7 tips for choosing your wedding entertainment
1 Once you make a shortlist of the DJs you are choosing between you MUST meet with each of them, ideally face to face but if not then via something like Skype.
2 At the meeting do they instil confidence in you? Do they listen to what you want for your day or do you feel they’re just gonna deliver the same performance and music selection they do at every wedding?
3 Are they confident but not too confident! It is important that they are confident enough to be able to know which requests to play and when to play them to establish a good flow to the night but if they are over confident, i.e. with an overblown ego then the night will be all about them which often results in disaster.
4 If they lack confidence the result is just as bad because then they will play every request and often in the order they receive them. This results in no flow whatsoever with a random assortment of genres and eras being played. The DJ should be in control of what’s being played and weed out the requests that will clear the dancefloor (and at EVERY occasion there are guests that request floor killers!). If the DJ hands control over to the guests the result WILL be worse than the egotistical DJ.
5 Are you certain they fully understand what you’re looking for and what you’re not looking for? It’s important they know the songs and genres that you like and also the one’s you dislike. Many DJs will work from four lists. “Must Play”, “Play If Possible”, “Play Only If Requested” and “Do Not Play”. Most of those will be self-explanatory but here are some basic guidelines. Everything in the Must Play list will definitely be played so it is important that you only add songs to this list that you feel your guests will dance to, because if you add songs to this list that clear the dancefloor you are making the DJs job harder. A good DJ will use their discretion far more with the Play If Possible list and will select the tracks that will rock the party. A good way of explaining the Play Only If requested list is say for example you don’t like the song the YMCA but that you don’t hate it and so you don’t mind if it’s played if your cousin Rachel requests it, whereas any songs you put into the Do Not Play list will not be played under any circumstances and these are the songs, genres that the two of you hate.
6 IF you have full trust in your DJ then do not give them a list of hundreds of songs because you will stifle their creativity and experience. When a good DJ is given a list of tracks they will try and play as many of them as possible and try to find the best way of making those tracks work (for example there are some tracks that work well early on in the night and some that only work later in the night). However the longer the list the less they will choose tracks that they know from intuition and experience because they won’t want to face the accusation that they didn’t play many tracks from the list they were given, yet the reason you have booked a Professional DJ is precisely because of their experience and knowledge. It is akin to hiring builders and then providing them with only one size screwdriver and not letting them use their own tools! My advice is to limit your list to no more than 40 songs and when you bear in mind that on average the DJ will play around 17 tracks an hour and at most weddings the dancing section is around four hours they’ll be playing less than 70 songs, so if you provide them with a list of 100 songs you are showing little trust in their ability.
7 There are many other questions you could ask of your DJ at the pre-booking meeting we’ll finish with three more. Ask them if they care about your wedding and look for their response. Ask them to guarantee that the person you are meeting is the person that will be the DJ on the night. There are many “Multi-op” companies that have lots of DJs on their books and the person that you meet with is often either the owner or just a good salesman. You cannot have trust in a DJ that you never meet! regardless of how well the salesman praises them. Lastly ask them what contingency plan they have should they fall ill on the day or other such incident.
If you’d like to arrange a meeting with me to discuss your wedding entertainment please get in touch by email or call 0777 189 4560