I had the pleasure of chatting with my cousin Mike Cipriano about his DJ business that he and his brother Joe own together. Mike let me in on his tips and secrets to working a crowd, to playlists, to choosing the perfect first dance song.
Go! Bespoke: What is something you wish couples knew about booking a DJ?
Mike Cipriano: That most established companies will offer photography, videography, photo booths, lighting, or plasma screen TVs. More or less a One-Stop shop. Another question we get often relates to music and requests. Any reputable DJ company will get your music requests if they don't already have it, rather than the client get it and bring it on CD, iPod, etc. Another question relates to party give a ways. Some company's bring their own, but regardless should hand them out if the client chooses to bring some additional ones to be handed out to the guests.
GB: What makes a great first dance song?
MC: Although there are many great "First Dance" songs, we here at Fired Up DJ Entertainment feel any song can be a great first dance. As long as there is meaning behind that particular song, connecting the newlyweds in an authentic, genuine, loving way. That in itself delivers the impression of a "great first dance".
GB: If a bride is worried her guests won't dance, how do you motivate the crowd?
MC: We use a few "tricks" to motivate the crowd. First, we gauge the crowd according to age to see what music genre would most work best in that situation. We then choose a group participation dance which majority of the guests would know according to that genre to break the ice, we then move forward from there now that we have people on the dance floor! Other tricks consist of a table games and such. But we can't give a way all of our secrets!
GB: Do you suggest couples make a "Do Not" play list?
MC: As for the "Do Not Play List" It is just as important to know what music they don't like, as much as they do like. Although every DJ company may be different, we have a section on our protocol sheet dedicated to music requests. We don't recommend stressing about making a do not play list, unless that specific couple is adamant about certain songs or artists then we suggest writing those handful down. An Artist in particular or handful of songs will get the point across just fine to any seasoned DJ.
GB: What type of music should be played during dinner?
MC: With dinner there's a wide selection which creates great "dinner" music. It can also depends on the ethnicity of the guests at any given party. First and foremost, it should be mellow. For example, maybe Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley, Dean Martin, Billy Joel, or Jackson 5. Once again, mellow, but classic. It is not abnormal to give a few music requests to your DJ to be played during dinner.
GB: What are your thought's on playing the 'classics' at weddings? For example "Sweet Caroline", Barry White, or "Shout"?
MC: We can't speak for the DJ industry as a whole. However, after having fifteen years of experience providing life lasting memories through all different types of parties and events; we feel strongly about those Classics. They should be played at your more mainstream wedding's! Why? Because those 'classic' songs are the one's that majority of the guests at the party will have heard, know, or sing and dance to, regardless of age! They may not be called for at every single wedding, but through our experience we have found that they work at a majority of parties in general!
GB: Okay and lastly, what makes a great playlist?
MC: For starters, a great playlist can come in many forms! It truly all depends on the newlyweds preferred choice of music. What makes them great is the fun vibe and atmosphere the music creates for their guests. For example, it may be music or specific song that brings an entire bridal party together to sing and dance to. Those are the lasting memories one will remember for years to come!
For more information on the services Mike can can provide, check out their website www.firedupdj.com or give them a call (631) 624-6667.