Thursday, November 6, 2008

DJ's Who Assist With Wedding Ceremony

I've been a professional wedding disc jockey for many years and have observed a number of trends. One significant trend has to do with couples deciding to plan a ceremony that is not held in a church but elsewhere, usually the site of their reception.

Almost half of the weddings that I book now require my attention to both the ceremony and reception, something that was very rare even ten years ago. Couples who plan a non-traditional ceremony often forget to consider the need to amplify the proceedings. Most churches have a sound system that allows guests to hear the officiant, listen to vows and enjoy recorded or live music before, during and/or after the ceremony - a benefit not always found at other venues. Ceremonies held outside in parks, gazebos or at other non-church venues often lack a PA system.

If you are planning a small, intimate ceremony inviting less than 50 guests and do not desire music, you probably do not need a PA system. Ceremonies larger than 50 and/or for those that include music to create a special atmosphere definitely will need an experienced DJ who understands the dynamics of a wedding ceremony.

A ceremony DJ will:

1) deliver and set up a sound system at the site of the ceremony before guests arrive
2) provide a microphone for the officiant and the couple
3) play selected music before the ceremony begins while people are arriving
4) play selected music during the processional
5) play selected music during the ceremony itself if the couple so desires
6) play selected recessional music providing continuity leading to the reception

Unlike during the reception, a DJ who assists with the ceremony should not be seen as a prominent figure and will work in the background of the event. His efforts, however, will create a result that lasts in the memories of the couple and their guests for a long time.

Most DJ's are not trained or experienced to assist with the wedding ceremony. The skills necessary to help facilitate a successful ceremony are somewhat different than those needed to produce an energetic dance floor during the reception. For those searching for a DJ who will assist with the ceremony and the reception it is important to be sure your DJ has experience in both regards. Ask your DJ to detail how he or she can help make your ceremony a successful one. Ask for advice on how best to amplify the ceremony, select appropriate music and how the DJ interacts with the officiant to make it all happen. Also, be sure to ask about any additional rates for the added service.

The roles and responsibilities of the professional wedding DJ are expanding along with newer trends. Asking the right questions, including those pertaining to the ceremony, will help the couple feel at ease knowing their DJ is perfect for the job!