On a regular basis I will have a couple come up to me at my DJ booth and say those famous words. “We just got married and our DJ was awful.” The reasons are always the same and it baffles me that there are DJs in my area who just don’t care about their clients. Most likely their motivation is "easy money" and they don’t really understand the magnitude of their client's very important day.
Is the Entertainer You Are Interviewing the Actual Person(s) on the Event
It is always best to interview the actual entertainment professional in person who will potentially be coordinating your wedding reception. Granted if it is a destination wedding that may be impossible but at the very least you should talk to the actual person who will be taking care of the music and sequence of events at your event. This will give you the chance to evaluate whether they are the perfect match for your reception and determine if they are willing to listen to the vision you have in mind.
The most popular complaint of course is that the DJ played everything on the couple's “Do Not Playlist." This is just one sign that the DJ is not listening to the client. You will notice in the first 15 minutes of your initial meeting with a DJ if he/she is truly listening... so pay special attention!
What Does the Wedding Reception Entertainment Professional Wear Never assume your DJ or entertainer will show up in a tuxedo or nice suit. Usually you can tell how seasoned your entertainer is based on what they are wearing to your reception. The novice may show up in a Hawaiian dress shirt and jeans which is fine if it’s a tropical theme and a casual affair but not if it is a formal black tie event. I’ve seen this happen at an event I attended and the couple was so distracted. Men should wear a tuxedo or a nice black suit if it is formal and woman should wear a nice understated outfit consisting of a pretty blouse and black slacks or suit.
Do They Have Back Up Equipment with Them at the Event A professional entertainer arrives a couple of hours before the wedding reception takes place to set-up the equipment. All DJ’s and musicians should systematically test their equipment prior to the event and make certain they have back-up equipment as a precautionary measure. This back up equipment should be in their vehicle at the event and not in a storage facility a ½ hour away. If a problem were to occur it can be resolved with in 10 minutes and most likely without any of the guests taking note. Entertainers should fine-tune the sound levels and test the microphones prior to the doors opening for the reception.
Do They Have Liability Insurance
Some questions you should ask are, do you have liability insurance? Can you provide me a certificate of liability insurance? All experienced entertainment services carry liability insurance. This mutually protects you and the entertainment company you hire. You should have them include in the contract that they will carry liability insurance.
Remember, the last thing you want are any kind of distractions or regrets during and after you wedding. Many of these couples I’ve chatted with agree. There are no “do overs” when it comes to a wedding reception, so make it the best that it can be by choosing wisely.
By Lisa Capitanelli Kasberg