FAQ: Wedding Reception Entertainment

If you’ve booked a DJ with Backthird Entertainment, expect more than great dance music. Your DJ is also your master of ceremonies, announcing and coordinating events and speeches as needed from first cocktail to final dance.

Here are some common questions brides and grooms ask us during the planning process.

Where do I get song ideas?

You’ve got from now until about a month before the wedding to add music ideas and requests to your online reception planner. But there’s no pressure here – most of the planner is optional! Fill in what comes easy to you, and leave the rest blank. You’ll discuss everything personally with your MC a few weeks before the wedding, and we’ll make suggestions then for anything you need help with.

The “bare minimum” we need from you, request-wise, is a first dance, the names of people we should introduce, and the names of people who will give toasts. Of course most couples personalize much more than that, and we love it! Just don’t feel an obligation here.

If you want to personalize but need to get the juices flowing, check out our “Ultimate Wedding Music Cheat List” for more ideas than you can shake a stick at.

Can my DJ play a song that’s not listed in your online system?

Yes – in fact, you can ignore the online listings altogether. We haven’t found a planning system that will list “every known song in the universe,” but that’s what we consider your list of possible song choices. If you ask in advance for a song we don’t own, we’ll buy it. If it's so obscure we can’t find it, we’ll ask you for help.

Can my live cocktail/dinner musicians play a song that’s not on their list?

Probably not. Your musicians will be playing for a solid hour – and perhaps for several hours. It’s usually not practical or prudent to do “special requests” during that time.

What you should do, however, is take a look at your ensemble’s song list online and let your music leader know if there are songs there you love or hate. (For Gemini Strings or Twin Strings check this list; for the Humble Organisms or Mark Nelson check this list.)

We’re more than happy to cater our existing song list to suit what you most want to hear. In fact, we do it every weekend.

What if FAQ Reception Entertainment Backthird Entertainmentmy wedding schedule changes?

No sweat! It’s pretty common for your wedding timeline to shift a little between the day you book music and the day you actually walk down that aisle. If you need us to play for a longer time there may be an additional cost, but if you need us to play at different times we can usually accommodate. In either case, we’ll update your contract so that we always have the correct details in writing.

We reach out to you about 6 weeks before your wedding to double-check your timeline and other services, so you needn’t worry about this at all for now! It’s our job to make absolutely certain we know what you need from us – and when.

What if I need more sound?

All our DJ services include a sound system suitable for up to 300 guests in most reception spaces. If you’re planning on more than 300, you may want a larger sound system.

If your reception is spread across several rooms (for example, a cocktail hour in the lounge and a dinner/dance time in the ballroom), you’ll need a small secondary sound system so your party runs smoothly.

We probably already discussed these needs with you and included them on your contract when you booked. If you don’t see them on the contract and you need to add them, call us at 630-264-2366 to arrange a contract update. We reach out to you about 6 weeks before the wedding to double-check all your contract details, so you needn’t worry too much about this for now.

What if I need more lighting?

Our DJ services include some basic dance lighting – colored lights that flash in time to the music (you can see the system here). If you do NOT want any dance lighting, feel free to tell your DJ when you meet so we can forego this.

If you want MORE dance lighting (disco balls, fog machines, sharks with lasers on their heads, etc) you’re best contracting with a separate lighting or AV company. We don’t believe this adds significantly to your party, so it’s not something we offer.

We can provide uplighting with any of our DJ packages as an additional service. Uplighting is NOT about your dance floor – it’s about your whole reception space, and it makes a huge difference. Call us at 630-264-2366 to ask if this service is still available for your wedding date.

What if I need more live music?

It’s easy to extend the music services you’ve already reserved – for example, ask the jazz trio you booked for cocktail hour to play during dinner as well – with only a month’s notice. We’ll check in 6 weeks before your wedding to make sure your contact is still correct. Ask us then about extending your music, or call 630-264-2366 to take care of it right now.

If you’re thinking of adding more musicians – for example, making that trio into a quartet, or adding live jazz or strings to a DJ package – you should take care of this as soon as possible. We can’t guarantee our musicians will stay available for your wedding date unless they’re already listed on your contract.