Finding your Wedding DJ
So you’re getting married, the venue, dress, photographer and cake all booked, but now you finally get round to sorting the wedding DJ. It’s then that you realise you’ve never booked one before and it’s for your most importan of days. With all the other services, they actually make something for you to touch, see, taste etc, so you can kind of try before you buy so you know they are the ones for you.
With being a wedding DJ, we don’t actually produce a tangable product for you, so you have to find other ways and this is where this little post hopefully with give you some ideas into how to choose your ideal wedding DJ. In no particular order as different people will have different priorties for their DJ.
1- Are they your kind of DJ?
To me there 5 couple of main different DJ styles. Personality, minimal, Genre specific, Club, Host.
Host Wedding DJ– Is someone who is 100% in charge, likes to annouce everything, center of attention for running the day/evening. Ideal for couples who have lots going on, and the venue don’t have a toastmaster, master of ceremonies etc.
Genre Specfic DJ – Indie, Dance, Rock, etc. This is for the couple who know they only want 1 sort of music for the majority of the night. They and their guests are all in to this specfic genre and they want someone who can play more than a 60 min set.
Club DJ – Usually music/laptop only. Club nights are their speciality so lots of hyping, mixes & remixes. Alot of Club DJ’s will only have laptop so just check they will be coming with a mobile rig (sound & lighting systems).
Personality DJ – Might be classed as a radio DJ or cheesy. Usually do a lot of mic work, this was no1 for 6wks in ’86, tellling jokes working the room etc.
Minimal DJ – Let the music do the talking. essential annoucments, but keeps the chatter to a minimalas it’s all about the music.
I’m mainly a minimal DJ, but i do all day weddings so a little bit of hosting is needed, but again on a essential level, I don’t do games etc. I have also done genre nights for weddings as well, I did an ibiza night and a couple of heavy/nu metal type nights. But if I had to pick one, Minimal wedding DJ would be what I use to best discribe my style.
2A- Have they played at your wedding venue before?
This is a bigger ‘thing’ than might tihnk it is. Yes, if there is plenty of space and easy access it shouldn’t be an issue for most wedding dj’s. If it’s a straight in the fire exit doors on to a large dancefloor, then no problem for anyone. But if it’s a long walk or lots of stairs, and the DJ needs to set up on a rasied stage with a low ceiling, things like having played there before are essential.
If it takes an hour to get your equipment in, then another hour to set-up, and it’s too tall, it’s a major issue. Ask the DJ to do a site visit if need be or get clarification before the day that they are happy wth the space for setting up and on agreed start time etc, and that their set-up will will fit in the space allocated and not take over the whole dancefloor.
2B – Search Google for the venue /DJ.
If you Google search your venue and just add the term DJ or wedding DJ you should find DJ images and listings to show that they have played there before. For example my last blog post was for the wedding venue Mill at Colden Green. So if you search Google – Mill at Colden Green DJ or the Mill at Colden Green Wedding DJ you will find that I will turn up along with others. If your DJ doesn’t have anything on Google ask them for some images if they don’t mind.
3 – Dancefloor not Equipment
Some DJ’s are equipment focused and whilst it’s important to have the right equpment for the job at hand, those guys are all about the numbers and them. I.E. 2000W PEAK WATT doesn’t mean a great deal to anyone without other factors. You don’t ask a plumber what spanner or wrench he has, you book him and trust he has the right tools for the job he’s been booked for. So in the case fo a wedding DJ, lots of images of the dancefloor full, is my way of showing I have the right tools, physicallly (speakers/lights) as well as techincally (music etc). My days of having the biggest loudest brightest disco are long gone. Weddings are all about filling the dancefloor with sound and light not the whole room. At weddings you have to allow people to sit and chat whilst staying in the room.
For me I share lots of images pictures of full dancefloors, people dancing, hands in the air, people being carried and on shoulders etc. This is the product of my service – Dance Floor Moments & Memories. Showing really great images of wonderful set-ups, is nice, but doens’t show off their DJing skills. So check they have dancefloor images and lots of various images. Not just the same images re-used.
4 – Recommendation
Don’t use a recommendation with out speaking to them first, make sure they understand what you want, but it’s a great place to start. For example one of the wedding venues I’m recommend by is Hyde Bank Farm . They chose to put me in their brochure without me knowing which is a great compliment to begin with. Because I had been there a few weddings, and everyone had a great a time, and I worked with the venue, they felt confident recommending me to their happy couples.
I don’t want to be a house DJ, i.e. where I come with venue wedding package. I want to you to want to book me. And this is where the recommendation works. If they are right for you, you then have that confidence that they will do as they say. Same goes for recomendations from friends who have used a DJ before. But as I say, and must reiterate – get int touch and have a meeting, make sure they are right for you, regardless of who recommends you.
5 – Weddig DJ Reviews
Reviews make the world go round these days. The more the merrier, and more places the better. I have 3 main sources for my reviews, my Facebook page100+, my Google profile 30+, and my website (lots) mainly from before Google & Facebook ( Yes I’ve been going that long).
Back in the day, people used to send thank you cards, quite often with little essays, but now it’s a shorter, and it’ll be a text/email but hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to get a review on somewhere that public. Obviously if someone hasn’t been doing it that long, they will have none or only a couple, but if somoene has been doing 10yrs and only got 2 or 3, then tread carefully.
6- Will they take requests and playlists?
If you are really into your music and dancing the night away, and you know your guests will like your musical choices then sort a playlist and check the DJ will play from this. Playsits are not so essential if you only want to give a handful of requests, but they need to be happy to take requests on the night from the you and your guests as your night unfold and evolves.
While it’s not possible to have a every song availavble (spotify & Itunes are illegal to use as a mobile DJ) leting the dj know your preferred musical styles for the night and ones to avoid are a minimum. So make sure they are and happy to to play in and round your musical tastes even if it isn’t a specific song playlist. People listen to a wider vaiety of music these days thanks to the likes of online streaming services, so just playing the same old same old isn’t enough these days. They need to be happy to accomadate you and your guests musically.
To wrap it up.
I’ve tried to keep away from things like price because this list is kind of genric whatever your budget is, within reason. Is there anything I’ve missed? How did you find your wedding DJ? Was there something you wished you had checked or done before you booking your wedding DJ?
Thanks for reading, hope you like, and if you would like me write about any other aspect of the wedding day /DJ/entertainment please let me know and I’ll sort something out for you.
David Lee – The wedding DJ