Monday, April 13, 2009

#611: hip hop at noon.

we hired a dj.

it was a TOUGH decision, let me tell you. i went back and forth on it a million times. to dj or not to dj. to spend the money or not to spend the money. and fiance was unmoved either way.

can i also add that negotiating with djs isn't easy? the djs i contacted didn't move much on their price and even with a lot of back and forthing, they all ended up hovering around the same price range.

and by same, i mean out of my price range.

eventually, i contacted a friend of a friend who used to promote at clubs and now books gigs and manages 2 of her dj friends. i had done my homework and found that other friends who've used them had really liked what they did. so i asked how much they would charge for what i needed...and found that they were around that same 'out of my price range' price range.

i negotiated to the best of my freaking ability and was able to knock off a bit. and looking back, i think i could have been an even stronger negotiator. but it was tricky because she was a friend of a friend.

during negotiations, she promised no hidden fees, no extra charges, the rate was inclusive of all travel and equipment handling fees...and tips. plus, no upfront deposits - just payment in full after a job well done. and she also offered to step up and semi-coordinate the day while 2 djs manned the music.

AND because she's a friend of a friend, i trust her.

trust = key.

so. after all that, it felt kind of right and we bit the bullet. the more i think about it, the more i think it was the right choice for us.

i didn't even feel right delegating someone to light candles around the room, let alone man an ipod for a few hours.

although, now that she's acting as a semi-coordinator, i suppose i could ask her to light the candles.


so getting to the 'hip hop at noon' thing. we're having a lunch reception. and our venue is not's a restaurant. and it's mostly family. given those things, i just really don't think people will feel like dancing. i've never been to a daytime wedding so i don't know.

as i discuss the playlist with the djs, should i assume people won't want to get down so early in the day and keep the music on the mellow side? or should i not assume anything?


Nicole said...

my best advice is this: give the DJ a few ideas about the type of music you like and a few "must plays", but trust that they know what they're doing. our dj was a friend who is a professional dj. we gave him loose guidelines but generally let him do his thing. and it was GREAT. so much depends on what is happening in the moment-- who's dancing, what's getting the crowd going, etc.-- it can't be planned too carefully. this is why i think the ipod playlist often flops-- you just can't predict what the mood of a party will be-- daytime, nighttime, whatever. maybe it will be hip hop, maybe motown, who knows? trust that the DJ will know -- that's why you hired one!


Nicole said...

That sounds great. I'm sure you'll be happy with this decision. And what a bonus to have someone semi-coordinate the day for you. I bet that will come in more handy than you can guess right now!

Shelby said...

Don't assume anything. Its a celebration and I would imagine people would feel like dancing. Maybe not to Flo Rida - but who knows? I would chat with your dj - tell her your hangups and see if she has any suggestions. And then tell her to feel it out...their job is to have a vibe for these things and control the flow of the party. Sounds like you're in good hands.

Hoya Bride said...

If your friends were happy with these DJs, I think you can trust them with the playlist. You have enough to worry about. Plus, every family has that one song that gets everyone on their feet no matter what time of day (is it the electric slide for anyone else? that one gets even my shyest cousins up and dancing.)

Rachel said...

It's so much easier to hire someone and just take that worry off your list!

As for the dancing, I think people are going to be less than inclined. Do you want them to dance? If so, maybe start off with something everyone recognizes and will dance to (Sinatra or oldies usually works) then slowly scale up into full on dance music.

Ten Thousand Only said...

nicole#1: LOVE your best advice.

rachel: actually, that's a good question. i don't care either way. worst case scenario = loud dance music, empty dance floor, awkwardness. you know?

so trust the dj. got it!

Anonymous said...

Alcohol often eventually leads to dancing if there is a floor and appropriate music, in my experience, no matter what time of day. If there are some people there who you know are into dancing - and especially if you are out on the dance floor with them - then it's more likely that other people will feel comfortable dancing. If not, then good for the DJ to have music that is just as good for a party background as for dancing (in case the mood strikes people later), and knows not to try to push people onto the floor if they're not feeling it. I would definitely tell the DJ that you don't want to force it, so they know what your priorities are.

Meg said...

Um. At our daytime wedding I expect people to dance. Mostly because I expect everyone to be ever so slightly in fear of me... because you never really know... ;)

And ours will be an ipod. and I still expect them to dance.

Mostly, I think if you model dancing, and have your people (our bridal brigade) model dancing, and tell everyone you expect dancing, and have music even old folks like to dance to, the time of day won't matter much.

LPC said...

Seconding the idea that alcohol, good spirits, and a focused bride, will all lead to dancing. Oh yeah. And a killer playlist.

Becky said...

I have the same fear about my daytime wedding. My FI and I own a side business and work in the wedding industry on the side. The one thing we hear ALOT from photo, video and DJ is 'wherever the bride goes so does the guests.' I can't begin to tell you how true this is and how often we have witnessed it. One wedding the bride and groom were constantly outside for smoke breaks and it certainly showed on the dance floor. I'm really going to try to keep that tidbit in mind for the reception.

amy said...

Aaahhh...I guess I'm finally "deciding." To let go, that is. My parents are basically throwing us a shindig b/c they weren't real keen on our small, out of state, courthouse wedding. I've actually made quite a few decisions but my mom has gotten stuck on music. She's very stressed by what it means to not have a DJ (!) & use an iPod. I chalk 75% of this worry to expectations of various townfolk & expected guests. But, between her doing all the amazing cooking & funding the homebase stuff, I think I just gotta 'let go.' We've got a good friend doing music - inc. a surprise song written for us! - another friend officiating, the smaller ceremony in the backyard (townfolk to reception only!), friends crashing at the house... So, while it's a cultural thing & also a small town (gossipy crap) thing, I think it'll make her happier. Plus I figure it's giving a local guy/acquaintance some work? Eh. We're daytime PLUS no alcohol ('til after party!) so we'll see...
Thanks for posting this just when I needed it, (fiance is all no comment) how do you always know?! (Sorry for the long comment but these wonderful blogs are the only spot for me to 'vent' about these types of things & thank you for that.)

JustaRabbit said...

I went to a lovely wedding that was early afternoon (we had to finish at 4:30pm). Half the folks in attendance were dry. Believe me, if you've got a few fun dance tunes playing, you'll have folks on the dance floor.

I totally second the "if the bride's dancing, so will the guests" bit too.

The only sad part about the afternoon wedding dancing, is that it felt like it ended too soon! We wanted more dancing :)

Angeline said...

"i didn't even feel right delegating someone to light candles around the room, let alone man an ipod for a few hours."

I had the same DJ dilemna. We were going to ipod it. But I was so worried I would worry the whole time.

We went with a DJ but were very explicit about what we wanted and didn't want. No Crazy Light Show. Do not play this or this. You must play this.

I was astonished by the price but from what I've heard, it's worth it.

Mrs. Andi said...

I'm in your boat too, but we haven't even picked one out! I have some suggestions from our vendor, but no idea where to begin. How do I know if they're my style or taste? I don't know a friend of a friend, I need help! I'm wondering if they will have videos or samples we can see to get their vibe. Our wedding will be late afternoon, but I want folks dancing their butts off & having a blast.
I honestly considered the DJ, but our venue lady suggested otherwise. If for nothing else, the DJ will have experience in the flow of the event & be able to announce you, announce the cake cutting time, etc. Make sure they see your event & even attend the rehersal, if possible, to know the cues.

hellosteffi said...

this is a really funny post! i understand how you feel about having other people be in charge of something so important as music and dj-ing, but i guess this person sounds ok and when it's the actual day you'll have a good time! i have friends who sing at weddings and they ask so much because they CAN! but they really do feel they should do anything they can to make the bride happy so i guess all is good.

Skeeta said...

Dont assume. I just got married this weekend. 25 people with ipod music and assumed ppl wouldnt dance. I even purposely left out the electric slide so they couldnt do this. THEY DANCED. and they ELECTRIC slided to a Barry White song. Go figure. They. will. dance. Give them music to dance to. ;o)

The Perfect Pear l.l.c. - Jeremiah K said...

talk to the dj's, give them the list of the songs that you want to play, make a list of synchronization or a play list of songs that gonna be played during a program, plan well the even coordinate with the dj's, and keep reminding them not to over do it! :)


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