Your wedding day is one of the most important and memorable days of your life, and to many, the music played is one of the most important aspects of that day. The plan is to only do it once, so you need to get it right the first time. With everything else that goes into planning a wedding, music selection can be an overwhelming task. We get asked quite often for some help getting the process started, so we’ve come up with a formula to do just that.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your guests for some input. If you have a wedding website, put a page on there where guests can submit a few requests. If not, send an email to your guests asking for no more than 5 requests. That way you know they put some thought into their top picks, but won’t bombard you with songs. Getting requests in advance prepares your DJ to execute a perfect set with perfect timing. Taking endless requests the night of can be tricky and can really throw your DJ off course.* Typically there are only about two hours of dancing at a wedding, so there's no time to waste!
*Note: We do welcome and highly encourage general requests from your guests throughout the night, which we talk more about here! The point of the above comment is simply to encourage you, the bride and groom, to be as prepared as possible for one of the most important aspects of your big day. When it comes to wedding planning, preparedness leads to perfection, and perfection leads to an incredible evening that you and your guests will never forget.
Moving on! Every crowd is different, and you know your crowd better than your DJ does. So do your best to prep your DJ and let them know who they’re playing for. Where are your guests from (originally and currently, both are helpful)? What age groups and what percentage of each age group will be there, are there lots of kids, is there a theme they’ve been told to adhere to? These are all helpful hints for your DJ to know who they’re going to be playing for.
We've talked a lot about dancing, but don’t discount Cocktail Hour and Dinner music! These are the times during which you can be very creative and experimental, and select songs that your guests might not be familiar with, but are special to you. Familiarity of the music is important during dancing if you want to keep them interested, but no so much during dinner. In fact, unfamiliar songs can make for good table conversation. Cocktail hour is another time you can be more creative with your selections, but know that nobody really listens to the music during cocktail hour. They’re busy mingling and drinking, and the music is just a backdrop. But you do want that backdrop to have a pulse, so pick songs that are upbeat and fun.
Sidenote: Spotify is a great way to share playlists with each other, and with your DJ. You can create different playlists for each portion of the evening (cocktails, dinner, dancing, etc.) and add to them as you wish, and your DJ can refer to that when putting together their setlist for the big day!
To start a conversation about your big day, don't hesitate to get in touch. Panico Entertainment Boston can be reached by phone at 617.652.9195 or at any time via email at email@example.com.
Interviewing potential vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there's chemistry, but it can be confusing to know exactly what to say (even for an experienced wedding DJ like myself!). In our new "10 Questions to Ask..." blog series, we plan to break these issues down for you step-by-step. This week, we show you how to scout one of the most critical vendors of your big day - the DJ.
1. Is this your full-time business? Are weddings your primary focus? What clubs, lounges, and corporate clients have you performed for in addition to weddings?
Determine whether they are a well-rounded, successful entertainer who can bring a level of expertise and versatility to your event. You want to ensure that your DJ isn't a one-dimensional part-timer, but a true performer who has varied and extensive experience performing in front of different (and often difficult) audiences. It's fine if your prospective DJ focuses on more than just weddings. In fact, your ideal DJ will be one who focuses on many different types of parties and events, be they corporate, school dances, private parties or large outdoor event series. A wide portfolio translates to extensive experience in dealing with virtually every type of guest, venue, event team and client, and therefore every type of problem that could arise—along with the best ways to avoid the potential for those problems to happen again on your big day.
Side note: Beware if a potential DJ bad-mouths former clients (whether they're corporations or individual brides) or their competitors. I've personally witnessed a DJ telling his prospective clients about an event that "wasn't his best work" because the client was a huge bridezilla! Red flag alert!
2. How do you customize the music experience for each couple? Can you help with song lists and providing suggestions?
Find a DJ who will create a soundtrack for your wedding that is based on your style, taste, and vision for that day. One size does not fit all—if your desire is to have a mosh pit at your wedding, then you will need to communicate that vision, and anything else you want for that matter, to your DJ.
A skilled DJ will gladly accept your desires and preferences, and immediately begin thinking of the best ways to effectively implement them on your big day. He or she will also accept your must-play and do-not-play lists, no matter how short or long. Its your day, so you are in control of the music that will be played and your DJ should happily allocate time to work with you to ensure smooth timing and transitions.
Everything mentioned above can only be achieved with an entertainer who is flexible and willing to listen. It's easy to come up with lists of songs to play—determining the placement of the music (i.e. cake-cutting and bouquet toss) and how it fits into unique themes is the real challenge.
3. How do you get the crowd pumped?
There are all kinds of incentives that DJs use to encourage guests to storm the dance floor, whether it's asking couples to join the newlyweds for a good-luck dance or playing a meaningful throwback song from the bridesmaids' college days. Ask them how they'll get the crowd pumped, but, more importantly, listen to their music demos or watch wedding performances to get a sense of how they will interact with your guests in person.
Interviewing prospective DJs is certainly helpful, but hearing them in action will really seal the deal. You want to make sure your DJ understands how to read a crowd, build up the energy and then keep it up. There should never be a lull—your DJ needs to have the ability to blend all sorts of genres to accomodate everyone and keep them on the dance floor.
4. How do you handle song requests?
There could be instances where the client's directives are diametrically opposed to a guest's request. How a DJ strikes a balance to deliver on the couple's desires—while still satisfying the guests' requests—determines the skill and experience of the DJ.
Some DJs (with the permission of the newlyweds) may tell partygoers that they need to stick to their playlist, but they'll do their best to fit in their song, while others will appoint a bridesmaid or relative to screen particular requests (so that the DJ doesn't need to interrupt the new Mr. and Mrs. mid-dance).
Read more about song requests here!
5. Can I hear some examples of mixing and blending different tracks?
When mixing is done correctly, you probably aren't even aware of it. The DJ should be able to blend between songs seamlessly; you don't want guests to become bored by a ten-minute long Queen rendition! However, when this technique is performed incorrectly, you'll be able to discern it instantly. When there is no mixing or blending, there is awkward silence between songs (think about when you're listening to a playlist on your iPod). This can easily ruin the vibe of any party, but luckily, it's easily avoidable with a skilled and seasoned DJ.
6. What sound equipment do you utilize? Do you have back-up equipment?
DJ equipment at a party is just as important as musical instruments in an orchestra. Regularly serviced, state-of-the-art equipment allows your DJ to have dependable, hands-on control of the music and the ability to manipulate it instantly and effectively.
Ask if your DJ is certified and knows all of the ins and outs of connecting a system. We allow our equipment to operate without overdriving it, which is generally when guests start to complain about it being too loud (sometimes referred to as 'muffled' sound). When I play at a wedding, you will hear every word, nice and crisp, at a moderate level. I guarantee guests will still be able to talk at their tables while others are showing off their latest moves on the dance floor, and that's important.
Backup equipment is also essential: DJs should always have the equivalent of a "flat spare" on hand, whether it be a microphone, computer, mixer, speaker set, etc. Don't forget to ask how soon before the reception they plan to arrive and how long it will take for them to set up.
You can check out a complete and regularly updated list of the equipment we use here.
7. Have you played at our chosen wedding venue before? If not, can you make a site visit beforehand?
The sound can vary drastically depending on the room in which your party or reception will be held. Don't underestimate the importance of a site visit. DJs who don't know how to work the room's acoustics can create a wedding day disaster!
We recommend that brides ask prospective DJs if they can set up appointments to visit such locations. This also allows us to become acquainted with staff members, learn their rules for vendors, and plan accordingly for providing the correct equipment for acoustics and lighting design. At the same time, we offer to provide these establishments with company information and anything else they might be interested in knowing about our services.
8. Do we have our choice of DJs to select from, or is one automatically assigned to us depending on date availability? What happens in case of an emergency?
We believe choice is important: No two weddings are alike! If you are booking with an agency with multiple entertainers, you should have a choice of top DJs that fit your style and personality, and have the proper experience and skill for your wedding. With Panico Entertainment Boston, you'll be in constant communication with your DJ from your first consultation to the last song played.
I personally spend quite some time with my clients to answer their concerns in detail and make suggestions when called upon. In turn, they learn more about my experience and everything I bring to the table. Now, imagine investing all of this time and not being their DJ/emcee on their wedding day! It happens more often than you'd think: In some companies, a sales rep will try to get you to sign a contract before you even meet with your prospective DJ! That's just not how we roll.
9. What other services do you offer (e.g. lighting, HD video screens)?
Some DJ packages come with extra services such as intelligent party lighting and/or video screens. Another common structure is offering these options as their own add-on packages. Next to lighting, video/picture/message screens are our most requested option. I like to explain it as personalizing your day: Imagine watching memories roll by on the screens while you're sharing that first dance. Then, you can add a few photos to enhance the parent dances as well!
Side note: Remember to get any and all details clearly outlined in your contract. Also, don't feel pressured into signing up for extra amenities if you don't need them.
10. Why should I choose you as my wedding DJ?
It's always fun (and informative!) to throw in a curveball and see what they consider to be their best attribute: Is it their amazing sound or lighting equipment? Their can-do-anything personality? Or is it their professionalism and dedication towards making your wedding a success? Hopefully, all of the above!
The summer wedding season has officially arrived, and you'll be seeing naked cakes, Edison bulb outdoor lighting, and flowers galore through October. Soon-to-be newlyweds have likely already finished planning their summer events, but for those of you just starting to think about your wedding next summer, now is the perfect time to get a little inspiration.
To keep the wedding day ideas flowing — and get a sneak peek at upcoming trends — check out some of our favorite wedding blogs. Whether you're going for indie, chic, or traditional, these picks will help brides and grooms go from to-do to "I do!"
1. This awesome Boston wedding blog is a must-see if you're getting hitched locally
Getting married in Massachusetts? There are a number of blogs dedicated to the Bay State that offer insider tips for the best vendors, flower farmers, venues, and more. Borrowed & Blue remains our go-to reccomendation for those in Boston who are looking to wow their guests. They even have a newly developed wedding planning app!
HONORABLE MENTION: Providing tips, tricks, and info for weddings all over the U.S., Ruffled Blog is not anchored in Boston — but they know how to help you plan a great party here. Find the best tips for your area by browsing by location.
2. Non-traditional couples will love our next choice
Not everyone likes to color inside the lines — and if you want to forgo a first dance, skip the bouquet throwing, or ditch the elaborate cake, there's still plenty of #weddinginspo out there. Pull up Rock n' Roll Bride for some unique, funky ideas to get you started.
HONORABLE MENTION: How does a nerd-tastic wedding or a registry dedicated to pizza delivery for life sound? Find awesome ideas like these and more at the Offbeat Bride.
3. Stay on-trend with this thriving resource
With millions of social followers, Style Me Pretty had to make our list. It's one of the most popular wedding blogs to ever exist, for good reason. Readers love their advice, fashion tips, and stunning photo sets — and we know you will too!
Check out this stunning sunrise engagement session on Nantucket: Vintage Bikes + Boardwalk Strolls for a Nantucket Engagement
HONORABLE MENTION: Get the glitz and glam of a traditional wedding, no matter your goals, budget, or timeline, with a little help from Green Wedding Shoes. You'll love the plethora of ideas and DIY project plans they have available.
4. Keep it rustic with some expert guidance
Casual, simple, and understated elegance have been incredibly trendy in recent years, and the rustic look is exploding in popularity. If you're hoping for something outdoorsy and different, be sure to bookmark Rustic Wedding Chic.
HONORABLE MENTION: The rustic aesthetic is one of the easiest to achieve with a little hard work. Handy couples should browse DIY Bride for gorgeous, easy-to-do projects.
5. Budget-friendly resources and tips
Looking to save a few dollars so you can splurge on your honeymoon? Can't justify spending all of your savings on one day? You can still have an amazing wedding on a lower budget! The Budget Savvy Bride has tons of tips and recommendations to help you save money without compromising on quality.
HONORABLE MENTION: Kiss My Tulle began as a budget wedding blog and has expanded to include everything the no-nonsense millennial bride could hope for. We're talking DIY ideas, budget checklists, and everything in between to help you tackle your wedding planning (without going crazy in the process!).
Panico Entertainment Co. has been helping couples plan and execute incredible weddings and receptions for years, and we can work with you and your planner to make sure your special day goes off without a hitch. Contact us to learn more about our DJ services, special lighting packages, and other awesome vendors who we work closely with on a regular basis (i.e. photobooths, caterers, venues, etc.)!
Panico Entertainment can be reached by phone at 617.652.9195 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wow! It's a busy week for Panico Entertainment Boston! From the South Shore to New York City and back up to Boston, there will be no shortage of memorable entertainment along the East Coast this week.
We spent Saturday night partying with Leann and her incredibly fun crew of family and friends, who gathered to celebrate her high school graduation. A member of Pembroke High School's Class of 2017, Leann will be heading north in the Fall, leaving behind her small Boston suburb to study at UMaine.
From balloons and endless sugary treats in the colors of her new school covering every corner of the room, to a masterfully sculpted cake with UMaine's mascot, Bananas the Black Bear, hovering in the center of a crowd of grads with hands raised and caps tossed, the beautifully decorated venue made quite a statement to family, friends, and fellow graduates alike.
The candy table even sported a jar of M&Ms with the grad's smiling face -- cap & gown included -- on every single tasty piece. Yes, you read that right... custom M&Ms for an even more unique celebration of this young graduate's achievements. Major creativity points!!!
Whether she's in Mass or Maine, we know Leann will have great success in all of her future endeavors. It was an honor to be a part of the first step in the next chapter of her life, and we wish her all the best.
Corporate in NYC
After an awesome celebratory party on Saturday, it was time to head to the city that never sleeps (for the DJ who never sleeps — this week anyway!). Sunday was spent battling traffic and potholes during a five hour trek to Brooklyn, NY in preparation for a huge corporate expo on Monday at the famous Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Our client, anchored in Boston but never limited in their nationwide reach, has a big day of demonstrations, debates, and discussions scheduled. Attended by leaders and innovators worldwide, this event required top notch, professional entertainment and emcee services, and its chief planners looked no further than Panico Entertainment Boston to meet their high standards.
Celebrating our Future Educators in Cambridge
With a big day ahead, we'll just take a minute to mention the last leg of our journey on this busy week of events.
On Tuesday, it's back up to Boston for a Reception for Aspiring Educators at the contemporary Hyatt Regency Cambridge. We'll be welcoming a group of about 300 teachers-to-be from the National Education Association Student Program to their annual leadership conference with a fun, formal party celebrating the start of a new year for this ambitious group of future educators. We look forward to a fun night with students from all over the country, and are so excited that Boston is the host city for this year's conference!
It should be a fantastic night to celebrate this exciting occasion, and we commend those who will be in attendance for their dedication to a career in serving and educating our children, and therefore our future!
Braintree Day: Celebrating a 44 Year Tradition
And finally, next weekend we'll be celebrating our country's independence at Braintree Day, partnering with our close friends over at Lola Grace Events for an all-day-long event management gig. Prepare for Braintree's annual Stars and Stripes Parade just before noon to start off the big day, followed by a huge food festival with over 25 diverse food trucks from all over New England, music for all generations [inluding a performance by NBC's "The Voice" semi-finalist and Massachusetts native Kristen Merlin at 8PM!!], and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza at 10PM.
Location: 128 Town St, Braintree, MA Date: Sat, July 1, 2017 Time: 2:00 PM (Parade at 11:45 AM)
For more information on Braintree Day, including an extensive list of the day's activites and an official event timeline, check out their Facebook page here.
Panico Entertainment can be reached by phone at 617.652.9195 or via email at email@example.com.
With June just a few hours away, we are officially kicking off another fantastic summer season here at Panico Entertainment Co. This means awesome backyard BBQs, graduation parties, 5K races, food truck rodeos, and of course, weddings!
Summer and early Fall are incredibly popular times to book weddings, due to the beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery created by the change in seasons. Panico Entertainment is affiliated with many venues that capture nature in unbelievable ways, and combine their own expertise with ours, to ensure that your big day goes off without a hitch.
Another huge staple in our Summer lineup: Food Truck Rodeos! That's right, Panico Entertainment Co. is back for Union Point's 2017 Summer Event Season! This unique outdoor experience in S. Weymouth, MA is a major hit every year, with thousands of attendees at each event. Delicious food trucks serving everything from coal fired pizza, burgers, & ice cream to seafood and Mexican cuisine? Check. Live music from awesome bands covering everything from country to classic rock? Check. Crazy fun activities for all ages including lawn games, contests, face painting and more? Check, check, check!
And because we know you're flipping open your calendars as we speak so that you can join in on the fun, below are this Summer's dates of the biggest thing to hit the South Shore since the Pilgrims:
Let us help you and your family & friends create indelible memories that will last a lifetime. Contact Panico Entertainment Boston at 617.652.9195 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your upcoming summer event. And, right now, receive 20% OFF your upcoming grad party when you book by June 30th with promo code 2017Graduate! We look forward to making your Summer one to remember!
Over the last few years, we've started to notice that some of our clients are moving toward a more modern music selection for their ceremonies. If you've attended a wedding recently, the likelihood that you have heard a “classic” wedding song as the bride walks down the aisle is becoming more and more rare. Younger couples are taking a new approach by choosing a popular song made into an instrumental piano or string quartet version.
We always encourage our clients to be unique, especially when choosing their music! Think about this; you are in front of your family and friends, and you have just kissed for the first time as husband and wife. What song will you choose to celebrate with as you walk back down the aisle? Some of our favorites include music from Star Wars, Hall & Oates, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Remember, this is YOUR big day, and the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!
Side note for couples who are more rooted in tradition:
Check out our previous post, Classic Songs Any Bride Can Walk Down the Aisle to at Her Wedding, where you'll find more conventional options for your wedding music.
Contact Panico Entertainment Boston by phone at 617.652.9195 or via email at email@example.com.
As the entertainer on your big day, it is our job to be aware of the lesser-known, but nonetheless heavy hitting songs that can truly give your wedding the unique sound you're looking for. Below is a killer list of potential music for your walk down the aisle that will make for a traditional, classic wedding soundtrack in all the right ways.
1. Canon in D
2. Air on the G String
J. S. Bach
3. Four Seasons - Winter
4. Water Music Suite - Air
J. F. Handel
I can’t tell you how much I love creating outlines and playlists for ceremonies. It's one of the many chances that I as a DJ get to create and influence the softer moments that are so full of joy and emotion.
5. Trumpet Tune
6. Claire de Lune
7. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
J. S. Bach
8. Four Seasons - Spring
Panico Entertainment can be reached by phone at 617.652.9195 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picking your first song can be challenging, and can ultimately lead to added stress that you don’t need when planning for your big day. If you're stuck, your wedding DJ should give you some suggestions based on several genres and/or time periods.
There are slow songs that, at first glance, sound like they would work at a wedding, but upon listening to the lyrics actually don’t have any place at one. Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is one of those songs.
To get you started in the right direction, below is a short list of songs for the modern bride that will work great for your First Dance song!
As your wedding DJ, you can rest assured that if you're struggling to find that perfect song, I will steer you in the right direction with any genre or decade of music to perfectly fit your vision!
Contact Panico Entertainment Boston by phone at 617.652.9195 or via email at email@example.com.
Are you getting married in December and wondering how to add some Christmas music to your playlist?
Now is your chance to swap in some of the Christmas classics sung by these and other great artists! Another approach taken by our clients is mixing in current popular artist versions of Christmas songs. Country artists may do a special acoustic version, which is always a great element to setting the mood.
Want to end the night in a way that your guest’s won't forget? Consider making your last song (or last dance) “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. This is a great way to share a fun dance with your new husband/wife, and it gives your guests a chance to join in on the fun!
Get in touch with Panico Entertainment Boston at 617.652.9195 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start discussing details for your big Christmas wedding!
An important topic that almost always comes up in our consultations is music requests at an event. Some of the questions you may be asking yourself include;
Do I make a “special requests” list for my DJ?
Do I allow my guests to make requests?
Do I put my full trust in my DJ to pick the right songs at the right times?
When you book with Panico Entertainment Boston, you can be confident that you'll have the best of the best running the show. This way, you can sit back, relax, and focus on what matters -- partying.
Lately, it seems like word has gotten out that DJs don't like requests. In defense of DJs everywhere, I would say this is a half-truth. Requests aren't the problem; it's the way people ask for them. For some clarity, we've put together a short list for your guests to consider when making song requests.
1. Don’t ask to see what songs we have.
DJ'ing is different from karaoke. We don't bring a book of songs for people to look through. Every DJ catalogues and arranges his or her music differently. More importantly, we’ve had extensive conversations with our clients on what music they want to hear prior to the big day, and we tailor the music we have prepared to play based on these lists. It’s simple: what songs do we have? We have the songs that the client—and therefore probably you—want to hear!
2. Do compliment us -- flattery will get you everywhere.
As a DJ, I work hard to make the event successful and fun, but it can be a major downer when someone is rude or aggressive. We appreciate people enjoying the music and telling us that they like what they hear! When we know you’re happy and we’re doing a good job, we’re excited to take your requests and see what music you’re into.
3. Don't get touchy-feely near the DJ booth.
We bring a lot of expensive equipment with us, and it can be quite nerve-racking when a guest is touching our gear, usually waving a drink around in the other hand. If you hit something accidentally or spill your drink, you can damage the equipment—or worse, cause an awkward moment by messing up the song queue or causing the music to stop playing entirely. Remember, our number one job is to keep the party going and the music flowing for the clients (the people who you're there for!). If you want to learn about the equipment, just ask. We love to show people how stuff works, but we prefer to do it when we are not in the middle of a mix—otherwise we risk getting distracted and messing up. DJs are perfectionists!
4. Do know the song you want before coming to chat with us.
Our number one priority during the party, wedding or other event is to meet and exceed the musical expectations of the client and their guests. We need to be focused and concentrating on our craft to do so; therefore, we ask that you know the name of the song you’d like to hear before you come up to the booth to make a request. We’re happy to chat with you briefly about the music, but we do need to pay attention at all times, so the more you know before you come to speak with us, the more likely we are to be able to entertain your request!
5. Don't expect to hear your song request immediately.
Often, DJs have mixes ready to go and are building up for the right minute to drop your favorite song. If you trust our professional instincts and give us time to prepare, we can expertly work in the request in a cool musical way you may never expect. If you don't hear your song after a little while, it’s OK to politely remind us. You are the client, and we want you to be happy!
6. Do make sure to dance when you hear your request!
If we see you and fellow guests enjoying the music you requested, we are more apt to take further requests. Get up, boogie, and have a great time! That’s what we’re here to facilitate!
So what should you request? Here are some of the most requested songs our clients ask for as part of their special night:
At Panico Entertainment, we happily take verbal requests and also provide simple request sheets where your guests can write down the name of the song(s) and artist(s) they want to hear. In addition to utilizing the request sheet, you can now text, tweet or even Facebook message your requests to your DJ in real-time if you don't want to leave the dancefloor! (Yes, we're serious... You'd be surprised at how often this option is utilized at parties, school dances, and even weddings!)
Text: 617.652.9195 Tweet: @djdrewpanico Facebook: Panico Entertainment Boston
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Panico Entertainment Boston.
Panico Entertainment Boston
Panico Entertainment Boston is a mobile entertainment company providing DJ, emcee, lighting and event planning solutions for weddings, corporate, school dances, private parties and any other event requiring professional entertainment services.