What makes for a great wedding? I have always told clients that there are three things that people remember about a wedding when attending.
1. The food – Not what they ate, but whether it was good or bad
2. Your dress – That vision of you in your dress will be in their mind
3. The entertainment – Whether they had a good time and stayed until the end or left soon after dinner
The reception hall could be decorated like it came out of a wedding magazine, the flowers and your dress could be breathtaking. You could have hired the best wedding photographer and your menu could be a “foodie’s” dream come true, but if your wedding entertainment is lacking – your guests will not be engaged in the fun and your party could be a flop.
So many times each year we work with some of the area’s best wedding planners (doing custom wedding lighting design) and the client chooses to skimp on their DJ. Maybe it’s a friend of the family that gave you a great deal or the DJ from your local bar. Every time these couples don’t realize what they did until it is too late and their wedding is less than they expected.
Here are some simple things to pay attention to when looking for your wedding entertainment.
1. The Master of Ceremony: You should be able to see a video or hear audio recording of your potential DJ doing a wedding introduction to see if this is the voice you want announcing all your special moments. Mispronunciations, stumbling on their words or a cheesy DJ/Radio announcer voice – this is a quick way to rule out the “weekend warrior” DJ or “club DJ” who don’t have enough wedding experience. Playing music is only a small part of what your Master of Ceremony will do for you on your wedding day. They keep the pace of the party going. They coordinate all the behind the scenes things like making sure your parents are in the room and your photographer is ready. They even cover when the meal takes too long by getting guests dancing. A great MC is worth their weight in gold when it comes to the overall success of your reception.
2. The Gear: Is your cocktail hour outside? Do you have a fire pit and plan on using it later in the night? Then you probably want a DJ with wireless speaker capabilities (main system transmits audio to a remote speaker placed outside or in separate room for facilities with multiple rooms). Having more than 100 guests? Your DJ should bring the right sized sound system for your venue and guest count. That means bringing more than just a pair of speakers on stands. (Subwoofer or multiple pairs of speakers). Ceremony on-site? Your potential DJ should have a completely separate system for this purpose so they are not moving gear through your guests during social hour – trying to reset gear as part of their main system.
3. Reputation: Is their website up-to-date? Do they have blog posts or social media post with recent weddings? Do they respond to your phone calls and emails in a timely manner? (within the day) Do they have recent independent third party verified reviews? (The Knot, Wedding Wire)
DJ Prices can range from a couple hundred dollars to over $2,000 for 5 hours of service. I am sure DJ’s know what they are worth and price themselves accordingly. So, don’t expect a $500 Craigslist DJ will give you the same results as a $2,000 full-time wedding DJ. You will know the difference. Your guests will hear the difference. Choose your wedding entertainment wisely. A great DJ will keep your guests engaged and on the dance floor. A bad DJ can scare your guests away in as little as 30 minutes after dinner ends. Who wants that at their wedding?