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S3, EP17: Talking all things acoustic music with Wendybird

CategoriesMusic tips.Wedding suppliers.Wedding tips.
12 Apr, 2023

On this bonus episode of Project Engaged, we talk all things live music for your wedding with Wendy from Wendybird Music!

We’ve had the pleasure of seeing Wendy live and she has an incredible voice and is clearly very passionate about music. Wendybird Music offers highly customisable live music options where Wendy and her musician buddies can perform as a duo, trio, quartet and five piece.

Although we are DJs, we absolutely LOVE live acoustic music for pre-ceremony arrival, ceremony key moments and cocktail hour. What a vibe!

On this episode, we chat to Wendy about how she works with couples in the lead up, hot tips for briefing your acoustic artist and choosing ceremony songs, and an insider look into how Wendy and her musicians work (we were fascinated to learn that they “read the crowd” just like us DJs do!).


Full episode transcription

Eddy: We are back for another episode of Project Engaged.

Aleks: I feel like we sit and record these, like, every day.

Eddy: It feels like that. We are doing them weekly.

Aleks: Yeah, we are very good. We’ve been very disciplined about it all.

Eddy: Yes. Yes, we are. And I’m back to full health. So, yes, happy days. I’m annoying as ever again for Alek.

Aleks: The man flu. Everyone knows how annoying the man flu is. You can’t cope with it.

Eddy: Well, what I learned is when I unfortunately get sick or have the flu or a cold or whatever it is, it’s really the only time that I just go on the couch and do nothing. Just switch off and thinking about that, it’s like, hmm, that’s a problem. I do that when I’m healthy, too.

Aleks: So you had a bit of an epiphany. Well, that’s good. That’s good.

Eddy: That’s one of many.

Aleks: So we’ve got a very short. You’ll be happy to hear that it’s.

Eddy: Gonna be very short.

Aleks: This weekly wrap up is going to be very short.

Eddy: Yes. So gotta do the.

Aleks: Do the thing, do the sound effect for the weekly rock.

Eddy: I wasn’t gonna do it. Cause you don’t like it.

Aleks: Yeah, just.

Eddy: You want me to do it?

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: Okay.

Aleks: It’s growing on me. It’s growing on me. I still hate it, but, you know, it’s kind of.

Eddy: It’s sticking around for this season. Maybe next season we’ll do another one love hate relationship.

Aleks: We’ve only got one gig to talk about.

Eddy: Just the one. And it was supposed to be mine, but then I was sick, so I had to pass this one on to Aleks..

Aleks: Yes, it was a cheeky little midweek corporate gig, actually, which is something a little bit different. It was. We got it through a planner, an event planner in Sydney. Alana Edwards.

Eddy: Alana Edwards.

Aleks: Lovely. Super, super organised. I was very, very impressed. It was the launch of a company, a sort of virtual health company. Very impressive.

Eddy: Yeah, CU Health. Now, Aleks is mentioning this, but this is two weeks ago by the time you’re listening to this. So we’re in the Matrix.

Aleks: Okay. I don’t think anyone realises what date it is. Anyway, it was. It was lovely. It was basically a little dinner launch at Chancery Lane in the city. She’s an incredible look.

Eddy: Beautiful looks.

Aleks: So Alana did an amazing job. If Bloom Boy was there, who I saw at the end of the night, blue boy. I just said to him, are you blue boy? And he’s like, yes. And I’m like, okay.

Eddy: Why didn’t you just say hi, bloom. Boy, you knew it was Bloomboy.

Aleks: I know. I don’t know. I was very excited to see Bloomberg. Anyway, did the flowers, and it was styled really beautifully.

Eddy: And tell us about the music brief.

Aleks: Music brief was very cool. It was cool New York lounge cocktail lounge style, which I was very excited about.

Eddy: So for our listeners, what does that mean? What kind of tunes would you like?

Aleks: That’s a very good question. Thank you. What kind of tunes were they playing? Is it a little bit of an eclectic mix of some, like, chilled electronic stuff?

Eddy: So I’m like, give us some artists.

Aleks: Artists?

Eddy: Yeah, artist names.

Aleks: I actually played a flight facility song.

Eddy: Okay. Did you play any break bot chilled?

Aleks: I did play breakbot.

Eddy: Yes, yes. Love it.

Aleks: And then I also. Because there was kind of, like a little bit of a pre dinner cocktail hour, so it was a bit more upbeat for that bit of the night, and then kind of brought things back down for dinner. And then there was another little cocktail at the end.

Eddy: So awesome.

Aleks: I also played a bit of Jamiroquai James Brown. So a bit of funky. Yeah, a little bit of funk through.

Eddy: I love Jamiroquai.

Aleks: Me too. And so cool. Like, so cool. That sound has so inner.

Eddy: Sorry, just everybody vibes to it. He’s got some bangers for later on. He’s got some stuff that you can mix earlier on. Just set the tone.

Aleks: I love that. Seven days in sunny June, kind of early on. Beautiful. And then, like, some. There’s some artists. I mean, people wouldn’t know. I couldn’t even tell you the names of them, but it’s got that kind of very, you know, that hotel, Costas, kind of french electronic lounge. Yeah, loungey music, I would say, but mixed up with some stuff that people knew, particularly at the end. So I even played rock with you, Michael Jackson. But it was just a gorgeous van. I had a wagyu steak. Was treated very well, and it was so relaxed. Yeah, I love weddings, but this was chilled.

Eddy: I was very jealous I didn’t get to play.

Aleks: It was pretty good. It was pretty good. It was lovely and really nice group of people. And. Yeah, just a beautiful venue. I think we should go for dinner there. Very bougie.

Eddy: Let’s do it. But before we do, we have an amazing podcast for you guys.

Aleks: We do. We do.

Eddy: I don’t give anything away. Now, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?

Aleks: All right, let’s do it.

Eddy: Welcome to Project Engaged, a podcast for fun loving couples planning their non traditional wedding.

Aleks: We’re wedding DJs Aleks and Eddy Mac from Melbourne. We run a business called One More Song, and our tagline is No More Nutbush.

Eddy: In this podcast, we’ll share our wedding experiences and chat to some of our past couples.

Aleks: We’ll also interview bold wedding suppliers who share our philosophy of your wedding being a celebration of you as a couple and one epic party.

Eddy: Let’s get into today’s episode. So today we are talking all things live music for your wedding with Wendy from Wendy Bird music.

Aleks: You sound like you’re doing a radio ad or something.

Eddy: Am I? Yes. We have had the pleasure of seeing Wendy live, and she has the voice of an absolute angel.

Aleks: Yeah, I didn’t know how else you could explain it.

Eddy: Yeah.

Aleks: But we’ll put up a reel when we promote this so you guys can actually have a listen.

Eddy: Yay. She has highly customizable live music options and can perform as a duo, trio, quartet, and five piece. Lots of options.

Aleks: Yep. And here is some Google review snippets. Wendy was so wonderful during the lead up and on the day. She was friendly and helpful throughout the whole process, which made us control freaks. Nice and relaxed. That’s always good. They played as a duo for our ceremony and canapes and then brought the party vibes with the four P’s with the sax, which had the crowd dance all night. Another highlight was Wendy’s rendition of can’t help falling in Love for my wife walking down the aisle. It was so amazing and something we will never forget.

Eddy: And gotta love the sax.

Aleks: Yeah. Yeah. We’re big advocates.

Eddy: Yeah. Here’s another one. Wendy was amazing. She was delightful to deal with right from the beginning to make our special day just as we wanted. She learned a couple of new songs for us that meant a lot to us and nailed them. Of course, our guests all raved about Wendy’s voice and chilled vibes that were perfect for our day and we could not recommend her more.

Aleks: Highly welcome, Wendy.

Wendy: Oh, thank you so much. I’m blushing over here, you guys.

Aleks: Yeah, you probably don’t sit there and read through all your old Google reviews.

Wendy: No, no. You know, if I’m having a. Particularly if I’m having a down day, I might go and have a little scroll through them.

Eddy: Yeah, that’s a great idea.

Wendy: Give myself a little kick me up.

Aleks: Yeah, yeah, we all do that. And how have things been? No doubt super busy with weddings. We’re at the super busy beginning of April now, so we’ve gotten through Mad March.

Wendy: You made it through Mad March and into like a wild April. So super excited. Lots of weddings. Lots of things happening in April, as well, so no signs of slowing down for a little while.

Eddy: Are you just as busy in April as March, or is it kind of.

Wendy: Yeah.

Eddy: Oh, you are?

Aleks: Wow.

Eddy: Wow.

Wendy: That’s very cool. It’s pretty wild, you know, as, you know, with the last couple of years that we’ve had all the backlog of weddings, and, you know, I’m still doing a few midweek weddings, which is pretty cool as well. Yeah, no, definitely. Still super busy. Yeah. Full steam ahead.

Aleks: I feel like there are still some, like, 2021 weddings going around. You know what I mean?

Wendy: Yeah, I’ve got. I think I’ve got next in a couple of weeks. I’ve got one that’s from just 2020, I think, as well. Yeah. Wild. I know, it’s crazy.

Aleks: Wow. That’s crazy. So tell us all about how Wendy bird started, how you got into music and that sort of thing. Tell us your backstory.

Wendy: Yeah, well, really, I mean, it started, gosh, about seven years ago now. Really. You know, we were just playing some friends and I playing in their bands, or, you know, I’d have a jam at a friend’s house, and it really. It grew organically. So we did one gig, and then it led to more and more and more, and then we thought we’d try the wedding circuit, and everything just sort of snowballed from there. So we’re really just a tight knit group of friends who love to play together and we have a good time and, yeah, I think that’s. That’s really the premise of what we do, you know, at Wendy Bird, it’s our friendship, and that sort of comes through in our performances. So we’re super relaxed and fun, and I think that’s what sort of connects us with our couples and, yeah, how we began. So I’ve always loved music. It’s sort of born from my love of music, I would say. Yeah. And I guess the nickname as well, Wendy Bird is actually, a friend used to call me that, and that’s where the business name came from. It definitely predates Ozarks, so I know I’m getting asked that a lot. I don’t know if you’ve seen that series, but everyone asks me.

Eddy: I’ve tried a few times to get into it, maybe third time. The charm, I don’t know. Everyone keeps saying to me, like, yeah, just push through, push through. You’ll start to love it.

Aleks: I think when people tell you to push through, you’re like, no, I’m not gonna do it. Don’t tell me what to do. I always feel really protective of, like, shows. I’m like, I’ll do it when I’m ready.

Eddy: We’re actually ready. Oh, sorry, Hugo.

Wendy: I was saying, yeah, when you’re good and ready, that’s when you should go for it.

Eddy: Yeah, I think so. I think so. We’re just going through the Sopranos at the moment.

Wendy: That techniques are amazing.

Eddy: Well, I’ve seen them. Most of them. Aleks, it hasn’t. So, yeah, we’re just whipping through those. So maybe we’ll put Ozark on the list after this.

Wendy: Yeah, do it. But basically, yeah, there’s a character in there called Wendy Bird, but that’s not where it came from. I predated this. This premise, and you’ll see why that’s funny if you do watch the show. But, yeah, so I. That’s really how it began. It was just myself and some friends, and, yeah, we just. We love music, and it just evolved over time. And, yeah, now we get to be the soundtrack of people’s love stories. And that is not lost on me. You know, it’s a really privileged place to hold, so.

Eddy: Yeah, that is so cool. And I’ve got to ask, do you remember your first ever wedding that you played?

Wendy: I do, actually. It was. It was a high school friend who happened to find me. I don’t even know how she found me. And. And she was like, can you please do it? And it was amazing. I think I was quite nervous on that first one, but it was. I can’t even remember the songs, but, yeah, it all. It all snowballed. Like, it just. It just exploded after that, so. I do remember it. I remember that feeling. How about you two? When was your first DJ gig?

Eddy: Oh, that’s a long, long time.

Wendy: We’re doing this for going way back in.

Eddy: Yeah, longer than I care to, you know, mention. But my first wedding. I remember my first wedding. We did have this conversation the other day. I can’t for the life of me remember the actual venue, but I can see it in my, like, when I think about exactly what it looks like, I think in cube, but I’m not sure. It was. Yeah, it was very interesting. I can’t remember the songs much like yourself, Wendy. Yeah, I don’t know. Aleks, do you remember yours?

Aleks: Yeah, I do, actually. It was. You know, it was all right. It was on the water. It was on the water. It was. It was a. Yeah, it was a few years ago now. Five years ago, I think. Six years ago, something like that.

Eddy: Wasn’t it your first wedding of same sex wedding.

Aleks: It was the same sex wedding.

Wendy: Oh, magic. Yes.

Aleks: Very cool. And, um, it was. Yes. More was intimate. If I kind of look back, like, aesthetically on the weddings that we do now, it was quite, um, uh, a blank canvas.

Eddy: Watching Aleks now, trying to think of the most diplomatic way.

Aleks: It was a blank canvas.

Eddy: Use your imagination.

Aleks: Well, you know, you have to start somewhere. But, yeah, I do remember, and I do remember the songs I played, and I don’t play some of those songs anymore. I have evolved.

Wendy: They didn’t age well.

Aleks: They didn’t age well.

Wendy: But I do remember this.

Aleks: I do remember the first dance, because I remember watching the couple and thinking, oh, this is quite emotional.

Wendy: It is.

Aleks: It was, um, you know, Nat King Coles something.

Eddy: Which one? Oh, no, no.

Aleks: Unforgettable. Sorry.

Eddy: Oh, that’s a beautiful song.

Aleks: That is beautiful, isn’t it? Yeah. I was thinking with other ones, that’s magic. So it’s very nice. Yeah, I do.

Eddy: There you go. Let’s get back to Wendy’s show.

Aleks: Yeah, Wendy’s asking us questions.

Eddy: No, I know. It feels weird to get asked questions, to be honest.

Aleks: Why haven’t we been invited onto a podcast, by the way, when your podcast.

Eddy: Starts, we’ll be the first.

Wendy: When I do you’ll be the first people on it, so.

Eddy: Well, so you offer a number of different types of packages. So can you talk us through them and how they work?

Wendy: Yeah, absolutely. Well, look, we. We, like, try to build a bespoke packages, so we don’t necessarily have one set that we do for everything. I think each couple is different, and so we really hone in on that and what they need for the day. So sometimes that might just be the ceremony in canapes, or sometimes it’s just the reception, or sometimes it’s the whole thing. But, you know, my heart, I guess I’d say, is really drawn to doing ceremony and canapes and those really romantic moments, you know, like what we’re talking about, like the first dance, you know? I guess that’s probably just the romantic in me, but, yeah, we do. We do a bit of everything, really. My advice, I usually, you know, if we’re doing, like, a bigger band set up, we’d sort of layer it throughout the day. So, you know, that intimate moment for your ceremony would be, like a lovely duo, and then, you know, add another instrument. Add another instrument as the day goes on. But, you know, we sometimes get asked for DJ with sax, as I’m sure you would. You would. That seems to be a popular choice these days as well. Yeah.

Aleks: Still. Yeah.

Eddy: All the sax players keep saying to me, oh, I wonder when this craze.

Aleks: Is going to end.

Eddy: It just hasn’t ended yet.

Aleks: Absolutely not.

Eddy: Bring it on.

Wendy: Yeah. It’s super fun and interactive, you know, but, yeah, I. You know, I. We do lots of different things, and I think, Aleks, we’ve worked together numerous times, actually. I get so happy when I see your name on the supplier list or the run sheet, and I get to see your lovely face later, you know, it brings me so much joy. So, yeah, beautiful.

Aleks: And we always still talk about how lovely it is to have live music for, you know, that. That very intimate, I think, romantic part of the dance.

Eddy: It brings an even more of a level of intimacy. Then I dare I say it, then one of us DJ’s.

Aleks: Absolutely.

Eddy: Yeah, it’s absolutely beautiful. And I often think on, and this is come up a few times, it’s a very specific example that some of our couple listeners might be interested in. And it’s when, you know, you’ve got the aisle song of the ceremony, and perhaps it’s taking a little bit longer than expected for everyone to kind of walk down the bride or the groom, etc. Together. There might not be. And it’s good if you’re a acoustic artist, because you can strum away, redo a verse or something like that, rather.

Wendy: Than let’s see the end. That’s right. Yeah. We can sort of match that moment and, you know, as well, giving our couples a moment when they, you know, reach the end of the aisle and they can hold each other’s hands and connect and then fade out at an appropriate time. And I think the beautiful part about that is we’re working with the celebrant. You know, we have our own little cues that we’re working on, you know, that is discreet to everyone else, but we’re sort of, you know, watching the flow of the ceremony and making sure everything goes smoothly and that it fades down at an appropriate time, even with signing. You know, I always suggest to my couples to pick two signing songs because sometimes that can take a little bit longer, you know, getting the witnesses up or your photographer might want some extra photos there or your. Your guests might. So, you know, just having an extra song up our sleeves to move into. Yeah, yeah.

Aleks: We could not agree more.

Eddy: That’s why you hire professionals.

Wendy: That’s right.

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: It’s funny. And you’d get this, I’m sure, but it’s great. Every time there’s a ceremony and we do, what percentage would we like? 15% 20% tops. We’d be involved with the ceremony, and after the ceremony is done, we always get, like, the biggest gushing thank you from the celebrities. Oh, thank you so much. Like, you did the right time because there would be so many rogue friends that would just cut the music off or start it too early or do it, you know, do all these weird.

Aleks: Ones I’ve heard, like, play the wrong song. Like, play.

Wendy: Oh, no.

Aleks: The bridesmaids entrance song for the bride and vice versa.

Wendy: Or, like, oh, no. Yeah.

Aleks: Either get your DJ or a professional musician.

Eddy: Get Wendy. Wendy’s there.

Aleks: Amazing job when you can just improvise, taking your sweet time, getting down that aisle. And what do you typically advise? So, we normally say to our couples when they want us involved in sort of looking after the ceremony music that, you know, we recommend having at least half an hour of music before the ceremony kicks off. Is that.

Wendy: Is that how you work? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, we’re doing that pre ceremony music for about half an hour. So really welcoming the guests to the space is a beautiful way, you know, for your guests to enter through to this magic moment. So, yeah, we’d be doing, like, half an hour pre ceremony, and then we’d be doing those beautiful milestone moments. And again, like, every wedding is different, so some people don’t do signing, or some people choose to have that later, or, you know, but mainly the choices would be your aisle song, as I said, two for the signing and then a really celebratory exit song. So, yeah, that’s. That’s generally how that. That works. And then we, you know, if we need to move to a different location for canapes or if we’re in the same spot, we then, you know, move over to the next spot to set up again and play a little romantic canape set, or. Yeah, I bet you always.

Aleks: You wish that you hope that you were in the same spot. Hey, Wendy, be honest.

Wendy: And that’s fine, because obviously, as well, with what we do, we have, um, the beauty of it. I’m big on the aesthetics, but we have a lovely little portable pa that’s ideal, that we can play wherever. You know, it’s battery powered and it looks sleek. And, you know, the. Where was it in January? I was playing on a cliff top for someone. So, you know, we carted all of our gear about a kilometre onto this magical cliff in Flinders. And. And we’re able to work from all these magic locations because we’ve got a battery operated Pa that sounds really beautiful.

Eddy: And so I’m a bit of a geek, Wendy. So what speaker are we talking here?

Wendy: So I bought a new little. A new little JBL. I do love jbLs, but I also have a bows, too. So I’ve got multiple setups in my gear. I’ve got small, mid large catering to different space. Yeah. I’ve even got a little Roland cube. You know, I’ve got two battery opera. Yeah.

Aleks: Wow.

Wendy: I’ve got multiple things, so that’s. So my house is. He’s full of floating with gear.

Eddy: Oh, that sounds like our house, actually. Occupational hazard, I call that.

Wendy: I know. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. It’s great that you’ve got constantly bringing more things in, though, aren’t we?

Eddy: Yeah. Yes.

Aleks: Especially Ed when he buys things.

Eddy: But it’s great that you’ve, you know, coming back to your options of equipment. It’s great to have spares as well, because I think a lot of people fall on that, you know, potential pitfall that they don’t. What happens if their main speaker goes? You can just pull out the Bose s one pro, throw it on and continue. So that’s. Yeah, awesome.

Aleks: This episode is not sponsored by Bose. This episode is sponsored by Bose, sadly. Or JBL or Roland.

Eddy: Yeah, the big three.

Wendy: Yeah, yeah.

Aleks: Sorry about that, guys, but that’s. Yeah, that’s really good. So then you obviously got the sound taken care of, so, you know, your celebrant will look after, obviously, the mic and they’ll have their own pa, which is appropriate for that. And then you guys are just all over the music side, so that’s super comforting. I think a lot of people, if they haven’t booked, you know, a live musician, don’t tend to think about the. This. You know, the music for this part of the day, which is huge. So we’re always prodding them like, hey, like, you have to.

Wendy: Have you organised that yet?

Eddy: Yeah, there’s nothing quite like walking into before a ceremony when it’s just silence.

Wendy: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think it really sets the tone and it’s, you know, it’s got to be. It’s romantic and it’s beautiful and intimate, you know, and I think that’s a really special thing to be able to do, to create that soundtrack as people are coming through into the space. Yeah. And people value that now, so.

Eddy: Yeah, they absolutely do. I think even more so after. After the big p. All right.

Aleks: It’s going to be known as the big p from now on.

Eddy: So we’ve had a chat about the ceremony in particular at this stage, but let’s step back a little bit. And let’s have a talk about how you work with couples in the lead up to their wedding. So let’s start from, I guess, the inquiry stage. The start?

Wendy: Yeah. So essentially we, after getting the inquiry, we would chat about a bit more about the logistics of what they’re after. So we refine what their vision of the day is. We talk about the style of music they want or if they have any special request ideas. And once we align that, it’s the right fit and we find the right package that works. I guess my goal then is to make that process of planning and prep for the big day as stress free as possible. We all know weddings can be very stressful, but, you know, I think if you can circumvent that with. With organisations. So typically I’d have lots of phone chats just really refining what. What my couples are after and their ideas and then, you know, staying in communication that. That lead up back and forth. As the day gets closer, I have a form that I get my couples to fill in as well, which is like our bit of our musical brief with their finalised requests and their important contact details and the refined run sheets and all of that. And then I get them to send that back to me and we sort of go over that and sometimes we’ll go over that in a phone chat. But really, I think the main thing is that the more in tune we are with the music brief for the day, it helps us to build on that level of service that we can provide. So, yeah, just organising all those key moments, like even things like your request, some people have such a tricky time with it. Some of my couples, they know immediately what song they want and others can take a little bit longer for their requests. So we learn up to two requests for the day as well. So if we’re doing the ceremony and, you know, obviously we need that well in advance so that we can refine it and really make it sound the way we want it to sound for that special day. So, yeah, how does it work with.

Aleks: So you mentioned, obviously, song requests and, you know, kind of allowing two custom requests. So in terms of the other music, do you like, send through a repertoire that people kind of choose from or how does that. Or do they let you know?

Wendy: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve got our list of repertoire that we have as well. And sometimes our couples might be wanting to highlight particular songs that they love. I find that sometimes, as you probably know as well, one of the most important questions you can ask is what not to play on the day. And I’m sure you’ve got your fingers and toes crossed that they write nut bush on that.

Aleks: Yes.

Wendy: But, yeah, so, like, that is a super important thing to have covered. So some people have more of a hands on approach to it and they want to pick out, you know, each individual song. I really think, as well, one of the things that we’re really, really great at is essentially reading the crowd. So we adapt to, you know, what we’re feeling in the room as well. So we’ll have a set list that we work from, but if we can tell that someone, oh, they’re really into the beat, we’ll throw a few more of those into the next set. Yeah, we really do like to sort of read the room in what we offer as well, so, yeah, we blend in. We’re sort of like the chameleons of the wedding world, you know, we’ll adapt to the crowd and. Yeah, but it is also really nice to have that insight from our couples as well.

Eddy: So you sound a lot like a DJ right now.

Wendy: Do I?

Aleks: You do DJ, don’t you, as well, Wendy?

Wendy: I think you DJ on occasion, but I prefer to outsource, so.

Aleks: Fair enough.

Wendy: It’s a long day, as, you know, like, if I’m doing ceremony and we’re getting there, like, an hour and a half or an hour beforehand to set things up and sound cheque. So, yeah, sometimes that will be delegated, you know, to one of the DJ’s I work with or. It really just depends on the gigs, really. But, yeah, I can in a pinch.

Aleks: That’s good.

Wendy: That’s good.

Aleks: Yeah.

Wendy: Bit of Red Bull.

Aleks: Bit of Red Bull.

Eddy: DJ Wendy bird laying it down.

Aleks: Yeah, but I think. I think it’s interesting that you say that. You say that you also read the crowd. I think that’s really cool that you’re able to. Adept. Adept.

Wendy: Adapt.

Aleks: It’s a bit late. No, I did. I didn’t realise that. I thought. Yeah, I didn’t. I didn’t realise it that you do that. So that’s very cool. And how much fun is it when you, like, during canopies, when you can tell, like, it’s gonna be a loose, loosey goosey crowd?

Wendy: Yeah.

Aleks: And when I walk in and visit, like, acoustic duo or tree or whatever, you know, during cocktail hour after the ceremony and people are already dancing and singing, I’m like, oh, yeah, it’s gonna be.

Wendy: Yeah, it’s gonna be a good night. Yeah, exactly.

Eddy: And you pick, like, the one or two people that gonna be rages later. On as well. Like you.

Aleks: You’re in trouble sometimes. Although sometimes they’re too. They get too drunk and they’re too much the other way.

Eddy: You know, the brightest flame burns out the fastest, they say, so they disappear at some point.

Aleks: I’ve definitely seen that happen. And what was I gonna say? Oh, geez, I’m in fine form today, aren’t I?

Eddy: We’ll have to cut this part out, won’t we?

Aleks: Oh, no, I was just gonna. Yeah.

Eddy: Anyway, moving on.

Wendy: It’s gone.

Eddy: When are you still a Willis? Oh, okay. Well, look, um. No, that’s a great insight. And like Aleks mentioned, I absolutely love that you read the crowd. It’s, um. Yeah, it’s so good. It’s not an easy thing to do either, until, you know, you’ve got enough experience to be able to call those shots with confidence, so.

Wendy: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Aleks: Absolutely.

Wendy: I know what I was gonna ask.

Aleks: I was gonna ask you if you guys have, like, a particular genre or kind of vibe that you prefer or that perhaps you find that your clients are requesting more than others.

Eddy: Yeah.

Wendy: I love so many different genres. I’m a bit of a musical mutt, so I love lots of things. I think often we get asked to do, you know, sort of indie covers, triple j, like a version type covers. But, yeah, we do everything, really. Lots of different things from, you know, Jolene’s probably one of the most requested songs I get. So. Bit of country, and then, you know, we might be playing Bon iver at the start of the day. So it really is varied what we do, and I love that because I love a diverse array of songs, so. And genres. Yeah.

Eddy: Is there anything you particularly don’t like.

Wendy: Don’t like to play? Oh. Oh, good question. I’m trying to think.

Eddy: Yeah.

Wendy: Off the top of my head, I do apologise.

Aleks: Are there any, like, pub.

Wendy: Getting a pub rock?

Eddy: Yeah. Can you do an acoustic rendition of the nut bush, I wonder?

Wendy: Oh, goodness. I’ve never thought about it.

Aleks: Feel free.

Wendy: How about I do one? I’ll send it to you.

Aleks: Please don’t record one. We’ll put it with the reel. It’d be funny. Let’s do it, too. It doesn’t if it doesn’t work out, you know what I mean? I did notice that you kind of said not. Not kind of just a pub band on your. On your website. So does that. Is that more like, in terms of your style? Because I wouldn’t say you’ve got a sort of pub acoustic style.

Wendy: Yeah, we don’t have that style. Yeah, we do lots of different songs, I think, that aren’t typical in. In a pub sort of covers gig. I mean, some of them do. You have to keep the classics, you know, I’ll throw in, you know, a few old and oldies, but. Goldies. Yeah. But, yeah, we just. I think the list of songs that we work off is a bit more nation and lots of, like, you know, indie artists as well, so. Beautiful. Yeah.

Aleks: Love that. Sounds very much on our kind of page as well.

Eddy: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. I love the, like, a version stuff. It’s so good.

Aleks: Yeah. And it’s like you’re creating your own, like a version of the, like, version.

Eddy: Yeah, like.

Wendy: Yeah, that’s it. Exactly. Right.

Aleks: Do you have any inside tips for couples, I guess, who are looking to book live music either, like, in terms of thinking about the venue or any kind of timing suggestions or how to go about, you know, picking music to put. To put in their brief to you.

Wendy: Yeah, to put in their brief. I think particularly with the ceremony choices and milestone moments, which some couples really struggle with this. I think what’s important is to pick something that really resonates with you. So it might be, you know, the first gig that you went with your partner to go and see, or it might just be that the lyrics are really meaningful to you. I think people get caught up on, you know, oh, I spoke to my mum and she hates that song. It’s not about that. It’s not about that at all. It’s about what resonates with both of you and, you know, a wedding should represent your relationship and how. How you connected and what makes you happy. So I think that’s really important just to sort of push out the noise and just find that thing that, you know, makes your heart sing. You know, when you’re picking your song choices, I think with something we touched on earlier as well, with picking any kind of wedding musicians, including yourselves, I think it’s really important to start early and do your research early and, you know, find the musicians that you really want, that you really connect with. Because after the last couple of years, we’ve had, everyone’s booking up super, super quickly. So avoiding disappointment, I think, is it’s really important to sort of look at the kind of thing that you want and book it early because I hate having that conversation where I’m like, I’m so sorry, I’m already booked. And, you know, you’d have that, too. Yeah. Hater.

Aleks: When it’s like the perfect inquiry and they’ve put so much effort into telling us how much, like, they’ve been following us and they love our vibe and this is what they’re after and, you know, it’s gonna be such a fun day, and they go to all these music festivals together and their friends are.

Wendy: Off and I’m like, no, I know, I know. It’s. You know, we’ve had unprecedented times and it sort of pushed everyone’s calendars out and out and out. So, yeah, I think that’s super important is, you know, do your research and get onto it early. And another thing, like with. I think, as well, when you’re. When you’ve picked your venue, too, I think it’s really important to sort of really consider the space, the size of the space and the room and the style that you want. You know, like, smaller spaces might lend more to a duo or a trio or, you know, a DJ for the reception, you know. So I always sort of suggest to my couples to really consider that as well, you know, and also, you know, ask their venue if they’ve got any sound restrictions, which I’m not sure if you’ve run into. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that that’s. That’s something that we tell my couples. I’m always like, just have a chat with the venue just to make sure, so that you can get the most out of the music.

Aleks: Yeah. Sometimes the venues aren’t that.

Eddy: Yes. Oh, that’s a very nice way of putting it, Aleks.

Aleks: I’m very diplomatic today. Thank you very much.

Wendy: That was very diplomatic.

Eddy: Look, there are, unfortunately, and I don’t like saying this, but there are some venues that we just aren’t able to play because of the severity of the noise. Restrictions.

Aleks: Yeah, because you just won’t get the best out of us.

Wendy: Yeah, yeah, that’s the goal. Exactly. So that’s some advice I’d give future couples to look at as well.

Aleks: Yeah, absolutely. And we spoke a little bit about key moments and we always say to couples who are sort of struggling with choosing their key moment songs, that it is so personal that it’s so difficult for us to recommend those. But do you have any kind of favourites or really unique songs that you’ve performed for? Maybe an aisle or you mentioned kind of the ceremony finished song, which is a really, like, upbeat, celebratory moment? Have you got any favourites or any kind of unique songs that, you know, you really enjoyed and could maybe just give people some inspiration?

Wendy: Yeah, of course. So I’ve sung so many beautiful songs down for people down the aisle, obviously. Classic. Can’t help falling in love Elvis is a favourite that I get quite often because it is beautiful, but I’ve played so many different things. Like, for example, I had a bride that I was organising her wedding, and she was saying that her husband to be was obsessed with Metallica, and she told him that it was going to be an Ed Sheeran song that she would be coming down the aisle to. And we very secretively organised that it would be a cover of Metallica. Nothing else matters, which was his favourite song. So that moment, then. Emotions are already high, but, you know, then it was just this really beautiful, joyous moment where we played Metallica as she came down the aisle. So, like, it can be anything, you know, like, any song that resonates with that space is something that we can cater to. It’s so unique. As you were saying, everyone’s different. Every. Every person that chooses to get married has a different take on what’s meaningful to them. And I think I’ve never had an instance where it’s been something I haven’t been able to do. Touch wood.

Aleks: With enough notice, obviously.

Wendy: Yeah. With enough notice, I need at least four weeks before the wedding day.

Aleks: Oh, that’s not too bad.

Wendy: That’s impressive.

Aleks: That’s very impressive.

Wendy: Yeah. During busy seasons, that’s. Yeah, that’s my sort of cut off. Yeah.

Eddy: And just on, like, particular songs, do your couples sort of request a bit of a sneak peek of the tune, or do you prefer just to go, hey, guys, let’s just be surprised on the day.

Wendy: I prefer to leave it at surprise on the day. I think it’s super special. And, you know, I understand that, like, that temptation to want to hear it early as well, but I think it’s a beautiful. A beautiful moment that should be enjoyed in that space. And, you know, you don’t want to get too caught up in the timing of, like, you know, as we talked about earlier, like, we need to adapt sometimes. You know, if there’s someone that’s entering down the aisle prior and they’re taking a little bit longer, you don’t want to be fixating on the timing of, you know, a sample of it, that they might be thinking that it would work and then it doesn’t because the timing’s different or, you know, you’re in.

Eddy: The bridge instead of the chorus or something.

Wendy: Yeah, yeah. You know, it’s. It’s like. It’s an unveiling moment. It’s. You know, I think it. Yeah, I’ve done it. I think I’ve done it once or twice in the past, just to give people an idea of it. But I just think the beauty is in that moment. Yeah. Where we’ll say, you know, like it might be. We can keep it to the similar tempo of this version so that they have an inkling. But, you know, I like to leave it as a bit of a surprise. Yeah.

Aleks: You get better photos because you get a genuine kind of emotional reaction.

Wendy: Yeah, absolutely.

Aleks: You kind of want that, don’t you? Because you’ve planned everything so well. It’s nice to have a couple of surprises. I mean, there would be surprises, good surprises. I mean.

Wendy: Yeah, yeah. But that feeling, you know. Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. Yeah.

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: I have another question for you, Wendy. Actually, this is not related to this specific thing.

Aleks: I feel like he’s gonna be out of the blue.

Eddy: No.

Aleks: He looks mischievous.

Wendy: Mystery face.

Eddy: No, no. It’s not mischievous at all, actually. So obviously, as wedding DJs, we have guests come up to us, request songs. How often does it happen for an acoustic duo or trio? How often will someone come and request something from you guys? I’ve always wanted to know this in a context of a wedding.

Wendy: Of course, it does happen quite often, actually. Yeah. And we do our very best. Yeah, we do. We do. I mean, it’s. It’s often. It’s harder, but I’ve had moments where, like, for example, I was playing a wedding and someone dubbed in one of the groomsmen and said, oh, he actually, he knows how to rap. Get low. So if your four piece band can learn it. And I was like, you know what? This is a risk. I’m a little unsure about how this is going to go over, but let’s just give it a shot. And so in the set break, the band quickly learnt it and then played it. The groomsmen came up and it was perfect. It was just such a good moment and the entire crowd went wild. So, you know, like, we do get. And sometimes we can make that work, but if, you know, it just depends on if we’re familiar with the song or not. I did not expect that.

Eddy: I didn’t expect that.

Wendy: So this is hilarious, little John.

Eddy: Yeah. Wow. What is the rap skeet skeet song?

Wendy: Yeah, it was wild. It was wild.

Aleks: Okay. But we don’t want to be encouraging that sort of thing too often because you guys will get too stressed out. But it is possible.

Wendy: Yeah, it is possible. Sometimes, you know, it just depends on the request, really. And if we know it. Yeah. And if we think it’ll work as well, you know, it’s sort of. Yeah, it’s very situational. Yeah, of course.

Aleks: And if the couple will, you know, appreciated it. It’s part of the brief and it’s not on their do not play list.

Wendy: Exactly.

Aleks: That’s a hard. No. Very easy way to respond to that one. But. But I like the fact that, you know, like some of those, even with live musicians and key moment songs and everything, like, it doesn’t have to be romantic. Like, even, you know, your aisle song and stuff, like you said, if it’s meaningful or if it’s got a good memory attached to it or it’s happy and upbeat or whatever you want, it doesn’t have to be, you know, romantic lyrics or anything, like.

Wendy: No, no, absolutely not as well.

Aleks: And just think, oh, it’s got to be a love song.

Wendy: No, it absolutely doesn’t.

Aleks: But not get.

Eddy: I mean, you mentioned Bon Iver before, that skinny, skinny love. I mean, that’s not a particularly romantic song.

Aleks: Just sounds romantic.

Eddy: Sounds really nice.

Wendy: It’s a beautiful song. That’s one of my favourite songs. It’s an amazing all time favourite. Yeah, yeah.

Aleks: No one. No one, really.

Eddy: But no one’s like, you know, listening to every single word going, oh, actually, I’ve got some notes for you on these lyrics.

Aleks: I mean.

Wendy: No, absolutely. Well, that’s it, I think.

Aleks: Yeah, I mean, I play some songs, I’m like, oh, this is about a breakup or cheating. But it’s a lovely song and it fits the vibe, so doesn’t really matter. It’s music at the end of the day. Awesome. Well, we’ve got one final important.

Eddy: I’m gonna take this one if I can.

Aleks: You always do.

Eddy: So, Wendy, aka DJ Wendy Bird, what song will personally get you on the dance floor?

Wendy: Oh, that’s a really tough question. Can I pick a couple?

Eddy: You can, yes.

Aleks: Everyone does.

Wendy: As we’ve said, I’m a bit of a musical mutt, so I think one of my all time favourite songs is call me Owl by Paul Simon.

Eddy: Oh, boom. Yes.

Wendy: Yeah. Which, you know, it’s like a shot of pure joy for me. I like. I even love singing it and performing it as well. That would definitely be probably my number one kiss by Prince.

Eddy: Oh, yes, yes. Love a bit of prince.

Aleks: So good.

Wendy: Yeah. It’s like an ultimate party command, you know, that gets that mood. Mood boost going. And, you know, my ears smile every time I hear it, so definitely love that. What else?

Eddy: Oh, three. Give us three.

Aleks: Well, I mean.

Wendy: Yeah, yeah.

Eddy: The flight gates are open.

Wendy: Now, which is my favourite child? I love nineties. I love Shania Twain, man, I feel like a woman.

Eddy: Yeah. I mean, that’s.

Aleks: Yeah, that’s a class.

Eddy: Stone cold party starter.

Aleks: Yep.

Wendy: Yep.

Aleks: If you don’t dance.

Wendy: Yeah.

Aleks: You’re not having enough fun.

Wendy: That’s it.

Aleks: Let’s go, girl.

Eddy: Very, very good answers. And do you do a rendition of that particular song as well?

Wendy: I have once before. I should bring it out onto the regular rotations, actually, because it’s super fun.

Aleks: So good. So good that you can, you know, you’re happy to do such a variety of tunes as well because it is important for a wedding, isn’t it? People just need.

Wendy: Oh, yeah.

Aleks: Hear a variety. Whether it’s live music or whether it’s a DJ. You just need to mix things up for everyone.

Wendy: Yeah. And as the day goes on, you know, you sort of, you know, you’re building, so. Yeah, that’s. That’s what we try and do anyway.

Aleks: Yeah. Amazing. Well, thank you so much, Wendy. Where can people find you online? It’s pretty obvious. But, you know, let’s. Let’s. We always ask it. Where can people find you online?

Wendy: Where do you hang out?

Aleks: TikTok.

Wendy: I’m not a TikToker. I’m really throwing my ache there.

Aleks: No, I refuse.

Wendy: Yeah, I haven’t. Just haven’t done it. I probably should, but I haven’t mainly, you know, I’m an Instagram kind of gal, so. Yeah. Wendy bird music. You’ll find me on instagram there or on that website, which I’m refreshing shortly. So it needs a bit of a lift. So I’m working on that currently. It’s a fun thing, isn’t it? It’s so fun. Oh, my. Good. After wedding season calms down, that’s when I’ll do it. Yeah.

Eddy: Yeah. One thing at a time.

Aleks: It’s a task, but it always feels good once it’s done. But we’ll definitely share that all in the show notes. So if you want acoustic music, get in touch with Wendy and ate that. People do it. Don’t wait, don’t delay, don’t delay. Now. It really does sound like a Harvey Norman ad.

Eddy: Do it early, guys. Do it early.

Wendy: Early.

Aleks: Just book everyone early, okay? Or you’ll miss out.

Eddy: The general rule now.

Aleks: I’m like a school teacher. We really appreciate time. We can’t wait to see you at another wedding coming up soon. We hope you get through mad April and mad any holidays.

Wendy: It’s going to be wild. Actually, I’m going to Africa in June, which is. Yeah, this is my third time I’ve. Yeah. Yeah. Total. Africa was my favourite.

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: I mean, that’s going to be a repeat the whole way there.

Wendy: It will be. It really will be. I know. Yeah. I’m super excited. I’m going to go on safari, so that’ll be fun. Yes. I’m having June to just relax.

Eddy: Yeah. It’s got to be done. Recharge.

Wendy: Yeah.

Eddy: See some animals.

Wendy: Yeah.

Aleks: June is the one time that you can do it, so definitely.

Wendy: Yeah.

Aleks: Make it. Make it to. Then think about your holiday. You’ll be there before you know it. Well, thank you again, Wendy.

Eddy: Thank you, Wendy.

Aleks: And you’re making.

Wendy: Thank you for having me.

Aleks: We’ll chat to you soon.

Wendy: So lovely to chat to you both. Lots of love.

Aleks: Thanks, Wendy.

Wendy: Bye bye.

Aleks: Thanks for tuning in. If you’re enjoying Project Engaged, please hit the subscribe button on your fav podcast app.

Eddy: You can also follow us on Instagram, @projectengaged and @onemoresongdjs.

Aleks: We’ll see you next time. And until then, have fun out there.

Best Wedding Reception Songs For Melbourne DJ

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