If Music Be The Food Of Love
Published in ProMobile, the magazine for Mobile DJs – Issue 60 July 2013
What is your attitude to the buffet when working at a wedding? Not referring to whether you tuck into it, that’s a whole other topic! But do you actively try to encourage guests to dance during the buffet? Or hold your hands up and play “background music” and accept that the dance floor will be empty until the guests have had their fill?
Is it something you ever give much thought to? Some DJs just do what they’ve seen other DJs do, or what they learnt when they roadied for an older guy without question. However have you ever considered whether all the guests want to eat during the buffet? Some may have had more than enough food during the wedding breakfast, especially if it was served after 5pm, and keener on letting their hair down and having a boogie, which isn’t easy to do to most background music! Also, is it a subject you’ve discussed with the bride and groom? Do they want the dance floor cleared just because some food has been served? (This is mainly for the evening guests, who are usually a small minority of the audience).
If it’s a subject you’ve never discussed with your B&Gs you might be surprised at their reactions, as given the option many would prefer for the energy not to dissipate during the period the buffet is opened.
I always ask all the couples that book me for their preference and in my experience it’s extremely rare for any of them to ever ask for background music during the buffet, they far prefer for me to encourage guests to dance. Indeed I find it rare for the dance floor to be empty during the buffet.
However, when you do have a B&G that would like background music during the buffet, if you’re worried about how to get everyone back on the floor after some of them have been stuffing themselves, apart from just playing a damn good tune to get them up again, there are a couple of staged methods of achieving this. One is to suggest that maybe the bride throws her bouquet at the end of the buffet, because that obviously means you have a lot of girls on the floor, and there are so many songs that can be played immediately after the bouquet has been thrown to get the girls dancing, such as a big tune from the hen night, because that is a question you’ve asked in the meeting isn’t it 😉
Alternatively this can be a good time to stage the father/daughter dance, and is a far better time than immediately after the first dance, which IMO is the worst possible time to do this ceremony. For one it gives the moment its own special significance by having its own spot, and not just lumped on after the first dance. Added to that if the guests have joined the B&G on the floor midway through the first dance, and you then do the father/daughter dance you lose a lot of the energy in the room by asking everyone to leave the floor again, and even if the guests haven’t joined the B&G midway through the first dance, if they’ve been standing watching for 3 or 4 minutes, you’re pushing it by asking them to stand around for the same period again and watch the bride dance with her dad! Because instead of making the moment special, which it deserves to be, you run the risk of it being tedious for some people! So if your bride would like to dance with her dad, suggest staging this at the end of the buffet, and then at the end of that song you can naturally crack on with the dancing again.
It can also be a great time to play specific/rarer genres. If you know from chatting with the B&G (or even better, also chatting with the guests earlier on in the night), that a few of the guests are into a certain band/genre that you’re unsure will have many of the other guests dancing; mention to those guests that you’ll play some of their tunes especially for them during the buffet. It will often please the B&G, provided of course it isn’t an offensive music style, but then clearly that doesn’t even need to be mentioned…
So if getting your crowd dancing during the buffet isn’t something you’ve given much thought to, you might be surprised at how easy it is to do.
http://www.promobile.org.uk/ Issue 60 July 2013