I had the chance to talk with Jeff Hodson from X-Sight Music for another informative look at the wedding scene from another perspective.
There are definitely people that come into play in the wedding day that are very important for me as a photographer. I have said before that for my pictures to look the way they do that I have a lot of great wedding vendors that I work with regularly.Â So when it comes to the reception the DJ, the emmcee, the master of ceremonies, disc jockey, etc. is huge in my book.Â I have been to wedding receptions that have had packed dance floors with an age range from the three year olds all the way up to the grandparents.Â We have all been to receptions before where the only people dancing are the group of five to six little kids.Â So being theÂ DJ is no easy task whatsoever.Â Â I think that is one of the reasons why IÂ try to get brides to understand how important this aspect of the day is when they start planningÂ their day.
I have worked with Jeff more than any otherÂ DJ throughout my career as a wedding photographer.Â I always know that when I enter the reception and Jeff is there that he is going to do a great job and that the night is going to be a huge success!
What would be your favorite part of the wedding reception?
I would have to say I haveÂ threeÂ favorite parts.Â First â€“ the introductions, I love to do GRAND Introductions.Â Some brides still want a more formal intro but most want to walk into a room full of energy, guests on their feet, clapping, and whistling. Â I really enjoy that because it sets the stage for later in the evening.Â Guests respond better when itâ€™s time for the dancing to begin if they have that type of entrance.Â Second â€“ the formal dances, I donâ€™t know why I still like this so much, but I do.Â You know itâ€™s a special moment when you see tears and smiles all at once.Â Finally, I like to get the party started!Â Sometimes this is just knowing the right song to play AND when to play it.Â Other times guests need a little motivation to break the ice and thatâ€™s where my bag of tricks comes in.Â Itâ€™s not about me.Â Itâ€™s about getting everyone to relax and have a good time, so that way everyone ends the night having the best time they have ever had.
What is your least favorite song that you â€œhaveâ€ to play?
Usually I get asked what my favorite song is but really the answer is the same for both questions.Â As a profession DJ I appreciate all types of music.Â Some music is great as background musicÂ during dinner and other music is better for dancing.Â Â The line dance music like the Cha-Cha Slide, Electric Slide & Cupid Shuffle begins to get stuck in my head after a while,Â but there will eventually be another new song to take their place.Â The secret is to play what people will dance to – the hard part is reading the crowd to know what music that is.
Do you have a crazy reception story that you would like to share with us?
I could tell you a few where I was anything but a DJ at that moment. Â I remember a certain bride that broke the zipper on her dress and I managed to rig it with a pair of pliers and some paperclips long enough to get pictures of her first dance in her wedding gown.Â I remember helping to put out a table fire after the centerpiece went up like a roman candle.Â Iâ€™ve DJâ€™ed the same Brideâ€™s wedding more than once.Â Â Iâ€™ve been the person who indiscreetly walks around the room looking for eye drops, lost bouquets, shoes, even children, so that no one â€“ especially the bride.Â Everyone in the wedding industry knows that a truly perfect night to remember doesnâ€™t just happen.Â Itâ€™s created by all the wedding professionals working together.
What do you know now about being a great DJ that you wish you knew when you started?
I started to DJ for weddings right after high school.Â A friend of my momâ€™s was a wedding planner and I had been DJing school dances for a few years already.Â She wanted me to start booking weddings and trained me as a wedding planner.Â I learned there was so much more to a reception than just the music.Â She taught me how to cut a wedding cake, the order of events, and all the little things that someone needs to know at a reception.Â I learned how to truly be a Master of Ceremonies.Â My job is not to be the center of attention.Â It is to orchestrate the evening, inform the guests, ensure everyone has a good time, and above all keep the spotlight (center of attention) directed to the guests of honor â€“ the Bride & Groom.
If you could DJ any celebrity wedding (past or future) who would you want?
This is a hard question.Â Iâ€™m not really into the whoâ€™s who of Hollywood.Â IÂ would rather DJ a destination wedding â€“ maybe somewhere exotic or just really out of the ordinary, something or somewhere that I would never forget.
How would you describe your â€œstyleâ€ or what you do?
Iâ€™d say my style is like a chameleon. Â Iâ€™m whoever my client needs me to be.Â Iâ€™m very organized when it comes to my work.Â At the event this allows me to just go with the flow because we haveÂ already discussed what the client(s) want for theirÂ day. I can quietly play the music, make announcements and interact, or use my skills to motivate the guests to dance.Â Itâ€™s not my wedding, itâ€™s theirs.Â My job is to ensure that everyone has a great time.
Tell me one thing that you would love to see come back or go away with weddings?
Iâ€™d like to see more time spent preparing for the toast, especially from the Best Man. Â The difference between a prepared toast to the Bride & Groom and someone just talking is like nightÂ and day. Itâ€™s not about beingÂ serious.Â Itâ€™s about offeringÂ good wishes to the new couple. MaybeÂ one out of 10 weddings will show a Best Man that really gets what this is about.Â Â Too many of them do not seem to know the difference between a toast and a roast.
You can visit with Jeff at his website for X-Sight Music at www.xsightmusic.com.