12/31/12 Anderson Wedding promotional video

For a couple years now we’ve had the pleasure of working with Judi Bloom and her wonderful team of planning experts at Quackers. It was only a matter of time before one of them personally knew a bride, and that bride was none other than Carol Upton’s daughter! Carol has worked closely with Judi at Quckers for a long time, including many weddings we’ve worked together. So who’d they call when they needed a DJ? PRO DJ’s of coarse 🙂

Katie Upton and her fiancee Eric Anderson wanted something a little extra special, such as a New Years Eve wedding. Nothing spells p-a-r-t-y like a reception on the biggest party night of the year!

06/23/12 Jeanne Tieman-Reed & Jonathan McCool Wedding


The day started off with rain but quickly dried up into overcast skies with breaks of blue making for a perfect day. The Tacoma Art Museum was being readied before guests arrived. In a unique twist the Murray Family Event Space inside the museum was used for the ceremony & dancing. Without an alter we were asked to create a lighting scheme to give an alter feel in addition to adding light accents in the otherwise gray room.

You can see two pillars of white light illuminating from behind the 4′ flower pedestals creating an alter feel. To the left we used 2 projected gobo patterns & 4 uplights to the right. These lights filled in the un-utilized space to create a warm and inviting touch.

The guests arrived and the ceremony was under way. The sound system was set up in the back of the room out of the way of guests and the alter. The officiant was clearly heard by all wearing one of our wireless lapel microphones. Upon the conclusion of the ceremony everyone was escorted into the Marie Helmer Lobby for dinner, toasts and cake cutting.

This presented a unique challenge for providing sound but was accommodated by setting up 2 satellite speakers that were fed from the main sound system still fully setup in the Murray Family Event Space. Upon extensive sound checks prior to guest arrival the wireless microphone worked perfectly in all areas of the museum, setting up a completely separate sound system was not needed. This saved space as less equipment was needed and sound in all areas were synchronized.

The purple paper crown seen above was a tradition in their family when they used to get together. Each guest had a “cracker” waiting for them at their assigned tables. A “cracker” is a cylindrical housing encasing one colored paper crown wrapped in gift paper twisted off on both ends. Each guest would grab both ends of the twisted gift paper and pull apart to receive their own crown to wear. When the two ends are pulled apart a “popping” or “cracking” noise is heard, hence the name “crackers”.


Later in the evening once dinner, toasts and the cake cutting concluded it was time to invite guests back into the Murray Family Event Space for the couples first dance.

All the chairs used during the ceremony were removed and the overhead lights turned off leaving an open space with ambient lighting solely provided by PRO DJs. Once the couple finished their dance with each other and their parents it was time to invite everyone else to join in!

The entire wedding went off without a hitch. From the weather, A Divine Event planing, Poncharee photography, Snuffins Catering, the Tacoma Art Museum and to the sound & lighting provided by PRO DJs everyone and everything worked perfectly to make for a successful day the couple will remember for the rest of their lives.

We’d like to credit & give thanks to Poncharee photography for providing these pictures to show to you. We’d also like to thank Kerra at A Divine Event for referring us to Jonathan & Jeanne so we could take part in celebrating their special day.


Why Do Wedding DJ’s Cost More Than Non-Wedding DJ’s?

True professional Wedding DJ’s have invested a lot more money and will spend a lot more time on each event than just a grad party DJ. Here are the differences in bullet point form:

  • Discuss music prior to event (15-30 minutes)

  • Arrives 30 minutes prior to event to set up

  • Plays for 2 to 3 hours

  • Packs up and leaves


  •  Usually meets with potential clients prior to booking to make sure they have found the right DJ. This on average takes about 1 hour not including drive time to and from the meeting location.

  •  Upon booking they will meet with the couple again to go over all the fine details of their ceremony and/or reception. This in most cases also includes the DJ to create a timeline of events meaning the DJ must have a good knowledge of all the typical wedding intricacies. The timing and flow of events is just as important as the actual music played at a wedding. On average this takes about 1 and a half to 2 hours.

  • The DJ will prep for the wedding such as get music needed that he or she may not already have, burn a back-up CD, print all details from beginning to end, double check name pronunciations, coordinate with other vendors such as the caterer, venue, officiant, photographer and other potential people such as a friend who wants to plug his video, guitar and/or piano into the sound system to ensure synchronicity (2 hour average).

  • Arrive much earlier than a grad party to setup a more elaborate sound system or multiple sound systems, do sound checks, check in with key people for key events to remind them of their role in the wedding, do audio patch-in/microphone checks and in most cases finally change into something formal (2 hour average).

  •  The DJ will Emcee meaning coordinating with all the vendors and people in the wedding party who are directly involved with the timing and flow of the wedding. This ensures everyone is on the same page and present when they are needed. This also includes all the announcements such as introductions, excusing guests to the buffet line, conducting the bouquet/garter toss and much more.

  •  Play music that appeals to a wide variety of guests in different age groups. This is also important as a grad party DJ or club DJ typically only play club music. Club music is great in a club setting but rarely works well at wedding receptions.

As you can see there is a lot more time required of the DJ prior to each wedding as well as lot more experience and coordination required of the DJ to pull everything together. Wedding DJs are more than just a DJ, they also are an event coordinator, they are the Emcee and they are part of the wait staff when excusing guests for food. In addition to all the extra services they provide and knowledge they must posses they also provide more elaborate sound systems and equipment. Equipment not needed for simple grad parties such wireless microphones, mixing boards that are capable of handling multiple microphones and other inputs such as instruments & audio from videos. Plus most wedding DJs had to pay double for everything so they can provide back-up equipment. If a grad party doesn’t happen due to technical difficulties it sucks but not nearly as much as a wedding.

Choosing Music For Your Wedding

Every bride and groom wants to hear music they love at their wedding and every DJ should be sensitive to that.  However, newlyweds should also consider what their guests will enjoy or not enjoy.  We run across this from time to time where the bride or groom or sometimes both will come up with an elaborate list of selections that are not mass appeal.  The more focused and narrow the music list becomes the more alienated their guests will also become.  Once guests have become alienated, they are more likely to leave early or complain about the music.  If guests are not having a good time, the bride and groom may also begin to feel the same way.
The trick to a successful event is balance and not to lean too heavily in one direction.  Take for example a wedding we recently performed where the bride and groom came up with a large list of music that included a very long ‘Do Not Play’ list.  The songs the bride did not want to hear were the top 100 most popular weddings requests.  Immediately this alienated most of their guests as these were the songs we know from experience, most people want to hear.  In addition, the groom wanted unedited versions of songs.  Keep in mind, this was a young, hip couple, but there is a thing as being to cool for the room.  By playing unedited music the “high-class feel” of the reception was soon lost… especially to the older generation.  That may have seemed cool to about 20 percent of the entire wedding party similar in age to the newlyweds but that left a majority that did not appreciate it.
Of course, it’s OK to come up with a list of “must play” and “do not play” songs but also important to keep it within reason.  Think of a wedding reception as give and take.  Yes, it is your special day but it wouldn’t feel that way without your friends and family there to celebrate it with you. Yes, you are providing food for them but they also are giving you gifts in return.  Yes, you are providing entertainment for them but if you don’t also think of their needs, then your celebration will not be everything is should. The more fun they have, the more fun you will have in return.
Please remember, just because you like something doesn’t automatically mean that everyone else will.  As we all know music is important, it sets the mood and it’s what makes or breaks the overall feel of any party.  Just make sure you set the right mood for everyone you invite.  Otherwise you might as well save some money by reducing your guest list down to just those who only like the same music as you.

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