Thursday, April 15

From the Expert: Cape Cod Wedding DJ

Today is the first in a series of profiles on Cape Cod wedding experts. Taking the mic first is Cape Cod wedding DJ Chris Baker.

"Weddings aren't just showing up and playing music," he says. Wedding DJs need top-of-the-line professional equipment and the polished voice of an MC to lead the crowd through each part of the festivities, from first introductions to the last dance. They need to know their music and know how to play the room.  A good DJ, says Chris, can jump around to different styles of music to appeal to the ages and tastes of all the guests, but have it all blend together to create a cohesive and distinct soundtrack.

Each couple's selection of a wedding song is a unique and intimate reflection of their taste and who they are as a couple. The music they choose sets the mood, the style of party, and distinguishes their wedding as their own. It's important to share who you are and what you want with your DJ.

"It's great to have input," says Chris. "I'm not going in with a set play list. I don't want something the guests have heard at the last five weddings they've been to. The night's not about me, it's about the couple."

But Chris cautions against the couples who want to spell out the playlist for the entire night. "The Do Not Play list is the easiest thing for people to do. Give me the Must Play list. But be flexible." No one can pre-judge what people want to hear; you have to give them what they want to hear that night. A reputable DJ, says Chris, will be able to improvise, adapt and overcome anything that happens to make the night a success. 

On par with the national average, wedding DJs on Cape Cod charge $600.00 to $1,600.00. Many couples, looking to save money, are opting to program their own Ipod for their wedding.  But Chris points out home stereo equipment isn't nearly sophisticated enough to prevent gaps between songs, blend songs together or produce a volume appropriate for the venue.

And ultimately, creating a party on the dancefloor - knowing when to keep the energy up and when to slow it down - takes serious skill and experience. Chris, who has been a wedding DJ since 1989, says, "You spend so much money on your wedding... In ten years people don't remember what they ate at a wedding, but they remember if they had a good time, if the music was good. Trust your DJ will know what to do."

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