The wedding countdown is now at 19 days. I finally finished making all the bouquets and I had my final dress fitting! Now that a lot of the final projects are finished our focus has turned entirely to our music and entertainment. Fortunately for us, we have enlisted the skills of one of our fave entertainers, DJ Mad Mardigan, also known as Nicholas Dircz.
Nick is the creator/operator behind GenerationNOW Entertainment, the state's only green entertainment service. Aside from DJing at the occasional wedding or special event, Nick is also the official DJ for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx. He recently was awarded “2010 Crossover DJ of the Year” by Twin Cities Nightclubs.
Of course we are ecstatic about providing our guests with the opportunity to party in the presence of someone with Nick's skills, but we are also very fortunate to have his experience and advice guiding us through this process. In my opinion, GenerationNOW is paving the way for a completely new wedding reception experience—Nick is on the cutting edge of music and video mixing, and I thought it would be fun to share some of his advice with all of you.
There is a lot of buzz about GenerationNOW, what sets you guys apart?
We like to say that we combine the energy of a nightclub with the sophistication of an elegant event. We do this through a variety of ways. First of all, we are comprised of five of the most talented and respected DJs in Minnesota. This is number one to me, because when it's all said and done, the DJ is the one responsible for making the event a success. Every one of us has a college degree, a current nightclub residency, and a minimum of five years as a professional DJ. (Most of us are Eagle Scouts, too.) At any given night of the week, you can see/hear a GenerationNOW DJ in action. Corey and I are at The Imperial Room, Dustin is at Envy, Justin was at Rosen's, and Chris is at Lonetti's. We are currently planning a GenerationNOW Midwest College TakeOver Tour with stops in Duluth, Winona, Madison, St. Cloud, Eau Claire, Mankato, Bemidji, and Fargo.
What is the biggest difference between you and the average DJ Service?
Talent. It all comes down to quality vs. quantity. We are not trying to book 300 events every
year. What we offer is quite a bit different than what has been available the past 20+ years. No more empty dancefloors! We have one main goal: That you and your wedding guests wake up the next day and say, "That was THE best time I've ever had at a wedding!"
You guys are ‘Green’ what does that mean? Why should couples appreciate that aspect?
I think all people should appreciate anything and everything "Green," and they should incorporate whatever they can into their own lives. When starting GenerationNOW, I made it a priority to do what we could as a company to reduce our carbon footprint. It took a lot of brainstorming, but the following is a list of what we do for this planet:
- We are "paperless preferred." Unless at the clients' request, every document is emailed.
- Every paper product (business cards, brochures, etc.) we have is made from 100% recycled paper.
- We are a "Zero Waste" company. Unneeded items are either properly recycled, composted, or dismantled and re-used.
- We use only high-efficient LED lighting and active sound equipment, which draws significantly less power than traditional DJ equipment.
- Twice a year we participate in a conservation project with Boy Scout Troop 446 (Bloomington, MN).
- Every GenerationNOW Team Member agrees to follow our "Code of Conservation and Environmental Consciousness."
Just last weekend we represented the “Living Green Expo” at the State Fair Grounds and were the chosen DJ Company to provide our services for Willie & Katie Bittner (the winners for the “Green Wedding” sponsored by Twin Cites Live/ KSTP)
What is the most helpful thing a bride/groom can do to ensure their reception goes well?
Spend as much time as possible reflecting on your lives both individually and as a couple. Dig deep into your "musical crates" and communicate any ideas to us about songs, artists, albums, etc. This will really help us customize a playlist and deliver the right vibe at your wedding.
What are some new trends you are seeing in wedding receptions and wedding entertainment?
Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. Also, a lot of newlyweds are stretching their budget by making their own invitations, arranging the flowers, hiring a friend to DJ . . .
However, not much has changed in this market in regards to wedding entertainment. I believe, very strongly, that GenerationNOW is setting the trends. We are the first and only DJ company in Minnesota that *spins* music videos. We use a software program called Serato Scratch Live which enables us to scratch and mix music video files LIVE on our turntables. It is simply amazing, and we have been getting an enormous response since utilizing this technology at weddings. Imagine dancing alongside the "Single Ladies" video on a big screen with Beyonce. It is definitely the future of DJ entertainment.
For our wedding we allowed guests to submit song requests though our wedding website, which we plan to give to you in spreadsheet format. Do you find this or something similar helpful in constructing a play list for the night?
Absolutely. We want every single bit of information before the big day. The bride and groom are number one, but we realize that our main job is to make and keep a packed dancefloor going from beginning to end. Any and all requests are taken into consideration. Also keep in mind that a DJ set is very organic, in that it can shift and morph to keep up with the party-people (from your 60 year-old uncle to your maid of honor).
I think we’ve all been to at least one reception that was less than entertaining. What do you think is the main factor that keeps guests engaged, dancing, and having fun?
As DJ Dudley D (GenerationNOW Entertainer, Personal DJ to PRINCE) says, "No Music, No Party." It is our main job to play the right tracks, at the right time. Secondly, we all utilize a continuous mixing style where each song is tempo-matched with the next song. No gaps, and no trainwreck mixes (where the DJ is blending two tracks off-beat). Microphone skills are also extremely important when interacting with the audience. Cheesy lines with a dull delivery is too common these days, especially at weddings. All of our DJs get plenty of practice with the mic at their nightclub residencies. We are energetic and relevant without overdoing it. Lastly, technical skills such as scratching and turntable trickery is sure to leave your guests in awe.
How far in advance to you recommend that couples book their entertainment service?
Sooner than later! Our 2012 calendar is filling up rapidly, with many 2013 dates already locked in. A good rule of thumb is to book at least 9 to 12 months before your event. It can never hurt to ask, so contact us for availability and/or any questions you may have!!!
Ni ck and his team have been phenomenal every step of the way, we can't thank them enough for sharing their knowledge and skills with us. We are so excited to see them in action at our reception! You can keep up w ith GenerationNOW on Facebook, view their package information, or book them for your big day by contacting them here or calling 952-210-3873.
**Editor's Note: A reference to donations made to Conservation Minnesota was removed from this post due to conflicts of validity.