Choosing The Right Wedding Entertainment

Wedding DJ Ireland

Let's face it, your wedding day is going to be one of the most pivotal experiences of your life. It is a day where all that is important to you in this world unites to celebrate you, your life and the future you hope to create. This is a big deal.

While the hope is that the entire day will be remembered fondly for years to come by every guest, a couple of things tend to take centre stage in people's memories. “The” Dress, The Food And The Entertainment. When it comes to choosing these things it really does require a deep level of consideration.

Entertainment is the poignant backdrop to your special day. It is the very reason why it's perfectly acceptable for people who never met before your wedding to spend a solid hour dancing together. Music unites people. Music speaks more than any word possibly could. It speaks to your soul and helps it sing.

When your guests discuss the entertainment at your wedding you want it to be for the right reasons. A great wedding DJ will require very little work from you. It is their profession and their talent to create the ambiance and atmosphere that you want to provide for your guests. Their skill is deciphering the appropriate music and tone for each unique wedding. Their craft is recognising and understanding the kind of music that the guests and wedding party will appreciate.

When choosing the perfect wedding DJ or band for your wedding there are a number of things you can do to make the process easier.

1. Research

Wedding Entertainer

Speak to the DJ or band at a wedding or function you are a guest at. If you love what they are doing then that is a very good indication that they will be able to please your guests equally as well!

2. Time

Prioritise the entertainment booking and remember that great wedding DJs and bands will find themselves booked up for long periods of time. As soon as you've made your decision act quickly and confidently to secure them!

3. Ask Questions

You are enquiring about a professional service. Feel confident when asking for references as a great DJ or wedding band will provide them with pride. Do some online research and where possible try to physically see the DJ or band play a couple of times. Remember that every wedding or function is unique. A great DJ or band will alter everything to meet the requirements and dreams of the specific couple. It is NOT a general thing, but rather a very unique experience.

4. Knowledge

Ensure that the DJ or Band have the knowledge and expertise that will make your experience stress-free and enjoyable. You are paying for a service which requires skill, knowledge and confidence. Experience will shine through. Don't settle for anything less.

5. Confirm And Record

Confirm all times, music preferences and any additional services that you may require from the DJ or band at your wedding. Securely pay the deposit and confirm everything by email so that a paper trail is established and easy to access should any issues arise.

Irelands Best Wedding DJ

A great Wedding DJ or band will live for the compliments that come with happy guests. The “I never danced so much” comments are profoundly important. Their skills and expertise should confidently showcase this throughout the wedding. They thrive on reading the crowd, knowing how to shift a tone or mood and making people smile, laugh, dance and LIVE in the company of the wonderful couple they are celebrating.

As a wedding DJ I naturally take every opportunity to promote my services but I am regularly asked to recommend Wedding Bands. Here are my top five!

1. Perfect Day

2. The Camembert Quarter

3. MixTape

4. Spring Bread

5. The Kaye Twins

Darragh O'Dea is the breakfast show presenter on KFM and has 25 years experience as a wedding DJ. 

Experience is my Business Card

Experience is my Business Card

Irelands best DJ

“Experience Is My Business Card” – Ireland's Premier Wedding DJ Darragh O' Dea

My obsession with music started when I was a young kid. I was lucky enough to get a stint at a local Pirate Radio Station when I was fifteen and I played songs that still work for me today. That is the beautiful and bizarre thing about music. If you get to know your crowd and invest in the audience anything can happen.

Being a wedding DJ in Ireland is profoundly more than simply playing music. It's creating a backdrop for memories that will quite literally last a lifetime. It's knowing that there is no such thing as a “wedding play-list”. My experience has shown and taught me to create something unique every single time.

I've been a DJ for twenty five-plus years and have navigated my way from a time where music was simply radio. You had to listen live, buy (and read) the magazines and take every morsel of advice from your elders gratefully. They knew what would work because they had the experience. Experience that couldn't be bought or sold. It was gold.

Irelands Premier Wedding DJ

When I play an 80's DJ set I am right back there. At 80's nights I am once again transported. It worked for me then and it's working for us now. It's a spectacular thing to be part of and when it works it works. My experience has taught me to thrive on that energy.

When I play a 90's DJ set I am transported back to my time as a DJ on the Canary Islands. It was 1992 and the world would physically stop turning if “Rhythm Is A Dancer” was not played a minimum of four times. You can't “learn” those memories. It's an instinctive and genuine thing. I am right back there remembering what worked and seeing it work again so beautifully!

As a DJ It is no longer acceptable to “not have a song”. We are now the spotify generation. Every song, era & mood is available at a second's notice. For couples who wed in their late 20's/early 30's Mark McCabe Maniac 2000 is an institution. It's a right of passage and probably the biggest song in Irish Music History. A time machine of memories, mistakes and everything that represented ones teenage years! I recently played at a wedding where a band member asked me about the song as he had never heard it before. I thought he was joking and It stopped me in my tracks! (no pun intended)

As a wedding DJ you have to entertain and please a large group of people in no more than sixty songs. You've an eight year old flower girl and ninety year old Auntie Breda. Every single guest is worthy and deserving of an amazing experience. My experience has taught me to weed through the junk and PLAY THE HITS. It's the simplest strategy and a formula for success but sometimes it can be lost in an oblivion of panic and preparation. Every single crowd is different and you often have to change your plans, shake things up and alter accordingly. It's a gut feeling and a momentary instinct that arrives when you look at that room of people. A room of unique people who have united to celebrate the most important day in the life of someone that they love. Play the hits and make them happy.

Sometimes the dance floor clears. It happens. The temptation to panic and question everything is very real. It happens for a lot of DJs. I've reached a point in my career where I pride myself on reading the crowd and the clientèle. If it doesn't work then you very quickly provide something that does. The dance floor begins to populate once again and you know you're doing your job. That feeling is electrifying!

Irelands Best wedding DJ

I have twenty five years experience in this wonderful industry but I am constantly learning something new. Weddings, music and people are complex topics individually. Throw them all together and you have a lot of things to consider. I recently played at a wedding and instantly knew that a song (Buddy Joe) would transport the wedding couple and their friends right back to their youth. I also knew that this kind of song, and indeed set, simply wouldn't work on the night of their wedding. It would have been lost in the company of the more mature guests and friends and family of the couple. Day 2 of the wedding brought more celebrations and felt to be the perfect time for this genre. It became a thirty minute set and the feedback from the couple was amazing. It brought the bride, groom and all of their friends right back to their teenage years and the atmosphere was out of this world.

Just a week later I played at the wedding of a more Indie/Alternative couple. Their music choices were far from mainstream but they wanted to please everyone at the same time. We found a way to merge the two and it resulted in brilliantly happy wedding guests and a bride and group who still experienced the tunes that brought them back to their college days. We made it happen and it was my experience that gave me the confidence to make that promise.

My experience as a wedding DJ in Ireland is my business card. Like any artist I've dedicated my life and time to perfecting my skill. I respect the responsibility that comes with the job and I've spent my days fine tuning my craft. I've grown in an industry that has become so saturated and “tick the box”. Experience is my tool kit. It's the bag of tricks that makes me 100% confident that your wedding will be everything you have dreamt about and more. It will be “that” wedding that people talk about time and time again. We've got this!

Choosing the right venue

Choosing the right venue

When it comes to planning a wedding the 2 most important things to consider first is the date and the location for your wedding.

Sometimes the date and venue do not suit each other. Sometimes the venue you want calls out to you as being perfect for your special day and you move the date to suit.

Before you go and book the photographer, makeup, hair, DJ, and go searching for that perfect dress or suit you need to book the date and venue first.

I have had plenty of experience over the years in having the distinct privilege in playing in some lovely venues. Now I will say that my suggestions are by no means exhaustive and even sometimes I don’t think that I can’t do it justice by taking a snapshot at 5 venues around Ireland of what I consider to be perfect wedding location.

1. Bellingham Castle

Located just outside of Dundalk in Castlebellingham this exclusive wedding venue it picture perfect from the entrance to the reception room and garden area. I would 100% have this on your list of venues to look at for your 2018 wedding.

2.Tankerdstown House.

Just outside the town of Slane, County Meath. This venue opened its orangery a few years ago and caters to so many great weddings. The main reception room is perfect for small and big weddings as well as a terraced area outside and ample bar room. If you look through some of my past weddings you will see some great pictures of Tankerdstown.

 

As you can see there are some lovely venues in Ireland and only mentioning 2 is only giving you a brief snapshot that hopefully will help with your decision in picking the perfect venue for your wedding day. If you have a location in mind and want an honest unbiased opinion please get in touch, chances are I have been there over the last couple of years. This is just the first in so many exciting steps in the preparation of your wedding day so make it a great decision.

 

 

Wedding Entertainment

Wedding Entertainment

When it comes to every wedding, your guests will remember some key points about your special day.

1.   The bride’s wedding dress

2.   The Meal

3.   The entertainment

So when it comes to the entertainment, picking the right band or right DJ can really make your day stand out and have your guests talking about it for days, weeks and even months afterwards. However picking the wrong band or DJ can have your guests talking for all the wrong reasons.

There are a number of things that every bride and groom can do to make your wedding day the very best day of your lives from first dance to last dance. It is a very easy process but one that everybody can learn from.

1. Research. Research. Research!

Talk to bands and DJs at weddings that you may be a guest at. Talk to your friends about the last wedding they were at and what they remember about the entertainment.

2. Time

Give yourself plenty of time to book the entertainment that you want.  Just like hotels, photographers and other industry suppliers, most great bands and DJs are booked well in advance.

3. Questions

Talk to your chosen entertainment and ask as many questions as you want. Always be sure the decision you make is the right fit for you. Never be afraid to ask for references, look online for independent reviews and try and go and see your preferred entertainer in action. Please try and see them perform at 2-3 different weddings as music choices can vary from wedding to wedding. Remember, the music played can be unique to each bride and groom and not suit your particular tastes.

4. Knowledge

Experience will shine through every time so when you talk to your preferred entertainer their knowledge will show you whether they are the right fit for your wedding day.

5. Know what you are getting

Always confirm times, music preferences and any additional services that you may require for your special day.

6. Record

Book, pay your deposit and confirm everything by email to ensure a trail in the event of a disagreement.

Although you can check all entertainers out top to bottom, don’t let your personal taste influence the night too much, Remember...

“You are paying to hire a professional to entertain your guests."

The right performer will know what to do and when to do it, this will make your wedding night stand out, and there is no better compliment than hearing the next day “god I never danced so much”, or being asked by your friends “who played at your wedding?”.

As much as I take the chance to promote myself, I do get asked about some of the great bands that I have worked with over the years. So I would like to take this chance to tell you about the top 5 bands that I have had the chance and somewhat privilege to work with over the years.

1.   Perfect Day

2.   The Camembert Quartet

3.   MixTape

4.   Spring Break

5.   The Kaye Twins

Darragh O’Dea is the breakfast show presenter on KFM and has  25 years wedding experience djing at weddings.