Recently, we've had a couple of prospective clients ask to see our 'standard wedding playlist', this confused us because we aren't sure such a thing actually exists!
All of our packages offer our clients to create a playlist with us, meaning we are sure we will play some of the key songs which have significance to them and also meaning we can choose songs which fit perfectly around those they have chosen.
Without a doubt, there are popular songs which will feature at many of the weddings we play at but, in the last year, we have played Metal, UK Garage, 80s and 90s themed parties and weddings which haven't featured any at all!
At weddings, it is very rare for us to have any idea what we are going to play 2 or 3 songs ahead - the crowd can change so quickly and we are skilled at quickly adapting to the needs/wants of them! Not only that, but as we actively encourage requests (both verbally and through our 'request cards') it can be these that guide the course of the musical journey. Of course, should someone request 'Darude - Sandstorm' at 9pm it is highly likely we might well 'save'; that one for a later time! But, if we have a glut of requests for cheesy 90's classics like 'B*witched' then that is where the music takes us!
When you write your playlist if you have lots of classic 90's dance, it is safe for us to say that you are a particular fan of 90's dance and we'll continue to play some of those classics until the mood of the night takes us in a different direction. However, when a smaller playlist is received we will 'test the waters' and play a selection of different music to see what the crowd want - sticking with those genres which get people on the floor. Remember - playlists are guides for your DJ. They aren't going to play your list and then play something completely different. Give us the soundtrack to your relationship and your lives, let us fill in the blanks!
We are so lucky to play in some of Dorset’s most amazing wedding venues and it got us thinking…
What is the perfect wedding venue? We don’t mean a beautiful view, or the flawless ceremony but the perfect venue for the perfect evening reception. We obviously have our DJ hats on here!
Now recently we have been lucky enough to play at some fantastic venues in 2016 but they are all different and it does affect the general atmosphere of the evening reception. Clearly we know that the guest-list, the weather and the food provided also make a difference (let’s not forget alcohol consumption either!) but if all these were the same what would we look for?
1.Dancefloor – The perfect dancefloor is big enough to house your guests on comfortably but small enough that they don’t have too much room to bust those moves! Small dancefloors discourage people from dancing and can lead to frustration when ‘THAT’ dancer (you know the one) bashes into you whilst they are showing their friends their latest move! Large dancefloors on the other hand can have the same effect; some dancers want to ‘blend in’ making sure they aren’t being watched by people sitting down. A large dancefloor means everyone is in space and can be seen (it also means people can dance as far away from the DJ as possible!)
2.Space for the DJ/Entertainment – The ideal venue has a space to the side of the dancefloor for the DJ, somewhere they can position themselves so they can interact with the crowd whilst not being in danger of getting covered in champagne. A stage is good, however, if too big it can make your DJ look a little inadequate! Recently, we played on a mezzanine area and although we were a little concerned about being ‘out of’ the reception it turned out to be a fantastic gig and a super viewpoint for photos too!
3. The Bar – In or out? – Having a bar in the same room as your reception means that people are not encouraged to leave the room at all. They cannot shy away from the dancefloor as much and tend to dance to more of the music because of this. A bar outside of the room means that people can sometimes deliberately spend their evening outside of the room so they can ‘chat’ – The flip side of this is that, with the bar outside, you end up with a group of people dancing who REALLY WANT to dance in the room and so the atmosphere can be fantastic!
4. The buffet – Simple really, Cutlery means sitting down. With a fork buffet, many of your guests will spend 45 minutes eating and then enjoy their chair so much that they struggle to get up – even to their favourite song! Finger buffets are perfect as people eat them quicker and then get back on the dancefloor (often dancing and eating at the same time!)
5.Outdoor Space – Sunshine is a killer for a DJ! If the weather is good outside then clearly, your guests will enjoy the early evening sunshine rather than being inside (as we would do!) This means that your DJ will endeavour to play ‘background music’ to a near empty room until the sun goes in and people get a little chilly. From a DJ perspective, a little outdoor space is good but can mean that your party does take a lot longer to get started (sometimes as late as 10pm!)
So, what have we come up with?
Well, after writing this, we aren’t really sure!
Consider all these options when you look at your evening venue. Do your guests like to dance? If they do then you will find they might dance anywhere. If they need a little bit of encouragement then maybe this list will help you.
We love our business because every event we play at is different. It means we are never sure what night we are going to end up with and that makes life more interesting! Chose the venue that feels right. The venue that makes you take a deep breath when you walk in. Your DJ will work their magic and everything else will just fit into place!
So, as we are just beginning the wedding season 2016, we had a thought.
Why do some people choose not to have a first dance?
The picture above is from our last wedding, the Kimbers, who chose to have a first dance (and a beautiful one it was too!) but what about those people who decline the option to have a few minutes where every person in the room is looking at them, after all, hasn't that been happening all day anyway?
The first dance is a traditional element of the wedding reception, but in our experience around 20% of our couples choose not to have one. They explain that for many of them, having all their friends looking at them doing sometime out of their comfort zone is too much for them to deal with. Even if you are ok with everyone looking at you, many are conscious of a perceived inability to dance - what do you do then? the 'dad' shuffle from side to side? the choreographed routine? or just stand still and wait for the music to finish?
Remember - many photographers will request a first dance with just the bride and groom - it makes for great photos, many of which are quality shots which feature on the wall for years to come. We always encourage the bride and groom to at least start a first dance - then we invite their friends and family to join them to make them feel less awkward. Most of our couples go for this option - we pick a suitable point in their song, give a quick announcement and very soon, a packed dancefloor of guests are shuffling to the remainder of their special track.
We really don't mind what our special couples do - as long as they are happy and comfortable with the evening!
What do you think?
So, after a quiet couple of months, we got back on the wagon and attended the Wedding Daze wedding fair at Poole Lighthouse in mid February. With experience at a couple of wedding fairs we decided that we would leave our kit behind and sell the business in the best way possible...using US and how passionate we are about providing the perfect soundtrack to every event we play for.
We showed up with 45 minutes to go before over 200 wedding couples were perusing the 80 or so stalls in the Lighthouse. "Oh , we thought you weren't coming, It must take you a while to set up" the organisers said to us....a voice in the back of my mind suddenly wasn't so sure on our decision. The other two DJ's who were present brought their full set up with them, all singing, all dancing. With lights drifting all over the venue hall and music playing, we debated our decision further. Were we wrong not to bring out kit with us? We had photographs with us, banner stands and a video playing, plus obviously you can see our kit on this very website, but is that as good as seeing the real thing?
Some couples walked straight past us, giving us the same 'I don't want to stop and talk' look that we, ourselves gave other providers when we got married in 2014, but they did that to lots of stalls. Some looked at us and seemed puzzled - were these the people we had lost out on because it wasn't clear what we were selling?
Every couple we spoke to said no, that they didn't need to see our modern set up because they weren't sure that that is what differentiated DJ's - it was their ethos and attitude to the events they played at. Carol and I were chuffed, "That's exactly what I think" we said to each other....but there was a little niggling thought in the back of my mind....still I wasn't sure
So what do you think? Do you need to see the kit of a DJ before you will book them? Is their expertise and personality important?
Help us out!
And so another Christmas party season is over...
After 13 different parties at 3 different hotels plus three children's parties it is time to hang up the headphones for a few days until New Years Eve 2015.
We have had a very successful festive season, 9 amazing ski lodge parties at the Hotel Miramar plus providing the music for gala evenings there, a party at the Salterns in Poole and supporting the fabulous Ceri Dupree at the Cumberland Hotel. Primo Parties have met some amazing people, demonstrated numerous party dances and played some very random requests.
Thank you all for your support in 2015 and we are already looking forward to providing the entertainment at even more events throughout 2016!
Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year to you all!
Welcome to the first ever Primo Parties Blog!!
We will be updating you on a regular basis about what we are doing, people and companies we have met and worked with as well as event advice and planning tips.
Our first proper blog post will let you know about our experiences as DJ for the Dorset Wedding Awards...watch this space!