The party. The part of your wedding which your guests will remember most out of your entire day. The difference between a good DJ and a great DJ can make or break your wedding day. So how do you know your DJ will knock it out of the park? How do you choose one that is different but fits you and your fiancé’s style? How do you communicate with them in a way that works for everyone? Since we aren’t DJ’s (but love parties), we decided we weren’t the best people to give you knowledge about Wedding DJs & what they do. So we had a phone interview with Simon Rimmer from SIFI Events to give us a better rundown on DJs.
Simon grew up in London but moved to America when he was 12. When he was in high school, one of his friends started DJing and this sparked Simon’s interests. Quickly after this he started learning some of the techniques. He started out learning and working with other DJs before venturing out to work on Cruise Ships. Once he was ready for dry land again, he decided to start his own business - SIFI Entertainment. We asked him where he got his name and he told us a friend growing up gave him the nickname SIFI and he thought it was a cool name so he let his nickname be the brand of his business! One thing that is so unique about SIFI is that you can add on live musicians to complete the day - like a saxophone or bongo player. This is such an elevated experience at any wedding because it is something that is different from the typical and guests LOVE it! Since Simon has been in the industry for 11 years, we asked him specific questions about him and more generic questions about the DJ industry in general.
What do your days look like? Both for Weddings & for Day-to-Day? Simon spends most of his week catching up on emails to clients, checking their online portal, & scheduling phone calls with inquiries to give them more information about SIFI and what they have to offer. He often reaches out to the contacts he has made at networking events to keep up with others in the industry along with making sure to stay on top of his website. A few times a month, Simon will download new songs and create new mash-ups to keep his content current. He also takes time to research new technology that would give his business a leg up on his competition.
A few days before the wedding, Simon will make sure he has all the music he needs for ceremony or any other special songs downloaded and on his computer since he usually doesn’t know if a venue will have wifi or not (and let’s face it, it’s always better to be prepared). He makes sure himself & his crew have nice dry cleaned suits ready to go so they look clean and professional to fit in to the wedding vibe!
On the wedding day, they load up the vehicle with all their equipment & head out with plenty of time to get to the venue and arrive with two hours to spare before ceremony time to set up all the locations they will be playing music (depending on how many guys he has coming with him it could be 3 different playing locations!), change their clothes, and begin entertaining guests!
What makes a Great DJ stand out from a Good DJ? We’ve been to and done a lot of weddings and there is a big difference between a Great DJ and just a Good DJ. Behind the scenes (and to coordinators), a Great DJ comes prepared with all their music ready to go and in order along with all the cords to their equipment and having things charged that they need. They are good communicators with coordinators, the venue, & the couple months leading up to wedding day. Simon also added that a Great DJ is someone who knows music formatting, can speak clearly into a mic, can read the room, & come dressed to impress.
A Great DJ also knows how to get a timid group out on the dance floor! We’ve all been to a wedding where the guests would like to dance but are into their table conversations and might not join the dance floor if the music isn’t enough for them. Most DJs would try to get everyone out on the floor with a Line Dance but then go back to playing something that doesn’t interest the guests. A Great DJ emcees the crowd to get them motivated and involved and plays music that just makes you want to move! We asked Simon what his go to hype song was and he said it’s a mix he created that combines Whitney Houstons “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” & Rhianna’s “We Found Love” and he said it works 98% of the time to get the dance party going! And we have to agree - nothing gets us on the floor quite like a little Whitney!
Do personalized playlists help or hurt the dance party? This question was something born out of the trend of putting on your RSVP card a song that would get your guests on the dance floor (Megan knows about it because she did it). But we wanted to know if this ever hindered a dance party - if it took away creativity from the DJ. We asked Simon and he said it can do both. If you give a DJ a set list that they can’t stray from, that might hinder your party if your guests come up and request something that isn’t on the list or on a “Do Not Play” list it that would get people dancing. What Simon does is ask for 20-30 songs the couple likes and bases what he plays based off what he is given so he gets as close to their personality as he can while still making sure the dance floor is packed and everyone is happy!
Why hire a DJ over a Band? Lastly, the question a lot of people struggle with - should I hire a band or a DJ? We brainstormed with Simon (biasedly) why hiring a DJ over a Band is beneficial. For starters, there is a lot of red tape associated with bands. They need a bigger space to set up, there are power requirements for their equipment and instruments. They require breaks in their sets (which is understandable when you are singing or playing an instrument) but that slows the party down and ruins any momentum they had before they took a break. Bands tend to be less flexible than DJ’s when it comes to playing songs because they can only play what they already know and they don’t always make the best EMCEE for your wedding. And lastly, the price is high - which is expected because it takes a lot of members to make up a band. It might seem like we are against bands - we aren’t! However, when it comes to flexibility and cost efficiency, DJs are the better fit for most couples.
We love a good dance party at a wedding and Simon knows how to read a room to keep a party going! Simon is always staying up to date on all the technology in the DJ World - he even has the equipment to do a Silent Disco Party (which we are dying to attend)! If you are looking for a DJ who is going to play music that is your style all while keeping everyone you love on the dance floor, SIFI Entertainment is your DJ. We are so thankful to Simon for taking time out of his day to chat with us about his business and the DJ World. You can find SIFI Entertainment on facebook & instagram and on their website by clicking his logo above. Give him a follow to see all the cool things he brings to the table!