You’ll find yourself juggling a lot of plates when it comes to planning your wedding. In addition to selecting a venue, hiring an officiant, and tracking down the perfect gown, you’ll have to plan for the reception, including selecting food, drinks, and a cake, as well as booking a photographer, a caterer, a florist, and all kinds of other vendors. Of course, you’ll also have to entertain your assembled guests, and this often means hiring a DJ to get the party started (and keep it going all night). And if you want to get your money’s worth when it comes to your wedding DJ, you need to be proactive. Here are just a few tips to help you get the most from your entertainment.
First, you have to understand what a DJ does. In many cases, DJs are prepared to do more than spin discs. They will often participate in announcements, including presenting the couple to guests upon their arrival at the reception, as well as announcing the couple’s first dance, the father-daughter dance, the cutting of the cake, throwing the bouquet and the garter, and so on. It’s a good idea to talk to your DJ ahead of time about your expectations concerning such events so that you can work out an appropriate timeline for the evening, as well as making sure that it’s all part of the contract (and you won’t be charged extra for these services).
Of course, the main function of the DJ is to get people onto the dance floor. But don’t confuse your wedding DJ with, say, a DJ at a night club. Generally speaking, wedding DJs come prepared with a pretty basic rig that they can jack into a PA system at your venue. Some can provide you with equipment like amps if you’re at an outdoor venue or one that doesn’t have speakers on hand. But you need to discuss this ahead of time to make sure that your DJ can accommodate such requests and provide you with pricing for equipment rental.
Most wedding DJs also offer a catalog of music that includes a wide range of genres, as well as songs that tend to be popular at weddings. Often, you can select songs from this list, make special requests, and even provide your own music in a format to be determined by your DJ (MP3, disc, etc.). Special requests may cost extra, especially if the DJ has to track down and purchase the music before your event.
Finally, you might want to think about hiring a DJ that offers added value through additional forms of entertainment. Some services, like Soundwave DJ and Photo, for example, provide your guests not only with music, but also with a fun photo booth to take snapshots during the reception. Other DJs may have partnerships worked out with other types of entertainers, offering discounted rates on additional services when you opt for a package deal. Your DJ will probably offer you a variety of options when it comes to packages and pricing, but you need to make sure to address concerns and ask questions up front, before you put pen to paper and enter into an agreement for services.