Where you can hire Chris to perform
DJ Chris London will perform at your wedding, corporate event, or private party in every major city of Michigan, including:
Uplighting for weddings – dos and don’ts
Uplighting can bring warmth to your wedding receptions when string lights or candles aren’t enough to jazz up the entire room. Uplighting consists of LED lights that are strategically positioned by the DJ on the floor, and point up – hitting the wall and sometimes ceiling depending on the look you are going for. Some people overdo this type of lighting, however, so here are a few things to do and avoid doing to ensure a tasteful, elegant, and classy ceremony, cocktail hour, and especially reception!
Do: Focus on important areas in the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception first
Important areas would include the cake table, dance floor, blank walls that look bland, and any floral displays that you’d like to add a pop to. You may also want lighting on your reception tables, so be sure to speak to your coordinator about choosing the right options for each area – usually DJs provide uplighting to make the dance floor and reception area pop.
Don’t: Choose the wrong color gel to go over the light
For the most flattering uplighting, choose colors that go with the overall theme of your wedding. While other popular uplighting hues include red, blue, and magenta, these are best reserved for your dance floor or after-party. Remember – your venue will be accented with the color(s) you choose so if you decide on purple, your all-white centerpieces will have violet hues. If you are looking for more of a warm, romantic glow go with an amber hue – the most universally-flattering color you could possibly choose.
Do: Know that accent lighting can transform a dull look
A few well-placed uplights can change a room from drab to fab in an instant. Take a wedding at a community center, for example! These are often somewhat drab venues and overhead lights are too bright. You’d either have to use lots of candles or a use a combination of candles and uplighting to bring lovely, glowing hues, which can be instantly changed throughout the reception by the DJ.
Don’t: Underlight the space
If the venue is extensive or the guest list is large, be sure to have enough lighting. In situations like these, a little won’t go a long way. If you want your guests to see all of the details you spent so much time preparing, you need to ensure they’re visible.
Do: Hire a DJ that uses LEDs
There are several types of products DJs can use for uplighting, but the safest are by far LEDs. LED uplights are able to produce a lot of light while generating little heat and offer a number of variations when it comes to colors. Par can uplights are less popular because they get EXTREMELY hot and can cause fires and excess heat in the venue. LEDs are available in wired and wireless formats so contact your DJ for further details.
Don’t: Use LEDs outside if they’re not waterproof
Professionals won’t typically do this, but if you are doing the LED uplights your self then make sure they are waterproof – especially if rain or snow is in the forecast.
Detroit Wedding DJ Christopher London is here to help you with your LED uplight needs. If you or someone you know has a wedding, private event, or corporate event and would like to get a quote, please fill out the form below!
What does a wedding DJ do?
A DJ is Both A Wedding Planner and An Announcer
For those that aren’t familiar with Detroit wedding DJs, it may seem that all a DJ has to do is push a set it and forget it button that plays music for 6 hours. While playing background music during cocktail hour and playing party-pumpin’ music during a wedding reception is one of the core functions of a DJ, there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes that will help you plan the whole event.
A Wedding DJ is your entertainment coordinator and, at times a wedding DJ will act as a pseudo-Wedding Coordinator to help stay on schedule.
So what does a wedding DJ do? To most peoples’ surprise, a wedding DJ prepares well before the actual wedding day – often times 6 months before! In fact, planning starts with the very first contact.
Because wedding DJs do a lot of behind the scenes work, I’d love to give you a glimpse at was goes on with my wedding DJ packages and pricing.
Getting To Know You
Figure out what exactly you are looking for is the first thing that I do when I meet a couple that is interested in hiring a dj for their big day.
- What kind of music do you like?
- Do you want lighting?
- Which song do you have in mind for your first dance?
- What interesting things have you experienced at other weddings?
All of this information becomes the foundation for determining what you would want, and don’t want, at your wedding as far as the DJ is concerned.
If everything is in alignment and all of the right questions are asked by your potential DJ, then you can make your selection and get the ball rollin’!
It’s All in the Details
While the discovery phase allows the DJ to get more information about you, and vice versa, will help you both understand what you are looking for – especially once you get closer to your wedding date and need to really get down to the nitty gritty. Typically about 60 days out from your wedding, I’ll start collecting important information that will help me guide some of the key elements of your wedding. From the pronunciation of your wedding party guests to whether or not you are going to do a bouquet toss, it is very important for me to know all the ins and outs so I can help ensure that your event goes smoothly.
It is also around this time that I will coordinate with the venue to find any specific details that we’ll need. If I am unfamiliar with the venue, I’ll typically plan a trip to the site to start a line of communication with the venue, check out where to put my equipment, find power outlets, etc. I will also contact outside vendors like your photographer and videographer so that we can collaborate. As I’ve said above, DJs coordinate a lot behind the scenes and keep the party on schedule while still being the catalyst to a good time.
More Planning and Coordinating
While some planning can be done in one meeting, the truth is that elements of the wedding can change. Headcounts change and can force changes to the floor plans, musical selections might be altered to accommodate a different audience that may not like certain types of music, and the list can go on. I always get in touch with you 30 days before the wedding, to see if anything has changed and to see if a more formal meeting is required.
It’s at this time that I want the couple to lock in their special songs, that way there is enough time for me to gather your repertoire and start doing some test runs on my end. There are times I have literally ordered vinyl from Europe for a first dance where I could not obtain a copy otherwise, so it is great to be ahead of schedule when it comes to planning with your DJ.
Preparing For Your Special Day
Usually the week prior to your big day means solidifying every single possible detail. I go over the schedule again and again, and if there is a question that I need an answer to, I will go to your coordinator or whoever can help me answer it. My goal is to make sure that your day is as stress-free as possible! I establish all your special songs and plan out how they are going to intertwine with announcements and the Wedding Coordinator’s schedule. I go through my checklist to make sure everything is in order and I send vendors and the venue any important information that they need to work off of. There is a surprising amount of checklist items that I have to ensure are completed when your wedding day comes.
When your wedding day arrives, I’ll put all my equipment in my work vehicle, drive, unload, setup, test, perform, breakdown, drive home, and unload. Once everything is set up for your wedding, and everything is tested out to 100% sanctification, the real fun begins.
Being a Team-Player
There are many DJs that are in it for the ego, the adrenaline rush, the need to control everything, and the need to make it all about themselves. For a passionate, high-quality wedding DJ, that ego is not the way to approach a wedding. There is no room for conflicting personalities and the goal is to have the event be about you, not the dj.
DJ Chris’ goal is to work as a team, support other vendors or the venue staff when needed, and ensure that the event exceeds your expectations. This means working with the venue to ensure all the critical points on the timeline are met. This means notifying the photographer and videographer when things are about to happen so they don’t miss the perfect shot. This means if a change in plans happens that you can work that into the timeline to ensure nothing is missed or forgotten.
The Backbone to Your Wedding Coordinator
Making sure nothing goes wrong is always on a DJs mind and for good reason. A photographer can have a bad photo but there are literally hundreds of great shots to choose from, a florist can have a wilted flower or two but it may be overshadowed by the 10s of other flowers in the bouquet, a caterer can have a bad piece of broccoli but can supplement it with some other vegetable, but if something goes wrong with the DJ, especially at critical moments, then that can be a huge problem. A wedding DJ does not get a second chance and they must react at a moment’s notice to fix the problem. If a microphone cuts out then a backup is there waiting to be replaced. If a song fails to play correctly then a new one is replaced and you’re off to the races.
The bottom line is that a tremendous amount of care and experience goes into your entertainment so that it goes flawlessly.
Managing the Evening
After the vows have been exchanged at the ceremony, the cocktail hour has concluded, the cake has been cut, and the last speeches have been made, it’s time for the DJ to get the dance floor flooded with people! The music that is played will be based off of all of the meetings and discussions we had prior, while cross-pollinating different age groups and styles to make everyone feel included and carefree. I take a lot of pride in my knowledge of music and my ability to seamlessly blend, transition, and mix tracks, and that is the secret sauce to a great wedding DJ.
For those that have seen a club or party DJ in action, a wedding DJ’s vibe is a lot different. Knowing how to read a crowd and having a diverse background in genres of music is a must. In one night, I have gone from top 40 hits, to country, to EDM, to old school Hip Hop, 80s rock, 90s House! No matter what the genre is, the goal is still the same – get people dancing and having fun!
When should you hire a wedding DJ?
How far in advance should you book your DJ?
So you are planning your wedding and you’re trying to prioritize to make sure you schedule your flourist, get your dress on time, get the groom-to-be’s suits/tuxes ordered, and now you need to book your wedding dj. You know you need to start to investigate and lock in your vendors but the question is just how far back should you plan to hire? When should you hire a wedding DJ? Well, the advice you read online can often be daunting, and the honest answer is that it depends. If you look at trusted wedding sources, you’ll see a wide range of differences as to when you should book your DJ:
- Brides.com says 6 months
- The Knot says at 9-11 months
- WeddingWire says 9 months
Of course, with a little luck, you can still find a great DJ as the date gets closer and closer but it’s best not to wait ’til the last minute. But that could result in not getting your first or even second choice.
For 2017, my average booking date out was 255 days (8.5 months). Some clients were booked 17+ months out, which meant I had to turn quite a few couples away that waited ’til the last minute.
As a rule of thumb, when you’ve secured your venue, you need to be ready to interview DJs and ask the right questions. And if you have a DJ (or another vendor) who you absolutely cannot go on without, then it would be best to secure their services first, then work with the other vendors and the venue.
The simple and best answer is that you have a venue then you should hire a wedding DJ now! Don’t delay!