Ask the expert: one of Toronto’s most popular wedding DJs

Ask the expert: one of Toronto’s most popular wedding DJs

Lisa Ng started deejaying weddings in her last year at U of T and found her calling. Now the bubbly audiophile is one of the most popular mix masters on the circuit.

Photograph by Vanessa Heins

Do you ever get guff for being a female DJ?
My crew—there are three or four of us—is all women. At some banquet halls, we come in and they ask if we’re the backup dancers or the wedding planners. Guys are always surprised to see a 100-pound girl carrying enormous speakers around.

Any advice for couples planning the entertainment?
Don’t program the entire night. The bride and groom should communicate the vibe they want: have genres and artists in mind, and make a must-play list of 15 songs. Then let the DJ use her expertise to read the crowd.

What song would you play to get Grandma on the dance floor?
“Twist and Shout” by The Beatles. Even if she’s kind of shy and not a dancer at all, she will always twist.

How can you avoid a disastrous first-dance song?
Avoid any song over four minutes. People get bored watching the couple spin in a circle, and I think it’s boring for the couple, too.

You’ve played 200 weddings in four years. Do they all blend together?
We’ve been to the Old Mill six times this year, but every time it’s different—the decor, the ideas, the couple’s style. You get to hear so much about the bride and groom during the speeches, which is great. Except for those best man speeches referencing drunken antics back in university—they’re funny, but can get repetitive.

Why is it always the best man who gets sloshed and pulls out the stories?
I think the best man gets nervous because he knows he’s expected to be really funny, and the pressure’s too much. So he just starts drinking. I recommend putting the best man near the top of the program.

Any other rules you follow?
The older crowd is usually ready to dance right away, and young people want to hit the bar first, so always play oldies to start. And people like to be where the bride and groom are; if you want to guarantee a packed dance floor, the bride and groom should be out there dancing.

It’s getting late and people are tired, drunk, and outside smoking. What song do you play to get them back on the dance floor for one last hurrah?

“Don’t Stop Believin’ ” by Journey is the best end-of-the-night drunken sing­along, I-love-you-man, everyone’s-hugging-each-other kind of tune. Another fun one is “Last Dance” by Donna Summer. It starts slow and gets really crazy at the end.

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