Ask the Experts: Why Hiring a professional DJ should be the only option For your Wedding Reception
Congratulations! You and your fiancé just got engaged! So far, you’ve chosen Ashton Gardens (the perfect venue) to host your big day, you’ve selected the best photographer and you’ve even pondered how you feel about Marsala, the official color of 2015. Now it’s time to choose a DJ for your reception. But how do you go about hiring someone you’ve never met? How do you pick that right “someone” with the potential to “make or break” your reception? Below is a short helpful guide.
First of all, for the sake of credibility, allow me to introduce us. We are Tony and Amanda Trippi, owners of Groovin DJ (GDJ). We are a small company that is steadily growing with the addition of 3 new DJs in the past few years. My husband Tony has been DJing weddings since age 16 (for 27 years) and clubs since age 19. Thanks to my business and marketing acumen, I have been running GDJ since Tony and I met over 9 years ago. Together we’ve formed a great business based on giving our brides and grooms the professionalism and service they deserve. Here are four great tips we’ve put together to help brides and grooms when choosing a DJ:
1. Hire a professional DJ who knows weddings. So your cousin’s brother’s best friend who has DJ’d a couple of house parties has an iPod filled with all your favorite music and is willing to DJ your big day for a $100… Don’t do it! Playing your favorite dance music amounts to about one hour out of the five or six your DJ works for you. DJs have many functions and responsibilities beyond spinning the top dance hits. Timing, coordination, announcements, good judgment (especially when playing for the more mature guests), and professionalism, to name a few, are essential for a successful wedding. Additionally, most “friend of a friend” jocks don’t carry insurance that is required in 5 star venues. We know their heart is in the right place but unfortunately, they lack the skillset and experience to handle the most important day of your life. Let them attend as a guest and enjoy your event.
2. Know who your DJ is and meet them in person. Some DJ companies won’t tell you who your DJ is until the week before your wedding (because they themselves don’t know)! That’s a red flag. You may get lucky and they’ll send you an excellent DJ who keeps your dance floor filled all night or you may get a college kid working for beer money with little to no wedding experience. Insist on meeting the DJ who is actually going to work at your wedding and if they cannot do that for you, find another company.
3. Your DJ should have current equipment with backups. Ask your DJ about what kind of equipment he’s using and whether or not he has backups in case something fails. There are still DJs out there playing from CDs!! Seriously! CDs?! It’s time to upgrade! There are cases were hard drives have crashed, laptops have broken, mixers have gone out and speakers blown. We’ve heard too many horror stories from our vendor colleagues about the DJ whose mixer went out on a Saturday night. By the time a DJ can run to the nearest Guitar Center (if it is still open), your event is over and the only thing your guests remember is that the music stopped! Overall, the best insurance is backup equipment
4. Get referrals, but not from the internet or the DJ himself. Internet reviews are anonymous and easily faked. How can you tell if referrals are truly a DJ’s past clients? Instead, get referrals for DJs from your venue coordinators. The coordinator always has your best interest in mind and they’ll be honest with you. They see many DJs in the course of their work and the good ones keep getting hired because they are good. If the DJ hasn’t worked at your venue before, get a list of at least 3 places where he does work often and ask the coordinators there.
In closing, we hope these tips can start you in the right direction toward hiring the right DJ for you and your fiancé. With a little common sense and a few of the right questions, you can easily find the DJ that best fits your personality and unique set of needs. In the end, you’ll know you’ve chosen the perfect DJ by the number of guests raving about how much fun they had at your wedding!!