Post # 1
We’ve got most of our wedding together (it’s a couple months away) but we’re in a funk about reception music. It’s an unusual venue – we’re having our reception in a local art museum, and the galleries will be open to our guests for the cocktail hour-and-a-half. It’s also an unusual crowd in that >95% of us are over 40 years old.
We’ve talked to bands, we’ve rejected bands, we’ve thought about a DJ, we’re horrified by DJs. Here’s our problem: we can’t stand the attitude. We don’t want someone who’s going to heckle the crowd to “get the party started”, or play music loud enough to drown out conversation, or substitute his judgment for ours on what songs to play. If people want to dance, great, let’s have fun music to dance to (our hand-picked mix of New Wave, Big Band, disco, R&B). But if people want to sit and talk – or have their pictures drawn by the sketch artist we’re hiring for the night – that’s equally great. Success is not how many people are on the dance floor.
And we hate, hate, hate MCs. When announcements need to be made, the bridal party and immediate family will make them. We’re all teachers or lawyers – we have no fear of addressing a crowd and running things ourselves.
Right now we’re thinking live music during cocktails (maybe even steel drums!) and then a DJ once we sit down to dinner. But how do we find a DJ who’s willing to set aside his ego, keep his hands off the microphone, and keep the volume down? Or do we go the iPod-DJ route (how would that even work logistically? who sets up the sound system and buys the insurance?)?
Post # 2
I think in order to get exactly what you want you might just want to go the ipod route. If you are going to hand pick the songs anyway and don’t want a dj to do any announcing or anything, there is no point to spend the money on one. You might want to hire like a college kid to run the ipod incase anything goes wrong. See if you can rent sound system and talk to your venue about the insurance.
I doubt you will find a dj to do exactly what you are wanting. Each DJ has thier own style and way of doing things. It would be like hiring a pastry chef to make a steak dinner for your wedding. It’s possible for them to do, but it’s not thier specialty and it may not be how they want other people to see/advertise thier work.
Post # 3
We had this problem. Eventually, we found a DJ who plays interesting music at a fancy-ish bar and asked him. No MCing, no typical wedding games… he’s just going to play music. etc… He’s bringing his own equipment.
We were going to go the iPod route but figure it would cost about $200 to rent a few speaker, mics, etc… Decided to pay a bit more and have one less thing on our mind.
Post # 4
You could hire a jazz trio to play during cocktail hour. Check your local colleges or schools of music.
Then use an Ipod for the rest of the evening.
Post # 5
Go to a place that has the kind of atmosphere you want, and then solicit their help or find out who they would recommend. I know in the MA area there is a company called The Pros that lets you hire a singer or performer for cocktail hour, then DJ after. Maybe see if they have a similar company down your way?
Post # 6
Most DJ’s will play whatever you want. Find one wiling to work from your playlist. This is actually the reason many DJ’s don’t like doing Weddings or private events: they can’t get creative like they can in a night club.
Post # 8
demitrio: Thrre are DJ’s out there that do not act like what you described, and will follow your lead music wise. We had a great DJ that didn’t announce to the crowd at all, except for our first dance.
Ours even made a separate playlist to play in the dessert lounge that was chilled out/low key for a quieter more relaxed vibe than the dancfloor area. 98% of our crowd was over 40. I’m extremely particular about music and presentation FWIW. Ours was based in Chicago but they will travel essentially anywhere. He had to travel for ours and the rate/costs were still very reasonable.
Post # 9
Post # 10
If you’re “all teachers or lawyers” why on earth are you afraid of a DJ?
INTERVIEW!!!! Ask specific questions, make specific demands, designate someone to maintain a dialogue with the DJ throughout the event.
YOU’RE PAYING, with YOUR money. Get what YOU WANT!
I CANNOT STAND amplified music, and DS and DDIL made sure it wouldn’t be loud enough to bother me at their reception, and it didn’t. And even so, the dancing was GREAT!!!