1. Why do I need a DJ?
For a once in a lifetime event, where everything should be perfect, a professional DJ has the experience and willingness to take on the responsibility of many things, not the least of which is to pack the dance floor by incorporating the wide range of musical tastes the guests may have with the couples’ choices and vision for their wedding. The couple have enough to do and that shouldn’t include making a playlist, renting equipment, packing up and returning the gear, the liability aspect and either managing it themselves or putting someone in charge of the iPod. All of that can really detract from not only the success of your event but also your enjoyment. What if your playlist doesn’t get people on the dance floor and keep them there? What if there is a technical issue with equipment you aren’t familiar with? What if people become bored and leave early? DIY music is probably appropriate for some other events but your wedding day isn’t one of them! Professional DJs also handle the flow of your event, any announcements or MC duties required and know how to get and keep your guests on the dance floor. You can’t predict the timing or what your guests will want with a pre-determined playlist.
2. How does lighting add to my wedding?
Depending on the vibe you are looking for, adding lighting can provide the right atmosphere at the right time or accentuate your décor. For instance, the very popular “up lighting” can shine beams of light in your choice of colour, up walls to add a décor element or highlight an area like the head table, cake table or pillars in the room. Dance floor lighting, in particular intelligent lighting, can bring the “party atmosphere” to your dance floor or be used for things like lighting up the grand entrance, speeches or your first dance. Intelligent lighting enables the DJ to control the speed, colour and movement of the lighting fixtures for the ultimate functionality. Even basic sound activated dance floor lighting usually gets people in the dancing mood and out on the floor!
3. How do I pick music that everyone will like?
The great thing is, that if you hire a professional DJ you won’t have to! They have years of experience in reading a crowd and programming music. They know what to play, when to play it and what to follow it up with to keep the party going. Of course, professional DJs invite the couple to be as involved as they want to be in choosing the music for the night. We are very good at doing our jobs but we aren’t mind readers so we encourage couples to fill out their “must play”, “play if possible” and the most important “do not play” lists. These selections are added to the guest’s requests and then the DJ uses his music knowledge and programming skills to make sure everyone is having a great time. This is done song by song. Pre-set playlists are very restrictive and can sometimes tie the DJs hands to do what you hired them to do.
4. How do I pick a DJ that works with our style?
Generally, couples find picking a DJ is hard. This is because many have never done it before and most don’t know what to look for. Picking a DJ by a promo video you’ve seen might work but unfortunately many of these are staged and do not accurately reflect how well the DJ might do at your wedding. In my many years of managing DJs I do know that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and there are very few “one size fits all” DJs out there. Key things to look for are 1) Experience (by far the most important), 2) Third party verification (like reviews and referrals from friends, family or your venue) and 3) Personality. As a larger company we have the ability to find out what the clients want and assign a DJ that is best suited to their needs. The clients are happy and our reputation for providing quality entertainment endures. When matching clients to a DJ I usually ask 1) what general age ranges will be attending? Is it mostly friends of their age group, family, or a mix of both? 2) General types of music they like and dislike as well as their read on what their guests might enjoy and 3) The level of interactivity they are looking for from their DJ. Are they looking for the DJ to be the MC? To be overly outgoing and more prominent in the event or are they looking for more of a laid back, low-key music master that won’t say much but will play the best music they’ve ever heard? Discussing these general aspects with your potential DJ or DJ service will help narrow down suitable choices for the couple.
5. Can my DJ be my MC?
Absolutely! All professional DJs are trained MCs and although many people don’t like public speaking, we do! Some services such as mine include basic MC services in all of our packages and this can include grand entrance introductions, announcements, speech introductions, centrepiece and kissing games and announcing all of the special dances. DJs are great MCs however we also recommend that, if possible, we work in conjunction with a guest or bridal party member that can add the personal touch of welcoming the guests and introducing the speakers. They can say something nice or tell a story about the couple and be more relatable to the crowd. If you don’t have someone in mind, no worries we can handle it all!
6. What happens if equipment fails or the DJ is sick?
Equipment failure or an issue with the DJ such as sickness, car breakdown, accident or other personal catastrophe can be a stressful predicament for everyone involved. Unfortunately, most single operator DJs can’t provide coverage for many of these issues. They may have a “DJ friend” they could call, but on a busy date they are most likely already working or at least should be. At least once or twice a year I get calls from frantic brides and grooms that another DJ that they hired hasn’t shown up or bailed on them last minute. Dealing with a larger company may solve this issue as for example we actually have a staff member on call, paid to be available each and every night we have events out, just in case. Our DJs are reliable and punctual, and we use only the best gear but we can’t control all things. We always have critical equipment back up gear on-site but also having that emergency back-up staff is peace of mind for our clients, our staff and me!
7. Why do I care if the DJ is using licensed music or has liability insurance?
Most people don’t know that a license is required to play music at your wedding. The licensing body called Connect Music Licensing allows a DJ to play legally sourced, high quality music at private events. YouTube, Spotify or other streaming might sound great on your phone or laptop but believe me on a pro sound system that isn’t the case. Also, a DJ you hire should never be reliant on the internet or Wi-Fi at your wedding. That could spell disaster! Enforcement officials from the licensing body representing the major record labels can do an inspection and for that reason many venues are now requiring proof of the license or legally sourced music. Liability insurance is also an important but rarely considered factor. Professional DJs have it in place to protect all parties involved including the client, the venue and the staff. Many venues are also requiring proof of liability insurance so make sure to hire someone who already has it in place!
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