If you’ve attended any weddings as a guest, have you happened to see an evening party that doesn’t take off, a desolately empty runway an evening party with very high expectations left unexpected?

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We have tried to warn you, in several articles found on our blog, about the danger of downtime during a wedding and how it is the management of these moments that determines the success or failure of your big day.
The long hours of the wedding meal can put a strain on even the most determined guest so precautions should be taken to prevent boredom from driving your relatives and friends to want to leave as soon as possible.
The first moments of conviviality where all the guests are lost in tidbits, enjoying good food enveloped by the festive atmosphere in the hall can soon give way to a growing monotony, stagnation, discontent and impatience that will put an early end to your wedding.
How then to prevent this from happening?
Here are the 3 most important things to pay attention to:

  1. The type of guests
  2. The type of room/location where the lunch/dinner is held
  3. The type of music live or with DJ

1. We put it first because it is the first analysis that a wedding couple has to make when considering whether or not to have music in the hall, in fact you have to in a completely honest and transparent way analyze your guests and define whether, in your opinion, your cohort is active, participating and dynamic or vice versa is dull, amorphous and passive. This first analysis allows you to understand whether or not it may be useful to provide animation in the room and whether it should be minimal or present in a more important way. If the average age of the guests is low, I expect a dynamic lunch, with different fun situations organized by friends, a marked ability to participate in the activities proposed by the DJ / Animator; Conversely, from a room where the average age is higher, I expect a more discreet situation, a quieter environment where music and animation should be minimal or absent.

2. The type of room or location is the second key aspect to be analyzed since, despite your desire to have background music during the luncheon, there are settings that lend themselves more than others to fulfill this desire.
You must consider:

a. Will guests be divided into several rooms or will they be in one room? This aspect is crucial because by dispersing guests to multiple rooms the musical accompaniment will not be able to be present in every single room so it will be in favor of some and to the detriment of others.
b. Does the capacity of the room exceed the number of guests? If you choose a hall whose maximum capacity corresponds to the number of your guests, providing a sound point in the hall becomes prohibitive as there may not be sufficient space to guarantee the positioning of the DJ or live performer; In addition, the station and its speakers could be located close to one or more tables with the obligatory requirement to work at minimum volumes so as not to disturb nearby diners but on the other hand not guaranteeing the bride and groom the relative sound coverage they so desire.
c. Evaluate wire broadcasting if present. In fact, in some locations, the room used for lunch/dinner may be equipped with a ceiling or wall-mounted sound system consisting of multiple speakers that can evenly broadcast a generalized background music. In addition, sometimes these systems are equipped with radio-microphones to allow thank-you speeches by the bride and groom or games/joke by friends. It can be a very viable solution to provide sound coverage to the whole room evenly, in some cases the DJ can be connected to this system or a playlist can be structured in the months prior to the wedding to be provided to the venue owner to be used expressly during the lunch/dinner.

3. Third aspect to consider is to define whether you want it live music or you can be satisfied with a playlist put by the DJ because they are two very different types of accompaniment;
In the first case in fact no matter how minimal and low volume the professionals play and sing there is a physical volume beyond which one cannot go so even if the genre proposed is very soft and the volume contained to a more sensitive audience it may still be annoying. If you opt for DJ on the other hand certainly the volume aspect can be managed more performant however too low volumes will not guarantee you dynamic entertainment as you expect.

So if you want to ask the professional you have hired to also accompany the convivial part of the day pay close attention to these 3 aspects since in most cases his or her positioning will be within a short distance of the diners with 2 possible outcomes:

  • If the DJ/musician is a professional who knows how to do his or her job well, he or she will go and adjust the volume precisely according to the nearest table, to give diners a way to be able to converse without being constantly hammered by the DJ’s voice or music.
    Of course, you must be aware that a volume suitable for allowing diners to converse positioned a short distance from the system involves maintaining a minimal music volume that will be null as early as the middle of the room.
    The guest is sacred therefore should be indulged even in cases where his or her sensitivity is such that it is impossible to work in the room.
    Therefore, consider very carefully whether or not you should put the professional in the hall also depending on the size of the hall, its conformation, the location and the number of guests who will take part in your wedding.
  • In the worst case, on the other hand, the “professional” will go about his work not caring about the nearest table and his diners; To create a background music such as to “cheer” all the guests, he will have to maintain a sustained volume generating several problems:
    • Guests positioned close to the console slaughtered throughout the meal by loud music.
    • Older people who will go and complain first to the professional and then to the bride and groom because they cannot converse
    • Guests threatening to cut power to speakers
    • Guests indisposed to such an extent that they can’t wait to leave as soon as they get the chance
    • Guests who turn off or turn down the volume of the repeater or system with the risk of generating friction with the “professional” who is jealous of his things.
    • In the most serious cases, heated arguments can also be generated between the “professional” and the exasperated guest or simply more irascible than others.

You will surely have experienced a wedding as a guest and come home sometimes with a bit of a sore throat or voiceless because 100 people talking at once creates such a buzz that it causes each of us to raise our tone of voice to be heard by the other diners already when there is no music in the room, let alone if there is and it is loud!

In such a situation, your guests will be eager to get outside to chat in peace or contain a gradually growing headache.
I know it will seem impossible to you, and yet in the many weddings I have worked at, I have always found myself close to the console with the most irascible guest, the oldest one, the one who doesn’t like music or the most annoying one, in short, the classic person who starts complaining as soon as he sees you and realizes that he has you behind him during the entire meal.
It almost seems like spite from the bride and groom however in such cases punctually, the guest will start to complain first to the professional and then automatically to the rest of the guests and finally to the bride and groom causing widespread discontent.
Although I understand that, the bride and groom’s choice to have background music during the luncheon, is dictated by the fear that your guests may be bored during the several hours they will be seated at the table I would like to understand what logical sense leads you to invest money to have a professional inside the dining room, only to cause everything I have illustrated above? In my opinion none!

So no music during lunch?

NO. This is not to say that it is impossible to accompany the meal with live background music or through the figure of a DJ, but since the convivial aspect is an important part of your wedding, the pros and cons must be weighed.
The aspects described above must be taken into consideration, and made the right considerations you should have 2 options:

  1. If the location has it, the best solution to use is wire broadcasting. A series of speakers hung on the walls or concealed in the ceilings and distributed evenly throughout the room. Using this technology will allow you to achieve an even background music without going to the trouble of bothering any diners. In addition, very often locations equipped with piped music also provide friends and relatives with one or two ice cream microphones for any dedications, poems, jokes or games prepared to cheer the meal between courses. This solution will provide you with coverage throughout the room without having to turn up the volume of the system too much, and if you make an arrangement with the professional, he can prepare a playlist for you himself based on what your requests are, your favorite genres of music or singers.
  2. If there is no piped music, a good solution (we almost always recommend it to our brides and grooms) is to recreate a small lounge with a few sofas and/or chairs, either inside from the dining room or in another adjacent room; The important thing is that this relaxation area should be far enough away from the tables and inside it the guests can sit, relax, talk to each other quietly or stay on their cell phones but with a light background lounge music confined only to that area. If the hall does not have enough space or is entirely taken up by the tables, a good alternative is to place a system outside the venue, in the garden, park, some porch or barchessa (perhaps in the space where you had the aperitif); That way the guests, between courses, can get up and go outside to walk around in peace, go smoke a cigarette or just stretch their legs for a moment. Only a small speaker will be left in the room, perhaps battery-operated so as to be minimally impactful on the aesthetics of the room and ensure a very light background throughout the luncheon but at the same time equipped with a radio microphone ensure the possibility of dedications, thank-yous, and games.

That said.

We recommend that you take special care not to annoy guests. during the wedding meal, fixating on the misconception that music can be a trump card to play to cheer guests. Not so, aim rather for a more discreet entertainment service such as crazy waiters, or the illusionist magician going around through the tables or with targeted interventions by the entertainer between courses agreed upon with the maître d’hôtel; More dynamic, practical and less invasive solutions that will wring a smile from all the guests, brighten up the meal between courses but above all avoid creating unpleasant discontent, annoyance and hassle, risking spoiling the lunch/dinner for many guests.
As a professional DJ/Musician/Animator specializing in weddings trust what I have told you in this article because our job is to entertain and have fun but there must be conditions to do so otherwise we risk becoming a burden, a nuisance, an annoyance but most of all the cause of the early end of your wedding.
We often say that a wedding is a very complex event with a thousand variables and very delicate balances; hiring a DJ who does not have the right skills and experience can literally ruin your wedding.

Now with this knowledge you can analyze your comp and location and figure out which solution is best suited for your wedding or you can visit our website and go to the contact page to book a specialized consultation with our Paul and figure out which solutions to move toward to leave your guests with a pleasant, indeed, indelible memory of your wedding.
Remember that

“Marriage is a live movie. You can’t go wrong because you can’t buy a memory.”

We always say this to all our wedding couples.
A few simple tips combined with a dash of common sense in choosing the professional to whom you entrust the musical aspect of your wedding not just based on price will make your day a memorable event.

I am Paolo Furlan the first Wedding Music Planner in Veneto and founder of the Wedding Symphony music agency specializing in music for civil or religious ceremonies and music and entertainment for wedding receptions.

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