Sometimes, couples feel it’s strange to deal with us in the office when someone else will be their DJ at the reception.  After 30 years and 10,000 + weddings, we are confident that our system delivers the right (perhaps, Best?) results. Our reputation, reviews, and recommendations speak for themselves, but if you need a “peek behind the curtain”, you can learn all the benefits of working with Maximum Music and how the process works, below!

5 steps that take place when working with Maximum Music!

  1. You want to hire Maximum Music.  You’ve done your research and you like us best (we don’t blame you).  You trust that we will work with you to make the reception music perfect.
  2. Envision your reception. You’ve thought about your reception, what music you want, and what you expect from us for music and an MC (introductions, games, and general personality).  To share your vision, use our planning form for clear communication and to send your music requests!
  3. The two-month mark.  We’ve received commitments from our DJs to work at your wedding.  We match your wedding with one of our DJs who will make your reception dreams come true.
  4. The two-week mark.  You have completed everything in our client area and our owner, Rod, will personally reach out to talk with you and run through them.  This will make sure we have all the little details sorted.
  5. And Go!  Now, and only now, is the reception is ready to take place with Maximum Music.

We love this system because it keeps everyone doing what they love.  Our owner, Rod, gets to talk with couples, hear their (your) excitement, and has a hand in planning the perfect reception. Our DJs do what they love – focused on delivering the music, creating a party atmosphere, and leaving the planning process pieces to the pros!  Each person is not great at all aspects of being a wedding DJs, but the biggest benefit to working with Maximum Music is, we’ve let people thrive in the areas they excel at and share the workload to ensure success!

When you hire us, you deal with a team that builds in training, networking, idea sharing, music programming, and development within our staff.  You have a company with resources available to deal with any curveball that may come up.  From backup DJs to backup equipment, we’ll be there for you.

5 things you’ll avoid when working with Maximum Music.

Following this above process, here are a few problems you WON’T have because we don’t assign DJs far in advance.

  1. Assigning the Wrong DJ.  We might realize that we have a different DJ that is better suited to meet your specific requests when we learn more about you.  We don’t assign a DJ until much closer to your wedding, so we know who will be a great fit for you!
  2. Commitment vs the right fit.  A DJ can be available and willing to commit to a date, but their availability is not the most important factor.  We consider all aspects of your wedding and vision to make sure we get the right DJ for you.
  3. Plans change.  Someone is committed to being your DJ on a certain date, but then your plans change.  The DJ you had selected is not available anymore and you’re (understandably) disappointed.  Our system ensures you can avoid this heartbreak and have only positive memories when working with Maximum Music.
  4. Referral Dilemmas.  A referral to a specific DJ from a friend might is always a bonus!  But while the DJ they recommended may have been a good fit for them, they may not be good for you.  We’ll make sure your DJ is the best FOR YOU!  Every couple (just like every DJ) is unique!
  5. Not all great DJs are great planners.  A DJ meets with a couple 6 months before the wedding. Then, they don’t remember the little details or lose the napkin they were written on. What a nightmare!  We get it, not everyone is great at everything!  Our team works together so your experience is nothing less than perfect.

At the two-month mark when we assign your DJ, they will be ready to talk all about your wedding.  They’ll learn all about you, your music tastes, and go over all the details.  We know you won’t regret working with Maximum Music!

You love metal, rap, or acoustic coffeehouse covers, your partner loves Backstreet Boys and current Top 40s.  Your families are Indian and Croatian and your parents want some traditional music. You grew up in or near Toronto listening to FLOW, 103.5, or CFNY.  What a range of music genre’s to try to accommodate!  Don’t stress, this is the reality of ALL our weddings.  Toronto weddings in particular are a fusion of cultures, backgrounds and musical tastes. So, how do you ensure you have the best reception music?  Our team at Maximum Music, will work with you to design a wedding soundtrack that will cover all the bases.  We will work with you on a strategy to manage expectations so everyone feels like they got to hear what they were looking forward to at your wedding.

There is a time and place during your day to hear all the different music genres needed to satisfy your diverse guest list.  You may need to compromise a bit, but you do not need to lose sight of your vision!  You can still have the best reception music on your big day.

Your wedding music and reception music should be as unique as you are!  We know want it to be a reflection of you and your partner’s personalities and your own tastes.  There will be different types of music at different times during your wedding day, including your guilty pleasure of old school  Brittany Spears (we can play it after 11:00 pm when only your closest attendees are left partying and it will be a judgment-free zone)!  When we play certain songs/ genres should be part of your wedding day plan.  This way, there is never a need to panic and think your DJ has gone rogue through a guest’s request.

30+ years in the Toronto wedding industry have made us experts on how to create a perfect music fusion and maintain a flow to your evening.  We’ll make sure you have the best reception music!

Have you been to a wedding when the first dance took 4 minutes? And then the bride danced with her dad to a full song, and so did the groom and his mom?  By the time this was all done, 12 – 15 minutes have passed? While sentimental, this can really cut into your wedding day timeline and be a long time for guests to stay attentive.  So, How long should the first dances be?

We understand you want to have that first dance with your partner, and maybe (depending on family dynamics) you’ll also want to have a dance to honour your parents.  Your partner may want to do this as well.  The trick here learning how to be efficient with your time, keep all the emotional significance, and also get some great pictures.

Have your first dance for 3 to 4 minutes.  It’s your day, take your time!  For the parent dance, have one of you start, then your partner can join with their parent after a minute.  After one more minute of dancing, we suggest inviting your guests to join you! Everyone is on the dance floor in 7 minutes or less!

Do you want a choreographed first dance? Or maybe a mashup that starts romantic and turns into a rap battle? Both options are a lot of fun probably reflect your personalities and are therefore important.  There is no right or wrong way to hold these dances – do what suits you best!

Need to be more formal?  Keep the separate dances with each parent but let us help you choose shorter songs or create shortened edits of your parents’ favourite song that is less than 3 minutes.

First dances are usually something important to do first so the party can start afterwards.

If you have your first dance when you are introduced, you will get to the party quicker after dinner.  Then, when your parents come up to give their speech, you dance with them right after their speech.

All these things help keep you on schedule and keep those special moments.

At Maximum Music, we are here to help coach you as you build your wedding day plan and the soundtrack that will accompany you.  in the weeks before your wedding we will be in touch to run through everything from beginning to end and make sure your reception is set up for success!

We want to see you plan for success.  Even if you’re a relaxed couple, planning an informal wedding without speeches and games, it’s still important to have a wedding day itinerary.

There are a few options when it comes to planning out your wedding day itinerary.  You can hire a wedding planner, work with your venue coordinator, or appoint a friend for day-of management.  On the day of your wedding, you do not want to be micromanaging the details.  If you have a plan that has been shared with all the key players, then you will not have any of us tapping you on the shoulder asking who is supposed to give a speech next.

Your Wedding Day Itinerary

There are items that are fixed during your day, so we recommend plotting them first; ceremony, photos, and dinner.  Depending on your requirements and vision, a wedding pro can help design your wedding day itinerary.  Once these static parts are in place, you can fill in the details and transitions for the day.

Now we are ready for music and your DJ/MC!  Below is a list of things you should consider for your reception.  Keep in mind, all of these things will affect your wedding day itinerary!

  • first dance and parent dances?
    • If so, when and how?
  • Formal Introductions with a big wrestling theme song entrance or keep it simple?
  • Are there going to be speeches?
    • If so, when, and how many?
    • Can you keep your speeches to 5 minutes or will people speak longer?
  • A slide show?  (Keep in mind, the prep work, the length of your slide show, setting up equipment, and removing it.)
  • Games!  Shoe games, centerpiece games, kissing games, etc?  (We see a 50/50 split on this in recent years.  Many couples are cutting these out to party sooner!)

We have worked for many couples where the dancing does not start till 11:00 pm.  For some, this is by design as the speeches, meals, and slide show are the priority.  Some other couples, they thought they would be dancing by 9:00 pm, but no one helped them plan their wedding day itinerary properly.

With over 30 years of experience, our team has seen it all.  We are happy to work with you, and discuss how long different components of your reception will take. We have a detailed reception planner and we will work with you to build your day so that you have exactly what you want with no surprises!

 

Toronto is known for its rich culture and diversity.  Having your wedding in Toronto means there is no shortage of ways to also include your culture in your wedding reception.  With that in mind, you can choose what you like best from a list we have created to compile different cultural entertainment!  We can ensure your backgrounds are also properly represented for your big day if you want to reach out and schedule a consultation!

Culture-Based Music

This is just a quick sample of different genres of music you can choose to have played during your reception based on a few different backgrounds.

  • Portuguese: Fado during dinner.
  • Eastern European: Look out for polkas!
  • Spanish or Latin: Salsa and merengue will be on your dance list.
  • Caribbean:  Some Calypso, Reggaeton, Dancehall, or Chutney music will be great!
  • Indian: Great music from Bollywood plus the Punjabi, Goan, and Bhangra styles.

Performances and Culture on your big day!

There are many extremely talented groups and individuals who could be hired for your wedding within Toronto. Entertainers can be hired to perform at any point of your reception or even during cocktail hour too!  They can perform for guests while you take photos or show up to open your dance floor!  Extra entertainment is always a hit at a wedding and can also be a great way to continue to incorporate your culture into your big day.

  • Chinese: Lion dancers are a fun addition.
  • Persian or Arabic: A Belly Dancer or dancers
  • Jewish: A Hora dance should be on your itinerary
  • Greek: A Pig dance or Bread dance
  • Serbian: A Kola is a must.
  • Filipinos: Traditional Money Dance.
  • Brazilians: Samba Dancers!

There are some great options for artistic and creative performances like aerialists or caricature artist too.

A recent favourite comes from the people at TI Bots.  A robot will show up, and take things to the next level with lights, lasers, and CO2 cannons.

Dinner Entertainment

We have seen couples get very creative for ways to entertain guests during dinner.  Aside from the options mentioned above, here are a few of our recent favourites!

  • Kissing Games during dinner.
  • The Shoe Game: Where the couple sits back-to-back on the dance floor during dinner and the guests learn more about the couple and see how well they know each other.
  • Centerpieces Giveaway Games:  We can help with that and have the guests pass a napkin left and right around the dinner table to a poem, or award the centerpiece to the guest at the table with the birthday closest to your wedding date.

Your wedding should reflect your personalities, cultures, and music taste.  Reach out to us and we will help guide you to a reception that is uniquely yours and ensure we include your culture in your wedding reception!

After 30 years in the industry, we really have seen and heard it all.  Below is a list of what we consider to be the best cocktail hour (or dinner time) music!  These options will be fresh for your guests, and allow you to show your personality!

Tropical House – This is a newer favourite!  Give off the vibes of a cool summer cocktail party on the patio of one of Toronto’s awesome venues. Up-tempo, fresh, and there is a good chance your friends have not heard these versions before!  This will make an impression, and have your guests coming up to ask us “what was that song/ artist?”  so they can add it to their Spotify rotation.

Postmodern Jukebox – Want a classic twist on recognizable songs from your life? Check out the library of Post-modern Jukebox on YouTube.  We suggest you start on YouTube as it is the best place to see them live out their songs.  And the videos are also amazing to watch too!

Piano Guys – Hard to believe it has only been 7 years since the release of “The Piano Guys”.  Their music started a huge trend in the Classical Crossover genre. They are great for pre-ceremony, dinner time, and cocktail hour music when it is played in the background and not meant to take over.

Ratpack Crooners – Dinner and cocktail favourites since when I started in 1987. These guys just don’t get tired!  If Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are not your styles, you can also put in Michael Bublé, Norah Jones, and Diana Krall to freshen it up.

Vitamin String Quartet – They have exploded with a library of thousands of string covers of anything you can imagine. “Vitamin String Quartet is about applying rock n’ roll attitude to classical technique,” says Tom Tally, a violist, and arranger who has performed on and produced over fifty Vitamin String Quartet albums.  Go to your music service of choice, and there will be VSQ covers of everything from Metal to Alternative and Top 40. Great for pre-ceremony, dinner time, and cocktail hour music too. We love the look of shock when someone is listening and then realizes we are playing a cover of Nine Inch Nails or Nirvana during pre-ceremony and grandma just thinks it is beautiful string quartet dinner music. Check out our Blog Post about the Top String Quartet Covers your guests will love.

Brazilian Samba and Bossa nova – Noting says summer like the smooth sounds of João Gilberto and the more contemporary take from his daughter Bebel Gilberto.  Take a listen, maybe it is right for you.

We’ve been in this industry for a long time and we understand the struggle of trying to decide “who should MC my wedding?”.  In our opinion, the best receptions have a hybrid of DJ/ MC who shares the duties with someone you choose. Hear us out.

Here is the most common and simplest arrangement:

First, the DJ will introduce the bridal party from the DJ table.  Then the MC will go to the microphone and do the more personal things (like the speeches) during dinner. Your MC is often in the bridal party, so it makes sense that we do that first introduction.

During dinner, your MC will be able to insert personal content that wouldn’t be genuine coming from the DJ.

After dinner, the DJ can take over so that your MC can drink, dance, and enjoy the celebrations with you.  They won’t need to be watching the time for late-night announcements or worrying about keeping things on track.  Better to just let them enjoy the night next to you on the dance floor!

There are many variations to this script. You will find there are some examples of itineraries from weddings below that are downloadable as word and excel files.  Feel free to take them and make them your own!

Keep in mind, when you hire Maximum Music, we provide a handheld cordless microphone at no additional cost.  This can be used by your MC to use if there is not one included from your venue.  We also do not charge for our DJ to be your MC. It’s all a part of the job!  Anyone who works for us as a DJ, also needs to be competent on the mic, well-spoken, and skilled at keeping the reception on track when needed. We won’t be cracking jokes or ad-libbing, that is the domain of your friends and family who know you best! So really, there is no need to try to decide “who should MC my wedding?”.  We say hire us AND appoint someone close to you as well!

In many of these blog posts, we highlight that a wedding DJ and not just any DJ should be trusted to work your reception. We are like an iceberg that has 90% below the surface, or a swan that glides across the water.  You only see the calm pretty surface and not the large frantic activity going on below.

Maximum Music is a medium to high-end service. We are hired for weddings with a $30,000 to $100,000 total budget. At this scope, there is always a team of wedding professionals involved.  When you consider this, you want your DJ to be part of an efficient team to create the best outcome on your wedding day.  If you hire a proper wedding DJ, they can ensure to fit right into your team.

Wedding DJ and Your Other Vendors

All your vendors have a motivation based on their specific role for your big day.  The officiant wants to see you married, the florist brought all your wedding colours together, your caterer presenting a delicious meal for you to enjoy, and even for us, it’s ensuring you have a great dance party! We also love it when there is a wedding planner because, to us, they’re running the show. They’re able to keep things on schedule and bring your vision to life at every step.  In the absence of a wedding planner, your DJ is also there to help keep the pace for the night.  At Maximum Music, we also work with you and your team.  This way everyone is ready for the next event, nothing is missed, and we avoid awkward moments.

It’s fulfilling to have a full dance floor after dinner because we love music!  On your big day, there is just so much that needs to be done other than filling the dance floor.  Hire a Maximum Music wedding DJ to help ensure it all happens smoothly.

When Maximum Music started in 1987, we hardly ever played music for a wedding ceremony on-site at a venue. The ceremony was at a church, or someplace else and everyone arrived at the reception for the dinner and dance. Today that has flipped completely! It’s rare to NOT have the wedding ceremony at the same venue where you are having your reception. Today, we can tie your wedding ceremony music into your whole day.

To have everything all in one place makes sense when time is precious on your wedding day!  It works to get everyone to one place and do everything there.  This avoids asking guests to move around or having a big gap for photos in the afternoon.

The result is having your DJ and Officiant working together to bring your ceremony vision to life!  This partnership of wedding ceremony music and the Officiant guiding your ceremony will lead to an intimate and heartfelt exchange of vows.

We often recommend live music at your ceremony.  It’s super classy to have a trio play for you and your guests or a harp to welcome guests.  Then they can also play a processional for the bride to come down the aisle. This is also a lovely entertainment piece that can spill over into the cocktail hour!

If live music is not your thing then let us play the music for your ceremony!  We will work with your officiant to know all the cues for the processional, register signing, and recessional.

Your DJ should be versatile.  Aim to keep it formal at the beginning, and then celebrate at the end with something fun like “Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder. Some couples want to have a Beatles theme to their ceremony, and we can do that too.

We tend not to recommend a microphone at your ceremony. This puts technology between you and your partner and will live forever in your wedding photos.  Not many Officiants are comfortable using a mic and do not hold it so it picks up voices well.  Lavalier or clip-on mics aren’t very successful, as they never pick up the voice the way you see it on TV.

If you NEED a mic, we can provide one! But give some thought as to who the wedding is for. It is for YOU. You are talking to each other, sharing your love, and making your commitment to each other.  That is personal between the two of you. Your important friends and family will be seated at the front and will hear you perfectly.  If your work and university buddies at the back can’t hear so well that’s OK (They get the idea, and frankly, they are there for the party anyways!)

Logistically, we tend to set up at the back of the ceremony so that we are not in the guest line of sight.  Don’t forget to include us when planning with your venue as we will need access to power and a small table.

Want to talk about your ceremony? Reach out to us and we can discuss the pros and cons of a microphone, and pick out some great songs for before, during, and after your ceremony.

While we are talking about your ceremony, here are a few of our favourite officiants that specializes in ceremonies onsite at venues. Sarah Bunnett-GibsonEnduring Promises and The Marrying Lady have been serving the Toronto wedding community for years and have always been a pleasure to work with!

Getting the bride and groom to kiss is a favourite of reception guests.  However, the old-fashioned “clinking glasses together” is just that, old-fashioned. Plus, your venue probably doesn’t also want everyone banging on their stemware.  Change things up with what we consider to be the best kissing games! This will put a fun twist on a classic reception staple!

Give 5 Tips On each table, guests will find a list of themes. To make the couple kiss, a guest must choose a theme, and come to the mic with their top 5 tips!

Theme Suggestions :
Honeymoon activities
Ways to stop an argument
Things to do on your anniversary
Tips for newlyweds
How to split up the housework

Sing a Song MC can announce “If you want to see the Bride and Groom kiss, you or your table must stand and sing a song with the word love in it.” This is one of the most popular (and best) kissing games because it works and, crowds love it!

Kissing Die There is an oversized 6-sided die. Two of the sides have lips on them, the other four sides have numbers from one to four.  There are a few options for this game when a guest comes up to roll the die.. a) If the die lands on lips, the B+G will kiss, if it lands on a number the guest goes back and kisses someone from their table. b) If the die lands on a number, the Bride and Groom will kiss for that many seconds, if it lands on lips, the guest goes back and kisses someone from their table. c) If the die lands on lips, the Bride and Groom will kiss, if it lands on a number, the guest goes back to the table, counts the same number of seats to their left, and kisses that guest.

Demonstration  Simply announce that in order to get the Bride and Groom to kiss, a couple must come up in front of the head table and give a demonstration. They show off how they want the Bride and Groom to kiss, and then, the Bride and Groom copy it!

Hershey’s Kisses Fill a bag with 2 different colours of Hershey’s Kisses.  Guests are invited to come up and select a kiss from the bag. If they select the “kissing colour” (red) the Bride and Groom kiss, and if not the guest must go and kiss someone from their table!  We think this is one of the best kissing games because of this fun surprise twist!

Trivia Game  Bride and Groom make up a list of trivia questions about themselves.  Each question is on a separate piece of paper and put in a bag or box.  Guests are then invited to come up to read and answer them.  If they get the question right, the Bride and Groom will kiss.

Name That Tune Bride and Groom (or the DJ) have a list of popular songs that should also be easily identifiable by hearing only a couple of seconds. A guest taps their glass or otherwise makes the MC aware that they want to play, the MC announces them and then plays the beginning of a song.  The guest has to then guess what song it is. If they guess correctly, they win a kiss for the Bride and Groom.

Bell Ringing The Bride and Groom set a small bell and each place setting and when the guests ring the bells, the Bride and Groom kiss!

Chopstick Professional The guests pick up different items with chopsticks. The harder an item is to pick up the better the kiss. Have the 3 levels of difficulty separated on a banquet table and set up on the dance floor. Put tent cards with the titles of the levels. Once an object has been picked up, it is removed from the table. (Easy item examples: a sponge, another chopstick, or a flower. Medium item examples: a single grain of rice, a ring, or a grape. Hard item exampled: a heavy book, something slippery, a CD, a piece of paper, or a coin.)

Putting Green Place a putting green on the dance floor and invite the guests to come up and putt.  If they get a hole-in-one, the Bride and Groom will kiss!

If you like any of these games, or have an idea for your own kissing game, reach out and we can start planning your reception together!