The Life Of A Wedding DJ
Being a wedding DJ is no ordinary gig—it’s about creating magical moments and keeping the dance floor alive. Here are the top 10 essential skills that every wedding DJ should master:
A great wedding DJ arrives on time, sets up equipment efficiently, and adapts to last-minute changes. Their focus is on making the reception a success.
Knowing how to read the crowd and curate the perfect playlist is crucial. From current hits to timeless classics, a skilled DJ sets the mood for dancing and celebration.
Master Of Ceremonies Skills: Beyond playing music, a wedding DJ acts as an MC. They introduce the newlyweds, make announcements, and maintain energy throughout the event.
Digital DJing Skills:
Technical expertise matters. DJs use digital equipment to blend music seamlessly, creating an unforgettable atmosphere.
A wedding DJ engages the crowd, encouraging dancing and participation. Their ability to connect with guests ensures a memorable experience.
Lighting & Effects:
Mastering lighting and sound effects enhances the ambiance. Dimmed lights, special effects, and mood-setting techniques make a difference.
Keeping the music fresh and beat-matching seamlessly keeps the party going.
Remember, a great wedding DJ isn’t just about playing tunes; they’re the heartbeat of the celebration, ensuring everyone has a fantastic time!
The Life Of A Wedding DJ
Why the UK charts have been disappointing in the last five years
The UK singles chart is one of the oldest and most influential music rankings in the world. It reflects the tastes and preferences of millions of music fans across the country. However, in the last five years, the chart has been losing its relevance and quality. Here are some of the reasons why the UK charts have been disappointing in the last five years.
One of the main factors that has changed the UK chart landscape is the rise of streaming. Streaming now accounts for more than 80% of the chart sales, while downloads, CDs and vinyl make up the rest[^1^]. Streaming has made music more accessible and diverse, but it has also created some problems for the chart. For example, streaming has favoured songs that have a long shelf life, rather than songs that make an immediate impact. This means that songs tend to stay in the chart for longer, reducing the turnover and variety of new entries. Streaming has also made it easier for songs to re-enter the chart, especially after being featured in viral videos, TV shows or movies. This can result in old songs taking up space that could be filled by new releases.
Lack of innovation
Another reason why the UK charts have been disappointing in the last five years is the lack of innovation and originality in the music scene. Many of the songs that have topped the chart in this period have been either remakes, remixes, samples or collaborations of existing songs. For example, in 2020, the number one song of the year was The Weeknd's Blinding Lights, which heavily borrowed from the 80s synth-pop sound. In 2021, the number one song of the year was Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits, which was a generic dance-pop track with a familiar melody. In 2022, the number one song of the year was Adele's Easy On Me, which was a predictable piano ballad that sounded like her previous hits. In 2023, the number one song of the year was Taylor Swift's Anti-Hero, which was a re-recording of her 2012 album Red. And in 2024, the number one song of the year was ABBA's I Still Have Faith In You, which was a comeback single from the legendary Swedish group that had not released new music in 40 years.
Lack of diversity
A third reason why the UK charts have been disappointing in the last five years is the lack of diversity and representation in the music industry. The UK is a multicultural and multiracial society, but this is not reflected in the chart. The majority of the artists who have dominated the chart in this period have been white, male and English. There have been very few artists of colour, female artists, Scottish, Welsh, Irish or Northern Irish artists, or artists from other genres or backgrounds who have reached the top of the chart. For example, in 2020, only two of the top 10 artists of the year were female (Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish), and only one was of colour (Stormzy). In 2021, only three of the top 10 artists of the year were female (Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Grande and Little Mix), and only one was of colour (Drake). In 2022, only four of the top 10 artists of the year were female (Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and Adele), and only two were of colour (Drake and Lil Nas X). In 2023, only three of the top 10 artists of the year were female (Taylor Swift, Adele and Olivia Rodrigo), and only one was of colour (Drake). And in 2024, only two of the top 10 artists of the year were female (Adele and Taylor Swift), and none were of colour.
The UK singles chart is a historic and influential music ranking that has shaped the musical culture of the nation. However, in the last five years, the chart has been disappointing and uninspiring. The chart has been dominated by streaming, which has reduced the diversity and freshness of the music. The chart has also been lacking in innovation and originality, with many songs being recycled or derivative of previous hits. And the chart has also been lacking in diversity and representation, with many artists being excluded or marginalised by the music industry. The UK chart needs to change and improve, or it will lose its relevance and credibility in the music world.
Original article from www.digitaldjtips.com/2011/03/dealing-with-dj-requests/
Some Party & Wedding DJs refuse to take any requests and others will not even talk to anyone making them. But my take on requests and people who approach the DJ is that you should treat them case by case. Being open to requests can sometimes even help you if you are struggling to get the dancefloor started.
However, being too soft and playing anything, anyone asks for is the ultimate way to ruin the evening. After all, surely a Party DJ or a Wedding DJ is more than a human jukebox? So, from my experience, here are 10 types of people who tend to approach the DJ and how to deal with them.
1. The flirty girl
The flirty girl trick can work on male DJs but try not to agree to play something you rather would not.
Invariably, whether you’re a party DJ or Wedding DJ, there is always a flirty girl who approaches you at some point during your set, smiling and making eye contact as she comes up to you.
This girl is used to getting her own way with that smile, especially when a man is controlling the decks. She may lean forward slightly to reveal cleavage as she begins talking, and she will keep eye contact. She knows what she’s doing.
What does she ask for? More often than not, chart hits like The Black-Eyed Peas, Lady GaGa or Rihanna. Sometimes, she can take actually your breath away with the sheer cheesiness of her requests.
Occasionally though, she may ask for something with some taste and originality….
How to handle her
If the tune she’s asking for is completely out of sync with the music for that night, then politely explain to her that it is not the moment for that track to be played. Be friendly and smile as you speak; she will accept your message more graciously.
On the other hand, if the party you are playing at is a cheesy chart busters’ haven, it is getting late and you feel you can play that kind of music, then consider going for it. Do not play her track immediately, though, or she will think you are soft and come back every five minutes to keep requesting more songs.
Make her work to get her sole request of the night granted. You will get more respect this way. Just make sure she dances with all of her friends if you agree to her request, so you get something back in return.
2. The “It’s my friend’s Birthday” person
The old favourite: “It’s my friend’s birthday & she wants you to play the Bla Bla song.” We all know this one. It’s one of the most common ways of people asking for a tune. They think you will refuse any tune they ask for, so they pretend it’s their friend’s birthday to get you to agree. Of course, it’s rarely their birthday, or their friend’s.
How to handle them
Ask them right away how old their friend is and what the date is today. They will hesitate, look at you then back at their friend, then sidle off, red-faced, knowing they have been rumbled.
3. Drunk people who keeps coming back and repeating themselves
One of the most common requesters is the drunk person who is fixated on one tune that has nothing to do with the music you are playing. It is a tune that you could never play in any club or party, anywhere!
Generally, this type will have heard this tune a few days ago and will have fallen in love with it. So now, in their drunken state, they think you should play it.
They are pretty annoying too, coming back and repeating themselves, sometimes swearing if you don not play it. Even when they get distracted by someone and goes away, they will eventually come back and ask again.
You might tell him them you do not have the tune. they might see you have a laptop and tell you to play it directly from YouTube. Then offer to try to plug their Phone in and play it from that. Whatever happens, it has to get played for them.
How to handle him
This can be a bit delicate because they really drunk and a bit aggressive sometimes and you do not want beer on your DJ equipment. So do not get too irritated but remain firm. If they get really insistent, then ask friends to take them away. They will often have a friend who will take charge and drag them away.
4. Girl and friend who keep coming back and insisting you play their music
Sometimes, there’s a girl who will keep on asking you for different tunes when you play. She has had a few drinks but still knows what she is doing, and she knows her music a bit. She will have a list of about 10 tunes that she will ask for at different points of the night.
According to her, you have to play them, because they are so cool and trendy. What, you do not know these tunes? They are being played at all the best parties!
This girl may get in a huff and disappear, then come back with someone to support her, as if it makes her more powerful.
The person she is with does not really care if you play her track or not, but they pretend they agree with her if it makes their life easier.
How to handle her
This kind is not the easiest. She has a way of getting into your head. Her perseverance is so tenacious that you will be tempted to play her tune just to shut her up.
She will get people on her side; she will eventually do anything to make you fold. The best, indeed, probably only, way to deal with it is to smile, concentrate on your mix, headphones on, looking through your tunes. Basically, ignore her.
5. The Latin music requester
If you are playing a Latin night, this probably does not apply to you. Otherwise, on occasions, you may have a group of Latin-music lovers in your crowd. Guess what they want to hear?
Yep, whether you are playing electro, house, hip hop or rock and indie they will come right up to you asking for Latin music. You could be DJ at an underground junglist vibe party, and they will still brazenly insist you put on pure Latin music, right away.
They have come all the way from Bogotá, Lima or Santiago to the New York, London, Paris or whatever city your venue is in, just to ask for Latin sounds.
How to handle them
It is tempting to scoff at them and tell them to get lost and go find some little Latin bar around the corner, but hold back, that is not the way to do it.
If you have a music policy that night and people are dancing already, then kindly explain that tonight is electro / dnb / house / indie night, people are enjoying themselves and that’s what you will be playing tonight. Be friendly about it.
However, if you have a fairly open music policy night, and only a few people are dancing or nobody at all, then why not agree to play a tune for them? Latin music lovers tend to dance a lot and it can inject some energy onto your dancefloor. The girls can be very sensual when they dance and if there is one thing that gets more people on the floor, it is cute girls dancing.
As a rule, I always have some Latin music in reserve in case this happens.
6. Person who asks for something but never knows what
This kind of requester can make you bang your head on the wall. They will ask you for something from the 80s, or they will ask for commercial chart house, or something random.
But the thing is, they have no idea what. They just know they want to ask you to play something, by someone. For them. If you actually ask them what it is they want, they do not know. In fact, what they know about music is summed up nicely in their 20 seconds of blank expression that follows.
How to handle them
Try not to bang your head against the wall in frustration. Instead, get into the habit of returning their question back to them as soon as they ask it. When their vague, vacuous request comes to you, ask for specifics right away. They will never be able to give them.
While they stand there with their mouth open, unable to give you specific track or even artist names, continue with your set. They will never remember, and they will hopefully eventually get escorted away by one of their embarrassed friends. Hopefully.
7. Bloke who says he is a DJ too
This one never ceases to amaze me. Now and then, you get someone (usually a guy) who claims he is a DJ too. He will start by asking you what you use to mix with and will try to move his head into your booth to see your laptop screen if you are using digital equipment.
He will then feel confident enough to start telling you about these cool tunes he knows and how you should play them, very soon.
Generally, the tunes he asks for are his personal favourites and rarely go down well with the crowd you are playing to. He will have high expectations that you play the music he speaks of, soon. Because he knows best. Which is why he is probably never actually DJ'd anywhere but at his own house party.
How to handle him
This guy is rarely a real DJ. If you bring that up, he will get shy & disappear suddenly. So, ask him where he mixes.
If he brushes that aside by saying “oh, I play at parties, you know” and keeps being a pest and interrupting you too often, then explain to him that tonight it is you on the decks, and you decide. But do not get irate with this guy, he probably does not mean harm.
Explain if he wants to mix at that venue himself, then he should ask. Tonight, you are mixing. This often makes him realise that he is being annoying and should stop. A real DJ would never act this way after all.
8. Person who gets annoyed when you agree to a request but do not play their tune right away
Every now and then you are nice enough to agree to a track request, the person who asked for it just stands there and waits by your booth afterwards. You notice they are still waiting as you prepare your mix and just as the new track kicks in, they start kicking off at you like a spoilt child.
Not satisfied with the fact that you were kind enough to agree to their borderline track request, they were actually expecting their tune on right away instead of at some later point that night.
How to handle then
This is one of those occasions where with hindsight you should never have agreed to play their track in the first place. Maybe they always got whatever they wanted from their parents and think they can coast through life throwing tantrums when they do not get what they want right away.
If they react this way, then I advise to simply not play their track at all, all night. They may try to come back but just put your headphones on and look away from them. They will leave eventually and get tired of coming up to you.
9. Person who thinks you are a jukebox and orders music
Some people who approach you may start by asking about how the night is going, then they might say that they liked a tune you played about half an hour ago. This is all well and very pleasant, except that once they have got your attention, they start asking for all the tunes they can think of and ordering tracks as though you are some sort of human jukebox.
How to handle them
Do not get distracted from your set. Instead of giving this person your full attention, start concentrating on your music or ask the bar person for a drink, or go and get one. This should deflate the person who is convinced you are a human jukebox and calm them down a bit.
Then get back to your set and concentrate on relaxing and making people enjoy the music. After all, only if people decide to ask you nicely should you consider listening to them.
10. Person who asks for music then complains when it is not the exact tune they wanted
Every DJ with some experience has had requests and has taken them with good grace.
Many of us become more flexible as the night goes on – we relax, and we feel more open to dropping tunes that are requested.
Most DJs have kindly agreed to a request to play music by a certain artist, but only to have the requester come back and complain that they wanted another track by that very artist, or a different mix, and not the one you have just played!
How to handle them
Someone complaining even after you were kind enough to play the music of the group, they asked for is simply not worth it.
I would advise not to pay any attention to this person again, unless they happen to be very nice and are asking in the best, most polite and apologetic manner imaginable.
The most important thing (apart from being positive and smiling) is not to let anyone distract you from your job. Concentrate on your mix and selection as a priority. Be friendly and respectful but remain in charge. Put on your headphones and look away from people who you do not want to talk to if you have to.
Be open to playing a request if it feels right. It just might be. Otherwise, be honest and just tell people if you do not think a tune is right for the night. Never play music that is just blatantly wrong unless the person paying your wages asks you to.
If you do agree to play a tune then apart from in exceptional circumstances, you should play it. Get the requester and their friends to dance if you agree to a request.
Where am I in the Pecking Order?
Am l suffering from an inferiority complex? As a well-established & respected (in some areas) professional DJ & Compere I am occasionally being ignored! Let me explain what I mean.... I arrived at a venue recently knowing that I was appearing with a band — all well and good you may think. The bride and groom kissed all the band members, and greeted them warmly, then proceeded to ensure that all the performers had a hearty meal and drinks supplied for the evening. Moi? Not even acknowledged….no food, no drink…. Paranoia then started to set in a month later when I performed at a corporate function where the photo booth operator was kissed, and hand shaken and given a drink as he arrived. Was I acknowledged? Nope. Am I invisible? Perhaps. The final straw was drawn when I performed at a Wedding and the table dresser / flower arranger / chair coverings lady was lauded at the end of the night for a fantastic display. Am l invisible? I must be. I have compared my feelings and conclusions with a couple of my DJ peers. And, surprise, surprise, they are sometimes invisible too! Now consider this: At the first gig the band were paid fifteen times my fee! At the second, the photo booth operator charged £800. At the third event the table dresser lady charged £1500... Perhaps I need to put my prices up! I love my profession, and know that I will never be a millionaire, but would love it if my status was raised above that of cannon fodder!
P.S…. My faith was restored momentarily for one evening last night at the end of a wedding a group of teenagers, 17 -19 years of age I would guess, approached me as l was leaving the venue to not only thank me for a fabulous selection of ”banging tunes” (their words not mine) but also for my style of superb presentation and lightshow! Not only that, but they thought my car was a real lovely beast and asked how fast did it go? I was visible for at least one night.
The current trend in the Wedding DJ profession for ‘Full Day Wedding DJ Services.
For years, ever since the invention of the double deck DJ system, your Wedding DJ would arrive at a wedding venue and after the toasts and speeches, set up the equipment and entertain the guests until the very last dance. But in recent years there has been a trend for DJs to offer a whole lot more….
Our All Day Weding Service
The Wedding DJs role when working across the full day at a Wedding celebration usually looks something like this…
Seat the guests for the ceremony
Play ceremony music
Maybe assist the photographer with crowd control
Organise the receiving line
Seat the guests for the Wedding introductions
Host the Grand Entrance
Introduce toasts & speeches
Introduce the cutting of the Wedding cake
in addition to all of the above we set up our DJ equipment and introduce that all important first dance and deliver an amazing party with the dancefloor busy all night.