Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Don’t Want to Spend a Lot on a DJ – It’s Just Music…

Great Blog from The Wedding Coach - Jennifer Maxwell

Today’s post is lengthy, but important! It’s in praise of the humble, and often overlooked DJ, as a fairly unimportant detail – especially to the bride, and especially in comparison to her choice in photographer, dress, flowers, decor etc…. After all, “it’s just music – right?”
Wrong.  Music, or rather, your entertainment, is KEY to a successful event – your PARTY, really! Who has a party without music?!
Now you may be thinking, ‘I can just get some speakers, and run my iPod’… Please allow me to assure you, this could be the biggest mistake you’d make on your wedding. And I speak from experience here.
When I was a bride, I had a VERY limited budget. And while I DID want to have a DJ, we had a choice to either feed people, or have music. Yes it really was that tight. But love prevails, and we threw caution to the wind, and were married just the same. But not without some regrets. With the music – not the marriage. icon wink “I Don’t Want to Spend a Lot on a DJ   It’s Just Music...”   said every regretful bride...
I always suggest that my couples consider putting their financial investment in their memories – for themselves (through photo/video), and for their guests, in the form of great entertainment.
Guests may not remember what the bridesmaid’s bouquets looked like, but they WILL remember how they felt, and if they had a good time.
Here are some of the key reasons hiring a PROFESSIONAL DJ will give you the time of your life (and your guests’!) for your wedding celebration:
The most obvious – An excellent selection of music to suit all tastes.
While this may seem silly if you don’t really care about your guest’s musical taste, trust me – this is a biggie. You WANT ALL your guests to enjoy at least some part of the dancing portion. Who doesn’t want to see Grandma shakin’ her thang to some Beatles?!
Ability to keep the crowd dancing by fading out music that clears the dance floor, and revving them back up with another kickin’ song. Having someone manage the music selection LIVE will keep your party going. Can you imagine what would happen if you made a playlist on your iPod and it cleared the dance floor?! Who’s going to manage that? It’s pretty hard to recover from – trust me.
Beat Mixing:  Skilled DJs know how to bring one song down and another up while mixing the two song’s beats together – just like at the club, only it’s your own awesome wedding!
Sound Levels: Not all CDs are created equal, and neither are the sound levels. DJs mix and fine tune each song to ensure that no guest gets blasted, and so that the energy is kept at the same level in the room. Ever noticed that issue on your iPod? You’re not dreaming, it happens. Imagine THAT full scale at your wedding!
Allow me to interject my personal experience here. As a planner, I have encountered couples that insisted on iPod music, and while they had a friend who was supposed to manage the music, he ended up being seated too far from the soundboard, so every time the volume was too loud or too soft, he’d come running from his table during the middle of dinner to manage it.
After a while, he just didn’t bother! And every time the volume went up or down, every guest’s head would turn toward the sound mixer… ACK!! So I stepped up and then had to become a permanent sound mixer, as well as toast prompter, kitchen cue-r, and everything else that a wedding planner must be.
Proper Room Set Up: While you may think it’s fairly a standard process to just set up some speakers, you may be surprised to know there is much more involved. Check it out:
You should have a discussion with your DJ in advance about where the VIP tables will be situated so that these guests can hear best (but again, not too close to the speakers either. Think about Grandma again who will be constantly complaining about the noise!).
What about circuit overload. You’ll want to know your amperage per device so that you don’t blow the breakers – which may be linked to the kitchen, which is in the process of cooking your wedding meal! Oops.
Safety: Wires need to be taped down too. DJs know how to do this discretely and have ample cord to go around the parimeter of the room, instead of across it! Additionally, some cords may need to go above the door frames for safety reasons and would need to be taped to the wall. However, if you hold your reception at a Heritage location, be rest assured, they have strict rules about what kind of tape can be used. Professional DJs know this and come prepared!
Back up: A professional DJ also has back up equipment should there be any sort of failure. They can quickly grab the spares, and get the party hopping again quickly – and perhaps even without anyone ever noticing!
DJ / MC. Not all DJs are great MCs, but some are and they do know how to manage a microphone with ease. If they’re worth their salt, they’ll want to know your ‘love story’. They’ll do their homework on you so they can host your day with more than enough information to make them look as if they’ve known you for years.
They will also not be crude, or rude, or drink on the job. They’re working after all. And they will dress appropriately, in a suit. And they’ll leave their 8 Ft. promotional banner at home. Seriously.
So you see, there is MUCH more to a DJ than just his/her music collection. And you certainly get what you pay for. If your DJ is a professional, this is his/her only source of income, and they take their job seriously, and charge accordingly.
Don’t regret YOUR wedding by having your guests leave early because they’re having a miserable time. A few hundred dollars difference may make or break the memories you have of your wedding.
Choose wisely, and happy planning!