1. Thinking that a DJ is someone that just plays music
So many people realize after their wedding just how much a DJ does behind the scenes… even with a wedding coordinator, the DJ is the Ringmaster for the entire event and is always prepared. For example, there’s nothing worse than having a photographer changing batteries right when the toasts are announced. A professional wedding DJ brings the organizational skills and the experience of knowing how to bring a cohesiveness and a smooth flow to your Big Day so you don’t’ have to think about anything but enjoying yourself.
2. Hiring a friend or relative with little experience in doing weddings
Would you hire a friend to fix your car, or hire a professional mechanic? The reason you’d hire the mechanic is that not only do they guarantee their work, but they also bring years of repair experience with them to do the job right. How often have you heard about receptions where the music drove people away, and later heard that it was the groom’s college roommate or cousin who’s still in high school? Not that they couldn’t play good music, but do you trust them for your once-in-a-lifetime event? Think about Grandma… remember that weddings have a WIDE variety of attendees.
3. Skimping on entertainment budget just to save money
A wedding cake lasts about ten minutes once it’s cut… the food lasts maybe half an hour at best.. the champagne is gone in seconds… and yet, many brides spend more money on each of these than they do on the entertainment that lasts all evening and is the one thing that people remember longer than any other part of your wedding reception. You really do get what you pay for… you will quickly forget the pleasure of low cost while enduring the pain of poor quality entertainment! A good rule of thumb is about 1-3% (no kidding!) of your total wedding budget on a professional DJ, or 8-15% on a live band.
4. Picking a DJ that has no entertainment skills and can’t work the crowd
Have you ever been to an event where people weren’t dancing or enjoying themselves because the DJ was playing the wrong music, the right music at the wrong time, saying inappropriate things, or just didn’t get it? With a real wedding professional, that never happens. An inexperienced DJ can bring the fun to a screeching halt if they don’t know how to handle even simple things that can go wrong… a professional DJ knows how to take these in stride and use them to their advantage, or even to build on the excitement!
5. Picking an entertainment service that has no professional or backup gear or backup personnel
The champagne has been poured, the salad has been served, the Best Man has loosened his tie… but where is the DJ? He hasn’t shown up yet… he’s in a car crash. OR… what if a piece of sound equipment breaks during the first dance? What happens then? Fortunately, these things don’t happen that often, but they can. When they do, you want to be able to rely on a professional DJ service that is prepared to swap out gear or personnel to make sure that your event still goes smoothly… and your guests barely notice.
6. Not communicating your vision to the DJ
Even the top wedding DJs that have years of experience don’t know what your dream wedding looks like until you tell them what it is! A professional DJ service will meet with you well ahead of time to customize their entertainment package to make your dream come true. They will present the different options/possibilities that are available to brides, including specialty dances, wedding party introductions, and special musical or theme requests. A professional DJ has great experiences to share, but is always willing to listen to new ideas and help you integrate them smoothly.
7. Hiring a Club or Radio DJ to do your wedding
This seems like a great idea at first, but only too late would you realize that these are radically different job descriptions! A good Club DJ is hired to play nonstop dance music for a club environment where the bottom line is to make money at the bar. A Radio DJ is used to playing music from a set playlist to an invisible audience, with little or no interaction. They are both good at what they do, but a wedding is a completely different environment that requires a different set of skills. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that involves a varied audience, and a professional wedding DJ is going to know exactly how to engage and entertain them.
8. Forgetting to ask if the DJ has liability insurance
The last thing you want to do is spend your Honeymoon budget on Attorney’s fees, just because a friend tripped and fell on the dance floor… a professional DJ service will have liability insurance to cover the event, and it’s ALWAYS OK to ask for a printed copy of their coverage. Go ahead and ask, we don’t mind!
9. Not meeting the DJ face-to-face ahead of time to plan the reception
OK, so planning your wedding is a whirlwind of activity, especially in the last couple of months. We know. Meeting with your chosen DJ is a VERY good use of your time, since the meeting will not only give you a chance to communicate your vision to the DJ, but also give the DJ a chance to get to know you so everybody feels comfortable, knowing that things will go smoothly.
10. Assuming the DJ has a mix of music for all ages
Does Aunt Mathilda really “get jiggy with it?” Is Metallica the right choice for dinner music? Is “Girl from Ipanema” a good way to “Get the Party Started?” Remember, there will be a wide variety of people from both sides of the family at the wedding, with a wide variety of musical tastes. A professional wedding DJ is prepared to play music that not only fits in with your vision of the perfect reception, but is also sensitive to the wide spectrum of tastes of the crowd, and will expertly match the right music to the right moment. He/she will have a collection of music with them that is time-tested to fill the dance floor.