Anyone who has worked with Jared Wade – Professional Event Host will tell you he knows how to amp a wedding up and helps to keep the dance floor packed! Not only that, he offers killer uplighting knowledge and does a great job at making sure that not only the bride and groom have a great time, but also every guest there!
He offered us some insider information below – check it out!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you became a DJ:
14 years ago I was dancing outside of a Super Target grand opening, and the DJ comes up to me and asks if I ever thought about being a DJ before. I laughed and confidently told him no! I was young, and didn’t really want to be stuck working every weekend, BUT, it turned out that I actually was really good at Hosting and DJing weddings! After many many years passed, I jumped back in, got a TON more training and am now able to do something that I love full time as not a job, or a weekend hobby… but as my career!
What is the most important thing for couples to know when looking for a DJ?
Personality is everything. 90% of what I do is personality based, with the other 10% being equipment. Anyone can rent equipment and use it at an event. However, if your DJ and Host doesn’t have the right personality that matches not only who YOU are, but also your guests, people will remember that more than a song skipping, or the chicken being dry or even your crazy Uncle Steve dancing the Macarena!
Key Tip: If the DJ that you are interested in DOESN’T have video, even something as simple as gig vlogs, on their website, look elsewhere. Professional DJs and Hosts know that you need to be able to SEE and HEAR what we do, even with referrals from friends and other professionals. Make sure that you can find them online at places like YouTube.com or elsewhere.
I know you do uplighting – what should couples know about uplighting?
Uplighting is NOT created equal. What I personally use is the highest grade WIRELESS and BATTERY powered uplights available on the market. I have 20+ lights available for any event, I am able to transform a room, and then have that lighting change colors the entire night. Dinner to a nice Navy Blue, followed by a slow transition to a real solid Amber for your First Dance, and then a light pink for the Father/Daughter Dance. With my lighting, that works in the RGBAW+UV color scheme (Red, Green, Blue, Amber, White, Ultra Violet) I can create almost any color perfectly! And then, once the dancing gets started, the room changes colors with the music! No venue’s “free” uplighting will do that. Also, no venue’s “free” uplighting comes close to my saturation. Normally, venues will give around 4-8 “free” uplights.
Are there colors people should stay away from when uplighting?
It all depends on the time of day, how much natural light is coming in and what your color theme is. As a rule of thumb, if you have a LOT of natural light coming in, stay away from the lighter colors, and stick with the darker ones. Also, if your color theme is focused in one world (Reds, Blues, Greens, etc) don’t try to add a totally different color without reason. White and Amber are always elegant and really can make a room pop. Take a look at these photos from the Indianapolis Marion County Library to see the differences in some of my most popular colors…
Do you have any advice for couples when picking out their first dance song?
Choose something that is YOU. Too many times, couples either forget, or just don’t care about what that song is. Make it special and unique for who you both are, and try not to choose something that you heard at your friends wedding and thought “hmm, that sounds easy to dance to”. If you need help, a good DJ should be able to help you find YOUR song.
What is key when getting people on the dance floor?
3 simple things…
1: Play music that YOUR guests will enjoy dancing to. Sometimes that means playing songs that we have all heard a million times at weddings. The fact is, they work, and that’s why you hear them so much. For most people, dancing in front of family and your friends (aka people they don’t know), is tough, and they need that one or two songs that “tell them” what to do, before they are comfortable dancing on their own (i.e. – Cupid Shuffle, YMCA, etc.).
2: Know that your dance floor normally won’t stay packed the whole night with everyone there. Professional Wedding DJs know that you need to rotate the floor. Play older music for 3-5 songs, and then rotate to a different genre or style for a little while so that way Grandpa can get a drink, and your younger crowd can come in and take over for a bit. Making sure that your guests are aware that requests are encouraged and welcomed is also a great thing!
3: You two! If you are not on the dance floor, your guests won’t be either. If you are at the photo booth, taking pictures with everyone, where will your guests be? With you. If you are outside smoking or drinking at the bar, your guests are right there with you. Make a solid effort to be on the dance floor for AT LEAST the first 2-4 songs of open dance, and then come back at least 2-3 more times before the end of the night. Your guests WILL follow you… I promise.
Anything else you think people should know about working with DJ’s for their weddings?
Pricing is always a tricky subject to bring up while planning a wedding. Going back to my first point on how 90% is personality and training, and the other 10% is equipment, THAT fact alone is why great DJs charge more than part time DJs, or large companies. You want to be able to trust your DJ and Host, because they are, in all honesty, the voice and drive of your Reception. You want someone that will keep the focus on you all night long. Finding someone like that isn’t easy, and we book quickly, because we are excellent in what we do. A good DJ friend of mine once said something that summed up how I feel…
“You want an above average wedding, with an above average experience. I charge an above average price, because I provide WAY above average service to my clients.”
And that my friends, is your inside track to picking out a DJ and all the fun things that go along with it! Be sure to check out Jared Wade here and poke around his site!!
Come back next Wednesday for a fabulous interview with Wild Heart Blooms! -Abby