laughing wedding guestsRecently I met with a couple to discuss their wedding day and for them to possibly book my services. They told me of the type of wedding they were looking for, the type of atmosphere they wanted to create if possible, the things they’d seen at friends weddings that they really liked and also the things they’d seen they didn’t like at all. After listening to what they wanted I explained how I might be able to help, and the way I work and some of the services I offer. We went through the timeline they’d prepared and I was able to offer them a few suggestions on the timings and a few other things. At the end of the meeting I gave them a quote for how much it would cost and left it with them to discuss.

The following day they called me back to say they were really excited to use me and loved the sound of some of the services I’d offered and wanted to book. We then chatted a little further, and the bride-to-be mentioned that they’d previously spoken with another DJ who had told them that he was “The Best Wedding DJ!” and was quite unequivocal in stating that, yet he wasn’t interested in meeting with them or finding out more about their day and what they wanted etc., which was one of the reasons they decided not to book him.
Later on I was thinking about the statement the DJ had made, that he was “The Best Wedding DJ”! It seems such an absurd statement to make for so many reasons.

If you’re a good DJ then you’ll have a busy diary and not so much time to view other DJs performing. There are so many DJs around; it wouldn’t be possible to view them all if your own diary is busy, so therefore how would any DJ truly know if they were better than every other DJ?
Even if you did view a DJ working, if the age group at that particular wedding was quite young, you’d have no idea how good/bad the DJ might be with a much older crowd for example, which then means you’d need to view a DJ quite a few times to truly have a good measure of their ability.

If you asked 100 people to list 10 things that defined a good wedding DJ you’d probably get all sorts of different replies because it’s so subjective and there can be no agreed defining rules. No DJ can be an expert in every music genre, and the music is different at every wedding depending on the average age range, music tastes, cultural makeup of the crowd, amount of time available for the dancing section (some weddings it might only be 1 1/2 hours if things are running late, at others it might be 5 hours).

Some DJs will state they won so and so competition, which I find to be quite hollow, although I guess most clients wouldn’t know that. How on earth would a judging panel be able to visit each DJ that had entered, at their events, numerous times? And if it was a competition where DJs just perform in front of a judging panel and not an actual wedding crowd, that would just be farcical, how can a wedding DJ be truly judged on a performance of less than a few hours to an empty room/non-wedding crowd with completely different dynamics?!

Some people prefer a DJ that has a great personality and makes humorous comments on the microphone, others hate that, so should the DJ talk a lot, not much, not at all?
Some like a DJ that is an expert mixer and can give the wedding a real club vibe, others have no interest in whether the DJ can do that or not.
Many people can’t stand cheesy music and prefer not to hear too much at a wedding, yet there are just as many people with the opposite view and who love to hear cheesy music at weddings.
last danceIs four slow songs for couples in one night, far too much, far too little, just right? Who’s right?
Similarly what is the right number of Motown songs, or R&B, or current chart hits, or rock & roll etc., who’s right, who’s wrong?
Should the DJ play every guest request?
Some DJs have a huge number of lights while others will have a much more minimalistic elegant setup.

And I haven’t even touched upon the volume levels, the sound quality, the customer service offered before the event, and whether the client felt they had peace of mind about the DJ they’d chosen in the lead up to the wedding and many other things.

To me it’s completely farcical to claim to be “The best DJ” and for some of the above reasons there is no DJ award/competition that is worth its salt.

I’d suggest that the best way to try to get an idea of whether a DJ is right for your wedding is to meet with them, ask them questions, see if they understand the type of day that you would like, see whether you like their personality, to see whether you’re just another client and this is just another “gig” to them, to gauge their attitude to what they do, to see whether you may be on the same page with music for example, ask if you can contact some of their previous clients, and that way you’ll have a much better idea of whether that DJ is the right fit for you, do you really feel comfortable and at ease with that DJ that they’ll give you what you want? To book a DJ just based on what they say/claim on their website/emails is taking a huge chance?!

I’m not right for every client, nor do I want to work for a client that I didn’t feel comfortable with which is another reason I think it’s essential to meet with every prospective client. If I don’t feel I’m on the same page as the couple I’m talking with then I’d rather not accept the booking, and would prefer to recommend other DJs to them, that may be a better fit.

This is my full time business and what I do to live, but I also do it because I love it, I have a passion for it. I want every wedding I do to be fantastic, not just to satisfy my ego and hear lots of compliments afterwards, but so that I continue to enjoy what I do, and because I get a great feeling knowing I gave that couple a fantastic wedding day, that they and their guests will remember for a very long time, and that in turn will also see some of their guests wanting to book me for their future events.