National Wedding DJ Day is a special day that recognizes the hard work and dedication of wedding DJs. To celebrate this day, we sat down with one of our own wedding DJ's, Jonathan Verdejo, to get their perspective on what it takes to create a memorable and enjoyable wedding celebration.
Photo taken by Rae Marcel Photography @raemarcel
How did you get started as a wedding DJ?
"I actually got started as a wedding DJ somewhat by chance. While I had always been interested in music and had been DJ-ing at clubs and other events for a few years, I hadn't really considered doing weddings until I was approached by a friend who was getting married and looking for a DJ.
I quickly realized that DJ-ing weddings was a unique and rewarding experience, and I loved the challenge of creating a playlist that was customized to the couple's tastes while still appealing to a wide range of musical preferences. I also appreciated the opportunity to help make the couple's special day even more memorable!
As I started to book more and more weddings, I became increasingly passionate about the craft of wedding DJ-ing. I honed my skills and developed a reputation for being able to read the crowd and keep people on the dance floor, no matter their age or background. The next natural step was for my wife and I to start our own company revolving around weddings.
Over time, I've built a successful career as a wedding DJ, and I'm honored to have been a part of so many couples' special days. I'm continually learning and growing as a DJ, and I'm always excited to bring my unique perspective and expertise to each new wedding I book."
What do you consider to be your unique style or approach as a wedding DJ?
"I believe that my unique style and approach is rooted in my diverse knowledge of music and my ability to read the crowd. I don't just play the same songs at every wedding; instead, I work closely with the couple to create a customized playlist that reflects their tastes and personalities.
I'm a true music connoisseur, and I'm always discovering new songs and artists to add to my repertoire. Whether it's the latest hits or classic tunes, I know how to mix and blend different genres and styles to create a cohesive and enjoyable experience for everyone. In addition to my musical expertise, I also pride myself on my ability to read the crowd and adjust the music accordingly. I know when it's time to slow things down and play a romantic ballad, and I also know how to get people up and dancing with upbeat and high-energy tracks.
For multicultural weddings, I'm able to seamlessly transition between English and any other type of music from different cultures, whether it's Spanish music, Hindi, or Jewish music, amongst others which is especially important at weddings where there may be guests from different cultural backgrounds. I know how to read the crowd and choose the right songs to keep everyone on the dance floor, regardless of their musical preferences.
My goal as a wedding DJ is to create an atmosphere that's fun, inclusive, and memorable. I'm not just there to play music; I'm there to help the couple and their guests have the time of their lives. With my unique style and approach, I'm able to create a truly unforgettable experience that everyone will remember for years to come."
Can you describe the process you go through with a couple to plan the music for their wedding day?
Initial consultation: I start by having a consultation with the couple to discuss their musical preferences, vision, and overall vibe for their wedding. During this conversation, I ask questions about the types of music they like, their favorite artists and genres, and any specific songs that they want to hear on their wedding day. I also ask about the tone they want to set for their ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
Customized playlist creation: Based on the information gathered during the initial consultation, I create a customized playlist for the couple's wedding day. This includes music for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and reception. I also take into account any special requests or songs that are important to the couple.
Fine-tuning: After creating the initial playlist, I work closely with the couple to fine-tune the selections. This involves listening to feedback and making any necessary changes to ensure that the music fits their vision and expectations.
Equipment and setup: I ensure that I have all the necessary equipment to provide high-quality sound for the wedding day. This includes a sound system, microphones for speeches and announcements, and any lighting or visual effects that the couple may want.
Day-of execution: On the wedding day, I arrive early to set up my equipment and ensure that everything is working properly. I then play the customized playlist throughout the various parts of the wedding day, adjusting the music as needed to keep the energy and atmosphere just right.
Overall, my goal is to provide a seamless and stress-free music experience for the couple, from start to finish."
How are you able to read the crowd and keep everyone on the dance floor?
"Being able to read the crowd and keep everyone on the dance floor is one of the most important skills I possess. Here are some of the strategies I use to accomplish this:
Observing body language: By observing people's body language, I can get a sense of whether the music is working or not. If people are tapping their feet, nodding their heads, or moving to the beat, it's a good sign that the music is working. If they're standing still or not engaged, it's a sign that I need to adjust the music.
Taking requests: When people make requests, it's an excellent way to gauge what kind of music will work well for the crowd. I always keep track of requests and try to work them into the mix as long as they fit the overall vibe of the wedding.
Mixing it up: By mixing up the music, I can keep people engaged and interested. This means playing a mix of different genres and eras, and making sure that everyone has a chance to hear something they like.
Knowing when to switch things up: Sometimes, no matter how good the music is, the crowd just isn't feeling it. In these cases, I know that it's time to switch things up and try a different genre or tempo to get people back on the dance floor.
Creating a diverse playlist: A diverse playlist is key to keeping everyone on the dance floor. I always include a mix of popular songs from different decades, genres, and cultures to appeal to a wide range of musical tastes.
Overall, keeping everyone on the dance floor is about paying attention to the crowd, being flexible, and adjusting the music as needed. With experience, the right amount of musical talent, and a good sense of intuition, it's possible to create an amazing dance party that everyone will remember for years to come."
Photos taken by Amanda Musselman Photography @amandamusselmanphotography
What is your go-to song to get people up and dancing?
"My go-to song to get people up and dancing really depends on the crowd and the vibe of the event. That being said, there are a few classic songs that tend to work really well for getting people moving:
"Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars: This is a high-energy, feel-good song with an infectious beat that almost everyone knows and loves. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson: This classic disco hit is a tried-and-true favorite that never fails to get people up and dancing.
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston: This '80s classic is a fun, upbeat song that's perfect for getting people of all ages up and dancing.
"Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake: With its catchy melody and positive lyrics, this song is a great pick-me-up that always gets people in a good mood and on the dance floor.
"September" by Earth, Wind & Fire: A funky and soulful song with a catchy melody and timeless groove that's sure to get people moving.
Of course, every crowd is different, so I always try to read the room and adjust my music selection accordingly. The right song choice can vary depending on the specific wedding and crowd, but these are a few examples of songs that tend to be universally popular and effective at getting people up and dancing."
Can you talk about any particularly memorable moments you've had while DJ-ing a wedding?
"I've had the opportunity to witness and be a part of so many special and memorable moments. Here are a few that stand out:
Surprise first dance: At one wedding, the couple surprised their guests by starting their first dance to a slow song and then switching to a choreographed dance to a fast-paced song. They selected the songs, I pre-mixed them. They had about 3 months before the wedding to practice. The guests were completely surprised and erupted into cheers and applause, and it was such a fun and memorable moment.
Sing-alongs: There have been a few times when the guests have been so enthusiastic and engaged with the music that they've started singing along at the top of their lungs. It's always a great feeling to see everyone having so much fun and letting loose on the dance floor.
Cultural traditions: I've had the privilege of DJ-ing weddings that incorporated cultural traditions, such as the Hora at Jewish weddings or the money dance at Latino weddings. It's always a joy to witness and be a part of these special moments that honor the couple's heritage and family traditions.
Unforgettable requests: Sometimes guests will request a song that I wouldn't have thought to play, but ends up being a huge hit with the crowd. For example, at one wedding, a guest requested "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen during the dance party, and it turned into an epic sing-along that everyone loved.
Overall, what makes these moments so special is the joy and happiness that they bring to everyone involved. Being a part of a couple's special day and helping to create memories that they'll cherish for a lifetime is such an honor, and it's what makes being a wedding DJ such a rewarding experience."
What advice do you have for couples who are currently in the process of selecting a DJ for their wedding?
"If you're currently in the process of selecting a wedding DJ, here are a few pieces of advice that I would offer:
Do your research: Take the time to research potential DJs online, read reviews, and check out their website or social media pages. Look for a DJ who has experience with weddings and who has a good reputation for being professional and reliable.
Meet with potential DJs: Schedule consultations with potential DJs to discuss your vision for the wedding and get a sense of their style and approach. Ask questions about their experience, equipment, and music selection process to ensure that they're a good fit for your needs.
Consider your budget: While price shouldn't be the only factor in your decision, it's important to consider your budget when selecting a DJ. Be upfront about your budget and ask for a clear breakdown of their fees and what's included in their services.
Look for a DJ who can adapt to your needs: Every wedding is unique, and you want a DJ who can adapt to your specific needs and preferences. Look for a DJ who is flexible and willing to work with you to create a personalized playlist that reflects your style and vision for the day.
Trust your instincts: Ultimately, you want to work with a DJ who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to create an amazing experience for you and your guests. If you have a good feeling about a particular DJ, trust your instincts and go with your gut.
Choosing the right DJ is an important part of ensuring that your wedding day is everything you've dreamed of, and I hope these tips will help you make the best possible decision."
As we celebrate National Wedding DJ Day, it's important to recognize the hard work, dedication, and skill that goes into creating unforgettable wedding celebrations. We hope that this interview with wedding DJ, Jonathan, has provided valuable insights into the world of wedding DJ-ing and the importance of music in bringing weddings to life.
Whether you're a wedding DJ yourself, a couple planning your wedding, or simply someone who loves great music, National Wedding DJ Day is a time to come together and celebrate the joy and excitement that music brings to weddings.
So, as you plan your upcoming wedding or event, remember to take the time to find the perfect wedding DJ who will create a magical and unforgettable experience for you and your guests. And to all the wedding DJs out there, thank you for your hard work and dedication to making weddings a celebration of love and happiness. Happy National Wedding DJ Day!
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