Most people only hire a DJ once in their life and most often it’s for their Wedding Reception. Too often I hear horror stories about how a DJ ruined a reception and in this case, once is too many! As DJ’s, we only have one chance to get it right! Some of the complaints I have heard or read over the years are:
- The DJ showed up late or didn’t show at all
- They didn’t play what I wanted or played music that I specifically asked them not to play
- The DJ I hired wasn’t the DJ that showed up
- The DJ was not a professional in manner or dress
- The equipment was nothing more than a home stereo system and a few CD’s.
Unfortunately I could go on and on. Professional DJ’s have a name for the DJ’s that fall into this category… “Hobbyists”.
Contrary to popular belief, DJ’s are not all cut from the same fabric! In most instances, you really get what you pay for. If there is one area of your reception where you shouldn’t try to cut corners, it’s your entertainment. Notice, I didn’t say DJ, I said entertainment. The same would hold true for a band, a harpist or a pianist if you decided to hire their particular service to be part of your special day.
Brides and Grooms are willing to spend thousands of dollars on food, drink and the banquet hall but try to cut corners on entertainment. This could be a recipe for disaster. No one will remember if the potatoes were overly cooked, or how nice the hall was decorated, but most will remember if they had a great time because of great entertainment. I’ll concentrate more on DJ’s since that’s where my expertise is.
Knowing a professional DJ Vs a Hobbyist
Here are some of the things that separate “Professional” DJ’s from the “Hobby DJs”:
- Professional DJ’s use professional equipment, not a home stereo.
- Professional DJ’s will meet with you and help you plan your reception.
- Professional DJ’s will have many references available for you to talk to.
- Professional DJ’s WILL NOT subcontract out your event unless they tell you at the time of contract signing.
- Professional DJ’s will be set up on time.
- Professional DJ’s abide by your wishes and not just play what “they” like to hear.
- Professional DJ’s will have public liability insurance to protect you and your guests.
- Professional DJ’s will not drink alcoholic beverages on the job.
- Professional DJ’s will not try to be the life of the party. The Bride and Groom should never share the limelight.
- Professional DJ’s will not invite potential clients to watch them perform at your event. A DJ cannot give your event 100% attention if they’re trying to sell to others.
- Professional DJ’s will use contracts, to protect both them and you.
This is not an all-inclusive list but just some of the major discriminators that should help you secure the services of a Professional DJ. We’re not saying that the higher the price a DJ charges, the more professional they are.
You have to ask yourself though, if the average price for a DJ in your market is €500 and a DJ will undercut or quote you €300 for the job, why is he willing to charge so much less. Not all DJs are created equal! Use the list to help you identify the professional DJ service and save yourself the heartache of a bad DJ