I’m Rob, I run Stick It On, allowing you lot to be superstar DJ’s at your wedding reception. I get a sense that when a venue is selected for a wedding reception party (let’s call it the ‘disco’) is not high on the list of priorities. But why?
Choosing your wedding reception venue should be a priority and as you will know from checking out this awesome site there are some unique and quirky ones to choose from. Obviously, there are a lot to factors to take into consideration to ensure your wedding day is as good as it can possibly be. With this in mind, here are my #top5tips to help when asking questions about the evening disco/soirée/rave-up.
1. Does the venue have a sound limiter or have noise restrictions in-place?
When choosing your wedding reception venue ‘sound limiters’ might be the last thing on your mind, but they shouldn’t be. These beasts are commonplace at the majority of wedding venues and to be completely honest are the bane of a DJ/band’s life. Now I don’t have a problem with them in principle….no I do! They are a massive pain in the bum. The biggest problem I have with them is that some wedding reception venues have them set TOO LOW. It can be a massive anti-climax with the DJ being on the front-line and getting persistent requests to ‘turn it up’, knowing that by doing so will either set the limiter off which will automatically dampen the sound down or worst still cut the power off to the DJ equipment bringing the whole show to an awkward halt until it resets itself. Not great for dance floor or DJ!
My advice to anyone booking a wedding reception venue who is planning to have a DJ or band or both (which is the majority) is to check to see if there any sound restrictions already in-place, and if there are, what are they? Let’s face it, empty rooms are no good, as this will not give a true representation of what it will be like on the day with 100+ guests jumping about and making a noise. So maybe request to witness an event in full swing?
If the venue is perfect for all the other reasons you have on your checklist but fails on the noise issue one way to get around this is to hire in ‘silent disco headsets’ for everyone. It could add a couple of hundred pounds to your entertainment budget but will solve any noise issues (apart from the bad singing) as your guests will each be able to don a pair of headphones to wear on the dance floor and boogie away to their hearts content. A novel but extremely fun way to enjoy good music as it was intended.
2. Is the bar in the same room as the dance floor?
Ideally, when choosing your reception venue ask yourself, ‘is everything in the same room?’ Nothing splits up a party more than having a bar in another room. Please bear in mind the more areas you have open (garden, games room, bar, room for buffet, lobby etc) to your guests the more they will be dispersed. Sometimes it might be a good idea to close the space down so you can provide a more intimate, atmospheric party whereby all your guests are mingling together.
3. How big is the room where the evening reception is going to take place?
Are your guests going to rattle around in it after the dinner? Think how you can utilise the space. Are you booking other suppliers/services? A photo booth and an evening buffet for instance. Can both be set up in the main room? Another good tip to close down the space is not to remove too many tables after dinner. You can use draping and room separators too, this will limit the amount of floor space people can occupy and help push people together.
4. Curfews – what is the finish time for your wedding?
From my experience the majority of wedding timings get pushed back as the day progresses with photo shoots taking longer than expected, possible delays in food service and of course the best man’s speech taking forever to finish. This results in the evening reception starting later than planned, so do factor-in these possible delays into your timings as one thing that won’t shift back is the curfew time. That will be set in stone by most venues. If you’ve planned a lot for the evening (i.e. DJ, band, buffet, photo booth etc.) this can all get squeezed into a shorter space of time for you and your guests to enjoy and you may feel that you’ve not got your money’s worth with the evening flashing by in the blink of an eye.
5. Some venues insist on a DJ/band using the in-house equipment. Quite often this is absolutely fine but make sure you ask a couple of questions beforehand;
Q| Is the equipment well maintained and can you have a demonstration to hear/see it in action. Any professional DJ worth their salt will be happy to accompany you.
Q| Is the equipment linked into a sound limiter? More times than not this is the reason they’ve insisted you plug into their system. Please refer back to point 1 above and make sure it’s worthy of your wedding party and doesn’t resemble a portable stereo.
I hope the above points will help you ask the right questions when sourcing a wedding reception venue worthy of your big day to ensure that there are no hidden surprises and you get the party you ultimately want.
I’m happy to help in any way with advice and thoughts although I won’t profess to have all the answers.
However, please drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my very best to assist you.
Over and out. Party on.