Backthird DJ Services

Ever booked a wedding DJ before? If you’re like most Backthird couples, the answer is “no.” You’ve got a sense of what’s important to you. You know where you want to hew close to tradition – and where you want to carve out a new path and do things your way. But you probably don’t know how to best execute your ideas within the reality of a wedding reception timeline, speakers and microphones and songs and table service.

But your DJ does.

Every Backthird DJ is trained and certified in 4 different areas of wedding expertise. We not only know how to pack your dance floor and keep your party raging all night – we know the ins and outs of reception flow. We know what works and doesn’t work at big formal parties like yours, and we know about the little things you’ll never even think of that have to be handled behind the scenes to make your reception a success.
Before the wedding, a Backthird DJ is the expert who partners with you to create the perfect plan. At the wedding, a Backthird DJ is the person who executes that plan so you can relax and enjoy the party.

At team DJ meetings, we put it like this: if your wedding is Star Wars, you’re Luke. Your DJ is Yoda. (And may the Force be with us all.)

Reception Services Include…

And the music rocked, too!

Your DJ has two goals: realize your ideas and reduce your stress.

Realize Your Ideas

A lot of couples serve cake at their wedding. But suppose you want to do something a bit different at the moment when most folks would cut their cake. What’s your DJ have to do with that?

Before your wedding:

  • An average DJ won’t ask about your cake idea, won’t know, and might miss the moment. Your reception runs on auto-pilot.
  • A pro DJ will listen to your cake idea and make sure to explain it to your guests so they notice the big moment.
  • A Backthird DJ will say, “How about we adjust your timeline so your idea happens at a time when guests will be paying the most attention?”

Reduce Your Stress

Twenty years from now, you might have great photos of you cutting your wedding cake – or you might have none at all. That depends on your photographer – and on your DJ! Here’s how…

At your wedding:

  • An average DJ will be behind the booth with headphones on, oblivious to what’s happening – which means your guests wont’ know either.
  • A pro DJ will get your guests’ attention, announce the moment and encourage folks to gather round if you wish.
  • A Backthird DJ will give your photographer a heads-up, make sure the cake is ready – and then make that announcement to your guests.

Watch the DJs share their favorite wedding stories:

Which DJ belongs at your wedding?

From mixing skills to MC knowledge, every Backthird DJs is certified in 4 different areas of wedding expertise. View our profiles to see who might be the best fit for you – or scroll down to learn more about Backthird DJ certification.

DJ Stephen Vaughn

Stephen Vaughn

High-energy dancing with surprising mixes. Hip-hop, house and pop. Bowls over 200.
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DJ TJ Medel

TJ Medel

Quirky receptions with personal twists. 90s, EDM & guilty pleasures. Improv & spoken word artist.
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Kelvon Fluellen

Kelvon Fluellen

Laid-back announcements; cranked-up dance floor. 90s, funk & hip-hop. Pursuing the Perfect Mix.
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DJ Andrew McGarvey

Andrew McGarvey

Smooth flow; fun mixes. Pop, rock & guilty pleasures. Two kids. Always does his homework.
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DJ Keaton Michael

Keaton Michael

Quirky receptions; clever mixes. Ex-firefighter. EDM & 80s. Rocks it Gangnam Style.
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DJ Certification

To be put in charge of your wedding, a Backthird DJ must be certified in 4 different areas of expertise:

Setup & Sound

DJs must demonstrate comprehensive technical knowledge of DJ equipment, be able to troubleshoot and solve common sound-reinforcement problems, and be able to switch to a backup DJ system in 30 seconds or less in the event of a technical failure.

(Flip for details.)

  • Set up a DJ rig, including subwoofer, in 15 minutes
  • Trace and describe signal path in a DJ rig from start to finish – including both music and microphones, main gear and backup gear
  • Troubleshoot and repair a malfunctioning DJ rig
  • Transition to a backup DJ system in less than 30s – so even a computer malfunction doesn’t kill the dance floor

Music & Mixing

DJs must demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of popular dance music, from the 1940s to today, and be able to build successful dance mixes for a variety of audiences in a variety of circumstances. Our DJs take a written music exam, then give a Final performance for Backthird management.

(Flip for details.)

  • Build and play mixes for cocktail, dinner and dancing times
  • Make smooth manual music transitions in a variety of styles, including beat-mixing
  • Build a dance set in each of 14 different dance music genres covered in Backthird training
  • DJ a successful dance set at the Backthird studio, taking requests and adjusting on the fly

Wedding Production

MCs must demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of wedding reception traditions, including alternatives and variations on those traditions, and be able to guide clients through wedding planning and production meetings and create a strong reception agenda.

(Flip for details.)

  • Turn plans submitted through the Backthird website into a final agenda
  • Identify potential problems on a wedding agenda and suggest good alternatives
  • Run a production meeting with a bride or groom that is clear and easy
  • Describe differences in wedding schedules practiced in different parts of the United States, with strengths and weaknesses of each

Speaking & Coordination

MCs must demonstrate strong ability to speak and interact with wedding guests, introducing and directing key reception events in a way that is clear and relaxed without being corny or overbearing. Our MCs perform a Final for Backthird management in our studio.

(Flip for details.)

  • Introduce and direct key reception events, from mic check and wedding party introductions to toasts, formal dances and special alternative events
  • Prepare for all events above by confirming details with the appropriate guests and vendors ahead of time
  • Demonstrate ability to lead games and teach dances if clients want this
DJ with clipboard

Training at Backthird

Backthird DJ/MC certification requires about 12 hours of class at the Backthird studio, plus a minimum of 25 hours of self-directed study and studio practice time. Trainees must also assist Backthird DJs at actual weddings and events to reach a minimum number of hours of event experience.

To graduate, DJs take a written music exam and give a series of final performances for our staff at the Backthird studio. Unless we believe you’re ready to run someone’s wedding like a pro, you don’t get certified.

Our DJs perform exclusively for Backthird Entertainment – but it’s possible to enroll in our certification program as a third-party DJ if you’re interested in learning our craft. Full training and certification starts at $4600. For more information, contact the Backthird office.