As you shop around for a band or DJ to provide the music for your wedding reception, there are obviously a lot of factors to consider. The most important is probably the type of music they play. You are clearly going to want a person or group who will get your wedding guests out on the floor enjoying themselves. As DC wedding photographers, we have seen firsthand how much of a difference music can make in setting the right tone for a reception. Just like with your other service providers, price will also be a consideration. You will certainly want someone whose cost fits into your budget. As with the Washington, DC, wedding photographer whom you hire, finding a DJ or band whose personalities suit yours is also critical. Wedding days can be stressful, and you will want to be surrounded by people with whom you get along.
There is another important factor for you to consider as you figure out who will play music at your wedding reception. Many wedding DJs and bands do more than just entertain your and your guests with songs. They will often serve as the emcees for your reception. That means they will be the ones introducing you and your wedding party when you enter the room and signaling when it is time to cut the cake. With that in mind, you should pick a DJ or band who does these interventions and transitions in a style that suits your personal tastes. If you want a bit of razzle-dazzle and showmanship, make sure to select someone with flair. If you prefer to have things be a little less flashy, then a DJ or band that gets right to the point is better.
There is also a fair bit of variation when it comes to the show each prospective music professional will put on for you. Some just stick to playing music. Others incorporate lights, laser shows or even smoke into their act to give the senses a more comprehensive experience. As with the other aforementioned factors, the relative importance of this depends entirely on your particular aesthetic sensibilities.
Some DC wedding photographers prefer to take pictures of a reception with less bells and whistles from the band or DJ. They feel that the lights and smoke can mess with the quality of the images they capture. Colored lights can turn the faces of the people they photograph unnatural hues. The smoke can interfere with the sharpness of the pictures they take.
We respectfully disagree with this position. We love it when our clients pick musical professionals who incorporate visually dazzling elements into their shows. Yes, the concerns of some of our colleagues are valid. However, most of the challenges they identify can be overcome with creative angles and mastery of one’s own lighting. If a Washington, DC, wedding photographer can do those things, then the DJ or band’s lights and smoke turn from a challenge to an opportunity. The colors and other visual effects can enhance the photos we take, adding new layers of artistry to the shots of you and your guests getting crazy on the dance floor.
This shot, taken as a bride and groom were starting their first dance as a marriage couple, is a great example of how photographers can achieve cool effects with the right approach. As the newlyweds came out onto the dance floor at Rittergut Remeringhausen, we noticed the DJ’s colored lights illuminating portions of the room. We knew that when they hit the bride’s white wedding dress, they were certain to turn it an interesting new color. Sure enough, as she neared the middle of the floor, the bottom half of her dress became a soft red. As soon as we saw that, we preserved that moment of creativity by snapping off a few shots.Destination Weddings (33).
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