Planning your wedding ceremony is a difficult task all on its own, and then there is the reception… What you need to remember is that choosing the right DJ is just as important as choosing the right colour scheme.
Many brides tend to underestimate the importance of this, but choosing the right DJ for your wedding is one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure the success of your event.
how to choose your wedding DJ
The amount of experience your DJ has is a very important factor. How long has he been playing at weddings? This will give you a clear indication of the DJ’s ability to successfully entertain your guests. A DJ should, upon request, provide you with information on his performing experience and contact details of previous brides for reference. He should also give you a sense that he is knowledgeable about wedding protocols and the music you enjoy. Anyone can play a song, but it takes a true professional to be able to make the dance floor come alive.
2. Meet face to face
Ensure that you and your DJ meet face to face. Telephone conversations and communicating via emails is not good enough. Your DJ company may have a reputation that proceeds them, but the DJ they hired today might not. If you are making use of a DJ company, be sure to meet with the DJ, that will actually be supplying the music at your wedding. There is no use in simply meeting the face of the company, when he is not the one that will be responsible for entertaining your guests. It is also very important that you and your DJ get along well… after- all, you are trusting him with the success of the most important day of your life.
3. Is he a competent wedding dj?
This is an aspect that you should not underestimate. A Wedding is different from any other event. The DJ should not necessarily be very good at scratch mixing, or beat mixing. A good wedding DJ is flexible, knows how to adjust to the audience and to the event, and comes well prepared for his part in the wedding celebration. A good DJ will always take requests, as this helps him to understand and read his crowd even better. Be careful to choose a DJ that “specialises” in a specific genre of music, because a good DJ is versatile in his work. His knowledge of music has to be so exceptional that he is capable of entertaining people from the age of 13, up to the age of 90. Being a wedding DJ is an art.
4. Document your agreement
A written contract that covers every detail is absolutely necessary. Don’t be taken in by a wedding DJ who claims that a contract is a waste of time – it’s not! The contract should include: the name of your actual DJ, the date, time and location of your event, the cost, and any stipulations under which the contract can be broken. Your DJ should also allow you to make additional requirements, and add it to the contract. It is very important that you get every detail in writing, not only for your own reference, but also in case something goes wrong. A DJ that makes use of a contract is not likely to take any chances, as this gives him legal liability.
5. Does he use professional equipment and does he have backup?
All I need is the right music and big speakers, right? Absolutely not! It is very important to make sure your DJ uses professional equipment. The music will just sound that much better and the chances of technical failure will be a lot less. Make sure you find out what your DJ’s equipment and lighting rig looks like – you’ve gone to a lot of effort and expense getting the perfect look and you don’t want it spoiled with equipment that looks unprofessional. It is also imperative that your DJ has a backup service in place, in case of equipment failure. You certainly do not want the most important night of your life to end with a speaker blowing, and there is no replacement speaker available. Also be sure to check with your DJ, as to how the backup equipment will be brought to your wedding. Will the DJ need to leave in order to fetch it or is it a simple matter of making a phone call? Then, there is always the possibility that your DJ can’t make it to your wedding due to unforeseen circumstances. So, what now? Make sure that your DJ is prepared for such an event and that he has a standby DJ in place.
6. How diverse is his music collection?
At a wedding you have a very diverse crowd, thus very diverse tastes in music. Your DJ needs to be able to cater to everyone’s taste. A good DJ will give every guest the opportunity to enjoy his or her favourite genre or era of music for a period of time. His music collection needs to be versatile in order to entertain all your guests.
7. Does he come recommended?
Before you decide on a DJ for your wedding, be sure to ask him for his references. The last thing you want is for a start-out DJ to ruin your big day. If it is possible try to come in contact with some of his previous clients and hear what they have to say.
8. Price versus quality
As with most services and products, the price you pay is linked to the quality of that service or product. Sure, you will always find the guy that wants to charge double for what the service is actually worth. Ask for a few quotes from various well known or recommended DJ’s. This will give you a good idea of what the industry cost average is. Of course you have a specific budget and it should definitely be taken into consideration, but just make sure that it is not the deciding factor. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true… it normally is!