Hi, there – we are Becky and Richy – a Central Florida engaged couple planning our wedding. A lot of couples, including us, don’t really know what it’s like when hunting for wedding vendors, including hiring a wedding Dj. So we’re here to share our experience of finding and hiring ours!
If you’ve been following along with our wedding planning process, you already know that so far we’ve booked our dream wedding venue and attended a wedding show! Read more about our wedding show experience in our recent post here.
We’re so excited to have now found our DJ to keep the music and fun flowing all night long, DJ Danny Garcia!
You might think hiring a wedding DJ means once they’re booked you’ll just see them on the wedding day to get the party started, but a DJ sets the tone (literally) for the entire day and night for your guests. It’s important to continue to plan with them, especially making sure they’re updated if you change your timeline of events throughout the planning process.
We’re going to take you through some of our experience of finding the DJ for us, from what we were looking for in a DJ to what we’ve gotten to experience since booking Danny!
What was important to us when hiring a wedding Dj.
Richy: I believe a DJ is an important and essential part of your big event, DJs play a huge role and are essentially the person in charge of the tone for how your event would go. Some things we both pretty much agreed on were that we need someone who is outspoken, vocalizes a lot, and can get a good ambiance in the room.
I have recently picked up a second job working for a catering company and we do a lot of weddings so I’ve had the chance to see a lot of types of DJs. Some are amazing, lively, and have all ages of the crowd entertained, playing all good bops. YES! Bops hahaha I find myself out there singing the songs and jamming as I pick up silverware.
Becky: For me, the thing that was really important to me is having a wedding DJ that could keep all of our guests entertained while helping the day stay to the timeline with MC skills and great transitions between music and those events. Having a DJ that can effectively communicate with the day of coordinator or follow the preset timeline and keep things like introductions, toasts, dances, or cake cutting on schedule is something that should be a top priority when hiring a DJ.
Another thing that’s key for me is someone who can play the music the couple wants, even if it’s not exactly what the other guests or family likes, but also someone that can feel out the vibe of the crowd and adapt to keep the fun going.
Is DJ Danny providing any extra services?
Richy: We booked extra time with him so that he could be there for the entire reception, keeping our guests dancing and having fun the whole time! Possibly some light setups we kinda like uplights. If y’all haven’t seen them definitely ask your DJs if they have them, it changes the mood of the room drastically. Gives it an elevated feel to your reception area.
Becky: Danny is providing extra time for us to make sure we’re covered for the entire event time from the start of the ceremony to the very end of the reception. I think Richy and I are looking at adding uplighting to use in the reception space. We’ve seen some pictures of the Howey Mansion with warm amber uplighting against the mansion walls inside and it looks incredible. It’s an extra service we might have to add and other couples should look at when hiring a wedding Dj if they want a way to really add a different energy to a space.
The energy we want to be created for our reception.
Richy: Lively for sure! I want everyone to feel the love in the air and have fun dancing and enjoying the company. Possibly having wedding games to have the guests involved and laughing, I don’t want it to have a club music vibe the entire time but a good healthy amount of club songs would be cool!
Becky: Overall I’d like a mix of romantic loving and fun upbeat energy. A wedding is something that should be a time to have that celebration type of energy but also to enjoy the moments of love for the couple and all of your loved ones there to share that occasion with you.
Some of my favorite moments from the weddings I work are during the reception with the energy the DJ has created with music selections and how they move from one song to another.
The music we have planned for the ceremony.
Richy: We are still in the process of choosing music. Danny sent us this cool app that has a variety of topics for the wedding day for us to add music selections that we would like: Like the ceremony, first dance, parent dances, cake song, reception music, or room reveal.
A variety of stuff that when you’re wedding planning or hiring a wedding Dj you wouldn’t have thought of. Maybe some of y’all reading might want a special song when you’re cutting cake but it’s a good starting point to have so he knows that we want these songs for these moments.
Becky: The ceremony hasn’t really been a top priority for us with picking music, we’ve been super focused on reception music for dances or introductions and even the open dance floor music. Like Richy mentioned, the app Danny gave us to input music selections is extremely helpful especially with keeping us on track for what we’ve already decided on and what else we need to choose.
For the ceremony, I’ve been recently thinking about how I’d love it if Richy picked the song or songs that the parents, wedding party, and he walks down to the aisle to then for me to pick the song I walk down the aisle to. I want that song to be something really special for us and something that’s somewhat of a surprise for Richy to hear as my choice when I walk down the aisle.
What we liked about DJ Danny Garcia.
Richy: I personally have yet to meet Danny. At first, it was important to me to meet our DJ or at least essentially see him at an event before hiring a wedding Dj but I learned quickly from Becky that I couldn’t just go to a wedding and party crash to just see him perform.
Becky has seen him and has personally met him so I had to just let go of my pride and trust her choice that he would be a great asset to our wedding team that day. Recently she saw that he performs at some nightclubs so we might go on a date night with our friends and see his vibe.
Becky: Danny overall just has such a good personality, I first met him at a networking event for wedding pros in Central Florida and it was really easy to see how outgoing and friendly he is. One of the things I really liked about Danny was his willingness to always take the time to sponsor events for our wedding vendor community. Most of the time when I do see him at networking events he’s there sponsoring it with his DJ or photo booth services showcasing what he has to offer couples!
Do we have a first dance song?
Richy: There are so many options that we have in mind but the songs that I like for our first song are: You Make It Easy, I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing or A Thousand Years.
Becky: I’m not sure we’re always on the same page with song choices but I think with this one we’re pretty close to in sync. Nothing has been set in stone and there’s nothing entered into the timeline on the app for this yet but it’s a decision that will come pretty easy.
Especially if we have two songs we really like, I think it could be a good thing so that we can use one for our first dance and the other for our last private dance with each other.
Must have songs on the playlist.
Richy: Leave The Door Open by Bruno Mars – that song is my BOP it’s a must-have for sure. They recently played that song at a wedding for the last dance and it was such a vibe!
Intentions by Justin Bieber – I feel like if I could ever pop lock and drop it then this song speaks volumes. My spirit animal.
Don’t give up by Andy Grammer – This song is special to us because it’s part of our love story. Was from a movie we went to see the day I asked Becky for us to be official. It could be, potentially, our last song when everyone leaves the room and we just have one last song for ourselves as newlyweds.
Becky: I would say almost every song of the 36+ we’ve added to the music app so far are must-haves for us, a lot of them are songs we grew up listening to or a few that were special to us as our relationship grew.
For me, the song Te Vi by Piso 21 is a must-have for sure. It’s the first song Richy had shared with me after we started dating when he came back from a work trip to Puerto Rico and it meant a lot to me as I started to understand and learn more Spanish. Another must-have is Wobble by V.I.C, every school dance or event that my Maid of Honor, Cassie, and I went to growing up it was the song we would drop everything to go dance to together.
Traditions we’re doing and ones we’re skipping.
Richy: For sure I feel there are just some traditions that would never get old or wouldn’t be a wedding without one.
Parent dances are so important it’s a tradition that would stand the test of time. To me having that formal dance with my mom is like the first step of manhood. Kinda like when Mufasa took Simba to the tip of pride rock so he can see what’s all out there that’s his. It’s a time to have that one-on-one connection and let time stand still with your parents.
Cake cutting is also another cool tradition that would never get old. It’s a must-have picture to share with your kids and a time to be silly with your partner. Either try to get some fondant or icing on them or just share that very first slice of delicious cake y’all bought. Trust me most people always say they come to the wedding for the cake so make sure that rocks!!
My brother’s wedding and the last wedding I worked at played the “shoe game”. I don’t know if it has a formal name or if it’s a new school or old-school tradition. But essentially if you live under a rock and haven’t heard of it, the Bride and Groom sit in the center of the reception back to back so they can’t see each other and they take off their shoes, hence the name shoe game lol.
They each exchange one of their shoes and the DJ asks questions like who takes up more of the bed and hogs the covers, AKA BECKY, and they lift the shoe of either bride or groom. It’s really funny and lets your guests know a little bit more about the couple.
Becky: I think we really plan to keep a lot of traditions you typically see during the wedding day timeline for couples, like Richy said, parent dances, first dance, and cake cutting. One I’ve always loved watching at weddings I work or in movies is the bouquet toss, of course with a separate toss bouquet while mine sits safely in a vase!
Some really sweet traditions that are a must for me at weddings and find their super touching moments are the anniversary dance and the private last dance for the couple. The anniversary dance lets everyone celebrate the love and marriage of other couples at the wedding, it’s so sweet to see when great grandparents are still married for so many years or grandparents of the couple.
Then the private last dance really gives the couple a chance to really wrap up the night together just the two of them and kind of take it all in with a dance and a song that’s meaningful to them. I’m not sure there are many we’re skipping but as the planning continues we might find some we’d rather replace with traditions of our own.
What was not important in the decision of hiring a wedding Dj.
Richy: Probably language, at first I might have thought that since my family is more fluent in Spanish it would have been nice to have a mixture of bilingual speaking so my family could understand more what’s being said.
Becky: Booth setup to me wasn’t something that really mattered in my decision, I cared more about the personality of the DJ and the energy they would bring to the event. Whereas Richy wasn’t concerned about language, I feel like this was something I wanted to make sure our DJ also spoke Spanish since a lot of our guests speak mostly Spanish.
DJ Danny’s booth setup.
Richy: Have yet to see it but I feel like for me it’s not as important as how his setup looks. I care more about the vibe he presents and how he MC’S the wedding reception.
Becky: DJ Danny’s booth setup is a really clean and simple look which is something that I prefer in comparison to some other DJ booths but it was by no means why we chose Danny for his services.
How the setup will handle the flow of events.
Richy: If this is the first blog yall reading about our wedding Journey, we’re getting married at the Howey Mansion. The ceremony will be outside on one side of the mansion, a cocktail hour in the patio/courtyard, and a reception in the ballroom. We still have to talk with Danny about how he plans to have music or sound to all three parts but I’m pretty sure he has plenty of portable speakers and would help adjust to our situation.
Becky: The wedding package we booked when hiring our wedding Dj includes a DJ command center with 2 speakers, on-site ceremony music, and music for cocktail hour. The ceremony and cocktail hour music in our package includes additional speakers and a microphone for the ceremony which will greatly help with the three separate spaces for our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
Songs on the “do not” playlist.
Richy: After working for a couple of months around weddings, I could see the same played-out wedding songs, I mean don’t get me wrong some of them are good. But some songs are just played out. I’m a big fan of the line dancing songs but I don’t want too many played, maybe two or three max to get everyone from all ages involved will be good.
Becky: There aren’t really any specific songs that I have on the do not playlist, I think I would feel better avoiding some songs that are very explicit since our families will be there but at the end of the day we both just want to hear the songs we love and have a good time.
The Vibo app helped us plan with our DJ after booking.
Richy: I mentioned before that our DJ sent us an app called “Vibo”, a super cool name for a music app I might add. It has two sections when you open the app, one for timeline music and the second for planning questions.
Planning questions helps the DJ get some general knowledge of the events on the timeline that need MC’ed and do not play songs so he can make notes to pay attention to on wedding day. The Timeline music has about 30 line items for you to add specific songs for certain parts of the event. If you have a song you must have when the bridal procession happens you can add a song there if not the DJ would have your back and play a popular choice. You type in the search bar and it looks at the song choice through youtube that will show you a list of options to choose from and you can listen to them to make your choice.
Becky: Included in our wedding package with DJ Danny was a really helpful mobile planning app for music selections and other things. If you ever had or are currently picking out songs for each special event of your day you know that sometimes they come up when you’re in completely random places like the store or a restaurant and you think “Hey I love this song, I’d love to hear it at the wedding” and then you most likely make a note of it in your phone or screenshot a million pictures on your phone to save to a wedding album.
It honestly can be a bit confusing at times when you’re making notes in a physical wedding planner, your phone, your laptop, or anywhere else so you can try to remember them later. The app has saved us so much time in staying organized with what songs we already have picked, what events we still need to pick the music for, and songs, in general, we’d love to hear played.
Being able to keep our DJ informed with the timeline of events, information for our wedding party, and all of the songs for our special moments has been so easy and so helpful in that part of the planning.
What it’s been like after hiring a wedding DJ.
Richy: We’re happy with our DJ choice. I was a bit stubborn at the beginning but I mean most of you would if you’re dropping a lot of money and have yet seen them perform but I know my Fiance and I trust that she made a good choice. With the Vibo app, he sent us we are more confident with how the process will be and what songs we would like to be played for all the wedding events that day. So definitely do recommend you guys ask your DJ if they heard of the app. If not for them to look at it because it’s awesome and FREE for couples to use!
Next for us would be to finish making all of our wedding song choices and see if we either have a song in mind for all these occasions or just go with the DJ choice because some of them we don’t have too much of an opinion on. Also going to see him play at a nightclub on a soon-to-be date night!!
Then what, ummm wedding day of course! Having a live party and a dreamy wedding.
Becky: It’s been really great, with each vendor we book the planning process gets less and less stressful knowing we have that specific vendor that we trust to make our special day incredible, and can’t wait to help us celebrate it! So after hiring a wedding dj and getting to use the app he provided to enter all the information he’ll need for our day I feel like we’re close to done with everything he would need for our wedding day.
Which is honestly a huge relief that there are less things to worry over, so now we can focus our attention on booking the rest of our vendors and finishing all the small details.
If you’ve also been obsessively listening to playlists together trying to find perfect songs for every special moment of your wedding day, you’re not alone!
We’re so excited to share the next experience of our wedding planning journey with you soon, be sure to keep an eye out for the next blog about finding our perfect wedding florist!
Until next time,
Becky & Richy