“Thank you so much for being at our wedding! Johnny, you were an amazing DJ and Master of Ceremonies. Everything from the lighting, to the music, and the newlywed game was perfect and better than we could have ever imagined…” “…The photobooth was also epic…” “…Thank you again! We love you guys!” Michelle and Raymond
I was the DJ for the first wedding reception in the Carousel Ballroom of the Binghamton Holiday Inn last weekend. Enhanced by uplighting and a projected monogram, the reception was as elegant as it was fun!
Awesome! You did an amazing job with the music. We received so many compliments throughout dinner of the song choices. The volume was perfect. and the up lighting and monogram was a hit. Thank you so much for making our day so special and perfect. Hopefully my cousin didn’t step on your toes! You both did awesome together!!!
I appreciate everything you did for us. I am so happy I picked you and you made the night!!!! Thank you so so much!!!!
Kristen & Walt 5/30/2015
DJ Johnny Only’s uplighting and projected monogram
In addition to my DJ/MC services, I supplied the uplighting and the monogram on the wall over the head table.
I also placed uplighting under the head table skirting and the cake table skirting as well to enhance the effect.
Below, there was an empty wall space here featuring a photo table. I placed the uplights at an angle to fill the space and to emphasize the table.
The material hanging from the ceiling and the chair covers were supplied by the House of Treasures.
What you don’t see is a projector blocking guests or traffic. It is off to the side on a tall stand above people’s heads and uses horizontal keystone technology to keep the projected monogram image symetrical.
In short, a wedding DJ has all of the different demographic groups together in one audience.
Therefore, a wedding DJ needs to know old trends, new trends, how to work with young people, old people and all people in between. They need to know how to work with large weddings, small weddings, elegant weddings, casual weddings, personalized weddings, traditional weddings and radically non-traditional weddings.
A DJ develops the ability to meet your unique needs by working in varied environments.
The more variety a DJ is capable of, the more fun and personalization they can bring to your reception.
Here is me DJ’ing for a pre-awards gathering in 2013. Organizers told me there were around 2500 people in the room at the time. I decided to lead an impromptu Harlem Shake bit.
What can you learn about me as a DJ, just by looking at this 30 second video?
You want a DJ that can do more than just weddings. Cutting edge music and entertainment styles emerge from outside sources. If your DJ does nothing but weddings, they are not being exposed to those newest trends, so they are not able to bring as much cutting edge excitement into your reception.
You want a DJ who can come up with an idea and follow through. I did not plan on doing this routine, nor did anyone else. It just came to me as an idea that would be fun. Thirty seconds before I played the song, I gave instructions to the crowd and look at the response!
You want a DJ that can lead crowds of different sizes and get results. Do you want guest participation at your reception? Do you want your reception to be the first time your DJ has tried it? No, you want them to be practiced and polished in front of live audiences.
You want a DJ that has different speakers for different room sizes. Obviously, my speakers here are filling a huge space. I don’t bring those speakers to your wedding reception unless you are having 450 guests. But you want your DJ to have different options available for you.
You want a DJ that can step outside the box and do what is fun for your guests in that moment. With the same group at a different time in the event, this may not have worked. Similarly, that trend was for 2013. I would not try it today. But I keep track of the latest trends, so it would be something different for 2015 and beyond.
Being a quality DJ is a skill that needs to be practiced. A DJ that only works 30 or so weddings per year will never be as smooth, polished or as effective as a DJ that works 150 or more major events per year.
The more time a DJ spends in front of live audiences, the more skill they will have with Master of Ceremony work, with both new and old music, with dance-floor trends and of course, sensitivity to your guests.
Lastly, tastes in entertainment change over time, it is the DJ that is out there working all types of events that will pick up those changes first and bring them to your wedding.
Choose a DJ that that puts in the hours and your reward will be guests talking about your reception years later and saying they still remember how awesome it was!
Music: It goes without saying that a significant amount of the music should be from the years close to the graduation. But the DJ should still avoid the clunkers and stick to the hits of that era. As the evening progresses, (depending on what year of graduation) guests will start to request newer songs for dancing.
Volume: Class reunions have a very strong social element (meaning people want to be able to talk while the music is playing) so the music volume should reflect that. Yes, the volume should raise as the dance-floor fills, but people who haven’t see each other in years (or decades) want to talk when they are not dancing.
Activities and Ice-breakers: Don’t put them all together, sprinkle them throughout the evening to keep it interesting for guests.
Mock awards for who traveled the farthest, who traveled the least distance, who lives closest to the school, who married their high school sweetheart, who came back to get a job at the school, who still lives in the same address since graduation, who has moved the most times since graduation … your imagination is the limit…
A welcome from the class president – or homecoming queen or … maybe just the head of the reunion committee
A toast to the class of ’65
A blessing before the meal for parochial schools.
Passing the wireless microphone from alumni to alumni – this works best while everyone is sitting – the person with mic stands up so everyone can see them and then say their name, introduce their date if the have one- and then say a few details about their life (what they say is optional) but, when I am the MC for this activity, I encourage them to say where they live, what they do or did professionally, and then finish off with a personal detail or two. The mic is then passed to the next alumni. Works well during coffee service while people are still sitting -or even in between courses (depending on the type of meal service you have) Obviously this would be prohibitive if you get more than 100 or so alumni.
Door prizes are always fun.
Class of (insert year of graduation) trivia is always fun: questions made up that only people who went to the school would be able to answer. ie, what was the name of the math teacher who taught ______ . Name one of the novels you had to read for 12th grade English. What team was played against for homecoming that year. Who was the Prom King and Queen. what was the name of the principal of the school… You can do that activity unstructured (which means the MC asks the question and then confirms the answer after somebody shouts it out/no score kept.) Or you can do it structured, where there is an answer sheet. Scores are kept track of and prizes given after drawing randomly from all the correct answer sheets.
Team trivia (general questions) from the year of graduation. Tables work as a team to get the correct answers. Questions can include things like price of gas, or movie, or car, or issues in politics or news worthy events from that year,
Uplighting around the room in the school colors is always nice.
Consider the school logo or mascot projected on the wall or dancefloor.
Depending on availability, pictures from the year book can be digitized and put on a plasma screen or projected on a screen.
If you plan to decorate your reception room with some sort of gossamer or sheer wedding material, the uplights can create a stunning visual impact by shinning through that material. These are some examples that I did last season to help you see what it might look like for you.
Check out the uplights behind the head table. This gives the room a focal point.
Now see the effect complete with the bridal party colors. Of course the uplights would be different to match your colors and your Maid of Honor toast.
Even during your first dance, your uplights will still be working to help make a magical moment.
The uplights are wirelessly controlled from my computer, so I can change them in order to highlight certain events during the night and keep the party hopping.
These photos were taken at the Owego Treadway by Jeannette Hampp of Captured Emotions. (She does an awesome job!)
My dancing lights are in the foreground of this picture. They liven up the dance floor by moving, changing color and ‘dancing’ to the music.
The uplights are in the background. You can see the plasma screen on the left.
This was the Maine Endwell High School Prom. We showed photos of the seniors, courtesy of the yearbook committee, on the plasma screen and projected their “Spartan” mascot emblem on the dancefloor.
The uplights ran patterns of blue and gold to match the school colors.
It was huge success! Administrators told me it was the best prom they’d had in years.
The class president was so pleased, he wrote me this note of testimonial below:
Johnny Only did a fantastic job as the DJ and MC for our High School Prom. He played a great mix of both our requests and popular hits. Johnny Only knew his audience and kept the Prom rocking for hours with music that we really wanted to listen to and dance to. His speaker system is very powerful and easily filled our large venue with sound. His system has an excellent range, with crystal clear vocals and deep pounding bass. It was everything that one would expect out of a professional DJ and more. As an MC, Johnny did an excellent job of announcing our Prom Court and kept the Prom flowing smoothly all night. His up-lighting synchronized with the music and created a really cool unique atmosphere that changed for each song and served as the perfect backdrop to our simple decorations.. The projected monogram and TV picture slide show were cool additions that also really helped to personalize and commemorate the event.
Thank you Johnny Only; you made our Prom night the best that it could be.
Anthony Taylor, Maine Endwell Class of 2014 Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Our photo booth at your wedding reception actually helps people to get up and dance. Let me tell you how.
Your guests get behind that curtain and start laughing! They can’t help themselves! They loosen up and forget their troubles! When was the last time you wanted to dance while feeling grumpy and stressed?
People start dancing AFTER they are relaxed and having fun. The photo booth helps them to do that!
Photo booths are romantic! Couples get behind the curtain and lean together, snuggle up, and kiss.
What better way to get your man on the dance floor then by sparking a bit of chemistry first?
Two identical photo strips print out immediately; one for your photo guest book and one for guests to take home. They make a fantastic wedding favor. They are personalized with your name, wedding date and your guest’s own picture. Unlike many favors that are discarded after a week or two, this is a wedding favor they will treasure, post to facebook, put on their refrigerator, and keep forever.
This helps to fill the dance floor by making them feel closer to you -reminding people that they are here to celebrate your marriage! It makes them want to party with you!