Nothing gets the party going at a wedding quite like music and here at Historic Mankin Mansion, we’re thrilled to have Martin Ramirez as not only our Proprietor, but our in house Wedding DJ. Today, Martin sat down with us to chat a bit about how he got his start, as well as tips for making your Big Day both fun and memorable. So without further ado, here’s Martin-
How did you initially get your start in the wedding industry?
I have been doing music entertainment for weddings for more than 25 years now. I started in Southern California and loved DJing from the very start. I gained more knowledge and expertise through the years, and once I became more well known, expanded my services to various areas across the country.
How have weddings changed since you began your wedding career?
When I first began as a DJ, most receptions were held in church halls and it was typically a band that played the music. Now weddings and receptions are more elaborately held in hotels, country clubs, and Historic Mansions. There is significantly more attention to detail, such as color schemes, decor, flowers, than before. In addition, now far more brides and grooms opt for DJ entertainment for their wedding, allowing for a wider variety of artists, genres, as well as control over the entire flow of the party.
What do brides and grooms tend to ask you about the most about wedding day music?
Almost all brides and grooms ask that I play all of their favorite music. This can be challenging when given hours and hours of songs to play. I suggest they make a list of all their favorite songs and then go back and highlight the top 15 songs that are MUST HAVE’s. I ensure those top songs will be sprinkled throughout the night mixed with the others they have chosen. It takes some of the guess work out while customizing the music to their exact wants.
How can brides and grooms get more creative with their Grand Entrance?
The Grand Introduction is a great time to make it personal or fun depending on the bride & groom, wedding party, and guests. It is nice to announce to guests, as the wedding party is introduced, not just by their names, but their relationship to the bride and groom. Add something personal as to how they met, a fun fact about them, or something they did together that makes the relationship unique. Brides & grooms can also make up nicknames based on their friends’ personalities as they are being introduced. A sit down meeting with the DJ exploring all options is not only a must, but a great way to brain storm.
Any wedding planning advice you’d like to share with our 2012 brides?
Add personal musical touches to the day. In addition to the dance music, there are many other opportunities to make the day and evening fun through music. There are the traditional first dance and parent dances, but what about cocktail hour and dinner time? Go beyond the typical background music played during most weddings. There are lots of great styles or combination of genres to choose from. Personalize the list. Feel free to discuss your particular musical likes with the DJ to see how they can be incorporated into the reception. The more the DJ knows about the bride and groom, the more likely the music will be a clear reflection of them on their Big Day.
Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.
Our sincerest thanks to Don Mears Photography, Emily Dean Photography and James Linkowitz Photography for the images.