DJ, Turn It On!
"I don't need no love, all I need is the DJ!" - Unknown
I grew up in a very musical household - I learned piano from the age of 5, my sister took violin and could really carry a tune; my dad rocked out on the drums, and my mom was quite the champ on the triangle.
Naturally, I was also an active member in my high school band and post high school, I actually became resident DJ for one of the clubs in downtown L.A, circa 2003-2005. Those were some good years.
It came as no surprise then, that the music part of my wedding was going to be a big deal. Traditionally, a wedding has a band, with corner looking singer cranking out all the old school tunes, followed by the chicken dance and macarena.
These days, I have found it to be a lot more common to have a DJ providing the musical entertainment for the night. If it were up to me, I'd get up there and play the music myself, but unfortunately, I'm going to be busy being glamorous and in the center of attention.
So how do you pick a DJ? As a once-upon-a-time professional (though admittedly, I have never played at a wedding), here are 5 tips that I would recommend, when looking for your wedding DJ:
1. Get referrals.
Almost every other part of your wedding -- from your flowers to your caterer, to your wedding planner if you have one, would've been a referral from a friend of a friend of a friend. Why shouldn't your music choice? If you happen to hear a DJ that your particularly like at your friend's wedding, grab their contact details.
2. Interview wisely.
The better your personalities match, the easier it will be for your DJ to agree to your playlist, or en promptu requests throughout the night. More importantly, make sure the DJ that your interview will be the DJ that actually turns up at your wedding to play! It would completely stress you out to find your dream DJ, only to have another person turn up at your wedding. Ask for demos, including any 'must have' songs that you may have in mind.
3. Be very clear on overtime pay.
Unlike bands, who play on average 4-5 sets of 15-20 minutes, a DJ may agree to play for 2-3 hours straight. If you wedding runs overtime -- and the odds of this are quite high with a DJ pumping out good tunes! -- have a pre-arranged payment schedule on his/her overtime.
Ah. A good one. Do you want your DJ to wear a tuxedo, or are you happy for him to wear his designer jeans with the holes in them? Whatever you want, let him/her know well in advance and ensure they are happy. If you are feeding your DJ, ask for any special requirements, and if you prefer him or her to play sober....say so! One of my fellow DJ friends likes to spin when he's drunk. This is great in a club, but I would not be impressed at my wedding.
5. Song list
While you probably don't want Lil Jon or Fiddy cent being pumped out during a formal dinner, you may allow it after the wining and dining. Have a list of music that you would like to be played, and when.
At the end of the day, the DJ you hire will make your wedding a memorable one, and baby tonight...the DJ's got us falling in love again!
Posted by Jacqueline H.