We at Best for Bride bridal store think that everything has to be PERFECT on your Special Day. In this section Best for Bride's Bridal Specialists answer on the most popular "How to Choose" questions that our brides ask us. Read Best for Bride's Wedding Guide, with tips on how to make your wedding perfect! If you have questions please e-mail us at [email protected] and our wedding specialists will be glad to answer to all your questions.
What To Look For When Hiring A DJ for Your Wedding or Special Event
Most people believe that the DJ is a very important vendor at your wedding? Would you agree they play a critical role?
It turns out, that the DJ is tied for 1st place with the building, not the food or bar, but the building part of the venue's contribution to your wedding, in terms of impacting more people for more hours than any other vendor. So, many brides and grooms would consider the DJ mission critical.
Here's a number of features you should look for when hiring musical entertainment for your wedding.
BAND VS DJ
Some of you may be considering hiring a live band. A DJ can complement their performance, with ceremony music for half the price of live music, provide wireless mics which live musicians typically don't offer, and you get the exact music you want and the version and orchestration you know. Who wants a surprise as you walk down the aisle?
The DJ can also provide cocktail and dinner music, and play between sets, when the band takes a well deserved break, provide the music that the band does not have in their repertoire and possibly saving thousands of dollars in a cash bar situation.
Unfortunately, bands can't play quietly. You simply can't hit a drum softly and everyone else has to play as loud to balance the sound, so it's going to be loud. Some guests may chose to leave the party to chat, or worse, leave the reception.
We have total control of the volume and monitor it very closely, so everyone stays in the room where the fun is so it's simply a non stop dance party.
MUSIC AND REQUESTS
The DJ must have a legal source of up-to-date music, such as a DJ music subscription service that complies with the terms of the ConnectTM Music Licensing, as governed by federal copyright law.
Ask if, and to what extent, the DJ takes requests. Some say they do, but don't, rather, they play the music they like from a preset playlist without regard for the guests' and client's favourite songs. You deserve better.
Some DJs play what they want, because "they're the DJ" while we make requests job 1 and your entire party can be 100% request-driven. This is much harder for the DJ, but better for your wedding. Of course, it's easy for the right DJ, so ask about this.
Your DJ must carry at least $2M in public liability insurance (many halls require this or the DJ may not be allowed into the building). Don't risk this important requirement.
Professional sound equipment, for both quality and reliability. While many halls are resorting to in-house installations, there are many issues with this that I can discuss with you individually as needed, but basically, you need a sound solution that can cover the entire room for dinner and announcements, but focussed on the dance floor so other guests can stay in the room to have a conversation, not feel forced to leave the party to talk.
You also need a sound system sized for the room, not just the number of guests. Many DJs make this mistake, and under size their sound systems to give you a lower price, but you risk realizing this AT your wedding, when it's too late. Otherwise the music will sound weak and thin. Loud is no substitute for good, solid, clear sound.
Make sure the DJ provides on-site back up equipment, just in case. You never know, so why take chances? On-site means in the room, not in their vehicle and definitely not "on standby" or "on call". That's simply not fast enough. By the time "that" gets there, assuming "it's" the right gear, your wedding will have been ruined.
Your DJ must be an experienced MC as well the proven knowledge of the etiquette and elements of the types of weddings. Any DJ company that sends two people (DJ and MC) proves that neither one is skilled enough to do these two functions, and that's a red flag right there. They must be able to get and keep the audience's attention and run your wedding reception for you. You can't, so get a DJ/MC who can do it all, and properly for a seamless presentation.
Ask what industry accreditation and ongoing professional training the DJ has as proof of their commitment to the art and science of DJing your wedding. The best DJs are members of the Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association (CPDJA).
Most DJs offer up to 8 highlights in a wedding reception. We offer up to 38 highlights, for a customized and personalized emotional wedding experience. Don't settle for less, when you can get much more. It's all about how you will "feel" on this special day.
Many DJs now offer uplighting and dance floor lighting. Uplighting, or wall wash lighting, provides your wedding theme colour for your head table and the whole ballroom. Dance floor lighting complements the dance music for a fun party.
It is important to ask your DJ what level of control they have of the lighting. Some just put them on automatic mode, meaning they have no control. Others have sophisticated control for better effects, especially when it comes to moving head light fixtures. Don't be fooled when they tell you they use intelligent lighting fixtures. Is the person operating them intelligent, too ? !!!
Make sure you get a written contract that details everything so you know and understands exactly what you're getting, not leaving yourself to assume and risk disappointment when the truth comes out. Avoid a cash deal with no receipt. You need a paper trail, or you're not dealing with a reputable company, and the risk could cost you everything you paid and much more.
Avoid a wedding show package deal, because it's geared for their profit margin, not your wedding success. You deserve a customized wedding that's a unique as you are. How can they offer you a show special price without knowing anything about your day, timing, and so much more to ensure they can provide the performance you deserve at that show special price.
Make sure there is a written and detailed party plan, with experience-based timeline so the event is scheduled within the reality and cognizant of the efforts of other vendors including photographers, hall staff, meal service, speeches and other performance elements. Nothing should be left to chance. Your DJ must be willing and even happy to work with a wedding planner should you decide to hire one. We are, and help them get better pictures !!!
Your DJ should offer you detailed meetings in person, to develop a rapport and confidence, honestly answer all your concerns and not simply book on-line when so many personal touches cannot be ensured by such impersonal means.
DJ prices vary from cheap to expensive. This is a valuable investment of your time, on behalf of all your guests so make sure you understand what you get and what's missing to ensure quality, reliability and the success of your wedding. The price difference between a cheap DJ and a great DJ is about the cost of a drink. In fact, a cheap DJ is the most expensive mistake you can make with your wedding.
Beware of DJs who are in a habit of subcontracting your wedding to a lower priced DJ. The risk is that you get a lesser DJ than you paid for and that's only the beginning of the problems. "You get what you PAID for" so GET what you paid for."
OUT OF TOWN WEDDINGS
If you're having your wedding out of town, you need to decide if you want to hire a DJ local to where you live whom you get to know and trust and who is willing to travel or hire a DJ near the wedding site, with whom you may not have the same relationship. We travel all over Ontario to bring our brand of wedding entertainment to clients who want the very best.
This has been a fraction of our list of 34 differentiating features. If the DJs you are interviewing cannot list or address this collection of elements then you must ask yourself, what are they missing and how is your wedding going to suffer, and what can you do about it that night? You already know the answer, so why risk disappointment finding out you were right?
If you have any other questions, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you both and invite your parents to join the meeting. Most DJs don't want the parents there, because they ask tougher questions. We welcome those and more. We have the answers, based on experience.
Congratulations on your engagement and I wish you happy wedding planning.
Written by Ron Finlay.
My name is Ron Finlay, and I am a professional DJ and MC. I also teach ballroom and latin dancing.
I started my DJ business because when I was a guest at my first ever holiday party, the DJ refused to play my request for a totally danceable song from a current movie soundtrack even though the dance floor was empty. I was so disappointed, that two weeks later I took my big record collection, my engineering degree in electronics and acoustics and my knowledge of dancing and started my own DJ business.
At my first event, I realized I had no idea what to play. There was no " DJ school" back then. So, I handed a sheet of paper to each table of guests and invited them to write down their favourite dance song. I was flooded with requests, filled the floor, and realized this was the secret sauce.
I have put a request card on every table at every event ever since. This is how we achieve 100% request driven dance music programs so everyone has a great time. We respect the wishes of the guests to ensure they have a great time at your event. We do not go into the wedding with a preset play list and just play music. We take all these requests and using our skills at music structure, tempo, style/genre/era, we create a customized music program in real time. Not easy, but far better for the client and their guests.
I realized that a wedding was more than just "push play". I knew there were 8 highlights: Grand Entrance, First Dance Bride/Father Dance, Groom/Mother Dance, Bouquet, Garter, Cake Cutting and Last Dance - that differentiate a wedding from any other kind of event. I worked to perfect my delivery to create fun and emotional engagement. It worked so well, that I began to create even more highlights, by observing guest behaviour and reaction. By this point, I had written 15 books on the subject of DJing, and the whole industry had changed and some leading authorities began to offer training. I took the best from the best and began to create more highlights and now I have 38 at my weddings, or your wedding !!! Imagine how you would feel with such an emotional, passionate, personalized celebration that's all about you. Of course this requires that I also be the emcee at your wedding so I can deliver these highlights with their musical accompaniment for a polished presentation that engages your audience from start to finish.
I have always maintained that great music needs great sound. So I invested in the best sound systems and have never looked back. Using very sophisticated computer software, I digitally tune the sound system to match the banquet room's "Acoustic Signature" - in other words, tune the speakers to match the room's sonic behaviour. The result - awesome, clear, articulate sound that is solid, energetic and engaging, without being so loud people leave the room to talk. How else will they hear their requests?
Then I added lighting. What a great way to enhance the look of a room with the decorative lighting for the head table and exciting dance floor lighting for a nightclub look and feel.
The result is the combination of music, sound, lighting DJing, MCing, and a master plan to bring together the 38 highlights to create an emotionally engaging audience involving wedding experience. It is so customized that it is impossible to duplicate your wedding. It will be yours and yours alone forever.
I do this for a living and I love what I do. It matters to me personally that it be the best possible experience and I put more time into preparing for the wedding then delivering the wedding day services. The results are very rewarding and take the form of video and written testimonials from my clients. I consider it an honour to provide these services for people who want the very best and strive to over deliver and continue to improve my brand of wedding entertainment.
I would be delighted to help you with your wedding and am available 9 am to 10 pm 7 days a week for personal assistance and in person meetings. There is much more to share, so let's talk.
Perpetual Rhythms Entertainment Services is a full scale professional DJ/MC, music, sound and lighting company serving the GTA and all of Ontario since 1981. Backed by an engineering degree in electronics and acoustics, they combine the perfect blend of technical support and emotional engagement to create a fun and memorable wedding experience with up to 38 amazing highlights for the Best Wedding Reception Ever - Yours.
Open 9 AM to 10 PM, 7 days a week to serve you better
Cell: 647 528 3548 (DJ4U)
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