Today we continue our blog series where I meet up with recommended suppliers from within the wedding industry. With over 15 years of working within this very niche industry, I wanted to share with my clients, tips and inspiration from other suppliers who are service providers for weddings and events in the region.
I recently caught up with Ben from DBS Discos. He has a wealth of knowledge for couples planning their wedding day and looking to hire a live DJ to entertain their guests.
Tell us who you are and what you do.
Hi I’m Ben and I’m the wedding DJ with DBS Discos. I live in Nottingham but cover the whole of the Midlands. I’ve been a DJ since 2000 where I studied DJ skills at Confetti Studios in Nottingham. Music has been a huge part of my life and I’m a keen musician as well playing in orchestras, concert bands, and other music groups. Although I rarely play those styles of music at a wedding (unless it’s a request). I can also Video DJ, which is mixing music videos together to create a seamless visual experience.
How do you ensure the Music you Play meets the tastes of the Bride and Groom and their Guests?
The Music I play at weddings is always based on the audience I’m playing to. I will liaise with my couple to request a range songs that they want to have played. The rest of the night I take requests and read the crowd. I can read crowds based on age range and reading at people’s body language when certain music is played. I don’t always play requests however as it can have an adverse affect and sometimes clear the dance floor! Its carefully crafted over years of experience entertaining the crowds on the dance floor.
I also ask the couple if they have any “Do not play” music titles. This is actually really important as sometimes specific songs might cause some upset, or remind the couple of sad times. It’s vital that this kind of pre-show information has been received so I can build the perfect music set for your wedding!
How do you structure your evening when playing a set. Do you go from era to era or do you have another technique?
Paying attention is a really important skill for any DJ. I have spent years learning to read the crowd, and can usually tell what kind of music the guests will like. It’s important to watch for reactions to the tracks being mixed and pay attention to the energy in the room. I will always attempt to make sure everyone has a good time. I do however have a list of songs which are ‘sure things’. No matter where I DJ, these songs always seem to get people up dancing!
Another thing to consider is, some of the evening guests might not want to dance straight away. As a result, I always leave these floor fillers until after the food & buffet. While evening guests are arriving I will mix well known music which gives a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. I always interact with the guests throughout as its very important the room becomes familiar with my voice.
What are your top 3 music tips for a successful wedding reception?
Deciding between a DJ and a Live Band is the big one when I am speaking to couples at wedding fairs. I love live music and when I’m not DJing I’m usually out watching a band or DJ play. I know how difficult it can be to choose between a DJ the two. One thing to consider is if you book a live band, theres a chance of alienating some of your guests. Not everyone will enjoy the bands style and set. Its important your guests dont leave your wedding early because of the music! Entertained guests are happy guests in my experience. A DJ has the luxury of being able to mix tracks from one genre to another with ease.
The lighting can also be a major factor. Most bands won’t really concern themselves with lighting, and have given little consideration to utilising the correct lighting so that everyone can enjoy the experience. For a band, it’s always about the sound. A DJ regularly considers lighting, which if done incorrectly can make a room dull and boring. I like to use lasers, intelligent lighting effects, and specialist effects that really enhance the room and create a real impact.
A third factor to consider are sounds restrictions. Many venues have has ‘sound limiters’ installed due to complaints from nearby businesses and houses. Always find out if this is the case as most bands will not perform under these restrictions. DJ’s can offer other options which might help make your night a success. I offer personalised monograms which can shine the couple’s names on the floor or wall. I also offer mood-lighting for the room which can help enhance the colour scheme of the day.
If you do decide to opt for a band, find out what will happen when they aren’t playing. Do they provide background music in between sets?
For more information about Ben and his services please visit DBS Discos.