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Top 10 Wedding DJ Lingo Defined

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How Do I Find The Best DJ For My Wedding When I Don’t Even Know What The Lingo Is?

Top 10 Wedding DJ Lingo Defined: If you are out searching for a DJ for your Wedding, it can be a bit overwhelming.  One potential client refused to have a quick phone conversation with us so we could explain what we do.   Instead, he spent 4 days sending us 1 question at a time (about 40 separate emails) and in the end, he was still confused.   You see – he was doing the same thing with about 20 Wedding DJs at the same time.  How can you keep that all straight in your head?

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Top 10 Wedding DJ Lingo Defined

Let’s start out by trying to define the Top 10 Wedding DJ Lingo out there:

  1. The Knot Best Of Weddings / Wedding Wire Rated – these are notations that the Wedding DJ you are looking at has been reviewed on a 3rd party verified website such as www.theknot.com or www.weddingwire.com.    The award is not nearly as important as the WORDING of these reviews.   If they write “They did everything they said they were going to do” is not nearly as impressive as if they said ” If you’re looking at DJs: stop looking. XXX is worth every single cent. I don’t know how he does it, but he gets you precisely what you want (and even exceeds expectations!) within your budget. Schedule a meeting!”
  2. GOBO – This is sometimes called “Name In Lights” – it is the artwork that is created and installed (Metal or plastic disc) in a special projection light.  Your name or other artwork is projected on the wall or dance floor.
  3. Wireless Speaker – If you have your wedding social hour outside or multiple rooms where guests will be – many Wedding DJs have the ability to place a remote speaker with a wireless receiver.  This wireless speaker can now be playing the same music as your main room.  This is extremely important if you expect your wedding guests to wander outside later – it will keep them connected to the main party.
  4. Liability Insurance – some venues require that all your wedding vendors carry special liability insurance policies.  This protects both you and the wedding venue from someone suing them (trip over a wire, speaker falls, etc).
  5. Radio Edited Music – I am sure grandma doesn’t want to hear the swears while playing LMFAO or DMX at your wedding.  A skilled wedding DJ knows this and has radio edited versions of songs with inappropriate content removed.  Experienced Wedding DJs get their music from a licensed source such as Promo Only or  Top Hits – not from Itunes or Youtube.    Getting caught with unlicensed music can result in fines of up to $100,000 PER SONG.
  6. Subwoofer – A subwoofer speaker helps increase the bass or THUMP at your wedding.  With larger crowds or large venues, this can be important to have.  If the room has funny ceiling lines or echo acoustic issues – a subwoofer can be an issue.  Any Wedding DJ that does not set up a differently configured sound system based on the room acoustics, should be avoided.    What sound system I would set up for a 300 person wedding at The Aqua Turf is completely different than what I’d use at The Hotel Northampton with 100 guests.  Other venues such as The Riverview (echo issues due to multiple high ceiling arches) or the old Goodwin Hotel (40′ marble walls) require a special speaker configuration.  Two speakers on stands will just not due for many venues.
  7. Up-Lighting – This is sometimes referred to as architectural lighting should not be confused with dance floor lighting (lighting that moves and changes based on the music played).   Up-lighting is typically placed on the ground around the perimeter of the room to highlight architectural features in the room such as columns.  Up-lighting does not have much of an effect when projected on GLASS WINDOWS.    Most up-lighting is now LED with the ability to change colors to add to your wedding decor.  Some key things to ask about lighting is – how bright is it?   LEDs are rated by a LUX level at 1 meter.   Less than 10,000 LUX and you will not see the lights until it’s completely dark outside and the room lights all but shut off.  15,000 – 30,000 LUX and you can light inside and outside in broad daylight.  Some LEDs are RGB (Red, Green, Blue) for color mixing.  The latest LEDs are RGBWA+UV (Red, Green, Blue, White, Amber, Ultraviolet) for better color mixing and choices.
  8. Dance Lighting – adding some lights that move and change color can add some life to your dance floor.   There are many styles of dance lighting – from a basic color wash or moving effect to more dance club high-tech lighting fixtures.   Talk with your DJ about the feel you are looking for at your wedding.  They should be able to offer you different styles of lighting based on your vision.
  9. Beatmixing – Playing songs in Itunes is an example of simple song transitions.  One sone ends, the other starts.  With today’s high tech DJ software – your DJ should be able to blend songs together for a seamless transition during dancing.   Sure, oldies will probably be faded in and out, but today’s Top 40 dance songs or classic hip-hop can be beat mixed together for a more polished feel to your wedding music.  Be sure to ask for sample mixes from your DJ.  Not only should you be able to hear a recording of them doing introductions and announcements, but also their ability to blend songs together.    Below is a sample of a beat-mixed dance set.
  10. Ceremony System – if your wedding ceremony is on-site, you probably need music and microphones.   This should not be confused with the main DJ system inside.  Never should your DJ have to tear down one system outside and try to move it through your wedding guests to be used inside as well.  This is tacky and completely not necessary.  Your wedding DJ should have a separate system specifically designed for use at your ceremony.   It should have multiple microphones (officiate, groom, readers) and the ability to tie in live musicians if needed.

Listen To One Of Our Music Mixes


Rob Alberti is owner of Rob Alberti’s Event Services – Wedding Disc Jockey, MC & Wedding Event Director + Wedding Event Lighting design rated by local brides + voted as “The Knot – Best of Weddings”, Bride’s Choice Award Winner from Wedding Wire + his work has been featured in Martha Stewart Wedding, CT Bride, VT Vows, + on numerous national wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks. Be sure to check out his blog, pinterest boards + on Facebook

Rob Alberti, event director, lighting designer, author


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