Rebecca Phelan (left)

Client: Rebecca & Robert Phelan

Event: Wedding

Venue: Preston Court – website

Date: June, 13 2013

Package: Plug & Play

Music Requested: R&B, Latest Charts, Party Classics


All images on this website © &

After a much needed 3 days off following last weekends four events we were back on the Thursday at Preston Court for Rebecca & Roberts wedding, its quite a unique venue with several features and interesting backdrops.

We arrived at 6pm ready for access at 630, as you enter the venue’s gravel drive the first thing that hits you is the full size Victorian carousel that sits next to the 17th century Kentish barn which is available for all the guests to enjoy following the daytime formalities, its certainly something different and great for photo opportunities, it also looks fab when it gets dark and lights up. Another great feature for photo’s at the venue is the graveyard of steam engines which are located in the area used for parking …the venue is also licensed for outdoor ceremonies which take place on Juliana’s Island amidst the romantic gardens at Preston Court where there is a wedding pagoda, craddled by an ancient yew tree.

Inside the barn there are yet more interesting features, at each end of the barn there are fairground organs which add to a nice backdrop to indoor ceremonies and top table shots, for this wedding Rebecca & Robert hired 4 uplighters and in keeping with their colour scheme we set this to dusky pink and moss green to highlight the organs during the evening.

Onto the evening disco, Rebecca and Rob had hired a 2 piece band to play their first dance …and for the evenings music they had provided me with an extensive playlist of their favourite tunes including Motown, 70s, 80s, 90s, RNB and latest tunes. The first 6 songs played were specifically requested by the bride as well as a number of others that had to be played during the evening including their song “Pass Out”.

PLEASE NOTE: THE VENUE HAS SINCE ADDRESSED THE FOLLOWING ISSUE – click here to read the latest Preston Court blog

If you look through all my blogs you will never see a negative comment when I write a review, but unfortunately at Preston Court there is one major downside that I feel needs to be addressed which is currently affecting the entertainment side of things. A disruptive sound limiter that cut the music 4 times during my performance …however it s not actually the music that cuts it out.

If your not familiar with a sound limiter, its a device that is designed to limit the amount of bass that leaves the environment, they are mainly used to contain large bands and you usually find them installed at venues with local residents. Common sound limiters are fitted as a single unit (with a housed mic), the display then shows your volume levels in a “graphic equalizer type of way”. However, this particular limiter comes as two seperate parts – a mic that hangs over the dance floor with a seperate the unit (interacting with the mic) positioned on the stage for the performer to observe, its supposed to allow up to 98 decibels. The unit displays a single green light, single orange light and a single red light.

We were watching the unit like a hawk as the evening got off to a great start with the barn full of people dancing and with the music level at a good volume, there were no sign of any problems, however after about half an hour during “Get Down On It” by Kool & The Gang, the crowd started singing during the song and the power just cut out with no sign of a light. I got the music going again straight away and went and spoke to the doorman who informed me that the week before they had a band performing and it cut out about ten times, I then had a quick chat with the co ordinator who said “when the unit flashes orange you have 12 seconds to lower the volume, then when it goes to red it immediately cuts out”, I mentioned that the orange light had not come on for 12 seconds but I was just told that the venue had no control over the limiter and that it was fitted by the council.

As a result of the first cut the barn had half emptied with guests taking the opportunity to go over to the bar (seperate outbuilding) to get a drink. With the music back on I put my volume levels back up to the point when the last song cut out and adjusted the bass to test the system again, as before the limiter was not affected by the volume of the music …and at this time there was obviously no singing in the room. Over the course of the next hour I had managed to get everyone dancing again when the crowd started singing to “The Thong Song” by Sisqo the power cut again …and that is the problem with this limiter, it is affected by the ambient noise in the room (people talking and singing) and not actually the music itself !! 98 decibels is a decent volume for music and when there’s no ambient noise in the room the music doesn’t register on the the limiter (that was tested), but it’s not much use having music without people, its the mic over the dance floor picking up the crowds voices that causes the limiter to play up.

Personally I’ve never come across like anything quite like it, its not acceptable that a performer who has spent thousands of pounds on equipment is in a situation contending with something that is constantly damaging your system because the audience is singing. It’s a crazy because as a DJ you get your job satisfaction from large groups of people dancing, singing and enjoying themselves, you can’t tell people not to sing – its my job to create that sort of atmosphere. Ultimately as a performer you end up worrying about valuable kit being damaged because its not being turned off properly and watching a limiter all night that doesn’t actually work the way it should rather than concentrating on what your actually there to do. It’s also unfair on the client who has paid a lot of money for their wedding and on the guests who are there to celebrate with the bride and groom. After the 2nd cut I informed the guests that it was the singing that was causing the power cuts, I told them that because I use a high quality sound system and didn’t want people thinking my equipment was failing – in fairness to them they were very understanding, as was the groom who actually spoke to the venue himself.

With everyone now fully aware of the problem, everyone was on their non singing best behaviour for the time being …but as more alcohol is consumed and people get back into the zone of enjoying themselves we were nervously watching the sound limiter as it flickered into the orange as words to songs started to get sung again. With the crowd again in full flow it tripped again during one of the requested Kylie songs …in an attempt to retain the crowd who were now at the height of their enjoyment I quickly put on “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, but with it being such a vocal song for a crowd, it tripped it again – it’s a frustrating lose/lose situation. I then found myself trying to accommodate the orange light (time limit) by picking out popular songs that were on Rebecca’s playlist which hopefully wouldn’t result in sustained spells of singing …and fortunately we managed to get through to the close without any further cuts. Although the crowd all seemed to enjoy themselves, behind the scenes it proved to be a stressful experience …I’m passionate about what I do and I want people to have the best time possible, as a daytime venue it’s great in so many ways but there are obvious issues for anyone who see’s the evening as a very important aspect.

PLEASE NOTE: THE SOUND LIMITER ISSUE HAS SINCE BEEN RESOLVED – click here to read the latest Preston Court blog

Finally, I would like to wish Rebecca & Robert all the best for the future and hope that the issues with the limiter didn’t affect your enjoyment of the evening overall, the positive aspect is that the music and atmosphere must of been right to get the guests to the point when they wanted to sing and really enjoy the evening  🙂

If you were at Rebecca & Rob’s wedding party how about leaving us a comment at the bottom of this page

click here to visit our facebook group to see more photos from this event


First Dance Played by the band

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (2003 Edit) Michael Jackson
I Wanna Dance With Somebody Whitney Houston
Beat It (Single Version) Michael Jackson
Bad Michael Jackson
I Gotta Feeling The Black Eyed Peas
Love Shack B52s
Crazy In Love Beyoncé
Here Comes the Hotstepper Ini Kamoze
Caught Up Usher
Get Down On It Kool & the Gang

Mr. Big Stuff Jean Knight
Le Freak Chic
Car Wash Rolls Royce
Hot Stuff Donna Summer
Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
Get Up Offa That Thing James Brown
Respect Aretha Franklin
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) Beyoncé
Like I Love You (featuring Clipse) Justin Timberlake
Hot In Here (Radio Edit) Nelly
Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell) Robin Thicke
Get Lucky (Radio Edit) [feat. Pharrell Williams] Daft Punk
She’s Got That Vibe R. Kelly
Don’t Cha (Radio Edit) The Pussycat Dolls & Busta Rhymes
Freedom ’90 George Michael
If Ya Gettin’ Down Five
Everybody Get Up Five
Locked Out of Heaven Bruno Mars
Dance With Me Tonight Olly Murs
Ice Ice Baby Vanilla Ice
U Can’t Touch This MC Hammer
What’s My Name? Rihanna & Drake
Thong Song Sisqo

Umbrella (feat. Jay-z) Rihanna
Pass the Dutchie Musical Youth
Mr Boombastic Shaggy
Tease Me Chaka Demus & Pliers
In da Club (Single Version) 50 Cent
I See You Baby [Shaking That Ass] Groove Armada
Superstylin’ Groove Armada
Baby Got Back MC A Lot
Push It (Radio Version) Salt N Pepa
Cant Get You Out Of My Head Kylie Minogue

Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey

Eye of the Tiger Survivor
Don’t Stop Me Now Queen
Sex On Fire Kings Of Leon
Mr. Brightside Killers
Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now Starship
How Will I Know Whitney Houston
Take On Me a-ha
Edge of Heaven Wham
Tell It To My Heart Taylor Dayne
Pass Out (Radio Edit) Tinie Tempah
Firework Katy Perry
Rhythm of the Night DeBarge
Love Train O’Jays
I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash
Marry You Bruno Mars
She’s Electric Oasis
Mr. Loverman Shabba Ranks
Superstition Stevie Wonder
U Know What’s Up (feat. Left-Eye) Donell Jones