The Wedding Specialist
We have had the great fortune of providing our services for over 1,000 wedding receptions in the last 30+ years. Your wedding is more than just another party and Class Productions does more than just play music.
First, a reception planner is emailed to you so you can start preparing the details of the evening in advance. You can choose the type of music you want to hear throughout the night. From pre-cermony and guest arrival, ceremony music, cocktails, and dinner to the dance portion of the evening, we want to play what you want to hear.
Just as important as the music are the reception formalities. The entire reception is personalized to fit your taste. Some brides and grooms prefer the traditional reception and want to make sure there are bridal party announcements, toasts, cake cutting, etc. For other couples, a less formal approach is taken and all they want is a first dance. This is your day and we will accommodate to fit your style. Throughout the reception, all announcements will be made over the sound system to let your guests know exactly what to expect next.
Never planned a wedding before? Not sure what music you want or when to have the special events? No problem. About a month before the big day a face-to-face consultation takes place to go over all the details of the reception. So if you are not sure when to do what, just let our many years of experience help you decide.
At this meeting we will go over the schedule of events and music to be played. You may be as specific as you like with the song selection or let us read the crowd and pick the music. The evening is tailored to your taste. So if you want a laid back, jazzy afternoon or high energy all night, we will accommodate. Usually, it is somewhere in between. Start off formal and end up dancing the night away.
Ceremony Music and Sound Equipment
Class Productions can also provide music and a small sound system for your ceremony if you are getting married in the same location as the reception. Music can be played during the guest arrival, seating of the parents, processional & recessional. A wireless lapel microphone is provided for the officiant so everyone can hear the service and your vows. If you are having a soloist, their instrumental music can be played as they sing using a handheld wireless microphone we provide. Live musicians, such as a gutiarist, can also be plugged in to our system. Just ask us for details on this service.
Wedding Reception Tips
Your wedding reception is where your style and personality can really shine. Just as important as the décor, food and location is the music. It sets the tone and mood for the night. You want to pick music that your guest will enjoy and that represents your personal taste. Here are a few things to think about when planning your reception.
I believe a very important factor in planning a reception, is the “flow” of the evening. You don’t want to take too long between your events/activities (i.e. toast, cake cutting, etc.) so that your guests start to get bored. But, you don’t want to rush things either. As the DJ/MC, I am constantly trying to feel the pulse of the crowd. There are many subtle cues, and some not so subtle, that tell me a crowd is getting restless. When this happens I will work with you to make sure the event stays on track and is a success.
I typically do not schedule specific times for each event because this is usually based on feel. It's best to have an order of your events and an estimated time for them, but if the crowd isn't ready then we need to be flexible and go with the flow. If you expect the toast to happen at 7:00 but the crowd is not ready then you should wait untill they are ready. On the other hand, if they are ready at 6:30 then you should think about having the toast earlier so that you keep their attention.
Most of these timing concerns take place BEFORE dancing starts. Once dancing begins so does the fun! It’s great to have a majority of the “formal” events before the dance floor is open. That way you won’t have to stop people from dancing to have the toast, then stop again to cut the cake, etc. The more you sit people down the harder it is to get them back up.
Music to Select Before Dancing
Music is played throughout your reception. From the time your guests arrive until the last dance. Keep in mind that not all the music you need to pick is for dancing. Below are some of my suggestions, but the evening is about you and the more we can customize it the more personal it will be.
Guest Arrival & Cocktail Hour – Music played during this time is typically instrumental jazz style music. I like to keep the tempo "snappy." Not too fast and not too slow. I also have some instrumental country and bluegrass that works nice during this time. Vocal jazz artist, such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, work well for cocktail hour and during dinner. Music during this time should be classy but not stuffy.
Wedding Party Introductions – This is the music played as the wedding party is being introduced. If you want a classier intro, then a beautiful instrumental jazz or classical song will work well. Or you can enter with a bang and choose a song to "get the party started!" It’s completely up to you. Movie themes such as Star Wars or Rocky are always fun and puts a smile on everyone’s face. Or you can go with a high energy song like “Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited or “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. A high energy intro can really set the tone for a fun night. But whatever you pick, pick a style that suits you. It’s your day!
Dinner Music – Once again, vocal jazz, like Harry Connick Jr., is great during dinner. If you are going for a more formal event, then classical music might work for you. As dinner progresses I like to mix it up a little based on the bride and grooms taste. This is a great time to play some of your favorite songs that are not really dance songs, slow or fast. Toe-tapping music from Motown, new and older country, pop, and oldies all work well during this time.
Keep in mind that the dinner music should be mid-tempo and fun but not too fast nor too slow. Too many love ballads can relax the crowd and they will not be ready to dance after the meal. The music played during the meal sends a message of what’s to come later in the night. I love to see guests singing along or bobbing to the music as they chat with others at their table. This will get them in the mood to dance!
A good way to end the night is by getting everyone to join the new couple on the dance floor. Getting lost in the middle of a packed dance floor during a special love song is a wonderful moment. Song selection here, as with the rest of the evening, is completely up to you. If you are having a hard time choosing between two songs for your first dance, then here is a good opportunity to use them both. Pick one for the first dance and one for the last song.
Another idea, and one of my favorite things to do, is to play the first song again as the last song. You end the night the way you started and you will be singing the song in your head as you drive away. But you can also end the night on a high-note and choose a fun upbeat song.
Don’t let all this scare you! You don’t have to pick out every single song for the day. Besides, that’s why you hired a DJ. But take some time to think about the style and feel you want for the day and make sure to let your DJ know. This will go a long way to making your special day perfect.