Preparing and Performing for a Destination Wedding
Having played across many countries and to a diverse audience it is only natural I share this information to other DJs/artists. I am still learning from each assignment I take up, most recent being a wedding at Casablanca, Morocco. Nevertheless here is my take on how to prepare a DJ set and perform for a destination wedding. Hoping this helps DJs and also clients looking to hire DJs.
1. A good pre brief from your client is essential. Understand their expectations from you musically and prepare accordingly. Have they heard you before? Do they know what you can offer to the wedding event? Make sure expectations are realistic and deliverable. Run through the entire schedule before taking up the assignment.
2. Preparation is the key to a successful gig. Each wedding is unique usually with a diverse taste in music. Try to understand the the majority of the crowd will like to listen. I usually request my clients to name the top 10 of their favorite tunes, it gives a good insight on what to expect, while spinning and prepare accordingly. Be open to play different genres when catering to a worldwide audience.
3. Most pre and post wedding events go through the night and into the wee morning hours. Be prepared with your content to play those long sets. It’s advisable to take an assistant along or hire one locally at the venue. In case you need those few minutes of break between long sets. Drink lots of water as travel can drain your body of fluids. Keep a control on liquor consumed, you need to be standing fit and also away from alcohol deafness. Make sure you get sufficient rest before you start spinning again. Make clear the type of accommodation you require.
4. Make sure you mail your technical rider well in advance to the wedding planner / client. No short cuts to be expected when it comes to hiring the right equipment. If you have a preferred vendor at the destination, do refer to your client. Good sound and quality equipment makes for a hitch free event. I play on USBs but always carry a back up laptop. Always do a sound check well in advance before every event.
5. There is no substitute for messing up a special moment. Run through the flow of events well in advance and program your playlist accordingly. I normally have a separate playlist for each event example engagement, reception, cake cutting, etc. Helps me chose the right track quickly and play at the right moment. Ask your client if they have a special number to be played.
6. Make sure your travel and tickets are booked / confirmed well in advance. All visa formalities to be completed well before. Check for spelling mistakes and your travel documents again before departure. Online check in is advisable to get a good seat in advance.
7. Last but not least do not act arrogant and fussy if things do not go your way during an event. Weddings are special and keep them that way. You can always discuss your regrets later with the client. Be accommodating and always deliver the best you can offer.