I caught up recently with Brighton based DJ Mitch Matthews to ask him a few questions about being a DJ and weddings.
How did you become a wedding DJ, what’s your background?
I grew up DJing and partying all over the UK and Europe DJing for the students and ex students that grew up into the people now getting married. I got in to DJjing at weddings because the major international event organisers who I DJ'd for wanted me to DJ at their weddings and parties. Also now I’m in my 30s its where I still get to have a brilliant party with the people that I've always loved DJing too. We are all just a bit older…but not wiser.
How would you describe the music you like to play?
Brilliant fun music that makes the crowd in front of me get up and dance and interact with the other people at the wedding.
What has been your favourite wedding to DJ for?
I DJ’d on a Turkish beach in Cesme at a half outdoor bar which you could dive in to the sea from. That was pretty special.
What have you found the most challenging job?
When people don't give me any of their time before the day. They always love what I do for them, however, I feel frustrated because I know their wedding, although better than the norm, could have been so much more personal to them if they had spent some time with me.
What do you think couples should be looking for when hiring a DJ?
If you haven't seen a DJ that you really like the first thing is to get recommendations from people that you trust. Never book a DJ from an agency without talking to their DJ yourself first and feel 100% comfortable that they will do a good job for you.
What advice would you give couples putting together the playlist for their wedding day?
The reason for the play list is for the DJ to understand the likes of the people in front of them. You really want the DJ to be able to say to themselves 'the bride and her female friends are dancing and I know that they love the things on this list’. Because of this I would make not one list but 4 to 6 or even more different play lists, one for each different group of people at the wedding. i.e. list 1, Bride and her female friends (I know it sounds sexist,) 2, Groom and his male friends- point out on the list if they are likely to be at the bar till later or on the dance floor) 3, Brides parents, 4, Grooms parents, 5, Kids. 6, Any Special play lists (Irish, Scottish, French, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic etc.).
Then divide each play list into 3 sections:
Section 1: Tracks that mean something to the group, such as the track that was playing when the couple first met or music that their mum always used to dance around to house too. Etc
Section 2: Tracks that will definitely make that group get up and get on the dance floor.
Section 3: music you feel that the group will really like.
Warning! Don’t try to filter your each other’s lists until you both meet the DJ. The dj needs to see what you don't want as much as what you do.
Tip - it's ok to give each list to a trusted, knowledgeable person in their specific group. I.e. getting help from your bridesmaids or the groom getting help from the best man.
What do you wish couples knew already when working with you?
That their wedding was going to be really really good and they can relax and enjoy the run up to it as much as the day itself. Oh and that they should book a day in a hotel and spa a few days before the wedding so that they are being pampered instead of stilling at home worrying.
What’s your one non wedding related obsession at the moment, something you just can’t live without?
My Roz, she's my partner best friend and lover. However, I guess as we are getting married in September that too is wedding related. So my mountain bike, getting out on the South Downs is brilliant and looking forwards to summer BBQs on the Beach with my friends.
All photos courtesy of Sergerius Bruce Photography