Getting the right mix

DJ Scott “Skillz” Rideout tunes us in on how to ensure the perfect soundtrack for the big day.

Layton Reid

With a guestlist ranging from five- to 85-year-olds, how do we keep the masses happy?
A DJ should be able to find the personality of the event and its guests. The bride and groom serve as the main resource of information as to what the DJ should be expecting to play. It’s important to meet with them, go over certain details and gather clues that will help program the music. I try to find out as much about them and their guests as possible, that will give me a feel for their needs and expectations of their event.

What about pre-made playlists? Are they necessary?
If your attitude is that you want everyone to have a good time, let your DJ have the freedom to work the playlist out. I always encourage couples to submit a certain number of “play” and “don’t play” songs—it gives you a frame of reference for songs that will definitely keep the bride and groom happy. You never know what songs people hold dear to them or for what reason. By the same token, some people despise certain songs for whatever reason. Getting this information is very important in the music planning and can open a DJ’s eyes as to what type of music might be a bit risky to play

How do you suggest couples go about picking “their song” for the first dance?
For some it’s as simple as “This is the song that was playing when…” for others, they need to dig deep to find one. There is no steadfast rule in choosing your first song; however the song should have meaning to the couple. Some look for a song that typifies them and their relationship, while others want everyone in attendance to get the meaning of the song. People are getting more creative and experimenting with different types of first dances. Slow, fast, choreographed. I love the element of surprise but if you are doing something “different”—do it right! There is a lot that goes into making the presentation come across smooth, organized and well-put together.

Scott “DJ Skillz” Rideout has been involved in the entertainment industry since 1997 where he began his career as entertainment director for International Cruise Lines. With live performances in Vancouver, the Caribbean and South Africa, he and his team are dedicated to bringing a creative and fresh approach to wedding music.

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