DJ Cale

Serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Since 2014.

254-495-7797

Business website for DJ Cale, representing the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

How Do We Pick The Music?

To gather all the information I need, I send out my SUPER FUN CHECKLIST about two or three weeks before the big day. The SUPER FUN CHECKLIST is super fun! What is it? It's a questionnaire and the answers are sent back to my DJ fortress of solitude. And as you fill it out, it will guide you through the process of choosing all the music for your epic celebration, much like a spirit animal might guide you through the forest to a magical cave full of amazing snacks. 

"We haven't planned a wedding before. How should we start preparing to make our music selections?" 

Imagine this scenario...

You are throwing a dinner party for all your favorite people. What are you celebrating? Being in epic love.

Do you want that celebration to be dreamy, relaxed, peaceful? Romantic, happy, fun? Upbeat, energetic, wild? Maybe all of those things at different times throughout the night. You can control your loyal subjects' emotions through music, and sometimes you want your guests to feel like they are hanging out at a great coffee house, and other times you want them to dance their little asses off.

Break the whole evening up into four parts:

  1. The Ceremony
  2. Cocktails and Mingling Time
  3. Dinner Time
  4. Party Time 

1. The Ceremony

  •  Pre-ceremony music can be playing as your guests are arriving. This is a great time to set the mood for your ceremony. How to you want it to feel? Think of some songs or artists or genres that embody that theme or emotion. 
  • Ceremony songs ought to be attractive-- maybe consider songs that are special to you and your fiance. The typical ceremony can be broken up into a few parts that can all have their own individual songs if you wish, or one song can be played long enough for more than one of these ceremony traditions: 
    • Seating of the Mothers/Grandmothers
    • Officiant, Groom, and Groomsmen
    • Bridesmaids (Or bridesmaids and groomsmen can walk together)
    • Special song for the Bride
    • Any special songs during the ceremony for unity rituals, like a Unity Candle or maybe something totally metal like "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC and u guys sacrifice a dove to satan or whatever-- anything goes, for real nothing is sacred anymore and this is an alternate reality and donald trump is actually our real president
    • Recessional song: this is usually upbeat and super fun and I play this after y'all kiss and the officiant introduces you as "Mr. & Mrs."

2. Cocktails and Mingling Time

After the ceremony, people who haven't seen each other in forever will want to grab a beer or margarita and catch up with friends and family that have all come together. Meanwhile, the bride and groom and other special people will be taking post-ceremony pictures, if that's what you want. You're newlyweds! Get some photos! Everybody else chills. What do you want them to listen to?

Since this part of the evening is kinda separated from Dinnertime, you can give it its own "theme." Maybe you choose 100% hipster romance like Bon Iver and B0RNS and Lana Del Rey. Maybe it's all 90's, all Motown, or just all sing-along songs? If there's some significance to your playlist that you want the guests to understand, your DJ (that's me) could get on the mic and say "Ok, everybody, the music we're going to hear for the next half hour is the soundtrack to the bride and groom's favorite movie, ________________," or something like that to explain your playlist to the guests.

3. Dinnertime

It's almost time to eat, but we aren't going to eat without the Bride and Groom. First, we get you guys in the room with a Grand Introduction. See this blog post about that. 

There are other reception traditions that often happen around dinner. These are the most common ones, and by the way they are totally optional: 

  • first dance of the bride and groom

  • bride dances with her father

  • groom dances with his mother

  • toasts and speeches

During dinner, you have another opportunity to entertain your guests with whatever playlist you want. Choose the energy level wisely: you might put people to sleep if too many slow songs are played. I suggest a big mix of lots of genres you like, lots of different generations, so there's something for everybody to enjoy. 

4. Party Time 

After dinner, everybody is ready to drink and dance and CELEBRATE! Choose fun, energetic music that will satisfy your diverse crowd, and sprinkle in a few slow songs for the lovers. 

Sometimes a crowd of friends will have "that one song," and it's something that unites all of them. Maybe your particular group of friends has a special song that you know will get everybody out on the dance floor. Like a song you used to all sing together at sleepovers. Maybe you all danced drunkenly around a bonfire to this specific song. Play it! 

I also suggest choosing a final song for your guests. The last song they will dance to before we call it quits.

And finally, choose a slow-dance song for just you and your new husband.

Keep in mind that I do this every weekend for all kinds of crowds. You might not have any go-to songs on the tip of your tongue for any random situation, but I do! So, YOU don't have to choose every single song. Most importantly, tell me what kind of themes you have, explain the energy level you want for each of those four parts of the evening, and tell me the artists and genres you like. Tell me what you DON'T like. And I'll take it from there.  

The SUPER FUN CHECKLIST will show you the way, and all of your answers will be sent to me so I can prep your playlist. If you hit any roadblocks and you just can't come up with a good song for any scenario, give me a call or shoot me a text. 

XOXO DJ Cale

Wedding Planning: How to Make an AWESOME Entrance to Your Reception

"What kind of song should we pick for our 'Grand Introduction?'" 

I hear this question almost every time I meet with a new couple. 

The Grand Introduction is one of the most exciting parts of the evening. Think about the excitement level up to that point: excitement is high when the bride and groom kiss, after the ceremony the excitement mellows during the cocktail hour as people catch up to old friends over cocktails. Pretty soon the guests will unwind and relax and before you know it, they will feel very lazy as all the day's activity catches up to them. The next part of the evening is dinner, and people just might be ready for a nap at your reception if the music is too soothing and the lights too low. We can't let that happen!

This is where your DJ can help. Any experienced DJ will know how to keep the excitement level up! But I can tell you the key is to have exciting events and exciting music intermittently throughout the night to get the crowd tapping their toes at the dinner tables and dancing while they wait in line at the bar and buffet. 

The Grand Introduction is one of those exciting events. This is the time when the wedding party is finally finished with all the photos after the ceremony and they are ready to join the guests, have a drink and a bite to eat, and CELEBRATE the union of two of the sweetest people they know. Getting the whole crowd to welcome them into the reception space in a grand fashion will make you all feel like VIP's at the reception and it also signals to guests that the party can truly start. This is an important maneuver that has to be done right and it sets the tone for the rest of the reception!

So choose something fun, upbeat, fast-paced, and play it LOUD! 

Traditionally, the whole wedding party is announced in the order they entered the ceremony space, then a special announcement is made for the lovely bride and handsome groom. But there are lots of options here:

The Sneak Attack
Some couples choose not to introduce the wedding party at all, instead just letting the wedding party join the reception when they want so they can mingle with the crowd. This is fine, and nobody will be disappointed, I promise. Once everybody's inside the reception space, the DJ can announce the entrance of the new bride and groom only.

The Whole Gang is Here
There's nothing wrong with introducing the whole wedding party as a group. Have your DJ start a fun song and get the crowd's attention. Then introduce the whole wedding party by saying something like, "Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for YOUR FABULOUS WEDDING PARTY!" Then the whole group busts into the room enthusiastically. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Two of a Kind
Some people want individual pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen to be introduced, usually if they entered the ceremony as pairs. Your DJ should introduce them with their first names, naming the bridesmaid first. You can also elect to use each person's whole name.

Han Solo
It's also fine to introduce your wedding party as individuals, and the DJ can call out each of their names one at a time (usually the full name in this case). Of course the bride and groom are introduced as a shiny new couple.

Extra Credit
There are lots of fun things you can do to make the introduction really pop!

  • Everybody dance! If your wedding party struts out showing off their best moves, the crowd is going to LOVE IT. Bonus points if anybody can pop and lock, or a few people have synchronized moves ready to go!! Get out your phone and check out some old Soul Train clips before the introduction if you want to really nail it. 
  • Ask your DJ to play a new hip-hop hit that will boost the crowd's energy!
  • Get some goofy props from your photo booth and give the crowd something to chuckle about.
  • Your DJ needs to have really high energy and practically shout above the crowd. A timid DJ = a timid reception.  
  • Get your DJ to announce your goofiest groomsman with a silly, made-up middle name!
  • Don't forget to make sure the DJ tells the crowd to make some extra noise for the Maid of Honor and Best Man!
  • And be sure to tell your DJ how YOU would like to be introduced as a brand new couple. Will it be Mr. and Mrs. Morris? Zach and Kelly Morris? Mr. and Mrs. Zach Morris? You decide what sounds good to you!
  • Consider having a different song for each couple or individual in the wedding party! This is extra work for your DJ to cue a new song each time, but boy is it fun!

If your DJ doesn't nail down these details before the Big Day, make sure you bring it up in your planning so you can make sure you have the most memorable day possible to celebrate your sweet love together.

xoxo,
DJ Cale