For a wedding, every DJ should have the following things: DJ controllers, PA speakers, wireless microphone(s), their laptop with proper software, and a hard drive with a backup of their music (in case there is a problem retrieving the music from the laptop). In this article, we include a proper checklist with every single item a DJ needs to check for before their wedding gig.
Whether it’s the actual ceremony or the reception that comes after, DJs have often found themselves lacking a proper setup. What they might not realize is that a wedding ceremony is a formal event that requires a completely different setup than a bar or a nightclub.
You might be asked to DJ the ceremony, the reception, and the cocktail hour. What’s more is that every couple might have a different musical ear, so you should be able to adapt to them properly.
On the other hand, no matter how extensive your playlist is, wedding venues don’t often offer the best acoustics. Your perfectly mixed and matched songs can often turn into indecipherable mush. Not to mention the song requests you get from random guests can be quite out of the ordinary! With the proper equipment by your side, you can easily overcome most of these problems and give your clients their perfect day.
To DJ a wedding, you’ll need special equipment.
Since most weddings might take place in different cities or outdoor locations such as a beach or a farmhouse, it is important that your equipment doesn’t get damaged in transit. With DJ controllers, you don’t need to worry about carrying the heavy mixers or turntable. A DJ controller and a Laptop with DJ software are quite sufficient. There are a couple of different software options available such as Serato, RekordBox, and Traktor.
Since the wedding couple trusts you as a professional, we recommend you use professional controllers. These can include the Pioneer DDJSX3 or others. If you’re planning on DJing at a wedding more often, we recommend that you buy a professional laptop as well, one that is compatible with all kinds of DJ software.
PA Speakers can help you and your mix truly shine. Since some weddings are held in large cathedrals, and receptions might be held in huge banquet halls, you need to make sure that you have powerful speakers. They will allow you to crank up the volume without the fear of losing the quality.
About two or four 15-inch speakers or subwoofers would serve you well in an average-sized banquet hall. The best part is that you won’t need to carry around amplifiers if you have subwoofers. Some powerful speaker and subwoofer brands include JBL PRX, the QSC K-Series, and PioneerDJ.
Weddings often involve speeches, toasts or different announcements. You need to come prepared with wireless microphones that have a large signal range. This prevents guests and speakers from tripping over the long wires. Some reliable brands include Shure, AKG, and Sennheiser. We do recommend that you check for batteries and cables. Furthermore, check beforehand to see if the microphone is connected.
Lighting is an important part of the DJ equipment as well, especially when it comes to the reception. Adequate lighting on the venue stage will help draw attention to that space, and it will help improve the overall ambiance of the venue.
The reception usually involves a dance floor where everyone will groove along to your mixes. You should pair up the music with strobes and lasers to help enhance the experience. We recommend that you buy lights that can be programmed to flash with the music. This will help intensify the effect.
The above pieces of equipment are not the only things you should have. They are just the ones that you need to pay special attention to. You may only need to DJ at one part of the wedding, but many times you will be asked to perform during all parts of it. Depending on the occasion, you can find our complete checklist below.
What does it take to ensure the perfect wedding gig? Here are a few tips:
At the wedding ceremony, your EDX music knowledge might not be enough. You should be familiar with some of the more traditional classical music. We recommend you ask the bride what song she wants to be played when she walks down the aisle. Furthermore, we recommend that you ask the couple for their favorite party songs to play at the reception. And don’t forget to ask what song they’d like for their first dance!
One of the most important parts of DJing at the wedding is that you have to be attentive to the bride and groom’s requests. It is their day, after all. No matter how crazy their requests might be, you need to make sure that they spend their big day surrounded by the music they love. Of course, you can try to educate them and tell them what it takes to please the crowd. Nevertheless, in the end, it is their decision!
If you do not come across as someone with a fun and high-energy persona, your clients might as well just plug in an iPod and call it a day! When you’re DJing a wedding, your energy should reflect the music. You might be asked to announce or call on people. Thus, you need to ensure that you don’t sound bored or bland. Instead, try to hype up every song by giving it a personal touch! You can also try getting the guests to sing along with a song.
If your equipment stops working, it might not necessarily be your fault. Whatever the case, you could still end up ruining someone’s special day. Trust us, you don’t want to end up being the sole reason for ruining a wedding. We recommend that you have backups ready for all your equipment. This should include cables, speakers, mics, and even a spare laptop. A great idea is to carry an iPod or iPad with you so that the music never stops -- even if your gear stops working.
All in all, DJing at someone’s wedding is a huge responsibility that you don’t want to mess up. It can be a great opportunity for you to expand your profile and network with newer folks. Your gear plays the most important role in this! With the best gear by your side, you are bound to impress everyone at your next gig!
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