Focus on the Ceremony

Marta Block


We love it when our members want to talk directly to brides and grooms with their advice. When most people think of DJs and weddings they think about the reception and dancing, but today, DJ Neil Smith of Dandy DJ in North Hollywood, California explains why a professional DJ is important not just for a wedding reception, but for the ceremony as well.

Special to GigMasters by Neil Smith
I was speaking with a prospective client recently who stated that many of the DJs he was getting quotes from were of the mindset that the ceremony, as far as the DJ is concerned is a "set-and-forget" type of deal. Meaning that these DJs would set up the speakers and microphone and merely walk away to go set up in the reception hall. The client apparently thought this all sounded perfectly reasonable, but I was simply aghast! Now let me preface this by saying that the prospective client did not ultimately end up going with my service and probably thought I was being a bit overdramatic with my stance on this issue, but I had to tell him that if there were ANY PORTION of a couple's entire wedding event where the DJ had to be paying the utmost meticulous attention to not only the very last detail, but also be present to ensure a smooth presentation. IT IS THE CEREMONY!

The ceremony sets the mood for the ENTIRE EVENT! It is the very thing everybody has come from near and far to celebrate (ok, the couple's love for one-another but you know what I mean). If the sound drops out, or an aisle walk music cue is missed or the recessional doesn't happen when it is supposed to because the DJ is not paying attention to the program or if the volume is too loud or quiet depending upon how the officiant and / or bride and groom decided last second to position themselves in relation to the microphones, if ANY OF THIS GOES THE SLIGHTEST BIT AWRY you can bet that because it is a quiet and elegant setting, not only will these shortcomings all stick out like the sorest of thumbs, but the guests will certainly be making a great deal of unpleasant conversation about it into the cocktail and dinner hours where there is nothing for them to do but talk about the ceremony.

If the ceremony goes wrong - your entire special gathering starts out on a stumbling foot. And for this reason, if the DJ you are speaking with is addressing the ceremony with you in a relatively shrugged-off manner, you should absolutely and immediately distance yourself and seek a professional who takes your special life moment seriously. I have often found myself having to rearrange the ceremony setup because the planner or the venue's setup team did something unexpected with the layout at the last moment (happens all the time). I always make a few announcements during the prelude portion to gently remind all guests to silence all electronic devices so that their beeping and ringing does not show up in the couple's video. I have provided service for many ceremonies where halfway through, the coordinator will walk up to me and suddenly inform me that they decided at the 11th hour to include a special event in the middle of their ceremony - such as a sand ceremony, candle lighting, presenting roses to the Mothers - even foot washing, and have asked me to play something thematic and elegant on the fly for it.

Now let me ask you... Do you want your ceremony in the hands of someone with a "set-and-forget" mentality? I shudder to think. Screen your providers well and make good decisions out there~

If you're looking for a professional DJ for your ceremony or reception, make sure to check out all of our wedding DJs.