Musical Tips for Your Party from Moonlight Memories DJs

It is time to plan that special party … you know that parties are supposed to be fun, yet when you are planning one, you often feel a lot of pressure. If it bombs, you will have disappointed the guest of honor, as well as have shown your family and friends a lousy time.
Many concerns and questions may confront you, among them …

What day of the week and time should I have the Party?

Saturday Nights are by far the best time to have your event. That is when people arrive ready to party.
On Friday’s, many people have woken up early and are too tired by the evening.
On Sunday, many have to work the next day and may have to leave the party early. Even a Saturday afternoon does not have the same energy as a Saturday night. While many banquet halls offer discounts on Fridays and Sundays, it is recommended that you bypass the discount and go with the prime party time of Saturday Night.

Where to have the Party?

There are three categories of places to have your party. Banquet Halls, Community Halls, and your home.
1. Banquet Halls – these add a touch of elegance and demonstrate the importance of your special event. You will need to be careful in your selection of a banquet hall – a nice appearance may give a false image of superior service. It is a frequent observation that, in some halls, a lot of what you are paying for is in the chandeliers, wallpaper, and fancy napkins, and not necessarily in the service and the food. To help in making your section of a banquet hall get a reference from a friend who has recently used a banquet hall. Look for one that offers exceptional service and value – a great plus is a place where the owner is present at your event.

2. Community Halls – Firehouses, American Legions, VFWs, condo clubhouses. Here the hall is provided, but you must hire a mobile caterer for the food. These halls offer a cheaper option for your party. The hall rental can be between $100 and $400 (with the lower cost for members of the halls association). Some condo clubhouse can even be rented for free. While the community halls do not look as nice as the fancy banquet halls, the celebrations held there are every bit as good as those in the banquet halls. The fun really depends upon the people and the DJ (or band). An added advantage of the community halls is that you may have the key to lock up, and thus be able to stay as long as you like (as opposed to a banquet hall that keeps you to a fixed time.)

3. Home - If you want to have your party at home, remember that since dancing is an important part of the party, there should be enough room for a dance floor. If your party is indoors, you need a very large room or nice basement. If it is outdoors, set up a dance floor under a rented tent. A tent gives you peace of mind that if it rains, you do not have to cancel the party or crowd into the house. And make sure to have side panels on the tent as rainy days are often windy days.

Hiring the Mobile Caterer
Prices vary greatly. It depends upon the caterer and the menu selection. Costs can vary from $12 per person to $30 a person. Some caterers simply market themselves as “exquisite” and charge more. Get a reference from someone that has recently used a caterer. A caterer can just “drop off” the food, or, for an additional charge, provide staff to serve the food.

Hiring the Entertainment
Music makes or breaks your event ! A careful selection of a DJ or band (yeah, they are good too) is essential.
You have probably seen a bad DJ ruin an event. Unfortunately, the quality of some disc jockeys can be surprisingly poor. This is because anyone can call themselves a DJ – the barriers to entry in the industry are very low. In addition, the profession seems to attract “show boaters” rather than individuals that are willing to take on the responsibility of making your “once in a lifetime” event a success. Like all services a reference is essential. What makes an excellent DJ is what can be referred to as “DJ Intuition” – the ability to “read the crowd” and play the right songs at the right time. The DJ must play a variety of music – old and new – as well as fast and slow. He (or she) should also be willing to work with you to customize your event. The cost can range from $400 to $800 for a party, and from $600 to $1500 for a wedding. It depends upon the day of the week, the number of hours, if you want a second DJ, and party favors or a lighting system.

What should I tell the Disc Jockey?

1. A general idea of what music to play. For example, a customer might say “play a variety of music … some country, lots of oldies and a couple of Irish songs.

2. The specific requests … let the DJ know what specific songs are your party favorites. If you have over 15 songs listed, prioritize which songs you definitely want played. This way, the DJ will play your most important songs and then try to play most of the lower priority songs. Remember, the DJ needs to “play the crowd”. He is (or at least should be) an expert at making parties fun. If you give him a long list of what he has to play, it limits his disc jockey skills – he becomes more of a jukebox rather than an entertainer.

3. What not to play – You may have heard enough of the “Chicken Dance” or Celebration, so let the DJ know this.

It is your special event – get references for all the services that you need and hire professionals. Then just relax and enjoy the party!