djBig | Wedding Reception Top Mistakes To Avoid 2017
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11 Dec Wedding Reception Top Mistakes To Avoid 2017

Giving away money and planning control for your 2017 wedding reception?

Maybe you already are thinking this way but it’s not your fault! I have been in the wedding entertainment business for 30 years and the past 10 years, the internet has spurred many great ideas, but also some not so great. I want to share this information with you in hopes you will be better informed, save money and ultimately, create an epic wedding day celebration.

  • The first (and worst) idea to avoid is to ask for music requests on your response cards. An experienced entertainer and educated DJ should be able to work with you and your guests both in advance as well as on site. So why is asking for requests a bad thing? I have dealt with this a half dozen times or so and the outcome has been exactly the same and it actually is answered via mathematics. Bride and Groom send out 300 invites and get 250 back. If 50 people don’t request anything, we are left with 200 requests. If the average song is 3 minutes (which is slightly shorter than the average), it would take 10 hours just to play the requests! Typically, reception dance time averages 4.5hrs. I plan each wedding with every Bride & Groom and do work out the must haves and must nots in music. An experienced entertainer/DJ should be able to read/work a crowd and play appropriate music. The other big challenge with those 200 requests is that when “some” people start to drink, they eventually want to know when “their” song will be played. This can turn ugly as some people take offense as you already asked them. They thought it through and wanted a song nobody has heard before, etc. Do yourself and all invited a favor: hire an experienced entertainer/DJ and put them to work!
  • The second idea being promoted-heavily by DJ’s is the Photo Booth. Yes, we all love the fun and costume wear, but the difference is that MY Photo Booth has been a hit but on a dance floor! 30 years of fun party pics, both in props and not, prove that people will be more engaged while in a dancing scenario vs a box, pipe & drape set up, etc. Occasionally, I do have clients that really want a Photo Booth so Irefer them to a professional Photo Booth vendor. The experience can be dramatically different in staffing to presentation. Nobody loves a DJ more than myself, however I have witnessed a degradation of service as attention is taken off the dance floor to corral guests into a photo booth box area. The exceptions again are typically professional service photographers. Although action shots rule, some clients again seek a static or stationary location for party pictures. Last year, roughly 50% of my weddings created their own backdrop, bought/added a few props and saved $400-$700 off their wedding budget. But what about all the fun pictures? How many people have a camera? Think about it! In short, do what’s best for you but think it through. Just don’t blink.
  • Last, as crazy as it sounds, planning matters. Planning around your uniqueness really matters. As I harp about utilizing experienced and educated professionals to serve you on your big day, I also encourage you to listen to-you. One question I typically ask every Bride: “looking into a crystal ball, describe how you see your big day. What is the feel you want your guests to experience?” I often follow that up with a question: “do you see a Cinderella entrance with a Kid Rock crescendo?” It helps me understand the vision. This is what needs to be communicated with your entertainer/DJ and possibly hall/site manager. The takeaway: don’t presume they will know what you’re thinking. In other words, plan for accountability!