It's the most important party of your life. Don't risk it becoming the worst.
When it comes to booking a DJ for a party, it's important to balance out your various needs.
Whether you're basing your choice on price, quality, or availability, it's important to establish their suitability for your event. This goes double for a wedding.
As an actively jobbing DJ in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the Thames Valley, I've carried all kinds of events, some of which have been weddings. Even with my twenty years of experience, I've never stopped learning with every evening reception that Ive fronted, and I don't think a good DJ ever does.
Do you really want the event's most memorable moment to be the DJ emptying the dance floor because they only have dub-step on their computer? Or maybe the fact the party started three hours too late because they had to go out and rent or buy replacement equipment which went wrong?
Or, worse still, no party at all because the venue wouldn't allow them to set up due to a lack of legal requirements being met.
These are all factors which many busy and stressed-out brides just don't get round to thinking about, but all can and have happened to amateurish and unprepared DJs.
You can cover off all of these concerns with three simple questions you can ask your DJ when you meet them in person. You ARE going to meet with them first, right? That brings us nicely to our first one...
Do you do this as a business or a hobby?
Let's be honest, we all have to start somewhere. Even David Guetta had to do a first gig. And if he's this bad now, imagine how terrible he must have been when he started his career? We can only grow as artists when we put our practice to the test. That said, is your big day the ideal time for them to continue testing their relatively fresh skills? You want to be looking at someone who is serious enough that they're using their own equipment, not renting everything. Fine, they may be missing a couple of touches like top of the range lights, or mood enhancers such as love letters and a cloud floor. If they're struggling to wire up their unfamiliar, rented speaker system, they're probably best thanked for their time, and motioned out of the door during your informal chat, rather than at the end of a disappointing and costly night.
Do you play requests?
I'm going to level with you here. DJs hate playing requests. Well, that is, some DJs do. There's a reason. It's something pretty much all DJs struggle to overcome when training to entertain crowds for a living. Their own egos. The simple fact is, some songs will simply empty a dancefloor. The fact is, your Aunt Mavis is going to have more than a couple of glasses over her usual limit of Pinot Grigio, and she's going to want to dance to some Englebert Humperdink or Dolly Parton. And the DJ is going to play it for her, or she'll get irate and start putting them on blast for the rest of the night. And once the DJ finally succumbs, she won't be satisfied. She'll want something else. And it will be equally bad. And the dancefloor will stay empty, because even she isn't quite drunk enough to actually dance to it yet. And that is why the DJ hates playing requests. However, this is where the buck stops - it's YOUR day. Not the DJ's. And you need to establish up front what kind of night you want. Do you want an endlessly packed dance floor, with some disappointed guests, or do you want to risk a largely empty floor with a small amount of guests who will have the take-away of an epic night? It's that simple really. Or at least, it is if you're hiring a relatively inexperienced DJ who doesn't have the skill to blend in these necessary evils while still playing to the majority of the invited guests. Make sure this is a conversation you have with your DJ before paying ANY kind of deposit. You'd be surprised how many DJs are so up their own arse, they'd rather walk away from your event than agree to your rules on what to play.
Do you have any evidence of your abilities?
You may be surprised to know, many wedding DJs aren't that great. They'll tell you they're credible, experienced, high-value... some will even use the word 'elite'.
The problem is, like many products in the entertainment space, they'll tell you what they think you want to hear, knowing full well that by the time you realise they're not actually all that great, you'll already be relatively drunk and tired, and will likely even leave the party early to....erm... 'celebrate' your big night in private.
Meanwhile, the DJ's being called out by frustrated guests who aren't getting to hear something they "can dance to", and is now simply counting down the minutes until they can go home and spend the money you've paid them on more 'Deep House' downloads.
A good DJ will have a website (don't book ANY DJ who doesn't. Just don't! No matter what their excuse!) complete with audio and testimonials from previously satisfied customers, and a social footprint to hold them to account.
If you ask these three questions, I guarantee you'll definitely reduce your chances of a disastrous wedding party.
Better still, if you want to guarantee a successful event, go 'tried and tested' and book THE DJ in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley. If you want to read more, click -> this <-