When do I need to book a Wedding DJ?

    When do I need to book a wedding DJ?
    The short answer is: As soon as possible!

    ewdj-photo3When friends and family get married, I’m amazed at how many of them call me and ask my advice for “what are the best wedding venues to look at?” or “do I know a great wedding photographer and videographer?”;  “Who does the best wedding cakes?” “Where’s the best place to hire suits? And even down to “Where do I hire the best wedding cars”.

    Normally all of this is done months and sometime years in advance, and then a month or two before the wedding I get the inevitable phone call of “Russ do you know any good Wedding DJ’s?” (this is because I’m invited to the wedding honest!).

    A good wedding DJ is like everything else you book for your wedding and those in the know book everything early.

    I take weddings on anywhere up to three years in advance and lots of my work is on recommendation. Iindeed, recently I was DJing a wedding and three young ladies came over and asked if I remembered them. It was in fact three brides I had DJ’d for over recent years each one had seen me at a previous wedding and the first wedding I did for them was a recommendation.

    If you book well in advance you’re getting a good reliable DJ that will turn up! They will know their way round a wedding reception, the proper etiquette for first dances etc. As opposed to booking one last minute! The panic booking! The ‘he will do DJ’ that will hopefully turn up.

    You would be stunned at the number of calls myself and fellow DJ’s get over the year from panicked venues or brides and grooms where their DJ hasn’t turned up and no one is answering the phone!

    When you book with essexweddingdj.com, I take just one booking for that day, if it’s a provisional booking I will confirm in the conversation or via email how long I will hold the date for before I will take another booking. If it’s a confirmed booking then that is it, your in booked and confirmed. I then confirm the booking, either by post or via a PDF packet included in an email. This pack will have a letter of confirmation; a booking request form asking for information like your first dance, music requests, names of bride and groom, full contact details etc; my terms and conditions and a booking confirmation form confirming dates times and price clearly. Equally it will have my email address russ@essexweddingdj.com my phone number 07976785211 and my address.

    As the adverts say: “Book early to avoid disappointment!”

    For more information, or to enquire about booking Essex Wedding DJ, send me an email or text, message me on Facebook

    A Wedding on a Wednesday

    Not had time to blog for a while so in the quiet before the storm of the new year I’d thought I’d tell you about a wedding I had in December now I have had a couple of weddings in December both noteworthy so I thought I start with this one.

    I’ve mentioned this before a mid-week wedding well this one was a little different from the normal.

    On the 12/12/12 I DJ’d for a lovely couple Dave and Jackie Ward. As they sat quite early for their wedding breakfast, they had booked casino tables from 5:30 to 7:30 for their guest to enjoy as normal there was a prize for the most won for both male and female and of course the wooden spoon for the fastest lose on the tables.

    Russ and Clem Curtis

    Then there was a little background music from yours truly and then on with the main event in this case it was a live act in the form of Clem Curtis.

    Most of you will know Clem’s music as it is currently a favourite with a lot of DJ’s when breaking out the party set. Clem is the lead singer of The Foundations with two number ones to their name with “Baby now that I’ve found you” and of course the DJ’s favourite “Build Me Up Buttercup” it was truly a great experience to hear the live vocal version with his son backing him as well.

    What was presented on the night was truly great entertainment with a female vocalist belting out such tracks as ”Young Hearts Run Free” and “Ain’t Nobody”, another great male vocalist paying tribute to greats such as Luther Van Dross, George Benson and Stevie Wonder and Clem brought it altogether with his hits and other such brilliant track as “You’re My First My Last My Everything” and a reggae set in the
    Unlike some acts who stay very separate from their audience these singers where in the middle of the dance floor and getting the audience to sing along.. indeed even I was encouraged to sing backing for a couple of numbers. There are entertainers and there are ENTERTAINERS and Clem and his singers knew how to WOW the crowd.middle to pack the dance floor to the rafters.

    Now the purest among you will scream Karaoke singers and whilst yes its true they were using backing tracks this didn’t detract from the fact that these “guys” knew how to work an audience and shared their love of the music with all of us.

    It was a privilege to see the man work and for those of you who are interested Clem Curtis and Co are available for selected dates you will need to contact this team directly via the web site (http://www.clemcurtis.com) and as one last note Clem is not frightened to tell you he is 72 with a brilliant voice.. a great night a great crowd and a fantastic performer.

    Christmas Discos and New Equipment

    Christmas for many DJ’s is the busiest time of the year and when many of us look to renew some of our gear, buying better or brighter lights, new sound systems and generally create the next look for the new year.

    Lights

    For myself this is no different, having recently purchased a DSB V2 DJ booth, I’ve ordered the Starcloth front as well for that added extra “sparkle”.

    I am now looking at retiring the overhead lighting look and will be looking into putting my American DJ (ADJ) X-Moves on to trilite plinths about a metre high, my ADJ Starlight’s on to my speaker stands and continue using my par-cans to wash the walls with colour.

    I now have 8 par-can 4 are the more traditional style of par-can although they are LEDS they still have a big housing that was designed to take a traditional spot light bulb. I have recently purchased 4 new flat Par-cans the ADJ Flat Par5 they have a very low profile but still give that big wash effect and light the room beautifully.

     

     

     

    Music – A new Denon DN HD2500

    Essex Wedding DJ GearThey stopped making these some time ago but you can still get them new every now and then when people dig over the back of a shop. Not very popular wh

    en it was made as they have a small screen and you can only view 5 tracks at a time when searching, but I have had one for 5 years now and it’s a lovely piece of equipment.  It has Denon quality coming out of every button a solid build with some great features and until Denon bring out another rack Mount MP3 player I will stick with the 2500 even though its design is 7-8 years old it’s still more innovative than a lot of new machines that are being released now.

    Sounds….

    Well having attended BPM at the NEC this October (2012) I was blown away (literally) by the new Yamaha, Nexo collaboration. Yamaha acquired Nexo about 4 years ago and this is there first move into the active speaker market.

    Introducing the new Yamaha DXR range all rated at 1100watts and starting in size at 8” driver going up to a meaty 15” not the lightest of speakers there size belies a massive sound output with very impressive SPL at 133bp at 1 metre… figures mean little to the layman needless to say they are loud and are very clear….

    Here is the Rub I have the JBL active system at the moment the visually stunning JBL515’s. The coolest looking mass produced mobile disco speaker on the market (well I think so Smile) coupled with the 518s sub-woofer producing a very impressive 1400 watts RMS. I’m having a fight with my conscience at the moment as to whether to retire the JBL’s for the DXR15’s both have their pros and cons  I will keep thinking on it and let you all know when I decide.

    All of this new look will soon be premiered at the Orsett Hall and as soon as I have done that I will get pictures on line for everyone to see.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New YearI may get a chance to blog again before but in case I don’t  I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my clients, friends and family a Very Merry Christmas and a safe happy and prosperous new year.

    Photo Booth’s at Weddings

    Here is something I’ve known about for a while but it was a first for me on Saturday. Now for those of you planning a wedding or a party you will be all too aware of added extras to make your evening that little bit more memorable, things like the sweet trolley/table, fire work displays, paper lanterns, ice cream trolley (or even Van), bouncy castles, Hog roasts and of course the forever popular Chocolate fountains (now with fruit, white chocolate and caramel options) even wine and champagne fountains. But this is something I have seen at a couple of wedding fares but the first time I’ve had it at a wedding reception. The Photo Booth!

    Most photographers will willingly offer you a photo studio for the evening, this where the photographer will setup a back drop and you can have photos taken in the evening with guests and family with a backdrop behind and then you can purchase the photos or view online and buy later (or in some cases the photos are part of the package). However with more and more couples taking advantage of cheap airfares and wedding packages abroad the wedding reception “back home” has become more of a party with less of the formality and sometimes a more formal style of evening reception is not wanted.

    The photo booth offers a different and fun idea on having your photo taken. Just like the photo booths in train stations you have a camera, a printer, and a computer to control it all, generally a touch screen interface and on screen instructions to get you to the point where you have a photo taken BUT, and this is a great idea the photo booth that was at the reception on Saturday, this had fun hats (fireman, policeman etc), feather boa’s, blow up instruments and enough room in the booth to fit 4 in or more at a squeeze.

    What really impressed me and got me to writing was this photo booth came with an attendant and every photo taken there where two copies produced, one for the people in the booth and the second went into a photo album and went to, in this case, the bride and groom and of course the more the dancing juice flows the sillier the photos become. A different idea for an evening if it’s a wedding or just a party something a little novel that caught my eye.

    Essex Wedding DJ Now Accepting PayPal for Deposits

    Additional OptionsSo after a little thought and setting the account up, EssexWeddingDJ can now take deposits via PayPal.

    At the moment I am just taking deposits, I will see how that goes and if it works I’ll start taking complete payments through it as well.

    This will enable people that book Essex Wedding DJ to pay their deposits there and then (once the date has been confirmed of course) it will also enable you to pay safely and securely and also use your credit and debit cards as well.

    By now if you use eBay or any number of online retailers the option is credit/debit card or PayPal, Cheques seem to be being consigned to the history books now and used less and less.

    After having a couple of near misses using my credit card online I like the safety and the security that PayPal offer and feel it would be beneficial to people that book the EssexWeddingDJ as well.

    So Essex Wedding DJ is proud to announce that we take PayPal, credit and debit cards for your deposits.

    Not So Cheesy Wedding Disco – More of a 80’s and 90’s Disco

    Well after Fridays disco it was nowhere near as cheesy as I thought it was going to be!

    I came out the gate strong with the S Club’s “Reach For The Stars” after the first two dances, then sticking with the party theme I played “Jump For My Love” (Girls Aloud) and then “Love Shack” (B52’s), at this point the dance floor is still full and your not getting your usual first dance drift off.

    From there I moved up to date with Oly Murs and “Dance With Me Tonight” and Rizzle Kicks “Mama Do The Hump“. Lost a few of the dancers but these were replaced fairly quickly with more dancers.

    After a small stint in the present I moved into dance (house) with Robin S “Show Me Love” and “Dreamer” (Livin Joy) with some choice club classics that kept the party going.

    On time, as always with the Orsett Hall, the buffet was delivered and duly announced, unlike some DJ’s I don’t tend to slow down or change the tempo during the buffet unless I’m asked. I did suffer dance floor wise as people had the buffet and refilled there glasses, I still had a dance floor of people but it does dwindle somewhat at buffet time.

    Moving from the club classics I hit the 70’s and 80’s soul and disco this refilled the dance floor nicely. At this point the cheesiest I had got was the first part of the evening as we were rapidly approaching 10 o’clock I thought it was time to break out one of the brides requests and played “Opps Upside Your Head” (The Gap Band) for the right crowd this will literally get them sitting down…. In rows across the dance floor and it didn’t disappoint with the odd squeal of delight being heard from the dance floor the bride lead the way and sat down, quickly accompanied by the majority of guest forming three lines across the dance floor for the duration of the song.

    So we are now heading for the last part of the night and with two hours left I gave in and broke out Arrow’s “Hot Hot Hot“, the guests limbo-ing for the whole of the songs I decided to play another of the brides requests the CONGA! Yes a true party classic from yester year that either works or falls horribly on its face, true to the brides words a train across the floor formed and we had a conga round the room by now the dancing juice had done its job and the majority of the room was singing and dancing this is the time I tend to break out party music across the decades from the 60’s to the 00’s if it’s a party track and it works I’ll use it.

    Having played the normal fare of 60’s pop and soul and time rapidly disappearing the last of the brides requests was played Aggado, now to be honest this completes my hat trick of cheese played a weddings having played the Birdie Dance for a bride as her third dance as she appeared in the original video (no I have never bothered to check is was a number of years ago now),   the conga at this and a couple of other weddings at the bride and grooms request (Only) and now Aggado! Again the bride was on the money with a few guests looking confused as they didn’t know the dance but quickly followed the rest of the crowd to get the dance moves down.

    Coming up to the very last part of the night and I like to whip the crowd up for the very last part, this crowd I used “Living On A Prayer” (classic Bon Jovi) “Sex On Fire” (Kings of Leon) “Mr Brightside” (The Killers) and to start getting the crowd in a circle The Proclaimers “500 Miles” (Original version) this had the desired effect and I quickly invited the remainder of the crowd on to the dance floor to say good night to the bride and groom and finished on their first dance.

    Whilst some of the songs where not what I would normally play ie. The Conga, Oops Upside Your Head and Aggado, it just goes to prove that a few well-placed requests from the bride and groom (or the party principles) can really make the night. I would have never of played these tracks unless they were requested by the bride and groom and then I like to have some notice. More importantly the guests were up for good old fashioned knees up and the dance floor was well occupied for the majority of the night.

    So cheesy nights will always work but I think I have learnt that there are different levels of cheese, and if we are honest with ourselves we all like a little cheese with our parties they can really make them spectacular.

    Essex Wedding DJ First – A Cheesy Disco for a Wedding

    Wedding CheeseAs a Wedding DJ, every now and again I’m asked to do something a little different. It may be organising the cutting of the cake or to take on more of a toast masters role during the meal (If they have booked me for the day). I’ve worked with singers or bands, themed the disco for something specific, maybe a James Bond theme or play regional music for a specific nationality.

    This week brings something I have not done at a wedding before a really cheesy disco.

    I’ve DJ’d for a number of years working in Pubs and Clubs occasionally doing fancy dress, soul nights, rock n roll nights, 70,s 80’s and 90’s themed evenings but this is a wedding and the bride and the groom have asked for Party Cheese!

    Now I’m not talking Wham, Tiffany and music of that ilk (although they are on the play list), I’m talking proper cheese the things that DJ’s tend to avoid as they were played to death when they were first released. Things like the Greatest Hits of Black Lace, ie The Conga and Agga Do! Other tunes like Opps Upside Your Head and the forever cringe worthy YMCA

     This type of music is not my usual fare and to be honest I play a little cheese at every wedding it makes it fun,  people know the music because it’s a family favourite or one of those tracks that always tend to get played at family get togethers.

    A little ABBA or a bit of Barry White played at the right time at the right party generally fills the floor. BUT! This is a full on cheesy disco!

    They have even requested I DJ in the style of Adam Sandler’s “The Wedding Singer”, which I sat down and watched for the first time last night (6/11/12)wedding singer - adam sandler, a great film and the showman in me is looking forward to being more of an old style DJ geeing the crowd up and pointing out people etc..

    For those who have seen the film you know what I mean. However I will admit I’m a little nervous of breaking from the normal mould of the established style of wedding DJ and getting out and doing something different but this is what the bride and groom want.

    The Bride was more than happy to tell me that she loves that type of music and wants everyone at her wedding reception to have a brilliant time (don’t we all) so this is the challenge for the weekend.

     

    I’m really looking forward to it I have sorted the play list, cheese across the decades, I have the bride and grooms first dances sorted the only thing I have to work out is my approach to the personality style I’m going to employ.

    Well if it all goes well I may publish the playlist as I can see this novelty approach of wedding disco taking off in some quarters, keep them pealed I will let you know soon.Cool

    Wedding Fayres in Thurrock

    Essex Wedding DJ at Orsett Hall Wedding Fayre

    Traditionally autumn is the quiet time of year for weddings. Lots of venues start opening their doors to the public for wedding fayres. Ideal if you are planning a wedding and need to see the people you are trusting to make your special day spectacular.

    This Sunday 22nd October 2012 I will be at the Orsett Hall along with the other resident DJ’s so if you’re looking for a wedding DJ or anything wedding related the Orsett Hall is the place to be.
    The wedding fare has now been running for twenty years but every exhibitor has a wealth of fresh ideas to make your special day, perfect.Free Entry on the day and the Halls wedding team will be on hand to answer any of your questions regarding weddings at the Orsett Hall.

    There will also be up to 50 other wedding vendors to help you with all your wedding day needs. So if you still need to order a cake, find a photographer, still need those bespoke wedding rings, looking for that perfect dress, fancy a video of your big day and looking for some of Essex’s best DJ’s, including of course Essex Wedding DJ, and much much more you will find them all under one roof this Sunday at the Orsett Hall.

    Orsett Hall is set in 12 acres of lovely landscaped gardens. The venue can hold from 20-350 guests with easy access from the A13.

    More details are available at www.orsetthall.co.uk doors open at 11am look forward to seeing you there.

    Essex Wedding DJ Reviews – The Gold and Blue Rooms at the Orsett Hall

    This is the last of my Orsett Hall room reviews but by no means the least.
    Orsett Hall Gold Room

    Whilst it’s the smallest of the main function rooms, the Gold room can seat up to 100 for a meal and can accommodate twice that many for an evening function. It looks out over the majority of the Orsett hall grounds and with two exits out to the garden areas guest can take full advantage of these grounds during the warmer months.

    For a wedding the Gold room generally comes with the Blue room as well, this smaller room is ideal for meeting guests or having a few drinks whilst the main gold room is turned round for your evening function. It is also where the buffet is put during the evening.

    From a DJ perspective there are options of setting up in two locations, both have doors very close to where you set up.

    The first setup location is in the middle of the room which has the added advantage of having the tables surround the dance floor giving a more intimate feel.

    The second location is at the end of the Gold room and opposite the Blue room, this allows the lights and the music the full length of the room giving a more clubby feel but equally as intimate as the first.

    Essex Wedding DJ Rating

    • 5 out of 5 for usability I think this suite is great for any function from a wedding to a formal dinner dance to a birthday party this room like all the rooms in the hall is versatile enough to cope with it all.
    • 5 out of 5 for access there are no stairs and if you use a trolley to get your gear in and out you’re in luck with great access in whatever location you set your disco up in.

    To book the Gold Room or any of the Suites at the Orssett Hall call or go online

    Tel. 01375 891402

    Web. www.orsetthall.co.uk

    Orsett Hall Hotel,
    Prince Charles Avenue,
    Orsett,
    Essex,
    RM16 3HS

    Essex Wedding DJ Reviews – The Whitmore Suite at the Orsett Hall

    Whitmore Suite at the Orsett HallWith the Orsett Hall’s wedding fare looming large on the horizon (21/10/2012) I will finish up on my room reviews for the hotel. I have already covered the Pavilion and the Jaguar Bar and in this one, I will cover the Whitmore Suite.

    The Whitmore can seat 150 for a meal and have 250 for an evening. Decorated in black and gold the Whitmore gives a lavishly opulent feel. It’s a great suite for all types of parties with a separate reception / bar area which means the bar can open after your meal, whilst the main room is being ‘turned round’ for the evening you can meet and greet your guests in some comfort.

    Essex Wedding DJ with a Starlight Dancefloor

    The main window in the Whitmore suite is a bay window and this is ideal for your DJ to set up in and the removable dance floor is placed directly in front of the DJ. Not having a permanent dance floor is an advantage as on a few occasions I have had the new style LED dance floors in front of me notably www.starlightdancefloors.co.uk this is a picture of a starlight floor in the Whitmore with yours truly DJing (well ok you can see one of my lights and a corner of my speaker)  Starlight Dance Floor.

    But even if you go with the more traditional style of wooden dance floor the Whitmore will not disappoint you as a function suite.

    DJ access is via a fire escape to the left as you face the bay window this means very easy access and you don’t have to go through guests to get your gear in.

    Essex wedding DJ Rating

    • 5 out of 5 for usability from 80 to 250 people this is a brilliant suite.
    • 5 out of 5 for access with double doors to the left and my preferred door to the right getting your gear in and out is very easy in the Whitmore no matter what size your rig.

    To book the Whitmore Suite or any of the Suites at the Orssett Hall call or go online

    Tel. 01375 891402

    Web. www.orsetthall.co.uk

    Orsett Hall Hotel,
    Prince Charles Avenue,
    Orsett,
    Essex,
    RM16 3HS