One of the things that I’m very passionate about when it comes to weddings and couples who are in the process of planning theirs is education on many of the things that are not common knowledge. This can range anywhere from how to actually screen your vendors to understand the impact certain types of music will have on the moment you’re trying to create to the flow of foot traffic at your wedding.

Essentially, what I’m getting at is that there are so many moving parts to setting your big day up for success that it can be totally overwhelming. So, let’s start with the basics-hiring the right entertainment for you.

The first thing I make a point of addressing with any new couple are the differences between a DJ and a Master of Ceremonies. The two roles are not overlapping as many people may think and they definitely have different skillsets. Let’s take a closer look!

The DJ is the most commonly associated term when it comes to entertainment at a wedding. The term has been around for decades and is now used almost as a “catch all” when it comes to someone who is entertaining your guests at a wedding. The primary role for a Wedding DJ is musical entertainment. Whether it’s simply playing the songs you’ll be coming down the aisle to or your first dance to rocking your dance floor. The role of the DJ is music-centric. In fact, they will be responsible for ALL audio related production at your wedding. Some DJs simply set up their gear, arrange their playlists (if they haven’t already done so), and hit play at the appropriate time. Some DJs do all of that but will also mix their songs together to form a seamless transition between songs. This is especially useful if the couple are wanting a club atmosphere at their wedding. Later blog posts that I make will explore things like dance floor psychology and dynamics, but for now we’re keeping it simple.

The role of the Master of Ceremonies at your wedding is where the rubber hits the road (in my humble opinion). Your MC’s main responsibility is to act as the newlywed’s spokesperson and representative to their guests on the most important day of their life. More than that, the MC is responsible for the execution of the timeline that the couple design. They are responsible for transitioning from one moment to the next in a smooth and (hopefully) professional way. In addition, they are responsible for setting the tone or atmosphere at your event. Whether it’s a funny moment or one that’s more emotional, their voice, words and how they use them are vitally important to making sure each moment has the impact it’s designed for.

The majority of wedding DJs perform the role of MC as well. HOW well is another matter entirely. Some DJs will set up in the corner and just sort of stay there. They don’t really interact, they don’t really lead the event like a proper MC should and in many cases, they seem to be allergic to the microphone. I like to call these guys “the gremlin behind the gear” Now, there are some couples who simply want that glorified Ipod as their entertainment and that’s totally ok if that’s what they want. In my experience, however, most couples want someone who can not only interact with their guests, but make sure their day is stress free and smooth flowing. Essentially, they want something MORE than just a run of the mill DJ that plays music. One last thing to note (as I mentioned above) is that while most DJs perform the role of the MC at weddings, many lack professional training in that space. Simply having years of experience talking on a mic isn’t a replacement for the professional training that can allow someone to create truly incredible moments using their voice and a microphone. A professional MC is not only an announcer, but a host and a story-teller. So, if you’re planning your wedding and you want a dynamite Master of Ceremonies, ask them about their training, ask to see videos of them ON THE MIC. Ask them to show you a video of their crowd interaction. Remember, you don’t get do-overs on your big day, so invest the time to look for quality.