dj booth location
Where you put the DJ matters! The closer I am to the dance floor the better chance I have to see everything, to make eye contact with guests and for the music to be focused on the dance floor instead of on the back your guests' heads.
See the two sample setups below.
Wedding reception tips
Advice to the Bride
14 things the bride needs to know to
help guarantee a great reception
I first want to point out that it is rare that all these items are followed in any given event, but the more you can adhere to them, the more likely your party will be at full steam come closing time.
1. Seat older guests away from the dance floor/speakers. They will want the music turned down all night while you and your younger guests will keep asking your DJ to "Turn it Up!" You'll all have a better time with younger, more musically inclined guests seated near the DJ.
2. Don't cram your entertainment out of the way in a corner. Your entertainer should be seen. Powerful entertainers will work to get people on the dance floor, but they must be seen as part of the action, not a side show. If possible, the DJ booth should be adjacent to the dance floor.
3. A party should end when it shouldn't end, not when it should. Ending a party before it dies down leaves everyone with the impression the floor was packed all night. It just feels better when people are left wanting more versus being completely burned out.
4. A "too small" dance floor is better than one that is too big. Why? The answer is simple: it creates the impression that the floor is full. Your guests are more likely to dance when the crowd on the floor is dense so that they don't feel like the only ones out there. If people end up dancing on the carpet, then great, they end up dancing on the carpet---and the story of your floor being so packed people couldn't even fit on the floor only further reinforces my point.
5. Darker is better than lighter for dancing. People feel like less of a spectacle, less "on stage" when they think they're harder to see. Check out your venues "lighting capabilities" weeks before. Can the lights be dimmed, or can some lights be turned off to create a better ambience?
6. Keep exit doors closed. Doors are inviting, and you don't want to invite people outside of the main room. Having them open allows more light into the room, which again works against the psychodynamics of the dance floor. Open doors invite people to their cars in the parking lot. You want to keep their focus on the reception room for as long as possible.
7. The speed of the reception is the speed of the newlyweds. This means, if the bride and groom are active, dancing, engaging interactively with the guests and having a great time, the guests will follow suit. If you're at the bar, bathroom or outside on the patio, your guests will follow suit.
8. Bars (if you have one) should always be in the main room, preferably closer to the dance floor, but the floor shouldn't be in the way of any lines to the bar. If a bar and/or dessert table is put outside the main room, then a huge percentage of potential dancers leaves the room and often don't return for a time. Bars are like kitchens---they draw people to them. If you can help it, don't make your DJ wrestle with the draw of a bar.
9. If you're going to shut the bar down for 30 minutes out of, say, 6 hours, do it during dinner. If you do it at 11:30, then the party will more likely die out, as people will feel that it's time to go.
10. Trust in the musical advice of your professional DJ. They do this for a living. Be careful not to cut out all the "cliché" music (like the Electric Slide), as you'll find this will negatively impact the dance floor potential. People dance to what they know. A wedding reception is not the place to prove to your friends and family that you're into obscure music. You've got a lot of people from all over your family tree who want to have a good time, so let your DJ exercise all his musical tools and really work his craft.
1 1. Do the dollar/money dance early. The reason is that when the bride and groom are doing this, the guests realize they won't be seen slipping out the door. Limit this event to three songs or less.
1 2. People tend to remember the beginning and end of an event. That's why your DJ should do a strong, grand introduction. It helps build rapport early on, and if done right and with energy and enthusiasm, it puts him or her in a more powerful position to work your crowd all night.
13. It is best for any traditional events or speeches to be done and out of the way before dancing begins. In addition, it is important for pictures of the bridal party and bride and groom to be done, when at all possible, before the dancing begins. As a DJ, I have seen more parties lose steam because my bridal party is having pictures taken after the bridal dance. Do all the pictures before. It may cost you an extra hour earlier in the day, but it will save you from losing a good handful of guests early on in the evening.
1 4. 1f you have to cut corners, don't compromise on the entertainment. My clients never complain that they paid too much for my services. The only complaints I hear are from clients who either didn't use a DJ at their last event and regretted it or chose to use the services of "some guy who was really cheap," or who was going to get "free" DJ services from a friend or relative who either didn't show up or who ruined their wedding by making inappropriate comments and playing music that no one liked but the DJ. Also, know that experience is king. I am a better DJ after every event I do.