Toby Oakley – Wedding DJ
New Forest & Hampshire
A bit about me:
I know it’s very boring, but here is why I do this wonderful job & a bit more about my life away from the decks:
When I left university (BS.c (Hons) Fisheries & Aquaculture) I found that getting a job in the UK was not as easy as it looked, so I jetted off to the Bahamas and researched Lemon Sharks for a year.
On my return I started working in a nightclub & loved the idea of being a DJ, so started my first club night in Southampton. Over a few years I promoted underground dance nights, Latin/Spanish events, international student parties & even a Polish night. I became a resident DJ in a local club for a year & very quickly I started to DJ at parties and soon after weddings, the rest is history! To date I have DJ’d at over 1,300 weddings, private, corporate events, children parties – you name it, I have done it! We became the in-house DJ’s for Careys Manor in Brockenhurst in 2009 & over the years since have gained the respect and recommendation of 4 other New Forest Hotels.
Just like hiring a hair stylist or photographer, you want to trust that your suppliers are experienced so your hair looks amazing & you have stunning photographs & its the same with your entertainment. There are no qualifications to become a wedding DJ, so anyone can go out and buy a load of fancy lights & speakers, but the difference between an empty floor and a packed one is knowing what to play & when to play it & that only comes with experience.
In action as a wedding MC:
Things that make me tick:
I am a photographer, but I don’t photograph weddings – more on that ..
I love Yoga & walk about 6 miles a week listening to all manner of audiobooks
I love the environment & nature, so living in the New Forest is a dream for me
I like quality food & drink, my favourite place is the Montagu Arms on a sunny day
Music is my life – looking forward to when the kids are older so we can go to festivals
I try to be as positive as possible, have fun, work hard & live in the now
I live opposite a great pub, so like the occasional real ale, music quiz & live band
I have been married for 4 years to my beautiful wife Ania & we have 2 amazing children William & Edward. The 4th member of the family is our Decrepit Rottweiler called Dudley & we live near Beaulieu in the New Forest. My wedding day in Poland in 2014 was the most amazing day of my life and it really brought things into focus about how a bride and groom feel on the day. Well, suffice to say its a whirlwind and I was so happy that I had a good venue, a reasonably organised plan and amazing suppliers. Az from Lemontree photography came to Poland & also took the family photos: www.lemontree-photography.co.uk
I like all types of music and will listen to all all sorts depending on my mood. However my go too artists are usually – Nirvana (Bleach & In utero), Rita Ora, Faith No More (King for a day album), Dub Reggae (various), Decent dance music (like Jonas Rathsman), Gangster rap – Outkast, Snoop, Nas (to name a few), Foo fighters, Muse, Pearl Jam, Ariana Grande, Clavin Harris & Rollins Band. Recent gigs I have attended are, Download Festival, Robert Cray, Level 42, Steve Harris/British Lion, Iron Maiden, UFO, Top Loader & Mc Busted, Black Star Riders, John Mayall. I really want to see Shakira (in Spain), Justin Timberlake & the Foo Fighters at some point.
I am the Founder & chairman of the Hampshire DJ Alliance. We have been working together now for over 8 years and for what started out to be just business networking group has gained me a lot of very good friends and very good DJ’s that are always there for you if you need help.
Workshops & training:
I have attended the legendary Mark Ferrell 2 day Marbecca workshop as well as 10 x 1 day Derek Pengelly workshops, my own 2 day workshop – run by Toastmaster Brian Wroe, 1 day one percent solution by the industry legend Randy Bartlett, 1 day workshop led by Mark Walsh & I have been to all 6 of the Pro mobile conferences. It’s safe to say I do like training, as there is nothing more nerve racking than standing up in a room full of some of the best MC’s in the UK & delivering a story!
I am not a fan of awards as they are often paid for self promotion or showing off, but I have recently entered two that looked good as there were more genuine & respected. I became one of the top 3 DJ’s in Hampshire in 2016 & 17 (Hampshire Wedding Awards) as I was a finalist. I was also a finalist out of 5 DJ’s for the UK National Wedding Awards Southern in 2019. I won the prize for Highly commended.
I have written a book called the Ultimate Wedding MC, which is aimed at hotel managers and bestmen/MC’s. Its a concise run down of how to prepare and execute a wedding. I have also written for many years for the industries only magazine Pro Mobile. I also got a Bio write up in that a few years back.
Over the years I have seen it all, especially working as a wedding MC (as I manage the day from start to finish), so I think I have a unique advantage over a lot of other evening only DJ’s. I am super professional, but also very laid back and able to adapt to all manner of situations. Hopefully you find me an easy person to get along with? After all, you would not invite a stranger to your wedding, so it is very important to me to get to know you a bit better. It makes things run a lot smoother on the day & it gives me the opportunity to plan your wedding entertainment in much more detail. I am available in person in Dibden Purlieu, at your venue or online most week days and evenings. I can meet you before booking for a friendly no obligation chat or you can also order a brochure free of charge.
What my clients have said about me:
I am recommended by: