DJ Mike Readings is an award-winning DJ based in Hertfordshire and one of my go-to entertainers, and here’s why. A massive party on the dance floor with all your friends and family can be a real wedding highlight! Couples want their guests to let their hair down, and nearly everyone is anxious about the dance floor being empty. A great wedding DJ makes it their job to achieve just that. They should read the room, tailoring their music to whatever gets the guests up and dancing.
Super-proactive and organised, Mike is the celebration guy – named DJ Regional Winner for the East of England at the Wedding Industry Awards 2021. His bespoke service is distinct amongst wedding DJs. He collaborates closely with each couple before the wedding, planning every part of the night to ensure the music choice is personal to them and relevant to their guests.
I chatted to DJ Mike Readings about how he creates the right party vibe for each wedding. He revealed some all-important ideas for keeping your dance floor heaving all night!
What makes DJ Mike Readings unique amongst wedding DJs?
“Three key things. I always meet the couple before they book me, so they can see who I am and what I’m like. I always have a plan in place for the day and, when I DJ, I make sure the guests see that I am enjoying myself as well.
80% of my work is done before the wedding. The DJing part is easy for me – I’ve been doing it a long time. The hardest part is to read people’s minds on the dance floor – to get people dancing. The planning I put in before the day makes sure that, on the night, everything is perfect.”
How do you work with a couple before the wedding to make sure the party vibe is spot on?
“It is all about relevance. I work with each couple so that every song I play is relevant to their guests. There’s no point in me playing lots of 70s and 80s music if their guests love dance music or rock music. I also ask my couples about songs and artists they don’t like. These might just make you cringe, but some songs have bad memories associated with them too – and that’s really important to know.
I talk my couples through the night and we pick songs for key moments together. I send a copy of my plan to the couple, but also to the photographer and the venue, so everyone knows what is going to happen.”
What key moments do you plan closely with the couple?
“We choose the song which they’ll make their grand entrance into the reception to, and at what point in the song they want to come in. On the day, I hype the guests up, so when the couple appear, they get goosebumps because everyone’s going crazy.
Another moment is the first dance. We decide when I will ask their guests to join them on the dance floor. Normally, I find a break in the song with just instrumentals, often about 1 minute 20 seconds in to the song.
I am unique in asking my couples to choose their last three songs of the night. These are ‘hands in the air’ songs which everyone knows the words to. Perhaps Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, Take That’s ‘Never Forget’, or Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’. I will let the guests know that the bride and groom have chosen the last three songs – so every single person needs to be on the dance floor!
Lastly, for the very end of the night, we plan their ‘one more song’ to send everyone absolutely insane! Perhaps ‘Jump Around’, ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’, or ‘Reach’ by S-Club 7.”
What is your favourite song to play?
“Probably Robin S ‘Show Me Love’. When it starts, everyone runs to the dance floor. People need to respond to the first three seconds of a song. The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside’ and Robin S ‘Show Me Love’ both have that intro. That is why I have playlists, because they just include those songs – the golden nuggets.”
Tips on how to get people on the dance floor – and keep them there!
- Work with your DJ to choose the right songs for those key moments. DJ Mike Readings talks about the ‘golden moment’ at the end of the first dance, when everyone is on the dance floor. If the DJ plays a great song which is relevant to the guests, everyone naturally starts dancing, and that really kicks the party off!
- Think about dance floor distractions. Perhaps ask your venue to serve evening food to the dance floor, so it doesn’t pull people out of the room. Similarly, the bar being in a different room can kill a dance floor, especially if it is far away.
- Shake things up a bit! DJ Mike Readings plans a ‘power hour’, normally for about 10 o’clock, when he wants to take the party to the next level! He asks couples to choose something he can do for one hour, which their guests will love and really relate to. This could be a rock hour with inflatable guitars, a Kisstory hour, or a rave with loads of whistles!
If you’d like to have DJ Mike Readings as your wedding DJ, visit www.djmikereadings.co.uk