Dinner is a pretty important part of a wedding. Feeding 100+ people in an hour is no easy task, so it kind of goes without saying you should feel confident with who is catering your big day. Aside from that, I have put together a few dj friendly pro tips to think about if you want your dinner to go smoothly…
First, when planning seating charts, keep in mind that the speakers are most likely going to be near the DJ. If you place elderly guests in front of the speakers, they may not be able to tolerate much volume. This will make it hard to hear the music and announcements for anyone further away. It happens way more than you might think, as most people aren’t considering how loud it can be if a speaker at a modest volume is only 5 feet away from someone with a hearing aid.
Additionally, it is not wise to place tables between the DJ and the dance floor if it can be avoided. Not only will the speakers be further from the dance floor, and really close to the tables that are placed there, but any lights will also be further away which will diminish the effect. Also, the DJ will need to come from further out from behind his table to pass the microphone for speeches and other reasons which will create delays. It subsequently kills the connected energy from people dancing being close to the DJ and makes requesting songs more difficult for guests as well. It’s not technically harder to mix as a dj when you are separated from a dance floor, but it’s definitely trickier to read the crowd from across the room, and the sound isn’t as focused for the people on the dance floor. This happens most frequently when the dj is placed in a corner and the dance floor is in the middle of the room. It is definitely convenient space wise in some cases, but just be aware that dinner lasts around an hour, and the party will continue for the whole night.
Second, eating is important! The day can get long really quick when you think about everything that happens between your morning meal and dinner. If you are like me, it’s easy to forget to eat when exciting things are happening and your nerves get going a bit. I’ve definitely seen instances where my clients have gotten so caught up with their guests they barely touch their dinner. This can make for a very long day!
In many cases, the newlyweds will have been taking pictures during cocktail hour and miss hors d’oerves. Since you aren’t really around before or after the ceremony, most of your guests will naturally want to talk to you during dinner.
I often recommend having a brief welcome speech after the grand entrance to thank everyone for coming. It would probably be the first time you’ve said hello to many guests.
Another thing to think about… In many cases, the bride and groom will eat first and then go around and do table touches to talk to everyone briefly during dinner. It’s smart to have an idea of how long you want to do table touches, as this can take way longer than you might expect without a plan.
The caterer/planner will typically bring you a plate of food if there is a buffet so you can eat first to allow time to talk with your guests and prepare for the rest of the evening. DON’T FORGET TO EAT!!! Your wedding day is filled with excitement, anxiety and so many emotions it can be easy to forget, but it is such a long day that it is very important to make sure and eat the delicious food you selected. You don’t want to run out of gas by the end of the night, right?!? It’s not always possible to follow all of this advice for one reason or another, but just understanding these dynamics will be a huge help in making your wonderful wedding dinner go smoothly!