The excuse right now is that we are experiencing extreme "decision fatigue" after making approximately 1,000,000,000 life-changing decisions in the home-buying/home reno process, and after I had a meltdown at the Home Depot counter involving eggshell versus semi-gloss paint ("PLEASE JUST TELL ME WHAT TO PICK I LITERALLY AM NOT CAPABLE OF MAKING ANOTHER DECISION") we decided to take a lil break on decision making for awhile.
Don't get me wrong, we have made some important decisions: venue, photographer (lucky us- a friend we met on a cruise just started a photography business and hooked us up), videographer, and DJ. Lucky for me, Harrison runs a DJ business on top of being a realtor, so we knew exactly what and who we were looking for in our entertainment. I've been to weddings were a sucky DJ sucks the fun out of the party, and I've been to weddings where the DJ turns the party ALL THE WAY UP (we are obvi looking for the latter). People ask him for advice on choosing a wedding DJ all the time, and here is what I think is most important:
How to find a DJ:
- Think about the weddings you've been to. Who were the DJs? Were there any you particularly liked? Book them!
- Ask friends! 90% of Harrison's business (both DJ and real estate) comes from referrals
- Check who has the highest WeddingWire and Yelp reviews
What to discuss with the DJ before hiring:
- Can we hear some of your mixes?
- What kind of set up do you bring (i.e. speakers, tables, etc)? Make sure they know the size of your space and the size of your party, and that they have the equipment to play to that size.
- Do you provide lights? (Think colored lights, uplighting, dance floor lighting, flashy lights, lasers. Remember that laser lights can interfere with photography/videos so make sure to cross check the light set up with your photographer/videographer)
- Do they provide microphones for the toasts? Are these wireless mics? How many mics can they provide?
- Discuss the type of music you want played- does this DJ have all that music on hand?
Things to consider about the DJ before hiring:
- Does their personality fit your wedding? Do they seem flexible enough to work with your wedding party?
- Do they have the right energy for your party? Remember they are usually the ones announcing the wedding party and bride and groom at the reception- this can be a make or break for the energy.
- Do you like their mixes? Do they have good transitions from one song to the next? Is it the type of energy you want at your wedding?
- Are they listening to you? Remember: YOU are paying THEM. THEY work for YOU.
Things to discuss with your DJ for the wedding day:
- Playlists: must play songs, and DO NOT PLAY songs (I think the most common "do not play" song Harrison gets is Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Ha)
- Where your DJ will set up and where the speakers will be (this seems obvious but it is something that I have seen forgotten at wedding I've attended. Make sure you know where the dance floor is and that the DJ knows exactly where you want him and where you want his speakers blaring from!)
- Seating arrangements pertaining to your DJ: we are putting all young people close to the DJ and the speakers. A common problem Harrison runs into is having the grandparents seated next to his speakers- they request the music turned down because they are trying to sit and have conversation. The younger people who are put in the back immediately come and request him to turn the music up. The older people want it turned down again. This is easily avoided by putting older people further from the speakers and younger people next to the speakers
- Do you need radio edited versions of songs?
- Who will need microphones and when?
- Should the DJ take requests or stick strictly to the guidelines you give them?
Tell me: what are your experiences with wedding DJs? Any great ones? Any horrific wedding DJ stories? Anything you would add to this list?