Up Close and Personal with Garvan Rigby

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We asked Garvan Rigby of star dj’s a few questions about weddings, DJing and the importance of the entertainment at a wedding
What makes a good Wedding DJ?

Somebody who can read the crowd. No matter how good a DJ you are at mixing, how good the sound is or how many songs you have, if you can’t read the crowd then you can’t be a good DJ no matter whether in a club a bar, a 21st party or at a wedding. This comes with time and experience. You have to know how to get the 60 year old aunt up while at the same time pleasing the 26 year old cousin and the college friend at the bar. You often hear of people hiring a DJ from the local bar or a band to “do” DJ. I think that is madness.

How long are you a DJ?

I have being DJing since I was around 16 years old at my first teenage school disco and have been specialising in weddings for 5 years.

How many weddings do you do a year?

About 35. My company does about 5000 events but I try to do no more than 40 weddings as I like to spend a lot of time on each event helping my clients with all the entertainment advice and organisation for their wedding, getting the right music and liasing with the hotel and other vendors. Recently I did a big movie theme wedding where I put together a full dinner play list of classic movie music in Dromoland Castle so that took a lot of work.

Ever do DJ for anybody famous?

I have played parties for many sports stars and celebrities. I suppose DJing for U2 would be the biggest name I can think of when I did their Christmas party one year.

What advice would you give to any potential client about the music?

Don’t try to play it too cool or trendy as you will loose 50% of your guests if you don’t cater for the older people. Every 17 year old knows Stevie Wonder but not every 50 year old knows the Keiser Chiefs! If you really want to avoid the “cheesy” songs you can still play well-known songs without going too trendy or cheesy.

What is the best advice you would give a Bride and Groom when hiring entertainment?

Don’t go for price alone. This applies whether it’s the band, choir or DJ. There is nothing worse than somebody who spends €25,000 on their wedding and it all goes bad because they tried to save €50 off the DJ or band and the night is ruined by a bad singer or a DJ playing the music you asked not to play. There are great value packages out there, however to add to that I would always ask for references as there is nothing worse than paying a top price and then getting the above!!!!

What makes a great wedding venue?

I think you have to decide whether it’s a food occasion or a party occasion. If you are going for food then hire the best venue with food and service, a nice room and great wine. If you want your wedding to be a great party then hire a venue that lends itself to be a great party venue with a good dance floor, good lighting and the bar in the same room so to avoid splitting the crowd and make sure the room is not too big for the amount of people attending. Put on a great DJ and then you have a great party!

Should you see the DJ play before you book him?

Not necessarily but do make sure that the DJ you meet and have a consultation with is the actual DJ that will be doing your wedding. I never invite clients along to another Bride’s wedding as I feel that I am there to impress my current clients and not to do a sales pitch for potential clients down the line. Also people should remember that if they do see a DJ he may be playing the music choice requested by the Bride and Groom so it may not necessarily be what you want or the style you might want for your event so take that into account also.

What is the best thing about being a wedding DJ?

Making somebody’s dream come true, watching a bride cry with joy to her favourite song during the first dance and of course the uncle doing that mad dance that everybody remembers and talks about for weeks to come. Honestly, I had a couple come up to me recently at the end of the night and they said that I made their wedding. That is what this job is all about.

Finally on a lighter note what is the strangest question you get asked as a DJ?

Oh, it has to be one of the following: “what songs have you got”, “have you got any songs I like” and the best is “how many songs have you got.” These are questions DJs get asked all the time but if you went into a restaurant and asked the waiter the same thing about food instead of songs you would get a funny look!!

This is an interview that appeared on the Weddingsonline.ie website.