Today I received an email from a potential client thanking me for my time in meeting with her to potentially DJ her wedding reception. She even thanked me for my patience and said that she “loved my fun personality”. As soon as I read that sentence I knew there was trouble ahead.
I have been working with this potential client for about 6 months and as I read on she explained that her fiancé who, by the way, didn’t come to meet me in person and had no connection with me whatsoever had decided to hire his “friend” to DJ their very exclusive wedding reception.
Of course I chuckled as I read on because this isn’t the first time I’ve received an email like this but my first thought was “Oh My, this has disaster written all over it." As I hit the reply button in hopes of trying to explain to this poor bride that she was in for some serious disappointment, I felt slightly defeated and the best way to describe this feeling would be like trying to convince my five year old twins that a 2 hour nap is still part of their daily routine. Yup, that’s not gonna happen. See what I mean?
So for those couples who are thinking about hiring your friend to DJ the most important day of your life, here are a few key questions you should ask them.
Have you DJ’ed at least 50 weddings in your career?
This is an absolute must. There are too many moving parts for your DJ to be trying to figure out what to do next or what to play next at your very important wedding reception.
Will you be willing to MC the event?
This includes the grand entrance, first dance, father/daughter, mother/son, cake cutting and bouquet and garter. Most couples don’t realize that when you are hiring a friend, the friend thinks he will only be playing music and that someone else will be doing all the announcements. Yikes!
Do you have a Wedding Reception Planning form we should fill out?
Every professional Wedding Reception DJ has a planning form. If they don’t they probably haven’t DJ’d many weddings and it will be very clear the day of your event. You and your guests may even see the panic on the DJ’s face as he is trying to figure out what he needs to do next. Usually this comes in the form of not knowing important guests names for introductions and toasts or important songs for the evening like the first dance.
Do you have enough music for all ages?
Most “friend” djs cater to a certain crowd usually in their 20’s and/or 30’s and as a result the rest of the guests are left out of the equation, ending in only a handful of people on the dance floor the whole night.
Will you keep a flow for the evening?
This is one of the biggest responsibilities of a DJ. If he can’t keep a flow going then most likely the guests will leave right after the cake is cut, which ends up being an early evening and a lot of money down the drain. Not to mention all that time and effort that went into planning a wedding you thought would go on all night long.
In short it’s just too big of a day not to hire a professional. That goes for every aspect of your wedding reception too. Would you hire a friend who likes to tinker with cars to fix your brakes? Probably not. Think twice before you sign the contract. Oh yeah that’s the most important question… does he have a contract?!
By Lisa Capitanelli-Kasberg