What are the real responsibilities of a DJ?
The DJ should be in control over the flow of events, which means coordinating with all of the other wedding vendors. The biggest misconception of a DJ is that all they do is play music, and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Approximately 75% of what an excellent DJ does is coordinate and the other 25% is to play music specifically tailored to you and your guests musical tastes. However, this does not mean that your DJ can take over the role of a Wedding Planner.
An excellent wedding DJ provides the following:
Assisting you with tailoring the music to your specific musical taste and requests.
Updating you on new songs, dances, and wedding trends.
Explaining and assisting you with planning the best choice for your reception’s flow of events, which accommodates to your wedding vision.
So, where do you start? Hire a Wedding Planner.
DIY “Do It Yourself” weddings continue to be a growing trend. Nevertheless, it can not replace the knowledge and experience that an excellent Wedding Planner has. An excellent Wedding Planner will be able to guide you to a DJ that will be a perfect fit for your musical tastes within your budget. If necessary, they will adjust your budget and wedding plans so you can hire the right DJ.
Ask about more than just pricing and availability
Set-up a consultation to meet with the DJ or DJ company. You have no idea who is behind the website, e-mail, reviews, or referrals, and this applies to all of your wedding vendors. It is vital to find out if you vibe well with the DJ or DJ company, because you will be working with them for at least six months to a year prior to your wedding.
It also gives you the opportunity to learn about them and their company, which will help you understand what they have to offer that differs from other DJs and/or DJ companies. This will give you a better understanding of what their prices are based on.
Don’t believe the hype
Do the necessary research to see if the DJ and/or DJ company is who they say they really are. “The Best” is subjective. Ask for referrals from other wedding vendors. Look for reviews that cannot be altered by the DJ and/or DJ company like on Yelp or Wedding Wire, but do not just look for good reviews, look for the bad ones too.
Check social media sites as you may be able to read past couples comments (i.e. on a Facebook Business Page), which helps put a face behind the review or referral. Research the legitimacy of magazine features, awards, and accolades.
Don’t base your opinion on how busy a company appears to be, it does not mean they must be the best. Are they competitively priced within their market for the services they offer? If a business that should be charging at least $3,500 for their services is charging $700 per se, of course they will obviously be busier.
Get it all in writing
It would be great for agreements to be based on good will and the shake-of-a-hand, but times have changed. Everything that you have discussed with the DJ should be in a contract, including guidelines, policies, details of the services they are providing, etc. The brands of the equipment they are bringing should also be listed to ensure the quality of equipment.
Beware of the All Inclusive DJ!
Not all companies can really do it all. Ask if their additional services (Photography, Cinematography, Event/Wedding Planning, Photo Booth, Entertainment/Specialty Acts, etc.) are being outsourced from another legitimate company, a qualified wedding professional, or is it Joe Schmo faking the funk?
There is a HUGE difference depending on whom these services are being rendered from. Convenience is not always easier or even cost efficient. In the case of Joe Schmo being the vendor, it was not cheaper as you were ultimately paying for an amateur at professional vendor rates.
DJs cannot retouch or edit, they only have one shot to get it right because they are performing live. They are the one vendor who has to strive to achieve perfection and flawlessness on the day of your wedding. These are the reasons why an iPod will NEVER be sufficient enough to replace a DJ, and why an individual without the necessary experience cannot fill the shoes of an excellent DJ.