Mistake 1: Forgetting to check sound ordinance laws.
"Brides need to check for sound ordinances in the town that their reception will be held or restrictions on noise levels at their venues. Some venues have a restricted sound level and end-time policies. You don't want your reception to end early unexpectedly."
-Johnna Dionne, Wavelength Band
Mistake 2: Not meeting the DJ until the day of their wedding.
"A face-to-face meeting is the best way to determine if the DJ is qualified and will give you what YOU want. Also, you can determine if you have a personality match with the DJ and if he or she is someone who will deliver a fun day."
-Brian S. Graham, ADJA Knoxville Chapter
Mistake 3: Having too small of a dance floor.
"If there is nowhere to maneuver, then congestion on the dance floor can be a nightmare because people get bumped into, glasses break, and drinks can be spilled. Having more room will encourage your guests to get on the dance floor."
-Jeremy Gerba, Lethal DJ Services
Mistake 4: Playing only one type of music.
"Too much of a good thing is a bad thing in music. Weddings will always have a wide range of age groups, so you need to switch things up to keep the music fresh!"
-DJ Pat, Sound Prodigy
Mistake 5: Forgetting to make a do-not-play list.
"The last thing a bride wants to hear at her reception is a band she hates or maybe a song that reminds her of her husband's ex! Recently I had a bride who vetoed any Michael Jackson for that specific reason, so throughout the reception, when I got a request for Michael, I had to pretend that I forgot to bring any. The DJ always has to remember that it's the bride and groom's wedding -- not theirs -- and our job is to make it the celebration that they really want!"
-Richard Blade, RichardBlade.com
Mistake 6: Requesting too many songs.
"Keep in mind that a DJ plays approximately 12 to 15 songs per hour, so for the average four-hour reception, that's only around 60 songs. A good rule of thumb is to keep your request list to about 25 songs or so. That way you get to hear all of your songs, plus you give your DJ freedom to take requests from your guests."
- Russ Knight, Knight Flight Professional DJs
Mistake 7: Choosing long special dance songs.
"It can get boring for your guests. Of course this is your day, and these dances are special, however, when choosing those special songs, consider shortening the mother-son and father-daughter songs. These dances are great, and you should spend this special moment with your parent(s), but once the congratulations, I’ll miss you, and thank-yous are done, end the dance."
-Jeremy Jones, Entertainment Solutions
Mistake 8: Not paying attention to the flow of the events.
"To create energy for an active dance floor, make sure the wedding flow of events moves along nicely," says Tim Benter, DJs To Go Inc.. "If you have a 90-minute cocktail hour and two hours of dinner your guests will be looking for a nap, not a dance floor. Keep your cocktail hour to "an hour" and then move into a well served dinner service process."
Another flow-of-events mistake has to do with the way you configure the room -- "A very common mistake is having the bar in a different room than where the dancing is supposed to happen," says DJ Nahchey, Dash Entertainment. "When couples do this, it splits the event into drinkers and dancers, and the party doesn't really come together."
Mistake 9: Picking too many obscure songs.
"As music professionals, we certainly appreciate all kinds of music, however, the guests may not. They go to a wedding expecting to hear music they know and can dance to," says Gina Diegnan of In the Mix DJ Service. Daniel Blevins of CSC Special Events & Creative Services agrees with this tip: "A simple rule for music selection is 90% of the music played should be known by 90% of the guests."
Mistake 10: Not verifying your DJ.
"Make sure the DJ you are talking with will be the actual DJ performing at your reception. Many DJ companies book multiple events on the same night and may subcontract to other companies using DJs with varying levels of skill. Be careful of ‘bait and switch tactics’ by making sure you evaluate the individual DJ and not just the DJ Company."
-Troy Michael, Troy Michael DJ