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"Your guests will not be coming to your wedding in order to see the DJ... They will be coming to see you!"
What's the difference?
There really are a lot of good DJs in Tucson, meaning that there are a lot of DJs who can spin music well.
However, the truth is that not a single one of your guests will be coming to your wedding in order to see or hear the DJ spin music... they will all be coming to see YOU!
Although you may likely have dancing on your mind and on the agenda (and I hope that you do), dancing will likely come later in the evening, AFTER... the ceremony, coctail hour, the grand entrance, dinner, cake cutting, toasts, etc.
The key to an outrageously FUN wedding is really to find a DJ who can of course mix music well, but even more importantly, a DJ who can build upon that connection between you and your guests by creating interactive and personal moments throughout the WHOLE evening!
So, how do you find a DJ who can help you do that?
tart by asking yourself some powerful and important questions that will help you determine your real wedding day entertainment goals. As you answer these questions it will lead you towards asking your potential DJ the questions that will ultimately ensure that your DJ is a good match for you goals.
At the very beginning of your reception as you are introduced to your awaiting guests as husband and wife... what do you do next?
If you don't know the answer to that question, or if you simply don't want to have to deal with all of the minute details of running an event on your wedding day, then you will want to ensure that your DJ has a good plan of action for gathering all of the intricate details, and has the experience to ensure the smooth direction of all your events and activities.
How would you like for your guests to remember your wedding?
If you're hoping that your guests are going to rave about the great time they had at your wedding, then you will need to ensure that your DJ has a good plan of action for involving and engaging your guests throughout the WHOLE evening. Your guests should feel like PARTICIPANTS at your wedding as opposed to SPECTATORS watching it go by.
Are you hiring a Day-of-Event Wedding Planner and Coordinator?
If you are not, or if you are unsure... and you feel comfortable doing your own pre-event stuff like choosing your own dress, and mailing your own invitations, a HOT TIP is to choose a DJ with Entertainment Director skills because you will not only save a ton of money, but you will get far better At-the-Event direction because an Entertainment Director will not only help you create your timeline, but will ensure that your timeline will maintain a smooth and entertaining flow from one event to another.
et’s take a look at an all too common wedding day scenario:
Well… here it is… the big day has finally arrived…
The reception is about to begin, however, the bride and groom are feeling more than a little nervous and annoyed because the DJ hasn’t shown up yet. So they call the company who reassures them not to worry because the DJ is on his way and it will only take him 20 minutes to setup.
Sure enough the DJ sets up just in time to introduce the bride and groom to their awaiting guests. The introductions, however, sound a bit muffled and unclear and somewhat like a generic reproduction of a Barnum & Bailey Circus act, and to top it off... the Ringmaster just incorrectly pronounced the last name of the Maid of Honor who had just traveled from across the country to be part of the wedding.
As the bride and groom make their big grand entrance and look towards their awaiting guests, who are all staring at them in anticipation of a fun filled evening, they begin to feel a little stress because they realize that they are really not quite sure what they should be doing next. So they look to the DJ for guidance only to discover that he is as much in the dark as they are.
So they muddle through and finally get seated for dinner. For the next hour and a half they are all treated to a musical barrage of Elevator Music's Greatest Hits while the DJ sits back and watches a movie on his iPhone. After about 30 minutes some of the guests are already staring at their watches and thinking to themselves “if we leave now we can still make that movie…”.
Yay… the timeline shows that it is time for the champagne toast. So the DJ makes the announcement that there is going to be a toast… but wait… the caterer says that it will take 20 minutes to pour the champagne. So now there is an awkward 20 minute pause while preparations are made… and more guests leave.
Next up… the bride and groom share their very first dance as husband and wife while once again the DJ makes the announcement. But wait, as they dance and look around the room they realize that the bride's mother isn’t watching. Where is she? Wow… she is going to be so disappointed that nobody informed her that the first dance was about to take place.
And the story continues...
...Surveys show that 8 out of 10 couples won't learn how common this scenario really is until after their wedding! But you don't have to be one of those. The secret is to learn your REAL goals and what questions you should really be asking your potential DJ before you being your entertainment shopping quest.
ow Will You Create Magic At Our Wedding?
Your primary concern is likely to make certain that your entertainment can meet your needs and perhaps help you to create a truly memorable wedding experience for both you and your guests. If they can’t do that, then even if they were free you probably wouldn't want them at your wedding?
The very first question that you may want to ask of your potential entertainment is: How would you create magic at our wedding?
This question will give your potential entertainment the opportunity and freedom to share their experience, entertainment philosophies and ideas. This question will help you to gain some insight as to the experience and type of person that you may be dealing with.
If they seem uncomfortable with the question… move on! If you like what they have to say, then you can share what is important to you and negotiate the price.
hat about laser lights and up-lighting?
If you have the budget they are very cool, however, on their own they will NOT make your wedding a great event. Think about this... Have you ever raved about a wedding that you had attended and thought it to be a great event simply because the DJ had flashing lights?
Lighting is simply a tool and can be used to add ambience, but will not overcome a poorly run or boring event. The core of your wedding will still need to be about flow and engaging dynamics between you and your guests. If your guests get bored they will probably not stay simply because you have pretty lights on the walls.
Your first priority should be about ensuring a GREAT entertainment plan. Then if you still have money left in your budget lighting is a good way to spruce up a room.
o then why do so many DJs try to push their lighting?
Well, the short answer is MONEY! Adding equipment extras is a good way to bring up the price, and their profit. However, the biggest reason that many DJs push the lighting is because they don't have any REAL talent to sell. This is NOT a criticism... please read!! In order for a DJ company to SELL you their service over any another service they will need to be able to offer something that their competitors can't. Quality lighting is expensive so it helps to rule out their amateur competitors, and yet lighting is something they can simply go out and purchase. So real talent and experience is much harder to come by, and truthfully, most really experienced and talented DJs probably own their own company.
Lighting is also a much easier sell because the buyer can see in advance what they will be getting, whereas talent, or often times the lack of talent, is something the bride and groom may not discover until the day of their wedding. Scary but TRUE!
Please don't get me wrong, I love great lighting and I will be more than happy to provide it for you. I am simply stating that lighting alone will not create the exciting celebration that you and your guests will rave about for many years.
ow much should we expect to pay for good wedding entertainment?
I can't give a fixed price suggestion because the price will ultimately be determined upon what you will be asking your DJ to accomplish on your behalf. However, It isn’t necessary to spend a fortune on your entertainment, but you’ll want to make certain that you're absolutely clear as to your wedding day goals and expectations, because you won't be doing yourself any favors if you short change yourself on the services your really need.
Don’t hold back about communicating your needs because you think it will make the price go up. The truth is… it probably will! The more expectations you have the more effort and preparation your entertainment will need to provide in order to meet those expectations. But it will give you the best opportunity to compare apples to apples while balancing budget with service.
hat about All-In-One packages from venues where the DJ is included?
Venue All-In-One packages are really a huge rip-off and take unfair advantage of what they think you don't know. I’m sure that many of those aforementioned 8 out of 10 unhappy brides and grooms were those who bought into this scam. Well known reputable venues wouldn’t touch this type of plan with a ten foot pole because their reputation is of top concern.
However, many “middle-of-the-road” venues will offer an all-inclusive package because it typically makes for an easier sale while increasing their profits at the same time. I have yet to see a venue who has a full-time pro DJ on their staff. They quite literally look for the very cheapest DJ that they can find who will work with them, mark up the price, and then profit the difference. The end result is that you will end up paying top dollar for bottom dollar entertainment.
Instead… if they will give it to you, ask for the price of their DJ to be discounted on your package and then choose you own DJ. You will do MUCH better on your own!
ill I get a better deal with a part-time DJ versus a full-time professional DJ?
Your best value will usually be with a full-time pro DJ. This is a challenging economic environment and even pro DJ’s will still have to work within what people can typically afford. The big difference is that for the pro DJ your wedding is TOP PRIORITY, and they will more likely have the experience to deliver what they promise.
Most part-time hobby DJs will likely view your wedding simply as a little extra spending money while they focus their main attention on their real job.
hould I book with a big company who employs many DJ’s or should I go with an individual DJ?
The individual DJ, if a full-time professional, will almost always offer a better service for weddings. The DJ’s that work for a large company are rarely full-time professionals, but rather part-time hobbyists who get paid a very small portion of your fee to perform at your wedding. So their skillsets as well as their motivation to your wedding is limited.
Additionally, the sound equipment used by these companies is usually very low-end because they know that their part-time DJs will abuse, and sometimes even steel their equipment. Would you send out $100,000 of high-end professional gear with a part-time employee who may barely out of high school ? Probably not!
The big advantage that these companies typically offer is a lower price because they may have 10 or more weddings booked on a weekend. But very much like the All-In-One packages offered by the venues, you end up paying top dollar for bottom dollar entertainment because the company, not the DJ, gets the largest portion of your fee.
"Michael, This is long overdue, but it took a few days to get back to normal and catch up on email. I just wanted to send you a million thanks for your work at the reception! When Kelly and I were on our way to meet with you the first time, we had a dollar figure in mind that was “the most we could spend”.
However, after seeing your presentation, we had to rethink. We knew that the “DJ” is a key ingredient to a successful wedding reception. We discussed this as a family and agreed that you were what we were looking for, due to the fact that the wedding was on a Sunday, which is a work and school day.
Obviously, most guests would be checking their watches looking for the best time to escape as early as possible. There had to be something to keep the guests engaged, excited and on the edge of their seating waiting to see “What came next?” Well, as you know, very few left early and the dance floor was full from the first song through the last.
You provided what Kelly & Jeremy needed for a wonderful wedding reception! We have had so many people tell us that this wedding was the best wedding they had ever attended…including the couple that was supposed to be there for the longevity dance. I am sure they have seen a lot of weddings in their 49 years!
The guests really enjoyed all the personal touches. We loved your montages. The Newlywed game was such a crowd pleaser and your buffet release was a real hit! You, a true wedding entertainer, so much more than a “DJ”, you were worth every penny we spent!
Thanks again! Sharon Borer"
Jeremy and Kelly