Entertainment – Musicians, DJ’s, etc on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island
Never underestimate the importance of choosing the right music for the wedding ceremony and reception. Music creates emotion and ambience, and you can shift energy levels and moods simply by changing the music.
There are different moods and styles of music that should be used for different phases of the wedding. Choose one style for background music while people are arriving, mingling or finding their seats. As soon as everybody is seated and the wedding party is ready to start the processional, the music should stop completely, which signals the audience that the ceremony is about to begin.
Once everybody is seated and quiet, it’s time for the processional music to start. Most couples choose something instrumental and reverent, though many simply use their favorite song. Be aware that a processional usually only lasts about 90 seconds and popular songs last about three minutes, so the song will have to be faded out after everybody arrives in front of the officiant. An experienced DJ will understand this and will do it flawlessly.
For the recessional, your music can be as upbeat and raucous as you like, because everybody will be applauding and the energy will be joyful and exuberant. The timing of the recessional music is critical, and your DJ should be sensitive to the exact moment to hit the “play” button (immediately after the kiss).
A cocktail hour prior to the meal should be accompanied by upbeat, party-type music to encourage socializing, but during the meal, it’s time to switch to something quieter so people can talk to each other without shouting.
After that, for dancing and general celebration, anything goes. Your DJ, if he or she is experienced with weddings, will be able to make suggestions for all these phases. Be sure to choose someone who can give you references, and be sure to call those references. I’ve seen many weddings fall flat because of bad musical timing and/or an unenthusiastic DJ with no personality. A DJ should be able to act as an emcee when needed, making announcements and moving things along, so you want somebody who is lively and vibrant.
If you’re having live musicians, the same criteria applies. The musicians must be entertaining and engaging, expressing personality, joy and interest. An austere string quartet might be perfect for the processional, but may not fit in when you’re trying to rock out at your reception. Remember, it’s all about setting a mood, so shop around until you find exactly the right mix, whether it’s a DJ or live music. The San Juans are home to many accomplished musicians who offer a wide variety of musical genres and styles, so browse through our directory and listen to some samples. © 2010 Terri Daniel