The perfect profile for your wedding: DJing or Ceremony Mastering?
You can’t let the wedding day happen without a professional that will take care of the sound system and eventually the video and lights.
What is non-negotiable: you letting a guest take care of it. Why? Well, would you let a fan of Grey’s Anatomy operate on you? Didn’t think so. It’s the same for every single profession, so you don’t improvise as a DJ. But also because it’s a full-time job and the person behind the turntables can’t really enjoy the wedding the way they should as a guest.
What is the difference between a DJ and a Master of Ceremony?
The DJ -Disc Jockey- is the individual that selects, plays and mixes the music during an event. DJs only play a selection of music that they adapt to the public and to the musical ambiance of the event.
If you decide to go with a DJ for your wedding, they will get the party going but they won’t entertain the different speeches, games or special activities. However, they can arrange breaks that can be utilized by you and/or your guests for the planned entertainment sections.
The other option -Master of Ceremony- adds an entertainment part. They use the mic to speak -usually short intercessions- in order to boost the general mood or to announce something coming up. They jump in throughout the party, without forcing anything, in order to break up the program. The guests alternate dancing, games and speeches at the pace of the Master of Ceremony that regulates themself with the surrounding ambiance.
How to brief your DJ or Master of Ceremony?
You’re going to meet the person for the first time to speak about the general idea and plans you have in mind. However, once the choice has been made, you have to meet up again with the professional again in order to cement the details.
A DJ will have to know pretty much everything about your musical taste but also that of your families and friends. Keep in mind that a wedding ceremony usually blends generations and styles, especially if the families don’t share the same culture.
The DJ has to bring everyone together around the music and this can help them find their groove. No matter how different your guests can be and how wide the spectrum of their musical tastes, no one should be left aside.
The brief with a Master of Ceremony is the same, but in addition to music they’ll have to manage the timetable for games and speeches. They have to be in the loop for the sequence of events. You build a road map together and they will adapt in order to create the best evening possible.
Let’s make it more concrete by using a perfect example: on paper, it’s time for a speech but in theory, people are having a blast on the dancefloor. The Master of Ceremony is definitely not gonna’ ruin this magical and special moment by putting a stop to it. The speech will be given when the mood is right.
The Master of Ceremony is also a precious ally to ensure the different stages of the party are being followed. Being an exterior character gives them more authority to influence guests using the mic. They can shorten a speech that’s dragging on or encourage the shy ones having a hard time finishing up.
Both professionals have to own their equipment and be experienced with it. It has to be modern, high-performance but mainly reliable. Two quick tips:
- Check the equipment: make sure it’s well maintained
- Check the sound system & lightning more susceptible to break: confirm they can be changed on D-Day if it actually happens.
No matter who you hire, they have to know exactly how to install and set up the equipment in order to make the best of it. The settings are essentials! A bad sound system can definitely ruin the whole party: either because the music quality is poor or the speeches are inaudible.
Screens are now everywhere. A Master of Ceremony will definitely use them, as for a DJ, they might… or they might not… Outside of video clips matching the songs, screens can be used to show photos and videos of the newlyweds as well as their loved ones. Keep in mind that the videos are, most of the time, shown without sound.
An advantage of a Master of Ceremony is that they can sometimes take care of the lighting. Ask them about the equipment they own: lights, spotlights, special effects… There are so many things that can be done for a wedding. Indoor fireworks are often popular and very trendy: they give a new dimension to a party thanks to the spectacular effect they create.
But if you’ll only remember one thing, it would be the lighting. It can change the atmosphere of an event. A room not necessarily well designed and a bit cold can become charming and welcoming with good and appropriate lighting.
This evening is part of YOUR wedding so the power is in your hands to decide how you want it to go. You provide your preferences and choices that the DJ or Master of Ceremony will have to respect.
In this portion, both of them are supposed to offer same-quality performances.
DJs should be comfortable in this environment, but so will a Master of Ceremony who will add more.
The music has to be smooth and non-stop but the ambiance also has to feel right.
Rely on the advice given by your professional: they have the experience of what works the best.
The activities and transitions
That is where the gap between a DJ and a Master of Ceremony is most noticeable. The DJ is at the top when it concerns musical sequences but they are not involved with the games, speeches, or other activities. In these very specific cases, they will entrust the mic to the appropriate person. What it means is that a DJ intervenes less than a Master of Ceremony and doesn’t handle the transition times.
These transitions are significantly smoother with a Master of Ceremony because they take care of absolutely everything. They are in tune with the other professionals hired for the event and know how to maneuver around a late schedule or when some guests don’t seem ready to go back to their tables.
It is nonetheless more convenient and practical to have one person dealing with everything. They play the role of Master of Ceremony so it leads to an evening that effortless and coherent.
The Master of Ceremony is also a major help to those utilizing the mic. During a wedding party, you have to take into account the shy ones -terrorized by the simple idea of public speaking- and the extra ones -a little too confident and talkative that sometimes is induced by one too may drinks.
If you know that too well, then you need a Master of Ceremony that will take this weight off your shoulders and put it on theirs. A DJ would more than likely stay away until the mic comesv back to them.
Dealing with the mic when it has to go from a witness to a friend, from a friend to a mother is not easy-peazy lemon squeezy. But a Master of Ceremony will be much more comfortable than anyone else and has a higher chance of success at making speaking moments flow better.
A few questions you should ask!
Do you want to make sure there are no bad surprises on your D-Day? The key is to be well prepared for the night and to build a clear picture with your professional. D-Day is not the time to make adjustments, by then it’s already too late!
Check their field of action
That is where the main difference appears between these two types of professionals. Check thoroughly what each and every one of them has to offer.
If you are just looking for someone just to put on the turntables, a DJ is “enough” but if you want someone actively participating in the whole organization of the party, you definitely need a Master of Ceremony.
Check their experience
Most professionals now have their own website, a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel or various other social mediums in order to present their experience and work. The pictures say it all and you will quickly realize if the professional you are considering matches what you have in mind.
Check their dedication
If you are dealing with someone passionate about their job, without a doubt they will fully commit to your wedding. You have to feel their enthusiasm when they’re preparing your project. You can also judge on their involvement and the propositions they bring to the table.
Check the content of their service
By carefully looking into the content of their service, you will more clearly see the difference between DJs and Masters of Ceremony. Don’t forget to also look for the hours: some contracts only cover a specific amount of time. This Is something you want to be aware of before booking anyone.
Check their professional status
No matter if it is an independent worker or an employee, both the DJ and Master of Ceremony have to be able to present to you a SIRET number -French company identification system. On one hand, you will be able to check the existence of the company, how long it’s been around, the number of employees, and other information… On the other hand, in case of trouble, the company has to be able to face the charges.
Make sure that the professional has a professional indemnity insurance.
Check their prices
Absolutely everything has to be stipulated and detailed in the service provider’s quote.
You now have all the major keys in hand to pick YOUR perfect professional and enjoy the most perfect day you’ve been working on so hard!