Wedding DJ Responsibilities
It is important to first understand what responsibilities a professional DJ should have for your wedding. The foremost responsibility, as you might imagine, is to play music at your reception that will keep everyone involved and having a good time. However, there is more to this than you might expect. In fact, the most common mistake people make when choosing a DJ is to overestimate the ease of playing music that keeps a crowd on the dance floor.
For this reason, some couples will decide to have a friend or coworker DJ their wedding reception rather than hire a professional. In reality though, nowhere is the difference between a professional DJ and an amateur more apparent than on the dance floor. As we will see, just because someone has DJ equipment does not mean that they are skilled or trained on how to properly execute a wedding. Wedding DJs aren’t club DJs either. Wedding DJs have to be able to transition in and out of all types of genres with ease.
Playing music at a club venue is absolutely nothing like playing music at a wedding reception.
At a club, most people are around the same age and have similar tastes in music. That’s why they’re there! This leads the inexperienced DJ to assume that everyone likes the same kind of music as they do.
At a wedding, however, there may be people from ages 8 to 80 on the dance floor at any one time and the differences in their musical tastes will be vast.
It is up to the DJ at that point to decide how to interact with these age groups and what to play to keep them all happy. Only experience will teach a wedding DJ the need for variety. Their job is to appeal to the masses by playing all styles of familiar party music. An experienced wedding DJ will understand that everyone is passionate about ‘”their style” of music and know how to tap into that passion and present it in a manner that everyone on the dance floor can get excited about together. They will know how to correctly weave in and out of many different styles of music and, ultimately, keep the party going all night long without a hitch.
DJs with little or no wedding experience, on the other hand, may not even consider the diversity on the dance floor. When people don’t respond to their music selections they may get frustrated and simply blame the crowd rather than digging in and working the music to find something that works for everyone.
Remember, a professional has a sense of pride to keep people on the dance floor, whereas amateurs believe people should be on the dance floor out of an obligation to them because they’re the DJ! This is why the experience of your DJ is paramount to the success of your wedding night.
It is also important to make sure that your DJ or entertainer has a large selection of song titles. Without an adequate selection of music, it is difficult to satisfy a large variety of age groups and musical interests. In addition to just owning the music, a DJ should have extensive knowledge of the music as well; this includes everything from popular country songs and waltzes to the latest club hits.
Furthermore, be sure that your DJ will play the songs YOU want hear, not just the songs they want to hear. Many frustrated newlyweds have spent their wedding night listening to their DJs favorite tunes! Also be wary of the DJ whose presentation is obnoxious. You don’t want a DJ who thinks that he or she is the star of the show.
Finally, a professional wedding DJ should be a well-trained Master of Ceremonies. This means being confident on the microphone and able to make important announcements and introductions in a classy, charismatic manner. Professionals will spend time preparing their announcements and have pride in their ability to pronounce everyone’s name correctly.
Nowhere will lack of experience be more obvious than in a Master of Ceremonies. Unprofessional announcements, mispronounced names, and inappropriate comments are just a few of the ways an MC might show their inexperience.
Nothing makes a crowd more uncomfortable than to sit in front of someone who is nervous on the microphone. Often times, a DJ may try to hide this nervousness by turning into a cheesy “party motivator”, annoying guests and embarrassing the bride and groom. A well trained DJ/MC will be classy and well spoken on the microphone every time.
Keep in mind when hiring a professional DJ you need to make sure they are who they say they are and can deliver what they say they can. Please look at online reviews. I HIGHLY encourage to check the companies history on WeddingWire.com. They are the most trusted site in the wedding industry when it comes to reviews because they check to make sure a contract was done between the couple and the DJ. Reviews can’t be fabricated on that system. Good and bad reviews alike are all on there.
The second-best way to determine the reputability of your DJ is to call references. Some DJs will have a list of references that they will be quick to hand over to you. However, these will either be hand-picked couples or, even worse, people who’ve never actually even hired the them. A professional DJ is booked almost every weekend during the summer and fall, so ask the DJ for the phone number of a couple from a random date to call for a reference. Any company that refuses to do this is most likely hiding something. A good DJ will feel confident that every wedding they’ve performed at was of the highest quality.
Stay away from DJs who will allow you to check up on them at someone else’s wedding. First off, it is VERY unprofessional to invite strangers to a private wedding reception. Secondly, if a DJ is willing to be distracted at someone else’s wedding to talk to you; he will most likely indulge in this unprofessional manner at your wedding reception as well.
More importantly you will never get a complete picture of the DJ’s abilities by spending a few minutes standing in the corner at a stranger’s wedding. It is what you DON’T see that will hurt you, such as, if he was on time, if he was prepared and organized, if he pronounced everyone’s name correctly, and played the right style of music etc. This type of “preview” can only give a false sense of security about your DJs abilities.
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