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Sound Center DJs Wedding Reception Planning

The following information is a compilation of frequently asked questions about DJs and wedding receptions and ceremonies. If you have more questions, please write us and we may add your question to this page for others. Our Email address is below.

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DJs and Wedding Issues

First & Second Dances
Best Man Toasts
Cake Cutting


Choosing the right DJ
Other Paperwork
Ceremony Music
Tipping the DJ


FIRST AND SECOND DANCES: Typically, the first dance is for the bride and groom, the second dance is for the bride and her father and, in some instances, the groom and his mother, and the third dance is for the wedding party and the guest to join in. In some cases, the groom and his mother will have the third dance and a fourth dance can be added for the wedding party and guests.

Keep in mind that your guests will have been sitting around for quite some time, through the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, and will be anxious to join the dance floor. Too many beginning dances can be long and difficult for the DJ to recapture the energy of your guests as they head for the restrooms or bar. It is not uncommon to "speed" things up by bringing in the wedding party during the second dance, after your photographer has captured the moment with the bride and her father and groom and his mother. Also, if the bride and groom expect to be uncomfortable dancing alone with each other for a whole dance, bring in the bride's father and groom's mother to finish off the first dance.

Lastly, the first dance usually starts after the dinner. Some couples prefer to have the first dance at the beginning of the party, expecting the guests to dance during dinner. Typically, guest will not dance until after the dinner and it becomes difficult to bring the party to a crescendo with the "big" dance when it occurs in the beginning. If you choose to have the first dance at the beginning, save the second dance (bride and father) for after dinner to signify the beginning of dancing. This will work, even if guests dance between the dinner courses, and spotlights the second dance more.

FIRST AND SECOND DANCE OPTIONS: Here is a list of songs that Sound Center provides to their brides and grooms looking for First and Second Dance options. Basically, the idea for the First dance is to find a song that is special between the two of you. Many of these songs are classics and newer songs are not listed... at any rate, they may give you some ideas... Click here, 1st & 2nd Dances , for the list!!!

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CHOOSING BETWEEN TWO FIRST DANCE SONGS: This happens at times when the bride wants one song and the groom prefers another. Our best recommendation is to use the bride's song choice for the first dance and then have the DJ dedicate the groom's song choice later that evening to the bride. This dedication can occur either as one of the third or fourth dance optons, sometime during the dancing, after the cake cutting and bouquet toss or even as the last dance. At any time, the dedication is much more romantic and will add a special touch to the dancing.


BEST MAN'S TOASTS: The Best Man's toast is typically given before dinner, during dinner or before cake cutting. The advantages of giving the toast before or during dinner is that the guests attention will be easier to capture and it breaks up the dinner monotony. A disadvantage, though slight, is that the champagne will be poured before the guest come into the ballroom and may be sitting there for a while. An advantage of having the toast before the cake cutting is for the photographic memory. By having the toast at this time allows the photographer to use the cake in the background and it is easy to move into the cake cutting after the toast. Check with your caterer and photographer for their input and preferences, it may be easier for the banquet staff to pour champagne at a certain time.


CAKE CUTTING AND BOUQUET AND GARTER TOSS: The cake cutting usually happens approximately 30 minutes after the first dance, followed by the garter and bouquet toss. These events are flexible and depend on how long your photographer is hired and the participation of your guest dancing. Some feel that the bouquet toss signifies the end of the party and guest will leave afterwards. Then on the other hand, some guests may leave anyways and won't have the opportunity to be included in the photographs and fun. The best thing to do is to schedule a time, but leave it up to the DJ, Photographer and Caterer to work out the best time, during the reception. This way, the event won't break up a good dance set and the party's momentum.


SONGLISTS AND CHOOSING MUSIC: Most DJ services will provide you with a sample list of music. Normally, this list is not all inclusive and is just a sample of the most popular music requested at parties. The list is designed for the bride and groom to choose specific songs that they would like to hear during the reception; leaving room for the DJ to take requests from the guest and to mix in other favorite dance tunes. You should be able to list songs that are not on the songlist, and list songs they do not want to hear, at no extra charge. And, you should be able to list as many songs as you want!!!

Typically a DJ can play between 15-20 songs per hour, depending on the length of the songs played. It is suggested that the couple does not "program" the DJ for the whole reception, but to pick just their favorite songs. By allowing the DJ the freedom to play requests and to use his/her professional judgement helps the dancing flow smoother and initiates more involvement with the guests. Most wedding receptions require a wide range of music ranging from Big Band though the 90's so everybody has the opportunity to dance to something they recognize.

NEWLooking for a list of songs? Click here for a list of the most requested songs. The list is catagorized by decades and type of music. Have fun!!!


CHOOSING THE RIGHT DJ: Most DJ services should allow you to meet and/or talk to the DJ before signing a contract. It is difficult to see a DJ at another's couple's reception, but your DJ may be performing at a public location that is more accessable. If not, try to schedule an appointment to meet him/her at a convenient location or the reception hall. Prepare a list of questions and concerns and bring any paperwork the DJ service provided to review. The best DJ for you is one that you feel comfortable with and trust. If you have any doubts, interview another DJ and compare. Personality and experience should be your main concern, then equipment and music availability.


ALL THAT PAPERWORK!!! PLANNERS AND CONTRACTS: Wedding Planners are designed to help your DJ orchestrate the reception. Be flexible with the times and allow the photographer, DJ and Banquet staff to work together in coordinating the details during the reception. The main idea behind the planners is to list approximate times of special events such as the best man's toast, cake cutting, bouquet toss and first dances. Other information on the planners should be the first, second and third dances and who is dancing with whom. Also, a list of the wedding party and who is walking with whom is helpful for the DJ to line up the Bridal party in the beginning.

The contract should specify at least the date of the reception, the times of performance, the location of the reception and the price. Other information, such as overtime rates and specific DJs can be written in, if not included. Contracts should protect both the DJ service and Client from default and liability of guests, DJ and equipment. Make sure your DJ Service is fully insured before signing a contract.

Check out the Sound Center DJ Planner Maker, designed to help the bride plan the timing of certain events during the reception.Make sure your DJ has all the important information to make your reception a success with the Sound Center DJ Wedding Planner!!!


WEDDING CEREMONIES: It is not unusual to have your DJ service provide music during your wedding ceremony. In most cases, the ceremony and reception are being held in the same location, thus the need to set up and re-set up a sound system is not necessary. Typically, the DJ should start with background music about 30 minutes before the actual ceremony. Classical or New Age music is normally played during this time. The DJ then can play the wedding processional, starting with music for the parents, the bridesmaids and then the bride. The music selection can range from a song for each set of participants or the same song during the whole processional. The DJ service can also provide wireless microphones and microphone stands if the area is too large for the vows to be clearly heard. After the ceremony, the DJ will play a wedding recessional and then more background music until the actual reception starts.

If you are looking for Ceremony Music on CD or want to hear a few popular selections, check out the Sound Center Ceremony Songlist!!! We've found two Wedding CDs to be the best and are listed, including song titles and some of them have .wav files attached. Downloading may take a bit, so grab a soda and some snacks and enjoy!!! Also, check out the Sound Center DJ Planner Maker, designed to help the bride and DJ to play the perfect music at the right time.

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On tipping the DJ: Tipping is an appreciation for a job well done. If your DJ went over and above your expectation, tipping is an excellent way to show your appreciation. 5% to 20% of the total cost is suggested, but any amount is truely welcomed.

Thank you for visiting the Sound Center DeeJays information page. Sound Center DeeJays is the Best Part of your Party!!! Need more information? Click on Sound Center and find out more about the company, including our phone number and address. Or E-mail your questions or comments to and have a great party!!!


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