With the winding down in sight of another busy wedding season, it might be a good time to take a look back in review at some wedding etiquette rules that this Vancouver DJ has observed over the last few wedding seasons. Each season brings its’ own share of surprises and mistakes that guests and even family members have made on the special day. Here are a few of them
Every once in awhile, I see venue mangers scrambling for extra chairs, and sometimes tables, at the last minute during some receptions. This can often be attributed to guests bringing along dates or even friends who were not actually invited. Maybe the married couple wanted to only invite close friends and family to keep the wedding intimate or perhaps the reception space is limited. There could also be budget restraints and even just one extra guest can add to the cost for the wedding couple when you add in meals, possibly drinks and other reception benefits for the guests and family. It is not a good idea to show up with a date ore friend who was not invited. If you feel uncomfortable attending alone, ask the bride or groom to seat you at a table where there are other singles.
One of the biggest rude habits that happen at just about every wedding reception now days is how everyone is on their phone. Whether texting, answering calls or even taking photo after photo, the bride and groom more than likely have spent hours going over wedding details to create an event that all their friends and family can enjoy. It really is a shame that guests truly are not in the moment with the reception when on their phone. I wrote an earlier blog on this very subject. You can check it out here. Are cell phones taking the fun factor out of weddings and events?
If you must, take a few photos for Instagram during that amazing sunset at cocktail hour and then put your phone away during dinner… and definitely during the ceremony. After all they did hire a pro photographer.
It is true, some guests do this! It is not ok to touch or sample the wedding cake…especially with your finger. Besides being unsanitary, a wedding cake is expensive and should be only be handled by the caterer or the bride and groom. Besides, how bad would you feel if you knocked the cake over? For all those reasons, and a few more it is best not to touch the wedding cake.
For the ladies at the wedding, it is a considered bad wedding etiquette to wear white at a wedding. Many brides have planned long and hard for their moment in the spotlight as the only lady in white. So while it’s true that white looks stunning on a lady, especially in the summertime… please be kind and let the bride be the only lady in white. However, colorful tones like pinks, yellows and purples are fine and can be quite lovely as well. Oh, and just quick note that Ivory can be considered too close to white
Once the party starts going and the drinks kick in, there are also some party etiquette rules for guests interacting with the music services. Please don’t grab, or try to, grab the DJ microphone and yell into it a drunken message to the bride and groom or try to sing along with a song being played . First of all, microphones are expensive and fragile… if you drop it, you very well could damage the microphone and incur the costs for repair or replacing. Remember, the equipment is not yours and you don’t have licence to abuse it. Secondly, you actually bring down the festivities by interfering with the flow of the evening. Instead, ask the bride and groom to say a few words during speech time when the microphone will be all yours.
A big no no and one that can really shut down the festivities is leaning over the DJ with a drink in your hand. As a DJ in Vancouver, at almost every event this occurs. Guests have to be reminded that if the drink spills into to the equipment, that could be the end of the night. It will certainly be the end of a computer. Best to not try to talk to the DJ while the dancing is going on… they probably can’t hear you over the music anyway. Instead, just write down your requests on the dance song request sheet that is provided at the DJ station or speak to the DJ earlier in the evening. During cocktail or dinner hour the music is much lower in volume and the DJ is just tending the music at that time. Fewer drinks have been consumed and that is a great time to speak to the DJ about your particular dance request or even just chat.
I hope the few points mentioned above help with the weddings you are planning to attend next year. Looking back, did you break any wedding etiquette rules this year?
Popular music comes and goes. What is hot one month is often gone in the next few, but wedding songs are a little different. Classics throughout the years still remain strong and in recent years, there are some new songs that I am sure will stand the test of a long term, great wedding song.
The best of 2019 is still a mix of old and new. Recent hits such as Cardi B “I Like It” and a bit older songs Luis Fonsi “Despacito” and Rihanna “Love On the Brain” are still very popular. The same can be said of Bruno Mars and his offerings even though, as of the time of this writing, May 2019, we have not heard anything new from him for awhile.
So whether it is a radio pop/dance mix, rock, love song or anything in between, here is a sampling, not in any particular order, of wedding music that is trending in 2019.
One recent song that tugs at the heart strings is “Shallow” Lady Ga Ga and Bradley Cooper. The stirring performance on the Oscars solidified this song as one of the great ones that will be a wedding favorite for years to come.
Some of you may have seen the music video “Sugar” by Maroon 5. That video of them crashing weddings and spreading around their version of pop wedding bliss really struck home. So much so, that their song is a favorite when it comes to the cake cutting song.
James Arthur and “Say You Won’t Let Go” is another beautiful song and of course “Perfect” in all its’ versions, either with Ed Sheeran by himself or in a duet with Beyonce, is hard to beat as a first dance choice.
In the dance song department, “Jackie Chan” from the popular Post Malone usually has the dance floor jumping as well as previous Bruno Mars hits.
“One Kiss” Dua Lupa & Calvin Harris has that 4 on the floor dance beat and will certainly provide an up tempo beat that keeps even this DJ in Vancouver dancing behind the console.
For the special father and daughter dance it is hard to do better than the older songs “I Loved Her First” Heartland is really a favorite of dads. The lyrics say it all for a dad and his daughter. Another tune that will surely bring tears you a dad’s eyes is the not so well known Martina McBride “In My Daughter’s Eyes” Two oldies that have a lot of heart on one of the most heartfelt days of our lives.
There are so many great songs and just not enough time or space to mention them all. For the new bride and groom, you will have a lifetime of songs and memories that they will bring…especially the ones at your wedding.
So, what is your number one pick for best wedding songs of 2019? What are you playing for your wedding? Be it one of the ones I mentioned, or another special song of your own, drop me a line and let me know. This Vancouver DJ is always looking for the perfect wedding song.
The Fortune Sound Club on East Pender is normally a live band venue or a Vancouver DJ dance club but can be booked for different types of events such as dance presentations or corporate events.
East Pender is not the best location but the club is large and has quite a bit of dance space. There is a load in spot in front of the club but the stairs up to the club are very challenging. Loading in equipment up three flights of stairs is quite difficult. I couldn’t see a mobility challenged guest making it up even one of those steep staircases let alone three and even carrying them up there and back down at the end of the night would be difficult and potentially dangerous if you fell coming back down. It is an old building so there are no elevators. In addition the stairway is quite dark so tripping is a distinct possibility.
Because the area is not very good, the doors to the club are locked during private events and you have to call to get back in every time you go out. This can be inconvenient and a bit of a pain if they don’t pick up your call right away.
Parking is also very challenging. There is street parking but it is only for two hours. There are few parking lots in the area and they are not close by. You will definitely need and umbrella walking back to the club form any of the parking lots to the club if you event takes place on a rainy day. The nearest parking lot I found as at the end of Columbia Street about two blocks away. I think it was around $2 an hour. The parking lot is not all that large. I would imagine the lot could get full in the evening…especially on a weekend.
I felt there was good communication with the tech people before I arrived. I sent two emails with what I would need but nothing was ready when I arrived so I would recommend you double check with the club on your requirements…especially if you are bringing in your own entertainment. I was also rushed to break down at the end of my karaoke event. Apparently they book events back to back and I was never told beforehand that I had to be out in such short a time. I ended up forgetting a few things at the club. The takeaway here is to make sure the time frame for your event is adequate as over time may not be available if you don’t plan for it with the club beforehand.
Some of the staff were helpful and assisted me with carrying some equipment up the stairs but others seemed indifferent.
They do have a large stage for performances and a nice PA. They also have a house DJ who probably could play any type of music you require.
As mentioned, the room is large and includes a large screen and in ceiling projector as well as a number of wireless microphones for your speeches or presentations.
Stage lighting and dance floor lighting is also available at the club and about the only thing they don’t have is karaoke and in house catering.
The Fortune Sound club has a full range of equipment, lighting, sound and personal to provide the entertainment for your event as well as the space for a large number of guests. This DJ in Vancouver feels this venue would cater to a younger crowd and not well suited for a more formal type of event like a wedding. The location, parking challenge and access by stairs rate this venue at 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Three Awesome Tips For A Successful Wedding With Your DJ
Your wedding is both an exciting and sometimes a taxing new chapter in your life. The Interviewing and hiring process for choosing your vendors, booking your venue and preparing for your family and guest arrival, can be an exhausting time. Everything about your wedding is important to be sure, but working with your entertainment and/or DJ is one of the most important for a fun, danceable and memorable evening of celebration.
One of the most difficult things for a Vancouver DJ, or any DJ for that matter, is to put together a correct playlist for a bride and groom that are not engaged in the musical portion of their special day. Sometimes, a couple will go through the process of meeting and hiring their DJ and then just disappear off the DJs radar until the day of their wedding. Sometimes It seems that a couple expect the DJ to read their mind and come up with the perfect music for them. While it is true, many DJs have a lot of experience with a variety of events including weddings, each wedding has its’ own unique characteristics that only the couple can communicate to their DJ.
Some couples tend to hide behind their wedding planner as well and not be in touch with their DJ. Although a wedding planner is excellent at organizing and taking much of the pressure off of the wedding couple, music is not their specialty. It is important not to have a third party between the bride and groom and the DJ. I have heard of an example where the DJ had to ask all of his questions through the wedding planner and then wait while the wedding planner asked the bridal couple and then got back to the DJ. Not only did this take a long time but the DJ was getting vague answers…such as “play up tempo music” and “we will leave the music in your hands.” Well, come the wedding day, the DJ discovered the bride had wanted club mix versions of Top 40 music and only wanted the DJ to play a few minutes of each song before moving on to the next song. Had the DJ known, they could have had those club mixes in their library at the wedding. Like anything else, you need to have the right tools for the job and preparation is key to having the correct music for the event. So, be engaged directly with your DJ.
A second tip on this topic is actually the next step in engaging your wishes to your DJ. Try not to be vague in what you want your DJ to do. Music is often a personal thing and can be subjective so getting a clear picture of what a couple want, in terms of music, is part of the DJs job. Periodically, guests at an event will say, “can you play something faster?” I will often ask for a specific example but they may say “I don’t know, you are the DJ“So, I will play what I think is a good fast dance song and they will still come back not happy with what I picked. I am sure you can see my point. Be concise with examples. Ask the DJ for ideas if you are not sure or brainstorm with your fiancé. A little bit of planning will go a long way to making the music at your wedding be successful and to the liking of yourself and the majority of your guests.
The opposite side of the coin is not to get mired down in music choices. Remember, you can’t please everyone all the time. For the dance music, don’t be too concise on music playing times, switching up or order of the music. The best wedding events are where the music flows freely with the couple’s, and the guest’s requests mixed in the DJ’s choices.
The third tip is to give time for changes. Try to avoid last minute changes in the music if you can and certainly don’t change the whole theme of your music at the reception. It is often possible for the DJ to do that because of their large library of music, but not always, and it is not advisable. Here again, I have heard of a couple who decided in the dinner section of their reception, that they didn’t like the dinner music they had chosen and wanted switch over to a blues themed music style in the middle of dinner. The DJ was able to do that but did struggle to find enough blues music in their library to fulfill the request. The music selection did not flow well with the classy location of the venue or with many of the guests for that matter.
Some cultural weddings can be notorious for this and requests such as “Quick, play another song just like the last song!” are not uncommon at a crucial spot in the wedding reception. Although this DJ in Vancouver has had a lot of experience with this and prepares ahead whenever this is likely to happen, other DJs may not have as much familiarity with these types of weddings or at the last second requests. Just keep in mind too many last minute changes can throw things into disarray.
To be sure there are lots of things to be aware of when working with your DJ to put on a musically entertaining wedding. These three items are a few of the things to keep in mind when coordinating with your DJ on your wedding reception music.
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DJ Gary, based in Vancouver, BC, has been in the music business internationally for over 20 years as a live performer and event DJ. He formed his company, DJ Boogie Shoes & Karaoke Services, in 2007. Having performed at thousands of weddings and events and committed to creating a fun, interactive, and flexible atmosphere for all his happy clients and guests, DJ Boogie Shoes can provide everything needed to enhance your events and entertain your guests.