Choosing A Wedding Venue – From A DJ’s Perspective
So, you’ve read the “how to choose the perfect wedding venue” articles posted on the web, published in the bridal magazines and you’re wondering what the heck it’s a DJ would know about the topic… Well consider this, who
attends more weddings in a year than your maid of honour, and who gets to leave the wedding venue with the last of the wedding guests (keeping in mind that the wedding photographer only stays until the bouquet and garter has
In other words who really gets to know the ins and outs of choosing a wedding venue to have a decent party at? There are loads of things to consider when choosing a wedding venue. First there are the obvious ones: How many guests can it accommodate; does it have sufficient parking; is it safe; what’s the food like; are there electrical outlets for the DJ’s, band; etc.
But what about the party? I mean the ceremony, while it is the essence of the wedding, only lasts 30 to 45 minutes, while the reception can keep going for anything between 4 to 8 hours, and it is in this time that your guests will want
to be entertained. And honestly, the jazz band only plays for so long! This is where I come in. You see, I’ve been a DJ for 13 years now. My speciality: weddings. And I’ve seen my share, trust me!
So what should you be looking at when you choose a wedding venue, to not only make sure that the wedding is unique, stunning, elegant, but also a wedding that your guests will talk about for years to come?
Let’s start with the basics: there’s a good chance that 50% of your guests will be smokers, so the venue must have a facility for smokers. Now usually this is done outside, which works fine, but what happens when it rains? Can they
cater for this, or will the smokers just leave early? I mean let’s face it, smokers don’t party unless they have a cigarette in hand…
Secondly, what do they have planned for the kids? I know that some couples specifically request their guests to not bring kids along, but hey, if that were you, would you want to leave your kids at home? How about booking a
smaller venue (or a room) for the kids and arranging alternative entertainment for them, together with a qualified child minder? Did you know that there are entertainment companies out there that provide these services? This prevents anyone getting hurt on the dance floor and the kids will have a ball! Remember that weddings are a time for friends and family to get together…
Did you know that if you choose a venue in a residential area you’ll be restricted in terms of the music on the night? So instead of the rocking party you expected, you’ll be having a toned down affair with guests nagging you (and your DJ) to turn up the tunes. Now you might not have thought about this, and the venue probably neglected to mention this, but as they are in a residential area, they are not allowed to play loud music, especially not after 22h00 at night. And as a DJ we are obliged to stick to that rule, or we might be kicked out. Usually your party will also end strictly at 00h00, so no overtime here…
While a wedding in the country or in outlying areas are a better choice in terms of the music, you have to consider that your guests might have been drinking the whole evening and some of them will be driving home afterwards. A good idea might be to have the telephone numbers of cab companies handy for those guests who have had one drink too many, after all you wouldn’t want your guests to remember your wedding as the night they spent in jail…
Finally, always keep in mind that your entertainment for the evening will be one of the most important choices you’ll make. Should you decide to go with a DJ, always ensure that they are registered with both SAMRO and SADJA (the South African Music Rights Organisation and the South African DJ Association). This will prevent embarrassment during the evening and also ensure that you get quality entertainment – All Night Long! (For more on SAMRO and SADJA please visit their respective websites).
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