Ask the Wedding Experts
New York magazine|New York Magazine Weddings Winter 2016

The DJ

“Sure, you can play two or three songs that have a special meaning to you as a couple, but the majority of the playlist should be about keeping the party going.” - JAKISSA TAYLOR-SEMPLE, DJ Kiss

You and your husband, DJ M.O.S., are both DJs. Do you trade advice? When one of us tries out a song and it works, we’ll share it with each other. Recently, I came home from a wedding and was like, “Hubby, you have to incorporate Usher’s ‘Caught Up’ into your set!” Turns out it’s one of those gems people haven’t heard in a while and go crazy for.

What was it like DJ-ing for George Lucas and Mellody Hobson’s wedding? I had to follow Prince, who of course performed an amazing 30-song set. After Prince, you can’t exactly put on Ariana Grande. I stuck to classics that translated across generations, like “Rhythm of the Night” by DeBarge, Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. I was super-nervous, but then I saw Mellody on the dance floor, glowing, and I felt like I was doing my job.

What types of weddings tend to be the most challenging? It’s a cool challenge when couples want to incorporate very different types of music. I did a New York wedding with a black groom and an Indian bride, and I had to mix together current songs with hip-hop and Bollywood-style music. I’d play some traditional Indian songs, then transition with something like “Beware of the Boys” featuring Jay Z, which samples that Punjabi sound. If you and your partner are from different cultures, I’d definitely recommend meeting with the DJ ahead of time; the more they know about your backgrounds the better.

Any other DJ-scouting advice? Go out and see them on a Saturday night. That way, you can watch a DJ in action, get a sense of their sound, and basically audition them without them even knowing. It’s important to look for someone who’s feeding off the crowd and not only concerned with what they want to play, since weddings are not the place for a DJ to showboat. Ask for their business card; odds are that even if a DJ doesn’t specialize in weddings, they’ll be down to spin at a reception.

What advice do you have for couples working on playlist suggestions for their DJ? That, yes, your wedding is about you, but just like the food and the décor, it’s also about pleasing your guests. I once DJ-ed for a bride and groom in Red Hook where the guy was really into these obscure indie artists. I told him I was happy to play whatever he liked, but that if I played the list he gave me, the dance floor would clear out. If you spin only songs that are too cool for school, that people don’t know the words to, your little cousin and grandma are not going to be into it. - Arianna Davis

PRO TIP

“I get playlist inspiration from djcity.com—especially now that every time a new song drops, there are 30 remixes to consider along with it. The site is an industry standard, but it’s also good for brides and grooms picking their songs.”

The Dress Dealer

“I started collecting vintage gowns from flea markets, and then I realized there were a lot of Brooklyn girls like me who wanted these for their weddings.” - DIANA LEAHY founder of Freeheart Project

So you sell wedding dresses out of your Greenpoint apartment? Yes, the Freeheart Project started as an e-shop, but we sell mostly vintage dresses. The biggest obstacle with vintage is fit, so I recently started taking appointments in my home. People were always telling me they wished they could just try on dresses in their living rooms, so that’s exactly what this is. You come over, I have my racks out, and we sit down at my dining table to chat about what you’re looking for. I use my second bedroom for the dressing room,and my living room is a big open space with lots of windows, so the lighting is great.

Who’s your typical customer? I’m catering to the low-key bride— there’s a tiered lacey gown with bell sleeves from the ’70s, a mock-neck linen gown with a long train from the ’60s, an off-the-shoulder embroidered column gown from the ’90s. My customers are indie magazine editors and musicians; they love vintage because it’s unique, and there’s the whole mystery of who wore the dress before them. To make them even more unique, I’ll dip-dye the gown or veil for you. And then there are the prices—of the 30 or so I carry, many are under $300.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NEW YORK MAGAZINEView All

While You Were Truly Out

WHAT I WANT OUT OF OFFICE gossip is what Herman Melville delivers in “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” Ur-text of Manhattan office life. Imagine hearing it over happyhour beers some Thursday night.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

The National Interest: Jonathan Chait

100 Days That Reshaped America Learning from Joe Biden’s quiet, seismic young presidency.

10 mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

The End of Kimye's Wild Ride

She thought he was an artistic genius. He wanted to “dip her ass in gold.” And now it’s over.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

Dancing on Your Own (Together)

A temporary club for an in-between moment.

1 min read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

Mads Mikkelsen – ‘Oh, That's Right. I'm This Guy.'

Mads Mikkelsen is known for playing villains in America and more nuanced roles in Denmark. He takes everything and nothing seriously.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

India Off the Beaten Path

For their latest venture, Dhamaka, the owners of Queens hit Adda delve deeply into the country’s most local pleasures.

4 mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

Their First Apartment Together Launched a Small Business

Just out of NYU, David Zhang and Sarah Kim turned their Bushwick rental into a home-furnishings lab.

2 mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

30 minutes with … Eric Adams

Eight weeks before the mayoral primary and second in the polls, Brooklyn’s borough president sharpens his case for more cops.

6 mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

The System: Zak Cheney-Rice

We’ll Be Here Again Chauvin’s verdict is self-preservation disguised as redemption.

6 mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

The Diplomat

Daniel Dae Kim built a career by picking his battles, walking away from a job only when the inequities got too big to ignore. He still believes Hollywood can be reformed.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
April 12-25, 2021
RELATED STORIES

Tips For Including Your Dog In Your Wedding!

Tips for including your dog in your wedding festivities.

2 mins read
Romance Travel Magazine
January/February 2016

ऐसे कैसे रुकेगा कोरोना का संक्रमण बिना अनुमति जमकर हुई शादियां

कोरोनावायरस के संक्रमण को रोकने के लिए जिला प्रशासन के द्वारा विवाह समारोह के आयोजन पर रोक लगा दी गई। इसके बाद भी बिना अनुमति के शहर में जमकर शादियां हुई। प्रशासन की टीम ने इस ओर ध्यान देने में कोई रुचि नहीं ली। इंदौर नगर निगम की टीम भी नजर रखने में नाकाम रही। ऐसे में प्रश्न यह उठता है कि इतने सख्त कोरोना कपy के बाद भी कोरोना के संक्रमण को फैलने से कैसे रोक पाएंगे।

1 min read
Rising Indore
28 April 2021

शादियों पर छाए संकट के बादल

अब एनसीआर में आयोजन स्थल ढूंढ रहे राजधानीवासी

1 min read
Haribhoomi Delhi
April 08, 2021

राजधानी में आज 20 हजार से अधिक शादियां कहीं बजा न दें आपका बैंड

जाम की आशंका: यातायात पुलिस की तय समय से पहले घर से निकलने की सलाह

1 min read
Haribhoomi Delhi
February 16, 2021

Weddings Get Leaner

Turning the adversity of small gatherings into opportunity led to the growth of the trend of intimate destination weddings, says Sylvain Laroche, Director of Operations, ibis & ibis Styles, India,

2 mins read
Hospitality Talk
December 2020 - January 2021

अब चीनी, चायपत्ती और दूध के बढ़े भाव, आटा, चावल-गेहूं हुआ सस्ता, शादियों के सीजन में टमाटर हुआ और लाल

आम आदमी के किचन के बजट को सब्जियों और दालों की बढ़ती कीमतों ने तो पहले से ही बिगाड़ रखा है, अब चीनी, दूध और चाय इसे बदहाल कर रहा है।

1 min read
Rokthok Lekhani
December 08, 2020

शादी पर भारी न पड़े महामारी

शादी ब्याह को आखिर कब तक टाला जा सकता है? ऐसे में किन बातों को ध्यान में रखते हुए शादियों का हिस्सा बनें

1 min read
Anokhi
November 28, 2020

गुजरात में 5 हजार शादियों पर ग्रहण

नाइट कर्फ्यू की वजह से कई लोग शादियां टाल रहे, वेडिंग इंडस्ट्री को करोड़ों का नुकसान होगा

1 min read
Rokthok Lekhani
November 24, 2020

सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग में शादियां

हर इंडस्ट्री की तरह वेडिंग इंडस्ट्री पर भी कोरोना महामारी का बुरा असर पड़ा है। पर कहते हैं कि जहां चाह वहां राह| जब दो दिलों ने एक होने की ठान ही ली है, तो फिर सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग के नियमों का पालन करते हुए भी काफी शादियां हुईं।

1 min read
Vanitha Hindi
October 2020

Switch To Virtual, Switch To Safety

Wedding shopping is fun but a tiresome process. It involves a lot of brainstorming, ideating and styling of each look.

3 mins read
iCraze
June 2020