What Are You Looking For in a DJ?
Many brides and grooms-to-be ask about the services we DJ's provide and ask why our fees are always so high. It isn't just a matter of time for disc jockeys: we have a huge investment to protect, and it is important that we provide entertainment that will be enjoyed by as many people as possible in very specific venues. Obviously, if we are doing a 50th wedding anniversary for Grandpa Jimmy and Grandma Louise, the music is not going to lean toward a whole lot of hip-hop or metal. But, a college grad party may only have headbangers, so we want to make sure the music works for the event. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who ask me to play specific music, and then are offended or upset when I tell them, "sorry, that has been banned by the contractor". There is someone else paying for my services, and I want to accommodate them, but yes, I still want the guests to be happy. There can be a fine line to walk for most DJ's. When that crops up (and I'm sure most DJ's and KJ's will relate to this) I have to refer the individual to the person paying the check at the end of the day to "ask their permission".
There are some cases where the newlyweds have a more eclectic taste and it doesn't jibe with the guests trying to have a good time. My weddings are geared toward information and education long before your event, and most disc jockeys should spend time with you to find out just what your musical interests are and tell you how that will work for most folks attending your event. We know from experience (another reason for those "high dollar" fees we charge) that if we only play Nicholas Gunn or Enya during your reception, the people that really want to move to "Get Down Tonight" or "Play That Funky Music" are going to be walking out of your party. You don't want that, do you?
Hiring a DJ means you are paying for a professional. You want the best, and you have the right to really enjoy your day. The best disc jockey is going to work with you before your special day to make sure the event matches your personality, keeps your guests interested, active and having fun during your special event, and meets or exceeds what you expect from them.
So, what should you look for in a DJ? Along with keeping in touch and working with you before your special event, the DJ you look for should have some credentials behind them. They should be members of ADJA (American Disc Jockey Association) or NAME (National Association of Mobile Entertainers) or other professional organizations that you can verify. They should have insurance. They should have a personality -- not just a pulse. Anyone can stand there with a microphone and stick a CD into a boom box or shelf unit, and if that's all you really can afford, there is nothing wrong with that. If you want a professional, though, expect to pay more, and expect them to be more. And, have a wonderful day! When the day ends, you should have a smile on your face and be content that your reception was as much fun as you had hoped it would be. The best disc jockey knows that your wedding day is all about you.
- Connie Spicer is with CN Starz* Entertainment in Vero Beach, FL, and has been a WedPlan Member since Apr 2010.