How to plan your wedding music

Jul 20, 2020

At Sam and Pauls Thornbury wedding (featuring the iconic Kenny Lover), I linked up with their DJ’s One More Song Entertainment, who carried a ripping vibe across the day and into the evening. You know you’re on a good thing when the crew carrying your tunes are having the time of their life themselves. The duo are Eddy and Aleks, and they filled me in on what makes for cracking music at your wedding and how to plan your wedding music.

How to plan your wedding music
How to plan your wedding music
How to plan your wedding music
Incredible styling of Sam and Pauls home from Bangin Hangins.

These legends are also featured on my list of the 5 best wedding bands in Melbourne.

Who are you and if someone in a long elevator ride asks you what you do, how do you fill the air with 65 floors worth of words?

65 floors! I feel sorry for them. I could talk about what I do all day. In a nutshell though (and as this is a blog!), I’m a business co-owner (with my partner DJ Eddy Mac) and wedding DJ. Eddy and I run One More Song. We’re not a “booking agency” – we’re a wedding DJ business. Weddings are front and centre for us. We just love them!

As well as DJs, we have awesome musicians like saxophonists who play with us. Both Eddy and I run all aspects of the business and work with clients in the lead up to their big day. If one of us isn’t personally DJing at your wedding, we’ll pick one of our rockstar DJs.

I say we’re not an agency because we only work with a small – but AWESOME – group of entertainers (all experienced in playing at weddings) and we’re both so hands-on with the business. There are no desk-based entertainment managers at One More Song – you’re always dealing with someone who lives and breathes weddings!

What makes you come alive about being a DJ and working with weddings, and what are some surprises that you’ve enjoyed recently with it all? 

Is there a better party than a wedding? You have an excuse to get super dressed up, you get fed, watered and spend all night dancing with your favourite people. There is a special energy at weddings that you just don’t get anywhere else. And you definitely feel that behind the decks!

I love DJing at weddings because you get to play epic tunes from all eras and genres. I love so many different types of music – disco, funk, old school RnB, classic house, 90s dance, Motown, 80s synth, hip hop – the list goes on! Getting a pumping dance floor at a wedding involves really mixing it up to get old and young dancing. I truly love seeing people from all walks of life coming together to dance and for those few hours, forget about the mundanities of everyday life.

The one thing that constantly surprises me (but probably shouldn’t) is how much people of all ages love older music. There are just so many artists that have truly stood the test of time (think Queen, Prince, Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye) and always get the party going. 

What is your process for working with a couple to create the perfect set for their wedding, and how do you balance their needs with your wealth of experience in keeping the energy high in a room?

How to plan your wedding music

We’re always super upfront with our clients about the process so we can set their expectations. We always tell them that there’s only so much we can prepare – 80 per cent of the work is done on the night. Apart from the key moment songs (first dance, etc) and some “must-play” song requests from the couple, we just need an idea of what our clients DON’T want to hear and some genres/artists they love. Also importantly, we ask them what their friends and family will be into as well. 

Then it’s up to us on the night! We use our experience to read the room and build the energy at the right level. You can’t go hard with bangers at dinner and then play ambient jazz during the dance floor. You also can’t play one genre all night or guests will fatigue. It’s a fine balancing act!

We’re blessed as our vibe attracts clients who get all of this and are more than happy to leave most of the work to us. Building that trust with them is essential to us doing the best job possible on the day. We have heard of DJs who are provided with a list of 300 songs to play. That just doesn’t get the best results, so we let our brides and grooms know how we operate nice and early!

How much does the fixed nature of a set flex and change in the moment? I mean I’m not asking what happens if someone comes up blubbering “can you play Horses by Braithwaite” but I’m kinda asking, what happens when someone comes up blubbering “Hey DJ can you play Horses by Braithwaite”.

How to plan your wedding music

Our gigs are not fixed at all! All of our DJs live mix. Yes, we’re organised – we have thousands of tunes catalogued in every which way (folders for different parts of the evening, different decades, genres, sub-genres, etc), but we’re totally flexible and play to the crowd. Sometimes I’ll cue up a song to play and then 20 seconds before I’m about to mix out, I’ll change my mind – it definitely keeps it interesting!

I’m happy to take requests and happy to play Horses (no Nutbush, Macarena or Chicken Dance though… the line has to be drawn somewhere). BUT the caveat is that the request needs to be a song that the newly married couple will be happy with, and it needs to be played at the right time. If someone drunkenly requests Horses and guests are just finishing their mains, well, it ain’t happening!

I’m a bit of a (ie, a total) neophyte when it comes to the whole DJ thing. I mean, I see flashing lights, buttons, knobs, and an operator that somehow knows what it all is and makes the entire room move with it. What does it all mean, and when our octopus friends raise their IQ into the 3-digit-zone and cultivates good taste in music, are you out of a job?

How to plan your wedding music

The flashing knobs and buttons are designed to make us look very skilled, important and intimidate all who try to talk to us. 🙂 No, but really, technology has come such a long way and really helps when it comes to DJing at weddings. For example, we can cue up tracks at different points for key moments like wedding party entrances and use different effects and functions to help smoothly transition between genres – a very important part of being a wedding DJ.

As for the robot with good taste in music, its name is Spotify. The clients I’ve spoken to who had a Spotify play list for their engagement parties have always regretted it. I’ll only be threatened if the robot develops so much that it can read the tiny flicker of excitement in a guest’s eyes when you play a tune they love while they’re still having their entree, or be able to deal with an inebriated uncle who wants you to play The Angels all night. Then MAYBE I’ll be out of a job.

How do couples generally book you and whats the meeting process like?

When a couple enquires with us, they receive our shiny “party pack” – an easy-to-digest information pack that has more about how we work, our sample mixes, videos, etc. Then, some couples will either lock us in or book in a phone or video call (or in-person meeting, depending on what lockdown stage we’re in). During this chat, we talk about everything wedding-related and ask the couple about their wedding timeline, music likes/dislikes, their guest demographic, the vibe they’re after, etc! And of course, we go into more detail about how we work and offer some suggestions. After that, it’s a 50 per cent part payment to lock us in!

How do you navigate a room thats losing it’s energy and revive it, and to the opposite, do you proactively craft the space so that there’s ebbs and flows in how packed the floor is to set context?

How to plan your wedding music

A packed dance floor is obviously the ultimate goal, but people do need breaks – they might grab a drink, powder their nose, chat to a friend they haven’t seen in a while – it’s all part of it. And you need to provide something for everyone. Generally we’ll make sure the oldies can enjoy the dance floor earlier on in the night and leave the late night sing-alongs for those who are really letting their hair down.  As a wedding DJ, you need to respond to what’s happening in front of you. If you’re about to play the bride’s all-time fave song but see she’s heading off to the bathroom, you better find a different track pronto! 

I’ve gotta ask it. If the whole room is screaming your namesake “one more song”, what’s the likely candidate?

How to plan your wedding music

This does happen quite a bit (which is why we came up with the name!). It’s hard to pick one track as it really depends on the couple and the vibe, but normally it’s got to be something that has broad appeal, known and loved by both the couple and guests. An upbeat remix of a classic seems to work well – maybe an edit of a disco track. At one wedding last year I played Don’t Leave Me This Way by The Communards and it went off!

How to plan your wedding music: what are your 3 best tips for couples in planning out their entertainment?

How to plan your wedding music
See more from Sam and Pauls Melbourne gay wedding.
  1. Think about what you DON’T want to hear as much as you what you love
  2. Use the wedding planning time to throw together some tunes in Spotify/Apple Music/Excel spreadsheet (it doesn’t really matter!) that you both love. This can happen organically as you’re listening to music so it’s more fun than work!
  3. Don’t forget that although it’s your day, two people on a dance floor does not a rocking dance floor make. So think about music you love that you know others will love too!

Plan your wedding music with One More Song Entertainment.

One More Song Entertainment website: https://onemoresong.com.au/

Bigger picture stuff? Check out these Melbourne wedding planners.

Tobi Tobi Music

Jun 21, 2020

5 of the best wedding bands in Melbourne (not in order):

  1. Like this Band
  2. Tobi Tobi Music
  3. Lark Music
  4. Just Me Plus One
  5. One More Song Entertainment

From small, intimate duos, to full, scaleable big-bands. Here is a roundup of 5 of the best wedding bands in Melbourne, including DJ’s and musician duos.

Booking a wedding band or musician has a little more gravitas on it than you might imagine. Far more than being just background music – it’s the difference between your guests having a ripping time or not, and in no small way, they are often the glue between all of the other elements you’ve booked.

If you’re going to book an artist, they might as well be top of the tree and genuine lovers of what they do: music!

Here’s 5 Melbourne wedding bands that fit that bill – read on for a little more detail:

1. Like This Band

Like This band leverage something entirely unique that can’t be bought or imitated: they’re all real-life friends, and have played together as a unit since forever.

What this means for you, is this: no awkward referring to sheet-music or scenarios with band members not being in sync with each other, which is far more common than you might imagine, and affects how authentic and on-point the music comes across to your guests. And this translates to them partying hard.

Like This Band are a well-oiled machine, and having seen them perform at several weddings, it’s something special to see.

When you book Like This:

Expect an immersive experience, where the members are joining guests in the middle of the dance-floor for sax-solos, sing-alongs, and the most incredible musicianship available in Melbourne. Scaleable from large to small, they can take a post at any point of your wedding.

Something that Like This offer that no-one else can:

Their lead vocalist and pillar of charisma, Cadeyrn, can literally morph his vocals to sing, anything. From Sinatra, to Nick Cave, to John Mayer, over to every classic imaginable, you will absolutely be doing a double-take and wondering if the real deal is in the room. If you haven’t yet heard Like This, this can’t be overstated enough: Like This don’t cover other artists, they BECOME them.

Make an enquiry with Like This

https://www.likethiscorporate.com/


2. Tobi Tobi Music

I first met Tobi Tobi at Amy and Bronsons wedding, featured on Hello May.

Renee and Jamie, also known formally as Tobi Tobi Music, with have you swooning over their ethereal soundscapes, filling the air with what should be impossible with just two people. Because of this, these two are commissioned all over the world to cast their craft as the backdrop to wedding ceremonies and canapés.

When you book Tobi Tobi Music:

Expect an experience where your guests are doing double takes at how Renee and Jamie are interpreting every type of song under the sun, and making it their (and your) own.

Tobi Tobi - best wedding band in Melbourne

Something that Tobi Tobi Music offer that no-one else can:

Renee has a voice that softly cuts through a gathering and just has to be heard to be believed, and the way Jamie and herself weave songs into something far beyond what you know them as, is just out of this world.

Apart from that, if the Tobi Tobi Music instagram is anything to go by they’re well documented as going to extra lengths to make sure their wizardry waved over your day is not only music but a fully personalised experience that will leave a memorable mark on you and your guests.

I first came across Tobi Tobi Music while working with the inimitable Nathan Kaso at Amy and Bronson’s wedding, and their tunes have stuck with me since.

Make an enquiry with Tobi Tobi Music

https://www.tobitobi.co/


3. Lark Music

Led by Luke O’Connor, Lark Music are at the pinnacle of the modular band experience. Within Lark Music, you can pick your flavour: from DJ, to duo, to ten-part band and beyond. Lark offer a fully customised experience entertaining small intimate weddings, to large wedding armageddons.

When you book Lark Music:

Expect a slick and professional experience that can only come from a seasoned machine that has absolutely seen it all.

Something that Lark Music offer that no-one else can:

With their incredible extended network of musician friends and enormous tight core, if you can forgive me sounding like i’m marketing an I.T firm for a hot minute, they are the epitome of a “scaleable soultion”. Soulution was a typo but i’m damn well leaving it there because it fits.

Make an enquiry with Lark Music

https://larkmusic.com.au/


4. Just Me Plus One

Video by Lunar Red Films

The head-honcho of Just Me Plus One, Vanessa, is a seasoned songstress with over 1000 (!) gigs under her belt. An incredible body of work like that translates to a wild level of experience and empathy that has her locking in with crowds like, I guess, some kind of well-churned item of dairy produce onto lightly caramelised bread.

When you book Just Me Plus One:

When you book Just Me Plus One, you get a seasoned performer who will not only cast a cracking spell on your guests on the day, but before all that, walk you through the process of either creating a bespoke package for you, or work together with your own recommendations.

Just Me Plus One - best wedding band in Melbourne

Something that Just Me Plus One offers that no-one else does:

Expect the warm, room-controlling presence of someone who can simultaneously walk the professional tightrope of having an impossible number of wildly varied gigs under her belt, while at the same time being a calm, friend next door presence to all in the room.

Make an enquiry with Just Me Plus One

https://www.justmeplusone.com/


5. One More Song Entertainment

When “No More Nutbush” are the first words that hit you on their website, you get a small taste of what you’re in for. Aleks and Eddy are a partner-duo (in case you haven’t picked up the theme of this post – all of the artists here are either friends or partners!), and i’ve had the wild pleasure of watching Aleks keep a room of the most discerning partyers going late into the evening.

When you One More Song Entertainment:

Expect the best DJ’s in town turning up to turn up. If you want to get a good feel for how their sets weave, they’ve brilliantly included a variety of mixes over on their website linked below.

Something that One More Song Entertainment offer that no-one else can:

Expert crowd-readers, One More Song somehow split their attention between manning the decks and empathetically reading the crowd from top to tail. See their post here on how to plan your wedding music.

Make an enquiry with One More Song Entertainment

https://onemoresong.com.au/


And there we go. Hopefully this post was a delightfully useful little morsel of an insight into the wedding band options available in Melbourne.

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