September 25, 2017

Multi-Cultural Wedding Music

Multicultural weddings can be so much fun! I'm a lifelong learner and I always considerate it a privilege to get a peek into a culture that is not my own. Randal and I get to do that through music. We've been very fortunate to DJ and MC lots of weddings for couples from all over the world.
Our Kenyan groom Greg and bride Barbara with his parents and sister

Yesterday we had a bride whose family is from Haiti, and a few weeks ago we had an Iranian bride marry an Indian groom. In May, we had a bride whose family is from Congo and in June, a bride from Brazil. Last year, we had a groom from Kenya, a groom from Ghana, a bride whose family is Italian and Iranian. Over the years we've DJed weddings for a Chinese couple, Haitian couples, a Russian bride and a couple from Israel. Whew!
Randal with Iranian bride Rozita and Indian groom Abiroop
All of these weddings required a lot of extra work. Much more work than preparing for a wedding for a couple that enjoys R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop or Country. I interviewed Randal via Facebook live and asked him how he prepares for multi-cultural weddings.


He said the first thing he does is have a conversation with the couple to make sure he understands their expectations. This is not a time to assume anything. He asks for favorite artist names and song titles.
Haitian flags waving at the Louis wedding. Photo by Lady Iman Photography

After he's talked with the couple, Randal does a lot of research. That means understanding customs and traditions, and knowing what certain music is for. For example, one of our Haitian couples wanted a carnival feel to their wedding and a lot of the music was super lit. Another Haitian wedding was totally different. The mother of the bride didn't want that same mood and made it very clear what she wanted played for certain portions of the wedding, for example, cocktail hour, dinner and party time.

For a lot of Americans, Bollywood is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Indian music. For our Indian groom, Randal learned that he and his family and friends did want to hear Bollywood style but that couldn't be the bulk of the music. They wanted to hear music in their language from the southern state of India they're from.

It's really no different that preparing for a hip-hop party at a club. I would go crazy if the DJ only played dirty-south all night and I'm from North Carolina . I love Petey Pablo, Outkast, and Lil' John (yeah, I'm old school) but I can't listen to that all night. I need A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, and E-40 too.

We are thankful for the multi-cultural clients who have hired us to DJ and MC their weddings. As Randal told me "when people go crazy (on the dance floor) in any language, it's fun."

What questions do you have about multi-cultural weddings? Post your questions in the comments below and DJ 360 will answer them. Did you have a multi-cultural wedding? Please share details about your big day in the comments below as well as any insights that may help brides and grooms.   

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