As a celebrated wedding MC in Ghana, I have had the opportunity to work with different disc jockeys (DJs) and experienced music in diverse ways for many years at several weddings across Africa.
Whereas one school of thought believes music is just one of the elements of a good memory at a wedding, another school asserts that music can make or break your event. Pay attention to these musical mistakes and you would simply have an amazing time.
Sticking to one genre of music
It can be very boring at a wedding reception when only highlife is played continuously for more than 2 hours, or just gospel music or RnB or hip hop. This can drag your event and bore your guests. Remember that every one of them has individual/personal preferences for a particular genre of music. Ensure that you have a bit of knowledge on the music genre preference of your guests. You can simply do this by sampling the music taste of the different age groups, cultural background, interests, etc., and share with your planner or DJ ahead of the d-day. Seeing everyone enjoy your event can bring deep satisfaction to you as a couple.
The Live Band and the DJ brouhaha
The source of music entertainment at a wedding reception can either come from a DJ or a live band. The DJ, through the PA system, entertains guests with their playlist and a good one would synchronize the list based on your guests’ reaction. The live band in a similar way through musical instruments would engage your audience with a lead singer and some backup singers. By the time you make a decision on either of these, you would have halved your option of music entertainment for your wedding.
In recent times, there seems to be a rift between these two at events, especially when both are on board for a wedding. At one point, the DJ wants to play at a time the band is playing, or the band is playing beyond its allotted time, or the DJ needs to take over so that the band can take a break. The average live band set-up would engage an audience continuously for a minimum of 45 minutes at a go. Consistent breaks in their delivery can affect their performance. There should be clarity at the planning stage as to when the live band starts, what time the DJ steps in, and even how to transition from DJ to live band or from a live band to DJ. When this happens, both parties can maximize their skills to fully engage your guests and serve them an experience.
Giving your guests a hard time to hear each other
Weddings in Africa offer the chance for friends and family to bond after a long while, have a good chat and sometimes discuss business opportunities. This is part of the experience. Your wedding reception should not be the place for excessive music volumes. It can potentially frustrate a section of your guests and make them disconnect. When engaging your DJ or live band, make sure you make a volume request for certain times at the event since you have a better understanding of your expected guests. For instance, you can request that the music volume be turned down when it’s time to eat/dine. You can delegate your planner to serve as a check on the wedding day or even a friend or a groomsman or a bridesmaid.
Listening to your DJ/band for the first time on the wedding day
This can be disastrous! Most couples either engage the services of a DJ/band for their wedding either through friend/family recommendation or via social media when browsing for vendors. These options may provide a strong basis for your decision but save yourself the ‘music shock’ by either requesting for a ‘mixtape’ or requesting an invitation to be at one of their events. A 10-minute live observation can save you a lifetime of embarrassment at your event.
Selecting an unknown first dance song
The first dance song is one of the most important musical selections at the reception. You would need a personalized exceptional tune for your dance. It can be a tune that relates to your love journey, an experience, or your love wish. What this means is that you must know the song and understand what it means to you and your spouse. Don’t just select any song because your friend or family used it. Browse through carefully and you can seek the assistance of the DJ to get a good song and give your guests a good feel.
Whether you consider yourself a music person or not, the music at your wedding is a humongous deal. A great experience with music can guarantee a memorable time for you and your guests.