Helpful Articles from Professional Yale DJs
Your DJ Sucks! Wedding How To / Instructional
"Your DJ Sucks!"... How would you feel if you heard that on your wedding day?
To help you avoid this, we have put together 8.5 useful tips.
We are sure you have a lot of questions; most of you have never done this before and hope to never have to do it again. Shopping around for a DJ can be frustrating and confusing. Most DJs will tell you what you want to hear to book your show. We will tell you what you NEED to know to avoid these dreaded words,“Your DJ Sucks!”
There are hundreds of DJs in the area, all promising to do a great job at your reception. They all have different prices, packages, equipment, music selections, and levels of experience. So how do you know where to start? Here are a few helpful tips:
1. Do you trust your first impression? You should trust your first impression when it comes to selecting your professional disk jockey. When you first speak with prospective DJs you should feel welcomed. The DJ also serves as a host to your party. Do you want your guests to feel welcomed at your party? If you get along well with your DJ, so should your guests.
2. Have you been to a great party lately? If so, who was the DJ? Seeing a DJ perform is a great indicator of how they will perform for you. Just keep in mind that some of us really “tailor fit” the evening to the bride and groom and your tastes in music may vary. If you haven’t been to a great party lately, ask your friends and family if they have. More than likely you share the same tastes as your friends and this could help you find the right disc jockey for your wedding.
3. Would you like a total stranger dropping in at your wedding reception? How would you feel if you saw your DJ trying to book another client instead of ensuring your party is a success? Here is a great Trick Question to ask a DJ- “Can we stop by and see you perform at a wedding?” If they do it for you, they will do it to you! If they invite you along it is a good indicator that they are really looking out for their pockets instead of their clients. Besides, a Great DJ will make each night unique for the Bride and Groom.
4. One of the first questions I am usually asked is, “How much do you charge?” Let’s be real, if you can only afford a budget DJ then that is what you have to settle for. Be upfront if you have a tight budget and your DJ should be upfront on whether or not you can afford them. Price is not a key indicator as to the quality of the DJ, but it is an indicator. Prices for a Disc Jockey can range from $250 to $2500 locally, and are priced much higher in other areas of the country. The old saying, “You get what you pay for” is true, but so is, “You can be overcharged.” It’s really simple- it all boils down to supply and demand. That is why most DJs offer discounts for Sundays and off season events. On the other side paying more for a DJ does not guarantee quality work. The safest way to consider price is to find out how much the entertainment portion of your event is worth to you. Set a budget, stick to it, and don’t worry about price again. This will allow you to focus on what matters and help you choose the DJ that will best fit your needs.
5. Will the DJ have songs that you and your guests will enjoy? If a DJ boasts about their massive music collection, and doesn’t talk much about their quality of service you should probably look elsewhere. DJs should consider themselves entertainers, not walking juke boxes. Yes the DJ should take requests and fit them in a way that keeps the crowd moving, but what if your cousin Billy Bob wants to hear his favorite Death Metal song, or your aunt Gertrude really wants to hear her favorite Opera song? Most crowds will not run to the dance floor when these songs are played. Allow your DJ to be creative. Feel free to provide them with a list of “must play” songs, but don’t make the list too long- if you have a regimented long list of songs you might as well load up the i-pod and rent a portable P.A. system. The average song is 3.5 minutes long. The average wedding runs 6 hours. The most songs you can squeeze in to a 6 hour event is between 80-100 songs, not to mention the time for speeches and other formal parts of the evening, (Hey, there is a good question to ask a DJ, see how much they know about their job) Now that you know this do you think it is important for your DJ to have 50,000+ songs, or do you think it is more important that they know which 80-100 will work best for your crowd?
6. Will my DJ show up with an 8 track player and an old pair of brown house speakers? Do they have one of the cool rotating color balls you can buy at Wal-Mart? A true, “Professional” DJ will have professional equipment. Unless you are huge into pro-audio you will more than likely not know the name brands of the equipment used. Yes, Sony and JVC make a mean DVD player, but they don’t make professional DJ equipment. Simply ask, “What type of equipment do you use?” If they start bragging about the new Audiovox tape deck they got from Radio Shack you should hang up the phone.
7. When should I book my DJ? It is NEVER too early to book your professional disc jockey! Booking early guarantees you get the DJ you want on the day you want them. Certain times of the year book up faster so we have created a general guide to give you plenty of time to plan.
May, June, September, October, December
12-24 months in advance
April, July, August, November
6-12 months in advance
January, February, March
4-6 months in advance
8. Does the largest company mean the best company? Some larger companies work like DJ brokers. They simply advertise, book the shows, and hand them out to DJs in the area of the event. From a business stand point they are doing very well because they charge clients more, pay their DJ’s less and use a large amount of money on marketing. They may say their DJ’s are “certified,” or that they have been well trained. The truth behind this is you can get a good DJ, but you may be taking a chance at getting that guy who just couldn’t manage his own small business and signed up to work under the larger company.
8.5. Does your DJ love what they do? Do they seem excited about being your DJ, or do they just seem eager to get your money? A Great DJ gets excited about performing and it comes out in their tone.
Choosing a Great DJ for your wedding reception is a big decision. We encourage you to actively use these 8.5 tips in your search. Hearing, “Your DJ Sucks!” on your wedding day would hurt, so don’t let it happen. Remember, Great DJs Do Exist! All you have to do is find them.
Written by BigFoot DJs of Port Huron, MI
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