Articles

Great Advice for Wedding Planning

Pump Up The Volume

by Sam Milam

Cassarino Studios

When you daydream about your wedding reception, is your overall vision an atmosphere of fun and energy? You want your guests (and yourself) to have a blast, to dance, to laugh, to eat delicious food, and to remember it as a part for the ages! One huge contributing factor to consider to achieve a successful reception is the music. You can choose between a live band and a DJ, or even a little bit of both. The music creates the energy, so the choice of music is a critical decision! A DJ is a great option for wedding reception music; they are a lot more than just someone playing music over some speakers. They can make or break a party.

CONSIDERING A DJ

A DJ isn't the vision of disc jockeys from yesteryear. They are artists in their own right, and a really good DJ will be capable of carrying your reception effortlessly from beginning to end. They are typically booked 12 months in advance, so finding your music should be a top priority! When choosing a DJ, you can filter through the good and the bad with a few considerations. You will want to consider the type of music that you want played at your reception. Most DJs should be able to obtain any songs that are on your must have list, as well as a variety of music that runs from contemporary to your grand mother's childhood favorites.

Many people will say that a DJ is more affordable than a live band, but that really depends on who you choose. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, so be wary of someone trying to give you a lowball offer. It is enticing to save money, but not at the cost of the quality of your entire reception. In Long Island, DJ costs run anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 for a basic package, and of $4,000 or more for a DJ with high-end equipment and technology. Some DJs also offer the options to hire live musicians, as well. Plan for an additional $600 to $800 per musician. Coming to terms with the cost of the most important aspect of your party will pave the way for choosing a high quality wedding professional. You will know what to expect as far as prices go and be more open to higher end DJs.

A DJ is what you are after, now the search begins. An excellent way to find quality music is to ask around for referrals and recommendations from friends and other wedding professionals. Maybe you attended one of those wedding receptions where you thought, "that was the best wedding I've ever been to!" Those weddings always have top -notch music. Another place to continue your search is right here in Long Island Bride and Groom magazine where you will find top-rate DJs.

Once you've narrowed it down to some potential options, the next best thing to do is meet them in person and see them perform at an event or showcase, like bridal shows and wedding expos. Make sure they have the charisma to keep the energy up at their events, that you have a good chemistry and vibe from them and that their style fits with what you are looking for in a DJ.

You want someone that is an excellent MC, is creative, and is flexible. After you have chosen and booked your DJ, you can negotiate a fixed rate for your reception to reduce costs that are sometimes accrued from additional, unplanned hours of service.

DJ ADD ONS

Many Long Island DJs have tons of options that you can include in your music package. Most will have an assortment of lighting options. Lights and music can set an energetic and upbeat ambience. You can choose intelligent lights that move to the beat of the music, disco lights, laser lights and fog machines, color kinetics to create a club-like atmosphere, or LED uplighting that casts shades of whatever color you want across the venue; like shades of pink, red, and violet. A DJ can work with the lighting to add drama and energy to the dance scene. They can manipulate the lights to highlight certain tables and remarkable architecture in the venue, highlight the floor and ceiling to amp up the energy during a nighttime event, or project shadows of shapes or words using a metal stencil called a gobo; stars, snowflakes, or the bride and groom's name wrapped up in a heart are some shape options.

There are a ton of unique extras that you can ask your potential DJ about. Consider adding a percussionist, vocalists, or a real brass section to take your party to the next level of sophistication and entertainment. Some DJs offer plasma TVs (at least two) that are set up so that guests can view a video montage of the bride and groom as they are introduced, teaser footage shot earlier in the day by the videographer, or even images and video photographed by guests during the reception. A couple of other interesting options are shadow screens that people can dance behind and cubes that they can dance on. Whatever you choose to add on will add another element of energy and fun to the party.

DJ vs A LIVE BAND

Choosing between a DJ or a live band can be a tough decision. Both have some pros and cons, but each are great options if you hire a quality wedding professional. Live bands typically require more space than a DJ. They usually won't be able to play quite the range of songs that a DJ can, but they can still play a huge variety. They bring a high level of energy if done right, and you can request songs from either. Some additional pros of hiring a DJ are that they can keep the music going throughout the entire event and they can help with the flow of the reception by acting as an MC.

Music is often what people remember most from your wedding day. The music sets the tone and vibe of the event. It allows people to let loose and have a great time. Always sign a contract with your DJ (if they don't offer or agree to one, choose someone else.). Ask about any questions or concerns that you have. Some DJs might want to promote their services at weddings. If this bothers you, feel free to communicate with them about your wishes. You are the client, so your needs should be their top priority. Hiring a stellar DJ will give you peace of mind during your celebration, and allow you to confidently dance the night away knowing that everyone is having a great time!

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When you daydream about your wedding reception, is your overall vision an atmosphere of fun and energy? You want your guests (and yourself) to have a blast, to dance, to laugh, to eat delicious food, and to remember it as a part for the ages! One huge contributing factor to consider to achieve a successful reception is the music. You can choose between a live band and a DJ, or even a little bit of both. The music creates the energy, so the choice of music is a critical decision! A DJ is a great option for wedding reception music; they are a lot more than just someone playing music over some speakers. They can make or break a party.

CONSIDERING A DJ

A DJ isn't the vision of disc jockeys from yesteryear. They are artists in their own right, and a really good DJ will be capable of carrying your reception effortlessly from beginning to end. They are typically booked 12 months in advance, so finding your music should be a top priority! When choosing a DJ, you can filter through the good and the bad with a few considerations. You will want to consider the type of music that you want played at your reception. Most DJs should be able to obtain any songs that are on your must have list, as well as a variety of music that runs from contemporary to your grand mother's childhood favorites.

Many people will say that a DJ is more affordable than a live band, but that really depends on who you choose. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, so be wary of someone trying to give you a lowball offer. It is enticing to save money, but not at the cost of the quality of your entire reception. In Long Island, DJ costs run anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 for a basic package, and upwards of $4,000 or more for a DJ with high-end equipment and technology. Some DJs also offer the options to hire live musicians, as well. Plan for an additional $600 to $800 per musician. Coming to terms with the cost of the most important aspect of your party will pave the way for choosing a high quality wedding professional. You will know what to expect as far as prices go and be more open to higher end DJs.

A DJ is what you are after, now the search begins. An excellent way to find quality music is to ask around for referrals and recommendations from friends and other wedding professionals. Maybe you attended one of those wedding receptions where you thought, "that was the best wedding I've ever been to!" Those weddings always have top -notch music. Another place to continue your search is right here in Long Island Bride and Groom magazine where you will find top-rate DJs.

Once you've narrowed it down to some potential options, the next best thing to do is meet them in person and see them perform at an event or showcase, like bridal shows and wedding expos. Make sure they have the charisma to keep the energy up at their events, that you have a good chemistry and vibe from them and that their style fits with what you are looking for in a DJ.

You want someone that is an excellent MC, is creative, and is flexible. After you have chosen and booked your DJ, you can negotiate a fixed rate for your reception to reduce costs that are sometimes accrued from additional, unplanned hours of service.

DJ ADD ONS

Many Long Island DJs have tons of options that you can include in your music package. Most will have an assortment of lighting options. Lights and music can set an energetic and upbeat ambience. You can choose intelligent lights that move to the beat of the music, disco lights, laser lights and fog machines, color kinetics to create a club-like atmosphere, or LED uplighting that casts shades of whatever color you want across the venue; like shades of pink, red, and violet. A DJ can work with the lighting to add drama and energy to the dance scene. They can manipulate the lights to highlight certain tables and remarkable architecture in the venue, highlight the floor and ceiling to amp up the energy during a nighttime event, or project shadows of shapes or words using a metal stencil called a gobo; stars, snowflakes, or the bride and groom's name wrapped up in a heart are some shape options.

There are a ton of unique extras that you can ask your potential DJ about. Consider adding a percussionist, vocalists, or a real brass section to take your party to the next level of sophistication and entertainment. Some DJs offer plasma TVs (at least two) that are set up so that guests can view a video montage of the bride and groom as they are introduced, teaser footage shot earlier in the day by the videographer, or even images and video photographed by guests during the reception. A couple of other interesting options are shadow screens that people can dance behind and cubes that they can dance on. Whatever you choose to add on will add another element of energy and fun to the party.

DJ vs A LIVE BAND

Choosing between a DJ or a live band can be a tough decision. Both have some pros and cons, but each are great options if you hire a quality wedding professional. Live bands typically require more space than a DJ. They usually won't be able to play quite the range of songs that a DJ can, but they can still play a huge variety. They bring a high level of energy if done right, and you can request songs from either. Some additional pros of hiring a DJ are that they can keep the music going throughout the entire event and they can help with the flow of the reception by acting as an MC.

Music is often what people remember most from your wedding day. The music sets the tone and vibe of the event. It allows people to let loose and have a great time. Always sign a contract with your DJ (if they don't offer or agree to one, choose someone else.). Ask about any questions or concerns that you have. Some DJs might want to promote their services at weddings. If this bothers you, feel free to communicate with them about your wishes. You are the client, so your needs should be their top priority. Hiring a stellar DJ will give you peace of mind during your celebration, and allow you to confidently dance the night away knowing that everyone is having a great time!

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