makes a wedding party go with a bang, in the end for all the bells and whistles it’s all down to you, your families and friends, and someone like me.