Raleigh DJ Company, Top Notch DJ Service offers event planning tips, song recommendations and DJ thoughts to assist entertainers, event planners, future brides and grooms, wedding planners and fellow dj's.
No tips, advice or post regarding DJ and event planning lessons that Top Notch has learned for this week folks. Considering that it is the week of Christmas, today's post is simply a Season's Greetings! The Holidays are such a special time. They are a time to be with friends and family. For many it's a travel time, for others a vacation time, and for Top Notch it is a "slow down" time. In a way, the Holidays can be quite similar to a wedding or an event, as the planning process for both can be quite comparable. There is the obvious planning stage regarding gifts, meals, guests, etc, followed by the anticipation of the day and even the fun and last memories that occur throughout the day. Whether the Christmas day is spent with family, friends, or even co workers, Top Notch wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Make sure to check out the Top Notch 2015 "Holiday Greeting" for a good laugh (link below)
After nearly ten years of
deejaying weddings, it is very safe to say, that Top Notch DJ Service
is still learning. One factor and issue I am always striving to
improve on concerns the topic of microphone use for wedding
ceremonies. I actually addressed this fact in a prior blog post in
May of this year, however, due to a recent situation that I was
involved in, I felt compelled to share the various types of mics
available for a wedding ceremony. For starters, one must determine if
a microphone is even necessary? I address this same question to each
bride and groom that Top Notch works with. If it is a small wedding,
or in a small venue, a mic may not be required. A good rule of thumb
to consider is the following equation, if the number of wedding
guests totals 25-30 or more, typically I suggest that a microphone
should be used.
The next question then becomes.,
what type of microphone is needed. Top Notch always will recommend
wireless microphones versus wired microphones whenever possible.
Wireless microphones may provide less feedback and the obvious issue
of hiding a microphone cord is never an issue with wireless mics. For
the past few years, I have actually requested and encouraged
officiants during a ceremony to use a wireless microphone that I
provide. Although, many insist that their voices are loud and that a
mic is not necessarily needed, their use of a microphone assist me as
his or her specific words are my cues for when to play specific
ceremonial song selections. Additionally, I have learned that many
professional officiants actually have their own microphones and set
ups which they simply plug into my sound system, which can be very
helpful as well.
Top Notch has experimented with 2
common styles of wireless microphones for ceremonies which are
The hand held with a stand
The lavalier (small microphone
that clips on the collar, shirt pocket, etc as seen in the below picture
Many years ago, it was common
practice for me to utilize the lavalier microphones, however I
discovered that the placement on some customers became an issue.
Brides and Grooms (especially brides) desired the microphone to be
discreet for the sake of their wedding pictures (no bride wants a
microphone, nor transmitter pack that the mic plugs into apparent in
her wedding ceremony pictures, I understand that.) Furthermore, when
used outside, wind became a large issue when using lavalier mics, as
well as grooms accidentally hitting or touching the “mute”
button on occasions. Due to these issues, I made the decision to use
the handheld mic on a stand for ceremonies. The trick, when using
the handheld mic (similar to my issue with the lavalier) was to make
the microphone discreet, and unobtrusive meanwhile placing it in a
location where the officiant as well as bride and groom can be
heard. My solution to these dilemmas, became carefully placing a
wireless handheld microphone at the officiant's waist level (not
face level, or over the shoulder due to the consideration of the
ceremonies wedding photos), just between the officiant and where the
groom and bride stand. Furthermore, by facing the microphone
directly up at an angle towards the bride and groom the microphone
is usually able to capture the sound of all three key characters in
the ceremony. I may often still provide a lapel microphone to mic the groom at times, depending on the size of the event as well. By following these
actions, wedding guests seemed to be able to hear the officiant as
well as bride and groom, and the couple could still hold hands
during the ceremony without having to work around a microphone stand
between them. Furthermore, because of the microphones height, it
often was not as apparent in wedding photos.
For now, this method has appeared
to my specific answer concerning the use of wireless microphones for
ceremonies. Bride and Grooms should always consider a number of
factors when debating if a microphone is needed including
The Venue. How large is the
location of the ceremony? Are the acoustics clear? Is it outside?
If outside, consider the outside
factors that may interrupt the sound of the officiant such as wind,
traffic, birds chirping, etc. Can your officiant speak over outside
noises loud enough for guests in your back row to be heard?
Any additional ceremony speeches,
poems read, people singing? If so, a mic or even 2-3 may be needed
Guests. How many guests are
attending the ceremony? Are a large majority of them older or
perhaps hard of hearing?
Voice Projection: Is your
officiant fairly loud? What about you and your fiancee? Can the
guests hear you without a microphone? The volume of your voice, your
partners as well as the officiants should be considered.
In sum, a bride and groom spend
an incredible amount of time planning the ceremony and guests attend
your event mostly for the ceremony and to HEAR YOU say your vows.
Make sure they are heard. Although the topic of which type of
microphone as well as it's placement is debatable, the question
concerning if a microphone is needed is most likely pretty clear.
When possible and if available, most certainly use the microphone for
your wedding ceremony.
Starbucks has returned with red cups, retail stores are advertising amazing sales and discounts, and a hint
of chill is finally in the air. Yep, it's the holiday season once
again and fortunately for Top Notch with the holiday season come's
holiday parties and events. Naturally, with any “theme” party,
it's appropriate to play fitting music for the event. Fortunately,
during the Christmas holiday, there is a multitude of holiday music
to find and play. It's no secret that many artists have produced holiday albums over
the years, however, one of the challenges that I have found is
locating specific holiday songs that are fun, happy, upbeat and also holiday
oriented. Note: That mean's the numerous Holiday jams about breaking
up during Christmas (aka “Blue Christmas” by Elvis, “Please
Come Home for Christmas” by Don Henley, “Mittens” by Carly Rae
Jepsen, etc) do not count for today's post. Additionally, a large
portion of traditional holiday songs lack an upbeat tempo which is
necessary at any party to get people dancing (examples include
“Silver Bells”, Silent Night, The Christmas Song, the list of
slow songs goes on and on). So, below I've shared 15 top holiday
songs that I usually play to get party guests heads bobbing and the
dance floor moving. Feel free to let me know if there are any songs
you think I may have missed (email@example.com)
and Happy Holidays everyone!
Top Notch Holiday Fun Song List (In No Particular Order)
1. Trey Songs and Flo Rida- "Jingle Bells" (The Gap Mix)
2. Cee Lo Green - "What Christmas Means to Me"
3. Glee Cast - "We Need a Little Christmas"
4. Kelly Clarkson - "Underneath the Tree"
5. TLC - "Sleigh Ride"
6. Train- "Shake Up Christmas"
7. Mariah Carey- "All I Want for Christmas Is You"