Are you wondering how to make sure your guests have a blast at your reception? One of the first places to start is with the entertainment–DJ, live music, or maybe even both. Rusch Entertainment is one of the most reputable DJ companies in Michigan and we are so excited for the chance to get some advice from them! Dean Rusch started Rusch Entertainment in 1971, and now he and his two sons, Corey and Casey, run the business. Today, we bring you some awesome tips on wedding entertainment from Corey & Casey!
Duration of Reception
To begin, we will start at the beginning of the planning process. Kicking off wedding planning by creating a timeline for both the planning and the wedding day allows you to give vendors the appropriate information when you book them. This can be tricky–couples often wonder what time their ceremony and reception should be. Corey shares his experience on this:
“A longer day and a longer reception don’t necessarily make it a better day or better reception. In this local market, receptions are averaging 7-8 hours, with ceremonies taking place 2-3 hours before the reception begins. This is a long day for your guests. Shorten up the timeline and keep the events moving. At the end of the night you want your dance floor packed with as many guests as possible; there is a huge difference in the liveliness of 4-5 hour receptions!”
Booking Entertainment Vendors
When it comes to booking vendors, the sooner the better. Corey explains that this is especially true for entertainment vendors, like DJ’s, as many of these industry professionals can only do one event a night–it becomes a game of first come, first serve. Reserve these vendors as soon as you find the ones you like and don’t forget to pay the deposit to lock in their services!
“It’s important to plan far in advance and get all the details locked in with your vendors in a timely fashion. If you find vendors that you like that fit your budget, vision and style of your reception you need to reserve them immediately. Saturdays in June, July, August, September and October are the biggest dates of the year, so you need to book those as far out as you can.”
This may sound contradictory, but while it is important to book your vendors in a timely fashion, it is also important to be wise about your selections. Corey shares:
“There are lots of DJs in the area with all different prices, experience, skill sets, equipment and varying levels of professionalism. We strongly feel that the venue, food & beverage and the entertainment is what people will remember. It’s important to pick all of them wisely and invest in them because they are the ones that are going to make the day memorable and run smoothly for you.”
Focus on What Matters
The planning process is above all, a special time for you and your fiancé. Don’t forget to enjoy it and work together. Casey reflects on his own wedding as he shares this advice:
“I tell our couples all the time to remember that this is supposed to be fun! We work closely with our couples and often find them to be stressing over the little things. I got married back in September of 2017 and my wife and I made sure we were both going to be happy. We made deals with each other. She knew that I really wanted to select the music (c’mon, I’m a DJ) and table linen, up-lighting color, and our floral arrangements didn’t really concern me. She picked all of that and I picked out the music. I think it was a win-win because the room was absolutely beautiful and people danced all night.”
And the same goes for the actual wedding day. Casey explains the idea of “what’s done is done:”
“Ahh, the wedding day. Words of wisdom from my wife, Amanda. “What’s done is done”. I had to keep reiterating that quote to myself on the day of our wedding. That is the exact thing we like to tell our couples on their wedding day. Even the week of the wedding, you can’t call and cancel your venue, your DJ, make changes to the menu, or hire a new photographer. You absolutely cannot change the weather. Take a deep breath, be happy, and look forward to having the best day of your life.”
Casey generously shared his 10 tips to planning the perfect party. We’ll leave you with these:
- Your guests are going to be where the couple is. If you’re on the dance floor, your guests will be too.
- Don’t micromanage the timeline. Things happen, and we will stick as close to the timeline as possible.
- If there are older guests, try not to sit them right in front of the speakers.
- The DJ needs to be easily visible and near the dance floor so they can get a feel for the crowd.
- If you have dance floor lighting, keep in mind that darker is better. Use dimmers for chandeliers, café lighting, etc.
- If you have a bar or photo booth at the event, please put it in the main room where the DJ is. You want to keep people near the dance floor at all times.
- When picking songs for your reception, take into account not only your taste, but the guests’ as well.
- When picking your music, don’t overdo it. Pick 10-20 songs you like and a few you don’t, and let us fill in from there.
- If you have to cut corners on your budget, don’t skimp on your entertainment – it can make or break your event!
- Dance, Dance, Dance!
Written by: Sarah Cline
Cover Photo by: Black Sheep Chic Photography