DO: Get out there on the dance floor. I always tell brides that there’s a magical presence that starts to surround you before your event. Wherever you are, other people want to be. If you’re out there jamming, everyone else is going to be out there dancing, too.—Rebecca Browning, Just One More Song
DO: Check the venue for ampage, electrical outlets and other audio-related things if you are hiring a band.
—Lynette Kujawa, Aflair Events
DON’T: Just sign a contract for a band without knowing what it entails. Make sure that you know the final cost with all the details, such as the number of hours the band will play, any travel cost or expenses and anything like overtime fees. Also, talk about what else they will provide, such as emceeing the event.—Joyce Criswell, The Bride’s Maid
DO: Provide a DJ with a good idea of what you like. Let us know a list of your favorite bands and artists, and around 10 absolute must-have songs. After that, we can read the crowd and find out what works to get people dancing.—Nic Keith, All That Music
DO: Plan space for a dance floor based on the number of guests you are expecting, and place the DJ right next to the dance floor for maximum hype and interaction!—Brice Clark, Spark Events
DON’T: Just hire a band. Hire a DJ and a band. I like to do this because then when the band takes their breaks, the DJs can fill it in.—L.K.
DO: Try to find a wedding band that can play a broad scope of music to satisfy all guests. Many favorite bands have a one-dimensional type of music, which can get boring. If the guests don’t like the type of music they play, they may end up leaving instead of staying and not being able to dance.—J.C.
DO: Make sure that your DJ is experienced in sound, especially if the wedding is outside. There’s a difference going outside and dealing with the way music and voices carry. I've worked on very complicated setups for outside weddings with Mark Eudaly at Travel Tunes. He has always gone the extra mile to make sure everything can be heard.—L.K.
DON’T: Skimp on the DJ. A lot of people think “Oh, we’ll just plug in an iPod.” That’s not going to make it an awesome night. The DJ helps set the mood, and keeps the event flowing. —N.K.
DO: Make sure to communicate select songs with both your DJ and band, and have them communicate so they don’t play the same things.—R.B.
DO: If you meet a DJ that you really like, request that they are the DJ at your wedding. Sometimes you have to pay a premium to guarantee a specific DJ, but it’s worth it if that is who you want.—L.K.
DON’T: Place the dinner tables too close to the DJ or band. Guests sitting close will not be able to tolerate the noise. Put as much space as possible between the tables and sound system!—B.C.
DO: Keep the introductions for the wedding party short, action-packed and fun. I recommend first names only if your wedding party is really big.—N.K.
DO: Make sure that the DJ, band, or emcee has the most recent timeline for the event. This allows for the smoothest, most natural transition between activities. This is especially beneficial when there are a number of special dances, games or speeches happening. And be sure to build some flexibility into it. You never know if guests will take a little too long to grab dinner or if toasts don’t take as long as predicted!—B.C.