You’re working your way through your wedding checklist. It’s stressful. We get it, but even so, we want to make sure you are considering a few items as you search for that perfect DJ company.
No matter what your budget is there are some things you should always consider when hiring your entertainment. One of the most important is their emergency backup plan.
Accidents happen. No one in any business is immune to something going wrong. People get sick. Cars wreck. Equipment fails. It’s just the nature of the beast. But where your DJ company should be separating themselves from the pack is in the way they handle emergencies. Be sure to ask the right questions. What happens if your DJ is sick on the day of? What happens in the event of equipment malfunction? What is the backup plan?
At Elite Sounds, we have 8 DJs with experience ranging from 5-20 years. None of us are wet-behind-the-ear-newbies. And all of our DJs are active. We aren’t bringing Father Time out of retirement to play the Hokey Pokey at your reception. Each of our DJs is up to date with what is happening in the KC wedding scene and in the national music scene.
We encourage you to check out our reviews on The Knot. We are a company comprised of successful DJs with great past client reviews! Not a company with one or two all stars and then a bunch of duds. We are a group of well-established, collaborative DJs that grow our skills together. As you scroll through the reviews, notice how many different DJs are mentioned. When you are looking through other DJ company reviews, be sure and keep an eye out. They may have 100 five star reviews, but is there only one or two people out of a staff of 5 or 10 being mentioned in every review that you see? If so, you better hope that you aren’t paired with the others that aren’t getting any kudos. You know nothing about them! They’re riding the coattails of the others!
If something were to go wrong at your event (knock on wood), we always have a DJ that is unbooked when we have events happening. They are “on-call”. Ready with your special songs, timeline and requests to take over like nothing ever happened.
In fact, here is a review that we received several years ago when one of our DJs ended up in the hospital and not able to be at Lisa & Joe’s reception as planned:
Our backup DJ is also prepared for equipment malfunctions. We have multiple complete DJ setups at our office in the crossroads, packed and waiting to be hauled out.
So know your DJ company’s back-up plan and roster. Hire a company you trust, not just an individual. Once you do, it is one less thing you have to worry about.
Back in January we had an outstanding time with Katie and Joey at their reception in The Gallery Event Space. Luckily they are awesome and took the time to come in and tell us about their experience.
There are a couple of high energy focal moments during your wedding day. The first kiss. The dance floor. And the grand entrance. (I left the part of the night after the reception off because we can’t help you with that). However, we do have some advice on making your grand entrance a moment to remember.
At Elite Sounds we pride ourselves on bringing newlyweds’ reception visions to life. We are always collaborating with brides and grooms that are unique in their own way. Whether they are going for a traditional feel or a completely original new concept for a reception. So whether you want Shut Up and Dance or When a Man Loves a Woman for your introduction, we will be there to make sure it is what you have envisioned. We have success stories from both ends but let us break down some of the aspects of a great grand entrance track.
The more of these aspects you can check off, the more relevant and successful your grand entrance song will be.
This is your big entrance! Your guests just watched your relationship go to the next level and they’re as amped as you are. Pick a song that reflects that energy.
Outta Your Mind by LMFAO is an extremely high energy song. But is it topically relevant? Unless you two were crazy to tie the knot, then probably not. It may be cliche but this may be the time to pick a love song. And mind you, just because it is a love song doesn’t mean it has to be a slow song. 87% of songs are love songs (we made up this statistic, but it’s probably not far off considering every song ever).
You want your guests to be able to relate to the way your feeling. Picking an obscure track can be a risky move if you are going to be looking for crowd reaction/participation. However, if you are able to hit the other points, this could potentially be overruled.
You want a track that speaks to both you and your partner. Find a track that has a special memory attached to it. Or one that shares a similar significance to each person. For example, we had a couple chose Space Jam by Quad City DJ’s to walk in to. They were both 90’s kids and loved 90’s music. They loved movies. Was it a high energy track? Check. Topically relevant? Perhaps not (but they danced in and made it their own). Crowd familiarity? You betcha.
For those of you who are considering picking a different track for every bridesmaid and groomsman, we would lean you a different direction. A single track allows for a uniform energy level, smoother transitions and won’t add hecticness to an already exciting formality. When you choose a different track for each couple your crowd will only hear about 10 seconds of each song, resulting in a muddled mess. If you do want an extra song option, consider just having one for the bridal party and a different one for the newlyweds.
After you book with Elite Sounds you meet your DJ. Our DJs can help you find the perfect track for your entrance after learning more about your musical tastes, relationship history and the overall style of your wedding.
Photo Credit - Brianne Elizabeth Photography
We had an amazing time making Audrey & Mike's reception their dream party. They were kind enough to sit down with us and give us their thoughts on the night and our services. Thank you both so much!
This week we are celebrating Brooke & Tiradej! We loved working with these two. They were super fun, laid back, and had some pretty amazing dance moves as you will see! As always, thanks to Californos for the hospitality and Dannie Dan - Irabor for being such a great photographer to work with. On behalf of Ryan Guthrie and the rest of the Elite Sounds crew, congratulations Brooke & Tiradej!! We were honored to be a part of your day!
You’ve thought about bonuses and cheap gifts to reward your employees but do they really want a personalized company pen…? Why not throw a party? Create memories, pull down barriers and just cut loose. Need more reasons? Ok fine. Here’s a few.
Ask anyone what the most important aspect of anything is and most likely that answer is communication. Communication is the key to success. If the only communication that your staff has together is business related you are limiting their potential. Name a better ice-breaker than dancing. It brings us all together.
Bring out the goofy sides of your employees with a photo booth. You will see sides of people that you didn’t know they had. Speak to that and create memories. Your guests will receive a photo strip of their own and you will get a digital file of the lot. Pick a few and throw them on social media. Put out that fun company image.
What says the company is in good financial standing? Gold Porsches for everyone, I guess. But for us reasonable people, a company party probably makes more sense. Your staff has done a great job. Reward them. If we can’t stop and celebrate what we’ve done, what is it all for?
When you’re back at the grind on Monday your staff will still be coming down from their high. That photo booth picture of shy Sharon is now a conversation piece. Someone took a video of Carl from accounting breakdancing. What is that I smell in the air? Is that bonding? It is.... It is.
Don’t be the stepdad that refuses to say he’s proud of his stepson. Publicly acknowledge those that have gone above and beyond to make your company better. You may be surprised by how the newbies start to emulate the people you reward. Win-win? Yep.
We can come in at whatever level you’re thinking. From a parking lot bbq to a black tie cocktail mixer to an informational conference. Make it reflect your company’s style. Our additional services provide a variety of options to make the night fit your group.
If that swayed you, contact us to talk through some options that will make the most sense for your upcoming event . Everyone will have such a good time that you will be booking next year’s party while we are packing up our equipment. We have a team of DJ’s with experience ranging from 5-20 years. We can make the vision of your party a reality.
Wedding budget got you frazzled? Here's a quick thought on your entertainment budget. Book a consultation today to get a personalized quote.
You hear them in your car on your favorite station. You like them! But before you go adding them to your playlist for your next event, let us guide you through the ones to use…..how to use them…..and maybe the ones to stay clear of all together.
We don’t have to tell you that NOT all of the songs on the charts today are bangers. From slow songs to just plain don’t work songs, you can’t just roll with a “Just Play Top 40” scenario and create a successful soundtrack to the night.
Today we are going to break down a handful of the top 25 in a few different categories that will help you understand what will work and what won’t.
The Urban dictionary defines a banger as a song that is is extremely tight or just unbelievably awesome. We agree! Unfortunately, there is only one of these on the Billboard Top 25 currently. The masses love it, and you should too…..so much so that you add it to your playlist.
Don’t be afraid to add in some remixes for your event. If the artist would of made the track cool the first time around, us DJs wouldn’t need to play the remix, but that didn’t happen in the case of this next group of tracks :) We kid, we kid…actually these are great songs, they just need a little more umph to build up the energy on the dance floor and get your crowd moving.
Potential Cocktail or Dinner Tracks
These aren’t meant for the dance floor. They are for sitting down, mingling, and creating vibe. Feel free to use these for a more contemporary cocktail or dinner set so Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack can take the night off.
What Happened To Hip Hop!
Mo Money Mo Problems, Nuthin’ But A G Thang, Can I Get A…
These are classic tracks that you want to party to in that last portion of the night when your guests are a bit inebriated and looking for that perfect throwback jam to relive their youth to.
What’s that you ask? Can we play new hip hop? It would be nice to throw in something a bit newer, we’ll give you that. The problem is, God didn’t gift todays hip hop artists’ with the same skill set that the artist of the yesteryears had. That’s why you should have second thoughts about letting them sneak into your playlist. They are trying to trick you by currently being popular. That Nicki track is a bit explicit so watch yourself!
Well there ya go! About one usable song for the dancing portion of the night. You just dodged a bullet. You’re welcome.
We had the honor of working with Cathie & Mike on their wedding day. They were kind enough to stop in and let us know how their night went. Thank you both!
In need of some event entertainment? Check out what we have to offer.
Ah, yes. The age-old question of who should be in attendance for the biggest day of your life. For some this may come easy, but speaking from experience, it can also be a challenge.
You’ve found the venue that your princess bride has been dreaming of since she was a little girl. Date works, location works… capacity? Not so much. Let the cuts begin.
Obviously, you have certain family obligations to uphold (whether you actually like the person or only your daddy does and he’s writing the check). So uncles with elaborate comb-overs aside, make a reasonable agreement with whoever is splitting the bill. Give them a table of friends and a couple of tables for family. If they are kind enough to throw some money your way, hopefully they can be persuaded that it’s your day (not theirs).
It may help you to separate guests into lists (A, B, C and D-efinitely not) to better visualize what you’re dealing with. Then you can move them up and down as you hone in. And maybe allot a third of the guest count each to bride’s family, groom’s family and people that you want there (friends).
Kids… Oh boy. If kids are your thing, then by all means. But this is your night to celebrate with people that understand the gravity of the event. Don’t feel bad about doing an adult-only reception. Nothing screams (well kids do) dying reception like a gaggle of caffeinated yahoos doing donuts on your dance floor. Inability to find a babysitter is not a usable excuse for people that you’re inviting. Do an across the board rule. Someone will get their feelings hurt if they see another person’s kids there.
With the cost of weddings always expanding, there is a budget angle to this question as well. For just food, you may be looking around $20/person. There’s a quick way to eliminate a college acquaintance that bought you a beer at a bar once. And that’s just the food per guest. You also have to consider seating, bar, cake, ceremony capacity, reception capacity and more. Each of these details is on a sliding scale of price affected by the number of people you invite. It’s easy to think, “Oh that’s just $5 more per guest.” Well in going from $20 to $25/guest with a guest count of 150, you just upped the cost $750. Easy there cowboy.
Plus ones are usually safe to give to people that have been in a relationship for over a year. If you both know the person’s plus one and you like them, then invite them (why are we even still talking about them?).
There are many tools out there that can help you down this path. Obviously, everyone’s priorities are different but this infographic has a box that we like. “Will they tear up the dance floor and add a ton of fun to your wedding?” I mean what are we here for? You’ve hired a DJ, allotted the time for dancing and then you got everyone drunk. Let’s do this!
In the end, you almost have to adapt a sense of ruthless rationalization. The fact is that this is your day, your (parents’) money and your memories for the rest of your life. Make the guest list count.
Here are a couple types of music that we advise against for the dance portion of your event. Whether you love this music or not, it rarely leads to an active dance floor.
Country: Great for slow tracks, horrible to keep the dance floor moving. I’m not saying that I have never had luck with it, but it is a rarity. Just because you like listening to something in your car doesn’t mean people want to dance to it.
Too Much Cultural Music: Being proud of your heritage and wanting to incorporate some cultural sounds into the night is a great thing, and you should, but you always want the percentage of music played to equal the percentage of people that would actually enjoy hearing it. If you have family in from Mexico that make up 10% of your total guest list than your playlist should include 10% ethnic tracks. Always work to please the masses. Doing the opposite results in a failed night.
Non Danceable or Obscure Tracks: This is for hipsters and music snobs mostly. We get it, Bonaroo was awesome and you found some new emerging bands that connected with you on an emotional level. Good thing you found them before the big wedding day so you can include 100 of their greatest hits to your playlist. You love them so everyone else will too??? No, no they won’t. In fact, they’ll hate them because they want to dance, and no one wants to dance to tracks that they don’t know at a wedding. Suck up your pride, and tolerate some Billboard Top 100 music. Sure you won’t look as cutting edge, but people might actually have fun. What’s the bigger priority? That emerging artist may fit in cocktail or dinner hour though....
Now, just because something is on the Billboard Top 100 doesn’t mean that it’s a heater either. Adele for instance…….for the most part not danceable. Great to listen to in the car, definitely not great for dancing. Trust your DJ, and let him guide you through tracks that work and tracks that don’t.
Wondering what direction to take the night musically? Here is a little insight on how to work together with your DJ to make your reception better than all of your friends’! :)
Look at the night in 3 different parts and make requests that fit in each one:
1st Part: This is after the ceremony has concluded and all of your guests are making their way to the bar for cocktails. This time of the night should be FUN!! You can help with this by picking out fun music. No Enya or super slow jams here......we want guests experiencing an upbeat vibe that makes them want to stay out of their seats, mingle, and drink! Now, we definitely don’t expect them to rage on the dance floor either so your track selection should be those which have a great energy, represent your personality as a couple, but would most likely never get used for the dancing part of the night.
Example Cocktail Playlist
As cocktails conclude, and we begin the dinner portion of the night dial it back a notch. Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis or maybe even acoustic versions of some of your favorites can be used to create the vibe that fits this time of night and the branding of your wedding.
Example Dinner Playlist
2nd Part: This is the part of the night where we open up the dance floor but there is a lack of inebriation on your guests part. This is where you want to think about throwing in some Motown and Classic party tracks that everyone knows. Some of your older guests will respond well to these tracks and it gives you, as the bride and groom, a chance to spend time with them on the dance floor! You can thank us later after seeing your amazing dance pics with Aunt Carol!
3rd Part: When guests are on their 15th glass of your signature cocktail and they feel like they will live forever, you have reached the 3rd part of the night. This is where you want to consider some of your more hip hop and house influenced tracks that typically caterer to the younger audience. Turn Down For What, Get Low.....you get the picture. Throwbacks and sing-a-longs will also get the job done so be sure to give them the props they deserve by including them in your playlist as well.
While thinking about your reception in 3 different parts will help you in selecting the right mix of music, it won’t guarantee a packed dance floor. ONLY THE BRIDE, GROOM, AND WEDDING PARTY can guarantee that. You are the guests of honor. Your guests are there to spend time with you, and they will likely do that on the dance floor if you lead them there. Let us help you get there.