We get this question so often with new bridal clients, "how long should the reception last and how long should we book the DJ?" Thankfully for you, the answer is one and the same.
Generally speaking, the sweet spot for receptions is four hours. While this may not seem like a lot of time to you (or maybe sounds too much), it really is about the perfect amount of time to share a meal, a toast, some serious dancing, and have time for the bride and groom to make their rounds with guests and still have time to enjoy themselves. Any shorter than four hours and you risk feeling rushed or cutting out something important, and any longer and you may have guests twiddling their thumbs or worse... leaving before your grand exit!
There are, of course, some exceptions to the rule that may extend this length of time to no more than six hours. One of these exceptions is destination weddings. Often times, destination weddings are in a beautiful location with no local guests so not only is the reason they traveled to this location the wedding, but guests are usually not familiar with the local scene and want to spend their time getting to know the others who have traveled to attend.
The truth is, while many brides and grooms dream of a reception that goes no-holds-barred all night long, this is only asking for trouble. Don't believe us?
And if those points aren't enough, think of yourself! The bride and groom are going to have been awake and go-go-go since very early that morning and probably the few days leading up to the big day. You are going to be tired, sore (all the smiling, all the dancing...), and in need of some serious quiet time with your new spouse! Why prolong that sweet, sweet time to unwind by feeling the need to unnecessarily extend the party?
We promise that a four hour reception will be perfect for all you want at your reception; you just leave the party up to us. We always deliver a good time.
Let's cut right to the chase. We understand that many couples these days are footing their own wedding bill and looking for the best ways to save as much green as possible. While we are all for budget-conscious brides, cutting the DJ line out of your budget is a recipe for catastrophe. Here are just a few reasons why.
We own all the equipment you would otherwise need to rent in order to make your playlist work. Amplifiers, speakers, mixers, and more don't come cheap and the average person doesn't just have them sitting around, waiting to be used at your wedding; this is why you hire a good DJ- because he or she has invested the money into having the best equipment to make your reception sound amazing.
Sure, you can create a playlist on your iPod that may cover most of the music your guests will want to hear. What happens when an impromptu request for a song that is not on your iPod comes around, or the current tune is proving to be a dud for the dance floor? There is no one standing behind your iPod assessing the crowd and who has access to thousands of songs (that we paid for) and a way to get more should the occasion arise.
3. Volume and transitions
Volume needs can change from moment to moment, ceremony to cocktail hour to reception, and from song to song. While you are dancing away without a care in the world, it is the job of your DJ to ensure the volume is on point at all times! This is also so true when it comes to transitioning from one song and moment to the next. Your iPod doesn't know the best ways to transition from J-Timberlake to Mariah without causing whiplash. We do.
You didn't think you would just let great uncle Jimmy-John to announce you as husband and wife for the first time, did you? At the risk of sounding frank, that just isn't a good idea and we both know it! DJs have tons of experience gaining excitement from the crowd and going through your lineup perfectly.
5. Schedule and Details
Sure, you may have a coordinator to take care of all of this but who do you think the coordinator turns to to transition from one point to the other? Plus, the DJ is usually the one who makes the call of the right time to start new formal dances, introductions, cake cutting, etc. Can your iPod do that? We rest our case!
So, while you may think your expertly chosen playlist will be enough for your wedding reception, we urge you to reconsider. The right DJ will also provide various price points and availability to fit your budget and schedule. A professional DJ will bring expertise, energy, excitement, and expert arrangements to ensure the only thing you'll have to worry about at your reception is how you're going to possibly stay upright on the dance floor all night.
The Blog & Podcast
Every month we sit down and discuss topics important to our company, namely DJing and the wedding industry.