Planning a wedding can be a stressful endeavor, but avoiding some common blunders can alleviate some of that anxiety. Give yourself the best night of your life with the best entertainment available. Don’t fall victim to these top ten mistakes brides make when hiring a wedding DJ.
1. HIRING THE CHEAPEST DJ
It’s the most important day of your life, so of course you have an overall budget for your wedding. However, it’s important to consider the phrase, “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always apply when incorporating an entertainment budget. The cheapest DJ available does not guarantee the experience you’re hoping for, nor does the most expensive, but you should have a clear idea what to expect once you’ve spoken to the DJ and hear what the price involves. Most experienced, professional DJs charge anywhere from $800 to $1500 depending on the hours his services are required, type of equipment necessary and different lighting options. When looking for a DJ, outline how you envision the entertainment portion of your wedding, and you’ll be quoted a price according to your specific needs. Remember, your guests will remember how much fun they had at your wedding, and your hired entertainment will determine that atmosphere. Don’t skimp on the entertainment budget and your guests will thank you.
2. WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO HIRE A DJ
Much like choosing a venue in advance, you should hire your DJ as soon as possible. Many DJs book up during the wedding season, often a year in advance. A general rule of thumb is once you’ve found your venue, start looking for your entertainment. This will give you plenty of time to talk to your DJ and plan your event to ensure a successful ceremony and reception. Keep in mind that a wedding DJ is much more than just the person playing music; he’s often the emcee and coordinator as well, creating and maintaining an organized and fun environment. Giving him enough time to fully prepare for your event guarantees a much more successful evening for you and your guests.
3. THINKING ALL DJS ARE THE SAME
Every DJ has his own set of skills and strengths, but the best ones have a tried-and-true plan when working weddings. Not only do they provide the entertainment for your big day, they also work with your wedding planner (if you have one), coordinate with the venue, the caterers, the photographer and anyone else involved in the success of the reception. Their job does not end with the entertainment, and it’s important to consider this fact when searching for your wedding DJ. Ask them how they can make your wedding amazing, and you’ll find every DJ has his own answer. Choose the DJ that speaks to your wedding vision and you’ll be happy you did.
4. HIRING A FRIEND OR RELATIVE
It may sound great on the surface, but there’s risk involved when hiring a non-professional DJ, especially if it is their first time providing entertainment for a wedding. In the same way that you wouldn’t enlist a friend to build your house instead of a professional contractor, don’t put the success of your reception in the hands of the inexperienced. Professional DJs have years of knowledge and understanding to apply to your event, and they’re able to adapt quickly in the event of possible issues or problems. Don’t be left music-less if your friend’s iPod malfunctions and stops working during your reception. A professional will always be prepared, will hold himself accountable and will only give you his best to ensure a job well done.
5. ASSUMING THE DJ HAS THE MUSIC FOR YOUR EVENT
Wedding DJs should have a variety of music on deck at all times, but if you have specific music tastes or expectations for your event, you need to communicate that with your DJ. A good DJ will prepare his playlist based on your needs, whether it be to cater to different age groups or to incorporate certain genres. Discuss and share your must-plays, do-not-plays and general stylistic preference with your DJ. It’s your event. Make sure your DJ can give you the entertainment that best suits your reception vision.
6. NOT COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR DJ
You should meet with your DJ in person a few times prior to your wedding. This enables you to plan properly, coordinate your event and clearly lay out your expectations. While these face-to-face meetings are a priority, it’s also important to remain in contact with your DJ throughout the days leading up to your wedding to keep him informed of any changes or new requests you may have. It’s OK if you don’t have concrete ideas of what you want from your DJ at the start. But as inspiration strikes, make sure you keep your DJ in the loop so he can provide what you need.
7. NO WRITTEN CONTRACT
Having a written agreement ensures you have a DJ for your special event. It also means your DJ takes himself – and the success of your event – very seriously. The contract should include all the details of his service, including the logistics like the date of your event, start and finish times, location, price, as well as any other special requests that were agreed.
8. NO LIABILITY INSURANCE
Professionals handle themselves in a professional manner, and as such, will make sure they’re prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. Some venues may even require DJs to have liability insurance. Ask your DJ if they’re covered and avoid any possible problems.
9. NOT HAVING A BACK-UP PLAN
While your DJ should have a plan but also be flexible, unexpected things can happen. What happens if the DJ gets sick? What happens if his equipment breaks down? They may be rare occurrences with professionals, but life happens and sometimes things may be out of anyone’s control. Talk to your DJ and find out what his plans are in the event of problems or unplanned circumstances.
10. NOT TRUSTING YOUR DJ
You’ve found a DJ, you’ve made a plan together and your event is just around the corner. At this point, you’re encouraged to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. Trust that your DJ has everything under control and allow him to do his job. The night is all about you, so leave the worries and stress to the paid staff and focus on making memories to last a lifetime!