Care to Dance?

Tips for hiring a wedding DJ who can get the party going.

So you have your wedding date set and a venue booked, but what to do about entertainment? Alex Verno of Richmond-based DJs for Lovers offers tips for the music-loving couple that wants a DJ who can keep the reception dance floor crowded all night.

What should a couple think about before hiring a wedding DJ? 

Ask how experienced the DJ is. We all had to start out somewhere, but weddings shouldn’t be the starting point. Also ask what the DJ will do if something goes wrong—does he have backup equipment in the event of a technical problem or another DJ on standby if he gets sick? 

How do you arrange your set? Should couples work with you on that? 

Before I create a playlist, I do like to get to know them a little and find out if they share any experiences or memories connected to certain songs. A good DJ should be incorporating his clients’ preferences into what he plays.

If a crowd isn’t dancing, how do you get them on their feet?

Getting the dance floor started is critical. Play songs that work well and keep the best stuff coming. Signed, Sealed, Delivered  by Stevie Wonder is a great song to start the night. The second challenge is when everyone starts to get tired. I’ll notice the pace slowing down and play a classic slow dance like At Last by Etta James followed by a great dance song.  

What’s the key to throwing a fun party?  

Plan the timeline for the reception carefully. There are always exceptions, but we generally recommend doing father-daughter and mother-son dances first, after the wedding party introductions, followed by a brief welcome or blessing before dinner. Toasts and cake cutting work well as dinner is wrapping up and guests are relaxing after their meal. It’s important to group some of these things together to avoid repeatedly breaking up the flow of the night, especially once the dancing starts.                

The Play List

These burners guarantee action on your dance floor. 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Stevie Wonder 

Billie Jean
Michael Jackson

At Last
Etta James 

I Wanna Dance with Somebody 
Whitney Houston 

Hey Ya

Let’s Dance
David Bowie 

Party in the U.S.A.
Miley Cyrus 

Uptown Funk
Bruno Mars 

Earth Wind and Fire

Usher feat. Lil Jon

This article originally appeared in our Weddings 2018 issue. 

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