Wedding planning is a daunting task no doubt about it. The reception, while not the main event, is certainly the part of the wedding that most guest remember clearly – and the DJ can make it or break it. How do you find the best DJ? Here at 5 tips for getting the most out of DJ at your wedding.
Customer Service – You and your fiancé are the boss of your wedding (or your wedding planner, if you’re going that route.) It’s crucial you establish, professionally but firmly, you are the client, and you set the ground rules for the DJ’s role. Write a list out of the things you like most in a DJ. Make sure to cover what you don’t want, such as too much talking, certain music genres or songs (Slayer is awesome, but maybe not this time), and how you will handle requests from your audience. If you can, talk to a DJ’s past clients, or check with your event center to see if they’ve worked there before.
Emcee as well as DJ – Having a wicked soundtrack for your first moments as a married couple is essential, but you also need a pro to shepherd along the entire event. The last thing you want is to go over your budgeted time in the event space, or cut your beautiful plans short. Agree ahead of time on an itinerary for the DJ. Include each step of the ceremony and reception agenda for your DJ to follow. While having your cousin spin some tunes sounds like a money saver, you might find more value in a seasoned pro. Here is a basic outline:
– Prelude music
– Music for seating the mothers
– Music for the bridesmaids’ processional
– Music for the bride’s processional
– Recessional music
– Cocktail music pre-entrance
– Entrance song
– First dance song
– Father/daughter dance song
– Mother/son dance song
– Cocktail music post-entrance
– Dinner music
– Cake cutting song
– Bouquet/garter toss songs
– Last dance
Equipment – Your DJ should use their own equipment — and have a backup. Any DJ who rents their gear is a red flag. A DJ should have the kind of relationship with their gear where they could operate it in their sleep. Also, coordinate with your DJ and event space for the best presentation and efficiency with the event. For example, Windsong Estates Event Center in Northern Colorado has a PA system built in, so your DJ’s footprint among your beautiful decorations is easily manageable. Plus, your DJ may be able to leave some of the gear in the van, as back up. Also check out what exciting lights or other ‘dance floor’ essentials you DJ provides. Don’t forget to ask if the DJ carries insurance for the equipment – especially if the bachelor party was the night before.
Playlist – Get your list of songs to your DJ well before the event, 3 months is ideal. This will give plenty of time to pull it all together, as well as, time for you to make sure they can provide what you want, or be able to source it within budget. Here is also where that list of ‘do not play’ songs pays off. Do you really want The Chicken Song?
Personality – It might sound obvious, but make sure you like the DJ. Are they fun, passionate about their work, and dedicated to serving you? Interview them like you would an employee for your company. Knowledge is good, but soft skills when interacting with your guests is essential. If you follow these suggestions, you will make sure that the DJ helps you create fond memories for you and your guests.