10 tips when looking for a Wedding DJ – written by David Lee Events.
1 Music – I could do a whole blog post on this but just for the purpose of this blog:- Ask your DJ If he accepts playlists before the night, requests on the night. Will he NOT play certain types of songs, artists and genres if asked to do so. Basically will they be flexible to your ideas. Do they have any song requests along your guidelines?
2 Type of DJ – Not all wedding DJ‘s are the same. Some will host the evening, maybe with some announcements, but mainly let the music do the talking. Others are very interactive telling jokes and giving lots of info about the songs ala Peter Kay. Some like to mix every song into each other to make 1 long continuous mix. There are pro’s & cons to all, it’s more a personal preference. Just make sure your DJ is the type you prefer. If you just want your music played without much chitter chatter you are not going to want a personality DJ and vice versa.
3 Back –up Does your DJ carry equipment that will allow them to continue the evening, so yes there might be a 5-10min delay should something fail but it’s not the end of the party!!!? Don’t get fobbed off with ‘my equipment never does’ or its brand new etc. With all this sensitive technology inside everything these days the DJ only has to drop something carrying it into the venue for something to stop working.
4 Contracts – Most DJ’s are self-employed and need the security of knowing once they have been booked that they have a job on that date, and that they are going to get paid. We need it for our own security, so if someone doesn’t offer you contracts they don’t take their job seriously. It’s not all about us though. You need to check and make sure it covers you should something happen. Remember you want someone who will take your day seriously as well, and understand they have a responsibility to be there, at the right place, at the right time. It should be fair to both parties, You & the DJ.
5 Reviews – Bit of a bug bear with me this one:
“anyone could write those”
“ they are not real”
“no one really reads them” …….Baloney!
I have loads on my website because I’ve been doing this job a long time and I’m very proud of each and everyone one. I get lots of comments from brides saying “you’ve reviews are great” anyone who has them should be proud to show them off. It gives you the customer more confidence that I not only know how to talk a good game, my brides & grooms know I can deliver. Google+ & Facebook review sections are another area of these. Google+ a little less maybe but social networks are a great source. It’s all about peace of mind for you. No reviews – Be cautious. No review section – be very cautious.
6 Pictures – Another source of review, pictures of dance floors full & people dancing rather than equipment set-ups is a good sign the DJ is more interested in giving you a great time. Its good to see set-ups so you can see if they have a nice neat disco ie. take pride, but not every picture. Another one is lots of photos with brides & their DJ’s with selfies. I think that last one is more me than a requirement, but I still feel the same. If there are lots of pictures of the DJ and their set-ups, rather than dance floor with people dancing, hands in the air etc, which is our primary goal, then it’s all about them not you. How many wedding photographer have a lots of pictures of them and their cameras all over their websites none. Thats because it’s not about them or their camera it’s about you.
7 Experience – Now we’re all new at some point, I’m not going to knock someone who has only been DJing 12 months. But, do you really want someone with none too little experience in charge of your big day? Experience can be anything from music to play, what happened in what order… to, what do I do if…. . You want somebody in charge of your most important day that has a calm head and is able to guide you through the day/evening that isn’t going to add any drama. Someone who will tell you it’s going to be alright, and make it all right.
8 Equipment/Packages – It’s not about how bright or how loud, it’s about the right levels. Remember most Weddings are a family gathering not a night club. You need to fill the dance floor with sound not whole room. Most customers don’t have clue with regards to rms/cont/peak/spl. You should expect the DJ to bring the right equipment to give the right effect for your venue. You say you want package A) and it’s not enough, I’m afraid it’s tough on the night. You say you want package C) But it’s too much and you’ve over spent on stuff you didn’t need. Also ask for pictures so show how neat & tidy it is. Remember this is going to be the backdrop to your 1st dance. Lots of white cables hanging, traffic light, set-ups on tables etc, all look naff by today’s standards.
9 Insurance – Make sure they have the relevant information. Nothing worse than them getting rejected access because they don’t have the appropriate P.L. Insurance or having their equipment P.A. tested. Be especially vigilant if your venue is of historical value or a council building. These types of venue do check and it’s always last minute you find out they haven’t got it.
10 Meeting – Have chat, meeting, and a consultation with your prospective DJ. I can’t stress this enough. You need to make sure the person you meet is the same as the person you envisage on the website. That they ‘get your music’ and that you’ll feel happy walking up to them on the night and asking them to turn it up / down, play this song etc. Don’t ever sign at the meeting either. After the meeting, you can think any other questions, give you time to discuss. Treat them like a guests, do you really want them there, if you get a vibe good or bad, ask yourself do you want that on your wedding day.
10.1 Any other questions? – When you have a meeting, also ask some questions about them. What was their worst DJ experience? How long have you been a wedding DJ, what music they like, why should you book them instead of A.N.Other?
Some honourable mentions….
Site visits – Have they played there before? Not essential but helpful. Better if they haven’t but agree to do site visit.
Full Time – Usually means they are very quick at responding to questions – easy to make meeting etc, and usually more focused on you and their job, rather than a few extra pennies.
Vehicles – If they have a van, probably easier to take back up equipment as well. Not so much with a car.
It’s Me – double check the person you are talking to/meeting with is actually the person turning up for your wedding. If not can you have a direct line to your DJ?
Other Services – Does your DJ do venue lighting or other services themselves? If they hire in it won’t be any cheaper so go direct. But if you do it themselves, you might get a great package price saving hassle & money!!! But if someone keeps trying to sell you other services and you just want a DJ, steer clear. You need someone focused on you and the music, not how much they can get !
At the end of the day it’s how important is the music and the DJ is to you. That will depend on how much you’ll look for your right DJ. Just make sure you get the right one for you, there are lots of good DJ’s out there and this is only a guide to help you make the right decision.
“I am David Lee, and I have been a DJ for over 20yrs. I have an office & unit In Oldham for free chats, coffee & demonstrations and I’m always happy to discuss music & lighting for your wedding. I’m travel across the whole of Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and North West.”
David Lee – Your 1st Choice for your 1st Dance
David Lee – The Wedding DJ – Your 1st Choice for your 1st Dance