Though wedding music is almost always easily overlooked, it's more important than most people realize. Wedding music adds the much needed flair and drama to certain parts of the wedding such as the first dance, the cutting of the cake, the bouquet and garter toss, etc. It also takes out the monotony of silence during the main course and ensures that the guests enjoy themselves as they dance and sing along.
Like every other wedding detail, your music and entertainment is best delegated to paid professionals to ensure that both the ceremony and reception flow smoothly and seamlessly. One such professional is the very popular wedding DJ.
How To Find A Good Wedding DJ?
Of course, you just can't randomly pick out a wedding DJ from the yellow pages. You have to find one who can fulfill your requirements in order to complete the wedding of your dreams
Ultimately the best way to find a good wedding DJ is through referrals from people you know. Ask for recommendations from family and friends. You can trust them well enough to give their honest opinions. Also, chances are you would've attended their weddings
and would've seen the DJ in action.
If you can't get a good recommendation closer to home, get one from your wedding planner
, if you have one. Most wedding planners have professional DJ contacts and can easily obtain services for you. However, it's always best to ask for references and call them up yourself to find out if the DJ did well at their weddings and functions. Of course, references should be recent and not outdated.
Alternatively, you can find DJs listed on your local phone book. Many websites also offer DJ listings. Again, make sure you get referrals and contact 3 or 4. If the DJ has his or her own website, take the time to read through the testimonials page.
What To Look For In A Good Wedding DJ?
Because it's your day, your wedding DJ should be able to make room for your tastes and preferences. Gone are the days of genre-specific DJs. Don't pick one who can only do country music or Top 40. Look for a DJ who's versatile enough to move through the times and flexible enough to indulge your preferred tunes.
It's always best to look through the DJs repertoire and list of songs. This should be up-to-date. If songs that you want played are not on the list, ask him or her if he or she can obtain it. Apart from the important parts of your wedding reception programme, you really don't have to dictate every single song that the DJ should play. It's a simple matter of specifying which artist or what type of music you do or don't want played throughout the party. Also, keep your guests in mind and make sure that the DJ can play music that everyone will enjoy. He or she should be able to accept requests from guests to a certain degree. If the DJ has had extensive experience in weddings, he would already know what most people want to hear and dance to.
Another thing to consider is your DJs emceeing skills. For most professionals, this is already a given and a part of the package. However, it's always best to make sure because some DJs don't emcee and only play music. Pick a DJ who has great hosting skills. Give him a copy of the reception programme and run through his spiels. You want to make sure that your DJ is neither offensive to your guests or too boisterous and annoying.
How Much Should You Pay For A Good Wedding DJ?
Wedding DJs are either paid by the hour or by the whole event. This could roughly set you back around $1200, more or less. Professional DJs with good recommendations and a very good track record are more expensive than those who are just starting out.
It's important to be upfront about your budget. Don't be afraid to ask about packages or special offers. You might be able to cut down the DJ's rate if you offer a longer break or if you opt not to include lighting. Also, if the DJ will only be spinning tracks for part of the reception because you have other entertainment, the rate should be considerably less.
Because your DJ is performing a service for hours on end, it's common practice and your responsibility to provide food. You don't have to include the DJ in the reception budget. You can perhaps arrange with your caterer to provide a packed meal and drink for the DJ. Alternatively, you can also give him or her one trip around the buffet so as not to overtax your food budget.
Other Things To Consider When Hiring A Good Wedding DJ
The DJ should own his or her equipment, or at least already has a tried and tested source for the sound system. A good DJ would not be afraid to discuss his or her equipment with you. In fact, he or she will be very glad to. Look out for high quality brand names such as Denon, Onkyo, and JBL. You can also request for a sampling. Make sure that the DJ has backups in place in the event of a technical malfunction.
Find out if the DJ has worked in the venue before. This way, he or she already knows the layout and should have a fairly good idea how his sound system would work in such a place. He or she should also visit the reception site at least a day or two in advance so you can discuss the DJ table, speakers, and dance floor positions, as well as to test the setup, leaving no room for errors.
Ensure that the DJ knows about the dress code and dresses appropriately. Though he or she doesn't have to wear a tuxedo or a ball gown, the DJ should at least look presentable. In the case of themed weddings
, let your DJ know well in advance so he or she can blend in the best way possible.
Don't leave your wedding DJ bookings to the last minute. Ideally, this should be done at least 8-12 months in advance, especially if you're having a wedding during the peak season or during the Christmas holidays. A deposit will be required and a contract should be drawn up which all parties should examine carefully. Also confirm and maybe pay another installment a few days before the wedding. This way, you can ensure that your wedding DJ will turn up and give an excellent performance on your big day.