Should I hire a professional DJ for my wedding?

This entry was posted on August 5, 2015 under Weddings. Written by:

Hiring your wedding entertainment

Weddings are expensive! In 2014 the average cost of a wedding rose to over $30,000 according to the #1 wedding resource, The Knot. Couples are looking for every place to save money. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you go to book your wedding ceremony and/or reception entertainment!

  • DJ or Band
    • This is the age old question that a lot of newly engaged couples struggle with. There are pros and cons to each one. Here are some of the basic differences in the two. A DJ will likely cost you less, will be able to play any song you want to hear, will most likely have their own sound system and dance lighting, and won’t need a break. A live band is awesome because the performances are..well.. live. Live shows are cool! If you are looking for a band ask them for a music list to make sure they can play music you like, make sure the band is providing their own sound system, and make sure you know how long their set will be.
  • Experience
    • How long has the DJ been in business for? This is important for a list of reasons. An inexperienced DJ will have no clue how a wedding ceremony or reception SHOULD flow. If a DJ is brand new to DJing all together, they probably won’t know how to read a crowd and keep your guests dancing. Will the new DJ know how every bit of his equipment works? Hopefully so. All these things can be avoided by hiring a professional DJ who has a number of weddings under their belt. Experience is a pretty broad topic, but very important on your big day!
  • Equipment and Presentation
    • Equipment is the next thing that will set apart a professional DJ. Having reliable equipment is crucial in the wedding industry. Today most DJs use laptops to control music, do they have a backup of the music on another hard drive? You don’t want all your music disappearing before or during your reception! Having reliable equipment and backup equipment is another comfort you will have with a professional DJ. How about presentation? I have seen some really bad DJ setups. Imagine this… your reception hall is all decorated and it looks beautiful… then you look over and see that your DJ has orange extension cords running around. Sure, it probably won’t affect his performance.. but do you want that showing in pictures? Most any professional DJ will have a facade or table cloth to cover up any mess to make things look good!
  • Microphone Etiquette
    • Would you let just anyone take the microphone and make all your announcements? Probably not. Professional DJs have experience in front of a crowd. Experience with a microphone. Experience to make your announcements sound great. Be sure and talk to your DJ about how many announcements you want during your reception! Let the DJ know whether you want them to talk a lot or just play the music. (Quick plug: Our DJs work in radio and have plenty of experience on a mic in front of a crowd.)
  • Planning
    • Ben Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Planning and preparing is one of the biggest things you will do with your DJ ahead of time. A professional DJ should have forms for you to fill out to plan all the music for your ceremony and/or reception. Many companies now use online planners which makes it easy for couples to plan everything online and make changes as they need to. Be sure and give your DJ time to plan and prepare for your event. Try to get your final song selections and any other information to your DJ by their deadline so they aren’t rushed while preparing for your day!
  • Music
    • Any professional DJ should be able to find just about any song you need for your event. Most DJ music pools give DJs the newest music, sometimes before you can buy it. Make sure your DJ can provide the music you want for your requests and make sure you communicate if you have any special requests for any songs (ex. only the first two verses of a song for the first dance.)
  • Peace of Mind
    • A wedding planner or a day of wedding coordinator can make your special day a BREEZE (if you are interested in either, we can refer a few.) If you have a coordinator for your ceremony or reception, a professional DJ should have no problem working with them! Most wedding coordinators will reach out to vendors in advance and your DJ can handle any questions with them. Don’t have a coordinator? No problem if you have a professional DJ. The DJ controls the flow of the reception with music and announcements. A professional DJ has experience following a timeline, coordinating events with other vendors, and making your reception fun for you. Some venues require outside vendors to carry a liability insurance policy to cover any accidents. If your venue requires this then make sure your DJ carries a liability policy. If your venue doesn’t require it, it’s still a good idea that your DJ carry a policy so you don’t have to worry about anything!

Hopefully these tips help you when you’re looking for your wedding entertainment! Joel Gillie Productions would love to be a part of your wedding. Call us at 919.271.3190, email us, or visit us online today to learn more!