How to Choose a DJ and Entertainment for your gay wedding

gay wedding DJs

DJ Glen John, founder of Pride Talent gives you his top tips for finding a DJ and choosing entertainment for your wedding

Weddings are stressful. I’m sorry to tell you this, but they can be. Even if you’re cool as a cucumber and easy like Sunday Morning; wedding planning brings with it a level of stress that many couples are just simply unprepared for. From the flowers to the cake, the guest list and the gift list, the seating arrangements and the speeches – oh and don’t forget the place cards. It’s a lot. However, don’t let that put you off saying “I Do” because this is where the professionals come in… In the same way you would use a travel agent for gay holidays, plumbers for leaks and DJs for parties; event professionals can help remove the stress of wedding and event planning by offering years of expertise. We’ve learned from the mistakes of others and can ensure that getting hitched goes without a hitch.

I’m Glen, a professional International British DJ and the owner of Pride Talent. I’m what you would call an event professional and one of my areas of expertise is entertainment; I’m literally obsessed with it. I genuinely care about the background music of a space, the volume levels of a band and the vibe of a room. I’ve been doing it for 20 years or more. Having performed over 100 luxury weddings and an additional 100+ corporate events, I can confidently advise on perfect party bands, incredible DJs and unique wedding hosts, but more importantly, on the why, when and how they are used. Let’s start with WHY.

Why is entertainment important at a wedding?

Firstly, you might think that a wedding is just about two people and their personal preferences – but wait, you’re inviting everyone you love to celebrate this occasion with you. This is now a group celebration and celebrations usually include music and dancing (and booze). You ideally want to entertain and wow your guests – to say a massive Thank You for making the effort of attending. Music should soundtrack the day and set the mood, from guests arriving to the last dance of the night. This is why there is music in restaurants, DJs at parties and bands in bars – music brings people together and lifts the mood, it sets the tone for the day. Music takes away the awkward silences of a space, replacing it with a warm, inviting and celebratory atmosphere.

DJ Glen John

But When? When? WHEN?! Well, the When (and the How) is totally up to each and every client – and that’s the wonder of working with a talented entertainment professional. The right agency can advise and provide the perfect entertainment package based on the individual needs of each couple or event. Some people love Rock, others Club Classics, some enjoy Classical and others want ‘No Boom Boom’ – and there’s no right answer for this because music is so brilliantly subjective. We’ve had clients who say no Abba or only want Hip-Hop played. Each to their own – but we think it’s good to be open-minded when it comes to choosing music your guests will love.

Maybe you daydream about entering the wedding breakfast to Beyonce or saying ‘I Do’ over an acoustic version of your favourite song. Pride Talent will take your requests, preferences and ideal scenarios and turn them into perfectly-suited set times and setlists alongside the logical and practical requirements needed. We will offer suggestions and packages based on your perfect day and what YOU and your guests would want. From tailored party band line-ups to unique setlists, we can even create one-of-kind edits of your absolute must-play song (yes, even that cheesy one from the Hen Weekend).

Additionally, the right agency, DJ or party band can also advise on WHEN the perfect time is for music and live performances, turning key moments into monumental memories by adding music or a live performance. We can provide calming background ambience as your guests nervously gather for the ceremony, an acoustic duo as you walk down the aisle, a hi-energy dinner entrance and advice for the ideal start and end times for bands and DJs to ensure maximum dancefloor action. Get it wrong and you’re left with awkward silences, lacklustre key moments and empty dancefloors – and nobody, especially us, at Pride, wants that.

As part of our dedication to the dancefloor, Pride Talent can advise on things that some couples just do not think about. We know that most people are getting married for the first time and this wedding or event is their first introduction into planning, but we’ve done this literally 100s of times. We think about speeches – and if you need a mic or not, so that everyone can hear. We think about spaces – and if music can make it brighter, warmer or more emotional. We think about the guests and the clientele – and strive to make sure that every single one of your guests gets a bit of what they want. We work with our clients to understand the event from start to finish; and this is HOW you create the perfect wedding party.

How do you choose the right DJ or band for your wedding?

How do you know what should be played to get people dancing? Firstly, pick the right people to work with and make sure they are professionals – in the same way you chose a wedding planner or venue. If you’re doing the planning and preparation yourself, it’s even more important to work with a professional team on the key ingredients of a great event – entertainment, venue, food and music. Pick an agency that has worked with brands that are a good fit for both you and your guests. Find someone who understands your needs and listens to what you want. It’s your day, your rules, your party and your life-long memories. Go with your gut on making key song choices and the right DJ or band leader will follow you on this and just keep adding to the perfect setlist. And if something absolutely won’t work, we’ll suggest an alternative based on experience.

How much should you budget for entertainment at your wedding?

Bigger budget does not always mean better entertainment. Of course, the bigger the budget, the bigger the spectacle and the better the artists. At the core of your spend, there should at least be a DJ with a booth, a sound system with lights and one live entertainment option. A great DJ can create an incredible party and sometimes that’s enough, especially for smaller weddings and events. However, try to think about the entertainment budget as a spend per head in the same way you do food and alcohol. By adding in incredible live music, a Drag Queen performance and a professional DJ who can not only manage the music throughout the day but bring the dancefloor to life at night; you will create a dream wedding or event, making memories that will last a lifetime.

DJ Glen John

Glen John is an international British DJ based in the UK and South of France. Having performed over 100 luxury weddings and numerous private events and private parties, Glen created Pride Talent – the first talent agency catering for gay weddings and same-sex marriage.

Darren Burn
Author: Darren Burn

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