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August 17, 2016

What do wedding DJs and sandwiches have in common?

Awesome wedding DJ Sunshine Coast

 

We get a lot of people asking us for our prices (nothing wrong with that – everyone has a budget to work with).

 

But there’s a lot more to booking the right wedding DJ than just knowing how much they cost.

Since most people have never booked a DJ before and might not know what questions to ask, we’re going to go with an example that you’ll be more familiar with (buckle up – here comes the sandwich analogy).
Imagine this:
You call up a sandwich shop to order a sandwich but all you ask is:
‘How much for a sandwich?’
They tell you ‘$20’.  This sounds pretty expensive, after all, you just want a sandwich, so you call up another place and they tell you their sandwiches are $2.
Great price for a sandwich, right?
You go and pick up your $2 sandwich and you find out it’s a cheese sandwich.  You didn’t want a cheesy sandwich!  You wanted an amazing, gourmet sandwich!  This wasn’t for just any kind of lunch – it was an important, once in a lifetime lunch.  And it’s too late to change your mind.
Oh the disappointment!
If only you’d chatted with the first guy, you would have found out he was a master sandwich maker and was going to make you the best damn sandwich you’ve ever experienced, the kind of sandwich you’ll be talking about in ten years time – for only $20!  In fact, if you’d taken the time to meet the guy, you would have realised it was Gordon Ramsay making your sandwich!  Suddenly $20 doesn’t seem so expensive after all.
You probably know where we’re going with this…but in case you don’t, go back and replace the word ‘sandwich’ with ‘DJ’ and the word ‘lunch’ with ‘wedding reception’ (you can leave the word cheesy as it is).
Now, believe it or not, there’s a few ways that DJs are not like sandwiches.  You can’t just walk into a DJ shop, have a look at their DJs and say “That one looks delicious” (ok maybe the sandwich analogy isn’t working any more…).

To figure out which DJ will tick all your boxes, do your research.  Look at their website.

  • Does it include pics from actual weddings or is it full of stock photos?  
  • Is there a picture of the DJ on there, or is it a mystery who this person actually is?  
  • How do they present themselves?  
  • What do they dress like?  
  • Do they actually mix?  
  • Have they won any awards?
  • Can you listen to examples of them performing at actual weddings?  
  • Can you see videos of them at actual weddings?  
  • Do they interact with guests in a fun way, or do they sit in the corner waiting to just press ‘play’?  
  • Do they have ideas and experience in creating a timeline that keeps things moving in a fun and interesting way?  
  • Do they invest in ongoing training and education?  
  • Do they invest in high quality equipment, and have backups should something fail?  
  • Do they have public liability insurance?  
  • Do they purchase their music legally or use crappy sounding YouTube audio rips?  
  • Do they roll out the same old tragic party ‘favourites’ at every single wedding, or do they truly customise a playlist to suit the people in attendance?  
  • Can you meet them, or at least talk to them, before booking?  
  • Do they come highly recommended by your venue/photographer/celebrant etc.
When you’re checking out DJs for your wedding, don’t just ask how much they charge.  Find out what goes into their service.  What are they actually bringing to your wedding?  Talk to them, meet them and make sure that you’re not going to end up with a cheesy sandwich (unless of course you really love cheesy sandwiches, in which case go for it).

Once you’ve found the perfect person to manage your wedding entertainment, you’ll know how much to budget for your DJ – exactly what they charge.

Give us a call or lets meet so we can find out if we’re the right sandwich for you.

And on that note we’re going off to make ourselves a crispy pancetta, caramelised walnuts, baby celery and mayonnaise sandwich on organic, gluten-free sourdough ciabatta.  Bon appetit!

February 8, 2013

Your First Dance Song

Brisbane Powerhouse wedding

Photograph by Stewart Ross

Ideally the song you choose for your first dance will be a song that you identify with as ‘our song’.  Maybe you heard it played on your first date, listened to it on an awesome road trip you took together or you heard it as you watched the sun coming up after an all night party.  Maybe it’s a song that you both just really love.  Whatever the reason, it should be a song that means something to you.  But what happens if you don’t have an ‘our song’?  Don’t sweat it – that’s what we’re here for!  If you’ve been racking your brains for ages and still haven’t managed to come up with a song for your first dance, it might be time to enlist the help of your friendly wedding DJ and/or Google.  We’ve trawled through a whole bunch of lists out there and have taken our pick of the best to get you started.  Some of them are newies, some of them are old classics and some of them are just a bit off-beat.  Chances are you didn’t hear these songs on your first date or a road trip but what they all share is a beautiful message of love and togetherness.  If you haven’t got one already, we hope you’ll find a song here that you can relate to your own personal love story.

If you grew up in the Nineties, you’ll remember this whimsical little tune ‘Kiss Me‘ by Sixpence None the Richer.  It’s cute, it’s happy and, of course, it’s romantic.
Fans of Van Morrison will love the beautiful lyrics of ‘Sweet Thing‘.
It’s sexy, it’s a classic, it’s Marvin Gaye.  Let’s Get It On.

This Jason Mraz song has become a modern day classic. It reminds us of sunny days and beach bars in Thailand.  I’m Yours.

We dig the country vibe and we love ‘Love Story’ by  Taylor Swift.

This Ellie Goulding cover of the Elton John classic ‘Your Song‘ was the first song for Prince William and Kate Middleton no less. We love her quirky voice.

You don’t have to be a fan of Twilight to love this song!  ‘A Thousand Years‘ by Christina Perri.

Marry You‘ by Bruno Mars.  The song title says it all. A really fun, upbeat song idea for a first dance.

All aboard the Love Express to Marriage Town… Toot toot!  It’s ‘Marry Me‘ by Train!

I Do‘ by Colbie Caillat.  Another upbeat first dance belter.

A much more appropriate first dance choice than ‘Fat-Bottomed Girls‘.  ‘You’re My Best Friend‘ by Queen.

My Baby Just Cares For Me‘ by Nina Simone.  A sexy, swingin’ vintage classic.

Amy Winehouse does a beautiful cover of a classic love song – ‘(There Is) No Greater Love‘.

Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together‘ is a perfect sentiment for your first dance. Check out DJ AD’s cool rebeat here.

Hands down our favourite on the list.  ‘(You) Got What I Need‘ – Freddie Scott.

An 80’s classic by Hall and Oates.  Upbeat and fun – ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’.

By no means is this a definitive list.  We’ll be adding (and maybe subtracting) to this list of songs on an ongoing basis.  Comment below – we’d love to hear your ideas – what have you chosen for your first dance and why?  To keep updated, subscribe to our newsletter.  Happy trails!

September 23, 2012

How To Choose Your Wedding DJ

Professional DJ Hire, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast

Everyone knows weddings can be expensive and if you’re on a budget it can be difficult to juggle the dollars between your dress, the venue, the flowers, the caterer, your photographer and your entertainment.

If you want your wedding to be the party of your life then you need to think seriously about your entertainment options. A great party needs great music – it will determine whether your party is mediocre, good, amazing or a little bit underwhelming.

Below are some interesting statistics from the USA about wedding entertainment:

  • During wedding planning, brides say their highest priority is their dress, followed by the reception venue and caterer.  Reception entertainment is one of their lowest priorities.  Within one week after their reception, 78% of brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!
  • 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
  • Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
  • When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
  • 65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a DJ.

*These statistics were published in St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine in 2003. Sources include: Simmons, 2001; USA Today, 2002; National Bridal Service, 2001; The Knot, 2002; Brides Magazine, 2001.

Just as your celebrant is responsible for creating a unique ceremony that reflects your personality, individuality and love for one another, the right DJ will be able to do the same thing for your reception.  He or she will understand that your wedding is a ‘one-time only’ event.  It is unique to you and there is no do-over if something goes wrong.  A professional wedding DJ will take this responsibility very seriously and put in hours of preparation so that your reception is exactly how you want it to be.  You have spent a huge amount of money on your wedding and invited guests from far and wide.  The right DJ will ensure you get your money’s worth by keeping everyone partying right up to the very end of your big day.

When choosing a DJ for your wedding, it is important to find out their level of experience and how often they DJ.  Is this a full-time job for them or a part-time hobby?  The same goes for any other entertainment provider that you choose – band, soloist etc.

The average wedding entertainer will play for around five hours of your wedding (more if they also provide music for your ceremony).  This means that they are a focal point and are responsible for the smooth running of just over half of your big day.  It’s worth keeping this in mind when you’re planning your budget.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a wedding DJ. He or she should:

  • Have an extensive song library of licensed music.
  • Be able to offer guidance for your music choices for the different parts of your wedding.
  • Understand music and the structure of songs so that the right song will be played at the right time and mixed in seamlessly.  The wrong song choice or a bad mix can clear the dance floor in a second.
  • Be friendly and approachable to your guests without being cheesy or in your face.
  • Have a professional and good quality sound and lighting system.
  • Look clean and presentable with equipment to match.
  • Have public liability insurance.

Still thinking about hiring a cheap DJ?  Check out this video (it’s extreme but you catch our drift!)…

So what about an IPod?  An IPod can seem like a good option these days, especially if you’re trying to keep your costs down.  You can program your own music and it won’t cost you a cent, right?  Well these are certainly the pros of using an IPod (and probably the only pros).  If you’re thinking of using an IPod instead of a professional wedding DJ, here are some things you need to consider:

  • Who will be the designated person in charge of the IPod?
  • Do they have an understanding of music so that songs are played in a logical fashion in keeping with the mood of the guests?
  • Do they have a microphone so they can direct guests for the first dance, cutting of the cake etc?
  • If you don’t have a designated person, are you happy for it to be a free for all with everyone putting on their favourite songs as many times as they want to hear them, possibly at inappropriate times (Metallica during dinner…) or changing tracks before they’ve finished?
  • What happens if your IPod breaks halfway through the night?
  • How much will it cost to hire a speaker system and lights.  Do you have the technical know-how to make sure they work properly all night.  (Do you even want to be bothered with all of this on your wedding day?!)
  • Will an IPod give the right impression to your guests or will they go away feeling that the music was a bit of an afterthought?

As a final word, when choosing your wedding entertainment, whether it is a band, a DJ or both, please choose professional experienced performers.  Make the investment to ensure that your guests remember your wedding reception for all the right reasons.

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