DJ Scott's Blog Articles

(Sweating the small stuff)

When planning for your wedding reception there are many things to consider, one of them being a DJ.  The DJ can make or break your whole day.  When shopping around for a good Disc Jockey, price should not be your top consideration, what you should consider is, does the DJ have the enough experience and care to sweat the small stuff? At an event there are so many little things that a good DJ will do that you may not even know about and it all starts before you even sign the contract with them. 
-Does the DJ that you are looking at have a good website?     
-Is the site in order and easy to use   
-Are there past customers that you can call to ask how the DJ was?     
-Do they have a calendar or do they want you to call them for availability? ( An event calendar will show you how many events they have and if they are a hobby DJ or is this a true job for them)?     
-Do they take pictures of their events, ( a good DJ will send you pictures that they have taken of your event, so you have something to look at before you get your pics from the photographer).     
-Do they have Video on their site (so you can hear how they sound on the microphone)     
-Does the DJ rate the places where they have performed? ( food, service and past experiences are all things that you might want to know about a banquet center or reception hall, the big fancy places are not always the best).     
-Are there pictures of the DJ on their site (so you can see how they look and dress)     
-Do they have a song list on their site that shows you the type and style of music they play?
-Are they willing to meet with you before you sign their contract?     
-You should meet with a DJ before you sign a contract with them, you are looking for the following.         
-Are they prompt and on time to the meeting?         
-Do they joke around with you too much? (this may lead me to believe that they will do the same on the microphone)       
-Are they professional         
-Did they dress appropriately, do they look professional.         
-Were they able to answer all you questions?         
-Did they make you feel comfortable with letting them host the most important night of your life?         
-After signing, are they willing to meet with you before the event?     
-A good DJ will schedule a meeting with you about a month ahead of your event to go over the following.         
-The events of the reception (a detailed reception planner or itinerary should be filled out by the DJ)             
-Does the DJ write down the names of people he will be announcing Phonetically (so he does not mispronounce them later)          
-Does he offer advise for different events to help them run smoother           
-Does he offer different events that you may not be aware of (Anniversary dance, Honeymoon dance, dedications to parents)           
-Do you go over a song list with Yes and NO songs so that there are no surprises.     
-What time he will arrive to set up at the hall.     
-What the layout of the room is and what he will require (power outlets, tables, chairs)     
-Directions to the Hall. A good DJ should do the following on the Day of your event     
-Prepare for the event prior to the day of the event.   
-Arrive at the Reception hall at least 2 hours ahead of the time your guests will arrive.  (A good DJ should be set up and dressed before your first guests arrive).    
-Coordinate with all of the people that will be involved in different events at your reception (caterer, photographer, videographer, hall manager, father of the bride, the person giving the blessing before dinner and so forth).     
-look at the seating chart or table numbering to know where the people involved in events will be sitting.     -Make sure there is a plate on the cake table (you would be amazed at how many BIG halls forget or do not put a plate on the cake table for your cake cutting)     
-Know where the cider or champagne is for the toast if the hall is not pouring for you (it becomes the DJ and the Best man's responsibility)     
-Know where the toss and anniversary dance bouquets are so he has them and they are not lost or (in the trunk of Mom's car).   
-Stand at the end of the buffet line to take the Bride's plate of food back to the head table for her (there should be no chance for her to spill food on her dress).     
-Have talked to the bar tenders about shots for the dollar/honeymoon dance (if there are shots being given) so they can be poured and ready before that event comes.    -Have a redundant supply of the couples special music for that night, ( I make up a playlist on the computer as well as a CD that has all of the special event songs for the night, from the grand entrance music to the last dance of the night.  When the night is over I give this disc to the bride and groom as a gift).     
-Once your guests arrive, your DJ should be standing in front of his equipment (not behind it) to meet your guests and be able to direct them to their table, the gift table or any other areas that they might need to know.     
-Line you and your bridal party up for the grand entrance, going over all their names to make sure they are announced correctly. 
-Before your you and your bridal party walk in, he should have gone over all the events of the night with you all so that no one is caught by surprise.     
-The DJ should talk to the best man and maid/matron of honor about any events that they will be involved in.  There are many other little things that a good DJ will do but these are some of the more important, not to mention the ability to keep your guests entertained and not bored.  Anybody can play music but learning to keep the reception flowing good, feeling the crowd and keep them dancing all night takes years of practice.  A good DJ not only entertains your guests but he is also your event coordinator and host. Next month we will discuss music selection and flow, we will also discuss the difference between music we like to listen to and music that will keep your guests entertained and dancing all night long.
Thank you for reading and have fun planning.
Scott Simmons