Read Before You Opa: Jimmy Shares Greek Wedding Entertainment Trends and Tips
I’ve been a DJ and an MC for Greek and Greek-American weddings for nearly twenty years! I’ve seen trends come and go, and I’ve developed some tried-and-true guidelines that you can follow to make sure the entertainment runs smoothly.
1. Select Entertainers that Match Your “Big Picture” Vision:
If there is one thing that I could encourage all of my clients to consider with all wedding planning decisions, it’s this: have a picture in your mind of what you want your wedding to be like and make decisions based on that vision. The type of atmosphere you want to create, and how lively you want your dance floor to be, should connect directly to the entertainers you choose.
If most of your guests are Greek or Greek-American, and you would like to have Greek dancing for most of the reception, a Greek Band or a DJ specializing in Greek music would be top choices for you.
More and more, we receive requests for a mix of Greek music and American music. With blended culture weddings on the rise, where either the Bride or the Groom is not Greek, a variety of music is a must to make sure that all of the guests are entertained and enjoying themselves.
When interviewing potential entertainers, whether bands or DJs, it’s also important to let them know what type of Greek music you want, and make sure they provide the styles you want for your reception.
There are some weddings where the Bride and her girlfriends want to dance tsifteteli for a full hour, and other weddings where the kalamatiano is the only Greek dance the clients want played. And of course, we’ve seen every variation in between the two.
If you do want a blend of Greek music and American music and you opt for a DJ, don’t forget to talk with him about the American music you want as well. The last thing you want is to have an amazing opening set of Greek tunes and realize the style of music that your DJ selects for the American set is all wrong.
2. Consider Your Guests:
Many of the recent weddings we’ve worked with are nearly a 50-50 mix of Greek-American guests and American guests. You want your traditions to shine, but you also want all of your guests to enjoy themselves and feel included. So, how do you engage the American guests that may have never seen any Greek dancing before?
A brief, fun Greek dancing lesson is a great option to welcome American friends to the dance floor to enjoy a traditional dance. I like to offer a kalamatiano lesson at the rehearsal dinner, if there are members of the wedding party that don’t know this traditional first wedding party dance at the reception. During the wedding reception, kalamatiano lessons are often too time consuming and complicated, but a hasaposerviko (“one, two, three, kick, kick!”) lesson for your wedding guests is a lot of fun and allows them to be a part of your traditions, too!
3. Fill In the Gaps:
Hiring an emcee who is committed to keeping the reception on timeline, and sharing key details with your guests, is a must. This person is the narrator for your wedding, and sets the tone and atmosphere from the very start of your reception when he introduces you as husband and wife for the first time!
Your emcee can also help to make your traditions more interactive, and make your reception more memorable for you and for your guests. Many of your American guests may not know that the traditional first “circle dance” is called a kalamatiano, or that the traditional first kalamatiano song, “Oraia….” speaks about the beauty of the bride. If you had never seen a kalamatiano before, wouldn’t hearing these few pieces of info make the experience more interesting and special?
It will also be crucial to have a strong emcee if you’re transitioning back and forth between a band and a DJ, and if you have a very large wedding guest list. The larger the wedding, the stronger the voice of the emcee must be to capture and keep the guests’ attention!
With these tips and ideas, you’re off to a great start toward an unforgettable Greek wedding!
Like what you read? We would love to help you with your wedding or other international event!
About Jimmy Economos:
EEP Events owner Jimmy Economos got his start in the wedding industry as a DJ when he was just a teenager. Learning quickly from entertainment company owners and older DJs, Jimmy quickly realized that his natural niche was the culturally rich Greek Atlanta community in which he was raised. Attending the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation where his father is the lead chanter and his mother sings in the choir, and performing with professional folk dance organization Troupe Hellas from childhood, Jimmy has been immersed in Greek music all his life.
Over the past 20 years, Jimmy has grown in his craft to become Atlanta’s most highly regarded Greek wedding DJ, and one of the most sought after ethnic wedding DJs in the country. Jimmy has provided emcee and DJ services for Greek weddings throughout the Southeast, in California and even in Greece, and year after year the demand grows for his specialized services for international weddings
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