Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Deejay: Not Just For The Reception

When people talk about deejays at their wedding, they're usually thinking about the reception. A deejay can make or break the the atmosphere at a reception, the good ones know the right mix of music to get everybody up and dancing, yet keep the music at a background level during dinner. But what about the ceremony itself? Your guests have joined you for this pivotal moment in your life - they may be thinking ahead to the wedding cake and the open bar, but you want them to hear what's going on! Most deejays, in addition to providing music and master-of-ceremonies services during the reception, will also take care of processional and recessional music and will set you up with microphones so that your family and friends can hear the officiant, as well as the bride and groom when it's time for vows.

In our early days as wedding officiants we would often have a deejay hand us a wireless microphone just before the ceremony. A handheld mic is very helpful if the officiant has memorized your ceremony, but we seldom do, since each wedding is unique, and we try to avoid going off on tangents, which is a strong possibility when operating without a script. So for us, a handheld is a little awkward. We've also used clip-on or headset microphones, which are ideal if the vows are going to be in the "I Do" format, but not so ideal if the couple will be reciting their vows. The clip-on or headset may not be able to pick up the vows. We have taken to recommending a mic stand with the the stand equidistant between the officiant, the bride and the groom. We then do a pre-ceremony sound check to verify that the mic placement will be able to pick up all three. Sometimes this requires some on-the-fly volume or gain adjustment by the deejay, but if done right, no one has to touch the microphone, or change position in order to be heard. This has worked well every time we've done it.

One item on our pre-ceremony checklist is to check in with the deejay, not only to arrange for a sound check, but also to make sure that we are all on the same page when it comes to music. Making sure that everyone can be heard, even in the back row, is an important part of your wedding ceremony.