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Since 2010, Altared Weddings and Events has pursued innovation and excellence in the events industry by continually finding the best and most cutting edge ways to entertain and stun crowds. By recruiting incredible entertainers and seeking out new technologies, they strive to make sure that when guests enter the room they are completely awestruck in every way. We sat down with these Austin wedding pros and chatted about what sets them apart from your average DJ and asked them questions that we’re sure many brides-to-be are wondering as well. We were blown away by their innovative approach to wedding entertainment – read on to find out more!

What are questions that brides typically ask, and what questions should they be asking?
Brides typically come to us with questions about equipment, mics, liability insurance, etc. While it’s good to verify that a company has those logistical items squared away (and they absolutely should be able to prove that within seconds), brides should be asking what kind of atmosphere they want for their wedding. That comes down to personality and the collective efforts that go in to creating a space that engages all of your guests from the moment they walk in. Ask questions about your DJ that help you find out about his or her personality. If you like them before the event, you are way more likely to love them during the event. Personal connection goes a long way. They also need to be able to answer questions about how to engage your crowd. Are you a bohemian free spirit? Maybe all of your friends are into vinyl. Find out how they can tap into your interests to bring your personality out.

What’s the difference between having a DJ and having your friend press play on a great playlist?
A great DJ doesn’t just play music – a smartphone and a speaker are all that is needed for that. If it was just about the music, we would all stop what we were doing at the grocery store and dance when our favorite song came on. You want someone on your team that is skilled on a microphone, can comfortably welcome crowds and individual guests, and who can understand the nuances of events. We can’t stress enough the importance of letting your DJ get a feel for the room and letting the music ride the natural momentum of the event. This is something that takes some time to learn, and you pretty much only get that experience when you are in the events industry and know what cues to look for. We have good working relationships with venues, planners, caterers, photographers and staffing companies, so it is very easy to maneuver between our job and their jobs. We have a groove that works well that creates continuity in your event, and bringing in someone that doesn’t have that rapport can cause more hiccups. For example, can a friend correctly estimate the time it takes to move a crowd of 250 through a serving line and be prepared for the next item on the timeline? It take a lot of vigilance, and a friend may be distracted and miss some opportunities.

How do I pick the right DJ?
You’ve been to countless tastings, dress fittings, floral meetings and spent hundreds of hours on Pinterest. Should the entertainment of your guests get less attention? At Altared, we believe that you should have a relationship with your entertainer and that you should be matched with a person that is best suited for you. Our people spend time with every client to make sure they are getting a good fit for their family, friends and style. We believe that feeling a personal connection is the key to a successful relationship with a DJ!

How do I put together an amazing playlist?
The short answer? An amazing playlist is built in the moment. We know going in generally what popular songs work and what doesn’t. Instead, work with your DJ about you. A professional DJ can look at the list of songs you absolutely must have (and that should be a short list, think 5-10 songs that are near and dear to you) and can find songs that meet two criteria: something your crowd can dance to and something you identify with. If you hand him a list of 60 of the greatest love songs of all time your guests will be at the bar within minutes. A good DJ also knows when you play more adventurous songs and when to play foxtrot-style standards. It can change on a moment’s notice, and a great DJ plays to the crowd’s natural momentum.

What other entertainment is available besides dancing?
Entertainment is your interpretation of a great time. If you don’t dance, but you love to sing, look at karaoke. If you have older family members, find something that keeps them having fun without wearing them out. Like we said before, we believe in creating an atmosphere of entertainment. It’s the culmination of sound, lights, smells and other senses as you walk into a room. It’s anticipating a night of dancing, celebrating and letting go. Some of the items we use to create that environment of entertainment include DJs and entertainers, acoustic musicians, game shows and trivia, karaoke, photo booths and lawn games. Lighting is also key to creating this environment. No one wants to dance in a plain, dimly-lit room, and lighting can absolutely transform your reception hall from an elegant space to an amazing party with the push of a few buttons.

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