|Posted on October 8, 2015 at 2:20 AM|
So, you are looking around for a DJ because you either want a DJ, or your friends and family are encouraging you to have a DJ. Dancing and listening to music at a wedding can be both fun for yourselves, and way of providing entertainment for people you care about.
The most important question to ask first is, “Do we like to dance?” That may seem an obvious question, but sometimes folks get so caught up in other factors that they forget to answer the one in front of them. Do you enjoy going out to clubs or bars to dance with your friends, or significant other? Have you always enjoyed going to school dances, or college formals? The goal of a DJ is often to get people up out of their seats to jam out to some fun music. Your guests want to share in the fun with you, so when they see you and your wedding party on the floor they can’t help but join in.
The next question is, “Do we want to hire a DJ?” There are tons of apps, and music services out there where someone can create a playlist, or a custom music station, and let that play for the evening. I completely understand this option simply because I definitely wouldn’t want a sub-par DJ performing at my event. To me, a sub-par DJ is one that goes and plays some music, and doesn’t take an interactive role in the event. In that scenario there’s really no difference between the Ipod and the live DJ.
Really good DJs have a style and involvement that is uniquely theirs. Upon hiring a DJ, you allow them to take the music you like, and form a smooth mix around that music. There’s always a form of control that the DJ takes on when allowing them to create a mix that can’t be duplicated by a machine playing random songs. Beat matching, bpm counting, scratching, song transitions, customized song arrangements, genre transitions, etc… are all factors that an app just can’t duplicate effectively in a live setting, and it often comes out sounding cheesy, tacky, or haphazard.
Another question to consider is, “Do I want my event to be well organized?” Over the years, I’ve learned to be a day-of event coordinator. I always put together a wedding outline with each client which contains major events such as the cake cutting, 1st dance, La Marcha, etc…. I take on the responsibility of making sure that the flow of events moves along very well.
I’m sometimes at odds with certain photographers, wedding planners, or even venue managers because I tend to make them look bad if they are not on top of their game. If the food is not served on time then I will question the facility about it. If the photographer steels the bride and groom for periods of 30 minutes or more then I question them about it. That’s what you want, a Bold DJ; someone who can take the reigns, and guide the event in an organized fashion. You don’t want the kiss-up DJ because they are often so afraid that they will lose the recommendation from a vendor or facility, that they will agree to them doing whatever they want at whatever time.
Another important questions is, “What type of gear will be provided?” The market for audio and lighting rental has gone up because there are so many terrible DJs out there that have turned people off from having a DJ at their wedding. Folks will rent the gear, and put on an mp3 player. My audio gear is either made in the USA or Italy, and is top notch. When you rent gear, it’s often a crapshoot because you never know who had it before. Sometimes the woofer or tweeter is blown out, but the renter is betting on you not recognizing that. Not everyone is an audio expert.
I liken it to owning your own ski gear, and having to rent ski gear. If you have to rent ski gear then you will mostly likely spend most of your day on your back. The big reason is that ski boots must fit a certain way. They must mold to your specific foot, and must be the correct size. Rental boots have had multiple feet in them, and are just too loose to hold your foot in place. Who knows who rented that audio gear last? It may even have a slightly blown woofer, which will give off a rank smell, yet still work fine.
Another question to consider is, “Whom am I inviting to the event?” A large factor in considering a DJ is the caliber of people you invite to the event. Let’s be perfectly honest, there are folks who are going to be considerably jealous that you hired a good DJ. These are often the folks that spent their entire wedding budget on other things, and ended up using a music service or mp3 player as their music entertainment. All their guests left right after dinner, and were generally bored during the event. There was no form of organization during the evening either.
When certain guests see everyone having a blast at your event they become jealous because they didn’t provide that type of fun at their event. I see these folks a mile away because they will often request some wacky song, and then tell the bride and groom that I didn’t play their request just to annoy them.
You must be strong-minded when hiring a DJ because the haters will definitely try to influence your perception. As an example, I once did an event where the clients had provided a playlist of specific songs for me to play. I played many of those songs during the cocktail hour, and while the bride and groom were away for pictures. Of all people, the bride’s own sister tried to tell the bride that I completely ignored the playlist; nothing was further from the truth. That type of jealousy can come from the strangest places, and having a strong mind allows you to standup to false statements, and understand that people will often say these things because they wish their event would have compared to yours. I came to find out later that the sister hired an overpriced DJ for her wedding that failed at pretty much all facets of the event, and she couldn’t handle the fact that her own sister had a more impressive event.
In the end, a good interactive DJ can bring organization, preparation, and quality service to your event. Also, a DJ can take requests; try coming up to an mp3 player and requesting some Gonzalo or The Beatles in real time. There are many tiers of DJs around the world, but it always comes down to your gut feeling When You Meet Them In Person! So, do you need a DJ? Like the answer to most questions, “It all depends.”
Thanks for reading.