My Favourite Montreal DJOne of my favourite DJs to work with is Serafino Graziosi from On the Beat Events.Serafino has performed at hundreds of events over the years, for corporate clients, local celebrities, NHL hockey players, the Montreal Canadiens, CBC's Andrew Chang and Frank Cavallaro, and many others.
Scroll down for Serafino's advice for working with a DJ.
Tip 1: Hire a DJ with experience
When looking to book your DJ, experience and musical knowledge is extremely important.
The last thing you want at your reception is someone who doesn't time the music well, who can't read your crowd, or who doesn't have the musical knowledge to make the party flow.
You need to adjust the music to the crowd. Every event is unique, and so the playlist has to be unique. Of course, there are standards that everyone knows, but your DJ has to be able to adapt to you YOU and YOUR guests.
One song that always works – and doesn’t matter how old they are - is Danza Kuduro!
Another important fact is that you want everyone participating and having fun. You can’t neglect anyone. For example, I tend to focus on the older people during the first part of the evening, because come a certain time, they’re not going to want to dance. You want everyone to have a fantastic time -- not just the young people.
Tip 2: Use a Professional Master-of-Ceremonies (MC)
It's not a good idea to ask a family member or friend, co-worker etc, to be the MC at your wedding. The reality is, they don’t have the experience. It’s not an easy task to get the proper attention of your guests in a professional manner.
The initial part of the evening is what will set the tone for the rest of the night. You want to start the party off with some oomph! I’m basically the opening act to the rock stars that are about to be introduced.
Tip 3: Make a List of Your Favourite Songs
We work very closely with each couple to make sure we know their personal style. Music is a very important, so we want them to be involved as much as possible. I want to know the music that defines them as a couple. The music that may bring them back to their school/college/university days.
We like to get them involved with the entrance music as well. We want the songs they choose for their bridal party and themselves to walk into the reception hall, to make the people say “Oh, that song is so them!!”
It definitely takes a little work, but on the flip side, it's a one shot deal and we want to get it right!
Tip 4: Tell Your DJ the Songs You Don't Like
I want to know the music you don’t like, because the last thing we want to do is play a song that will make you cringe! Again, we want to tailor the musical part of the evening, as much as possible, to the bride and groom. After all, this is your party. The songs you don't like are just as important as the songs you do like. These go on a "Do Not Play" list that I bring to the wedding.
Sometimes a guest will come up and ask me for one of the songs on that list. I go ask the bride and groom - sometimes they're OK with it, other times they don't want the song played, so I tell the guest "OK, I will try to get it in over the night, but I can't promise."
Tip 5: Make Sure Your Vendors Communicate
After dinner, it’s party time. The dance floor is packed, the bride and groom are dancing, and everyone's having a great time.
Then suddenly the photographer wants to take all the guests outside for a group shot. Ahhhh! No! You're going to kill my party! Once those people leave the dance floor, it takes a whole lot of effort to get them dancing again.
Or suddenly the Brazilian dancers / tam-tams / belly dancer arrive and I have to clear the dance floor for their act. Again, big no no. It’s so hard to get the party going again.
That’s the beauty of working with vendors who know one another. They tell me at the start of the night what they need, and I work it in. We don’t do things at the last moment, when everything is happening. It just ruins the party.
Tip 6: Bride & Groom Should Stay on Dance FloorThe biggest mistake the bride and groom make is stepping out for long periods of time to chill with their friends. That’s a sure party killer. Your guests are coming there to celebrate your marriage. They’re there to party with you, drink with you, dance with you – if you don’t participate, chances are, they’ll do the same.
The worst thing is to have an empty dance floor because everyone is looking for the bride and groom.
Tip 7: Hire a DJ You Click With
Not matter which DJ you decide to go with -- and this goes for any vendor really -- make sure that that you like them, that you're comfortable with them, and that they're professionals.
The last thing you want is to choose someone because they're not expensive, or because they're a friend of a friend, only to find out that it was the wrong decision. When you look back at your wedding, you'll regret it for the rest of your life.