So I was thinking about my career as a dj over the weekend while at my event at the Royal Ambassador. It was a beautiful evening about 9:30pm and the sun was just going down. We had arrived at the venue for 10am to set up as we had a huge gig to do, as well as the ceremony which was taking place at 2pm; so we had to start the pre-ceremony music at 1:30. The ceremony was at the venue, but near the pond which took more time to set up. That got me to thinking while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
I was really struck by all the changes that have occurred in the disc jockey profession since my start in 88. When I first started DJing Weddings, and other mobile events the ceremony was never at the venue where the reception was taking place; it usually happened at a church. This meant that the reception always started late as the guests would never arrive to the reception on time. After this there would be a long receiving line which lead into dinner. After dinner there would be a long series of speeches, followed by the cake cutting, first dance, bride/father dance, groom/mother dance, bridal party dance, and bouquet and garter toss. Finally the dancing could begin usually between 11 and 11:30pm which allowed only an hour or so before the night ended.
In addition, back then we brought two speakers which would sit on the floor and almost never brought any type of lighting or wireless mic. The DJ would rarely be asked to MC or do anything interactive. Today, that’s all changed! The ceremonies almost always happen at the same venue as the reception and often we are asked to provide sound and music for it. In addition, most Weddings require the DJ to act as MC and the couple are looking for beautiful Up lighting along the wall and behind the head table, as well as intelligent lights to spot the bride and groom for the grand entrance, first dance, speeches, etc… Special effects such as, dry ice, haze, streamer launch, etc… are often used as well.
The DJ also is also very interactive with the guests especially during dinner where we use props such as dice, putting game, etc…to interact with the guests.
The shy DJ who doesn’t like to use the microphone is a thing of the past. If you just want to play music in the background like at a club or bar, mobile events such as Weddings, Corporate parties, Schools, etc.. are not for you! It’s difficult to say whether the DJ at a Wedding is more of an MC/entertainer or someone who plays music. Both are important of course, but when I first started DJing I enjoyed playing the music most and the formalities were something I had to tolerate. Now it’s the opposite, being the Master of Ceremonies is much more fun and challenging than simply reading the dance floor. The night is so much more enjoyable now that the DJ is involved in the entire Wedding day!