How Long before You Are Ready ?

At Weddings where there is limited space often it can be a requirement that the disco sets up after the Wedding Breakfast has finished, and the question that many DJs are asked is how long will it take to setup?

It generally takes me around 45 minutes to set up all of the sound & lighting equipment, and I will usually arrive at the venue well over an hour before the start time.

Very often at weddings the bride and groom will make full use of the available space in the room and thus there will be tables covering the entire room, and if the room doesn’t have a separate stage area this will often mean that there will not be enough room for the DJ to setup before the guests arrive at the venue. In these situations the guests will often go into a different room after the meal and speeches have finished and the venue staff will then commence “turning the room around” and getting it ready for the evenings events. It is at this point that I can then begin setting up. There a number of things to bear in mind in these situations though:

Some venues will turn the room around within 15 minutes while others can take an hour or more.

It is very rare that all the guests will leave straight away even if an announcement has been made. There are ALWAYS a few stragglers that stay seated at their tables chatting away, oblivious to the staff trying to clear tables, cleaning up around them. Strangely enough it so often seems to be that they’ll be sitting in the very area that the DJ/act is supposed to be setting up in. This then means I can not begin setting up until those guests leave the room. Even then I will still have to wait until the venue staff have cleared the tables, hoovered the area and cleaned up, and only then can I start bringing the equipment in and start setting up. In the past this has often been over 30 minutes after the first guests left the room. It takes me around 45 minutes to setup. In the situation just described you then get the scenario where one of the wedding party come back into the room around 50 minutes after they first left the room, expecting me to be setup and ready to play! but in actual fact I’ve only had 20 minutes at that stage to setup and so will be nowhere near ready, but they usually aren’t aware that some of the guests didn’t leave the room until a long time after the majority of guests did and just think that I’m taking my time.

If you are in a situation where you would like your guests to be out of the main room for as short a period as possible then the following will usually need to happen to facilitate this.

1. ALL the guests need to leave the room as quickly as possible. Guests tend to leave the room far quicker when the bride/groom or someone from the wedding party ask them to leave than if one of the venue staff does.

2. It is an enormous help if the venue staff can first clear the area where I will be setting up before they do the rest of the room. That way I can start bringing in my equipment while the rest of the room is being cleared/cleaned. Some venues though don’t give this much thought and will clear that area last, meaning I cannot get the equipment in until they have cleared that area. So again, things tend to move quicker if the bride or groom have asked the venue contact person beforehand if they could please clear the area where I will be setting up first.

When 1 & 2 are done quickly then I can also setup quickly, meaning that the guests can return to the room far quicker and the evening’s entertainment can begin.


I can have the sound setup and playing within 30 minutes and can setup the lighting as the guests are coming into the room if you would like to have your guests back into the room in as short a time as possible.
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