If you are taking a few minutes of your time, to read this article, you will be pleased to hear some bits of information that may provide insight into the world of the Wedding DJ. It is truly an honor to be trusted with one of the most important days in a couple’s life.
Anyone who aspires to become a DJ spends many hours honing their craft, developing a style of mixing and blending that keeps people dancing. In 2001, I began the transition from spinning mostly at parties and clubs to weddings. What I quickly learned is that like the classic TV show - it was a different world from where I was coming from!
One can rock crowds in a club or house party with ease and then be a fish out of water without proper knowledge and experience working weddings. When I began performing at weddings, I lacked wedding experience, which was reflective in my services, equipment, and pricing.
If you have never planned a wedding or worked in the industry, you probably wouldn’t know what to look for in a wedding DJ. Perhaps, you would think that it does not matter if the DJ does not have wedding experience, state-of-the-art equipment, or excellent presentation. Well, it matters big time. There are no do-overs when it comes to wedding entertainment. Keeping this all in mind - I’d like to share a few Tips for Hiring a Professional Wedding DJ:
Go see the DJ live or schedule a face-to-face consultation. Nothing beats live interaction. After viewing the preliminary information and images on their website, ask to meet in person. This should be no problem for a full-time professional DJ; in fact, many encourage it. If the DJ has a residency at a club or venue, go see them mix live and interact with guests. You will be able to discern if the entertainer’s style and presentation matches your vision.
How do past clients and wedding professionals view the DJ? It is difficult to choose a wedding DJ with so many choices available, and it is even harder when you have not experienced the DJ for yourself. If the entertainer has been in business a number of years, he or she should have plenty of reviews to assist in your decision. The feedback can come from wedding industry sites, personal referrals from family, friends, co-workers, or event professionals. Your wedding planner likely has seen it all when it comes to wedding DJs, and is a good source for identifying the best fit for you. Some DJs post video testimonials from past clients on their website or social media platforms. Every client is different, with varying opinions and perspectives. Ideally, a professional seeks to have many reviews with a 5-Star Rating. It goes deeper as well. Look at the number of reviews and how many years back they go, in order to get a good picture of their level of sustained excellence. Every now and then, even the best entertainers may get a few reviews that are not 5-Star. I have seen fellow wedding DJs that I know are top-notch get an overall 4.8 or 4.9 out of 5.0 and wonder who would not give them 5 stars. It happens. However, the overall rating should be stellar and close to an overall 5 out 5 stars. Look carefully at the information, and when it is all said and done trust your gut.
Take a good look and listen. Of course, it is always best to hear the DJ spin live or listen to mixes on their website or platforms such as Mixcloud or Soundcloud. This will give you an idea of their style of mixing, blending, and song selection. Videos and pictures of their equipment and presentation are also important. The system needs to sound great and the presentation should be visually pleasing. People tend to overlook the importance of sound quality until they experience a DJ with a bad sound system. Often it is due to either cheap equipment (all they can afford) or improper usage. This is one reason why a professional wedding DJ is worth the investment.
A Wedding DJ should also be an MC and use the microphone properly. It is still surprising when wedding planners and others tell me that they have worked with wedding DJs who either refused to perform MC duties, or were not prepared to do so. Your wedding planner or relative should not have to announce anything or keep the guests engaged. There is also a such thing as doing too much. Excessive talking, using corny jokes or gimmicks throughout the reception will make for a bad experience. The DJ/MC should also work well with your planner to keep your timeline on schedule and even provide you with music planning assistance. A professional spends hours preparing for your wedding. In your initial consultation, check with the DJ to find out their approach to this important part of your wedding.
There are so many tangible and intangible factors that work together to make a DJ a great Wedding DJ/MC, and it cannot all be covered in one article. This was meant to start the conversation and help individuals to know where to start. Look for more on this topic soon.
Chuck "DJ Perfect" Walls, of Perfect Entertainment, is an established DJ not only in his home-base of Atlanta but nationwide. DJ Perfect, specializes in providing top-notch DJ/MC entertainment, luxury sound and lighting for weddings, corporate functions, galas, concerts, birthday's, fashion shows - and more! Follow DJ Perfect's happenings on Instagram, @IAMDJPerfect, become his fan on Facebook, and check out his website! Also head to his MixCloud page to hear his melodic range of music mixes!