Booking A DJ or Band Without an agreement...
It has come to our attention that a lot of "brides to be" or wedding planners have been contacting us frequently in the past saying their entertainment backed out on them or even went out of business. We are not telling you this to scare you. We just want to make sure that whomever you get to provide your music completes a legal and binding agreement ensuring their services for your day. The same goes for your caterers, photographers, etc. Keep in touch with them too. Make sure things are still set and everything is a go. If such a problem should occur, we are always here to help in any emergency.
The Importance of a Written agreement
If you don't have an agreement, you have no guarantee that the DJ or band will show up!!! So no agreement can be VERY DEVASTATING!
How Soon Do I Need to Book A DJ?
The most popular and experienced DJ's get booked up fast so the longer you wait the less chance you have at booking a great DJ or the DJ you want. If you wait a month or two before your event you may end up getting stuck with someone inexperienced or of lesser quality that you had hoped for. It is very important that you book your DJ, venues and everything else you need at least 6-12 months in advance. Dates fill up very quickly from January through March. Don't be stuck with services that were simply available, make sure you get the service providers you wanted by booking early! Also it is important because it is very difficult for a DJ to perform at there best with little time to prepare and know everything that is going on for an event. So it is important to book early and stay in touch with your DJ so everything is planned out and ready to go for your special event!
All DJ's Are Pretty Much the Same
FALSE! Every single DJ and DJ Company is different in many ways. All DJ's have a different style and some are specialists in particular genres or styles of music. Some DJ's have been trained in entertaining in Clubs or Bars and not Wedding or other events. Every company has different styles and levels of DJ's and rules for training and professionalism. Some companies pay their DJ's very little money and get the first person that they can find that is familiar with music and can run the equipment. Make sure the DJ/Company you are looking at hiring has training and is professional, but also not only out to make top dollar. Be sure that they are there to make your night the best it can be.
Why Not Hire a DJ That Specializes In One Particular Music Style/Genre?
There are some DJ's out there that specialize in one main style of music such as "Classics" or "Oldies" and that might sound like the perfect fit for your age group and MOST of your guests will enjoy SOME of the songs as well. Everyone knows "oldies" right? Most likely yes, but what about the group of younger guests? Don't forget that you have a lot of guests and you want them to stick around and have fun, so a variety of music is probably a good idea. Most requests are from all genre's of music... one person wants a country song, another Hip-Hop, etc. You get the idea. Make sure your DJ has a variety and is up to date, nearly everyone likes to hear some of the new stuff.
Why Not Hire The Cheapest DJ?
Some DJ's may charge as little as $300 or maybe even less to do a Wedding or event. Does this mean that they won't do a great job and don't have the equipment and variety to do a good job at your event? Who Knows??? They might do an ok job, but why are they only charging $300? Sounds like something may not be legit, or the DJ is very inexperienced, or they are just starting out or maybe business is simply that bad for them. Is that something you want to risk on one of the most important days/events of your life? Nearly all professional and experienced DJ's need to make more than $300 a gig to even come close to making ends meet and making it worth their time to DJ at all. Professional equipment is VERY expensive and all business expenses can be very costly. Bottom line with most things in life is that "You get what you pay for".
Any DJ that has done a lot of weddings knows that they put too much into a wedding to only charge peanuts. On the other hand, the most expensive in town may not have what you are looking for either and just because they charge way more doesn't mean they will do a better job, they may just be out to make as much money as they can. Typically the money hungry companies are all business and little customer service.
How Important Is A Good DJ?
What is typically the part of a Wedding Reception that everyone remembers or talks about the next day? The Dance and how fun or lame it was! Many other vendors and Wedding professionals charge a lot more than the DJ does.... but why? Why is everyone willing to pay thousands for Photography, food, dresses, etc, and then feel like paying a few hundred for a DJ is expensive. The entertainment at any event is VERY important and nearly 95% of married couples say they would have spent more time and money on the entertainment portion of their weddings! Hintidy hint hint!!!
Choosing Music for Your Event
Everyone has different tastes in music. many brides and grooms know what they like and want to hear. Which is great and any hints or ideas you can supply your DJ is very helpful to them and it will help you hear what you want. But many want to choose 100 to 200 songs that they like and want to hear. It isn't even feasible to play that many songs in 4-5 hours. And it is very rare for a bride or groom to know what a good mix of music is for the entire night. A good mix of genres and styles are important for the flow of an event. So it is great to pick some songs that are musts and you know you want, but then let the DJ do their job, making sure that correct songs get played at the right times.
When choosing songs for your event, make sure you clarify which artist you want to hear for certain songs. Take the song "The Way You Look Tonight". Several artists have sang this song over the years and some aren't even the same song. If you want the Frank Sinatra version be sure to tell your DJ that. if you don't know, ask them or listen online to find the version you want.
Also choosing a bunch of songs by your favorite artist can be really trying for your guests. Some may not like your favorite artist at all or the artists style may be "country" and the bulk of your friends and family like rock. They may start to get very impatient and this is also very hard on your DJ and guests may get bored or upset and leave.
Do you want your DJ to take requests? Why wouldn't you? You want your guests to have fun and hear what they want don't you? A lot of DJ's will not take requests, so make sure if you want your DJ to, then hire one that is willing to do so. And if you don't want them to take requests, make sure you let them know. If there are certain songs you don't want played, let your DJ know that as well. You are the boss and the DJ should check with you before any controversial song ever gets played, so make sure your DJ allows you to be in charge of your event and you have the final say when it comes to music, your wants and your needs.
Discuss a Back-Up Plan with Your DJ
DO ask who your DJ will be. Large companies have several DJ's on their payroll and you don't want to be stuck with an in-experienced DJ or someone who doesn't know a lot of different music styles.