Reception entertainment: Choosing your DJ and MC

Want a party people are still talking about as you cut your golden anniversary cake? DJs and MCs are key players for a smooth-running reception, but if you’ve never organised a wedding before, it can be hard to know where to start.

  • Story by Photo Benjamin + Elise Photography

Want a party people are still talking about as you cut your golden anniversary cake? DJs and MCs are key players for a smooth-running reception, but if you’ve never organised a wedding before, it can be hard to know where to start. With more than 20 years’ experience in mobile/corporate entertainment, Nick Logan is a wealth of knowledge. As well as his DJ skillset, he offers Master of Ceremonies services including acting as a couple’s MC or guiding MCs who could use a confidence boost. In efforts to discover what it takes to plan the perfect party, we probed him for his top entertainment tips.

How do couples find their dream DJ?
You need to do more than just email or phone and ask for a quote. It’s essential that you meet with any of the DJs you’re considering, be it in person or via Skype. Some DJs will do a great job of just playing music, but what if there were other things they could do that you hadn’t thought of yet? Ask lots of questions, such as what’s one thing they did at their last wedding to make that event different from any other, and how many weddings they have done before.

Why meet with the DJ?
By meeting with the DJ, you get the chance to learn their personality, their background and how they will fit in with your guests on the day. Perhaps when you meet them you’ll discover they just aren’t as ‘articulate’ as they were via email, or perhaps they have too many tattoos for your liking or too many studs in places that shouldn’t have extra holes.

What type of music is most likely to satisfy the whole crowd?
It may sound obvious, but generally stick to what is well known by the biggest majority. It's tempting to think your wedding is ‘too cool’ for commercial top 40 popular music, be it current hits or the biggest tracks from the last 30 or 40 years, but the simple fact is that if your guests don't know the music, it won't work. Your wedding is not the place to prove to your friends that you have the most eclectic music tastes.

What’s one thing couples might not think to ask their DJ?

The number one complaint about DJs worldwide is the music is often too loud. It's your wedding – you are in charge of the volume.

What does an MC’s role entail?
The MC is the person both the guests – and at times your vendors – will be watching for instruction. The MC informs and directs, ensuring everyone knows what’s happening and when. For example, their guidance means everyone will have their eyes on the right doorway for your grand entrance, caterers will know what time dinner is supposed to be served – or if there have been hold ups that make this time inappropriate.  Guests will also be aware that speeches are coming up well ahead of time.

What are some key things couples need to communicate with their MC?
Make sure your MC knows that their job is to keep the guests and professional help informed. Fully brief them on any family or venue challenges – for example, divorced parents, recently deceased family or a venue's car park noise problems with neighbours. Finally, be sure they know that everything they do reflects the couple. Guests may not remember what was said, but they'll never forget how it made them feel. Will anything they say offend your grandmother? If in doubt, leave it out.

Is there anything extra that couples can do to ensure their MC does a good job?
Looking for wedding MC coaching opportunities in their area might give an MC the added confidence they need. Alternatively, if you’re unsure that anyone you know will be able to do the job, secure the services of a professional DJ or MC that can assist.


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