It still amazes me when a bride or groom calls or e-mails me and says: “I’m getting married. What do you charge?” Not that there is anything wrong with that, but….it is very similar to walking in to a car dealership and saying: “I want to buy a car. How much does one cost?” I am not trying to be glib, but as with a car, there are so many variables when it comes to “Wedding DJs.”
When I ask, “What do you want your wedding entertainer to do,” there is usually silence. Bride and grooms have not even thought of that question. We have all been to a wedding dance where the “DJ” was not very good and to a dance where the DJ was good, or maybe great. What is the difference? Was it price? Was it experience, MC skills, lack of planning, execution, equipment or one of many other things that could go wrong on such an important day?
It usually isn’t price, although wedding entertainers who excel at the many hats that they wear at a wedding celebration usually charge more because they have invested in honing their skills to make sure that your wedding reception and dance go off without a hitch, and if a “surprise” does happen….does your wedding DJ have the experience to come through for the bride, groom, their families and friends?
Another key in booking your wedding entertainer is trust. Do you trust your “DJ” enough to put the success of over half your wedding day in his/her hands? I would suggest that you meet with your potential entertainer/DJ before putting your trust in them. You need to be comfortable with any vendor that you hire for your wedding day. Your two most important vendors are your photographer (who captures memories) and your DJ (who creates those memories). Apologies to other vendors….they are an important part of the wedding day also, BUT… six months, one year or five….memories created and captured are what will stick out.
As you look for your wedding entertainer, I would suggest to be sure of several things:
- Experience (would you want a surgeon operating on you who had only done 12 of the procedures)
- Good MC skills (he/she must be able to use a microphone, speak and ad lib)
- Professional level equipment***AND back-up equipment
- Liability insurance (what happens if a DJ’s light fixture falls on one of your guests? Are you on the hook?)
- Uses legal music. It is illegal to download music from friends or the internet and then charge a party to play that music that they stole.
- Registered with the state of MN (legitimate businesses are more serious about following through)
Whether you hire me to be a part of your wedding day or not, please think about what I have written above. Over the 35 plus years of being a part of couple’s wedding celebration, I have heard many horror stories…..also some that have had a good DJ for a low price, but more of the first! Good luck and enjoy the journey of planning your wedding.
If you’re looking for hints of what music to request for your dance, or just want to see what’s popular at wedding dances across the country, check out the Mobile Beat Top 200 Songs of 2010 provided by DJ Intelligence.