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Music makes or breaks

YOU have decided that you want a DJ to entertain guests at your wedding so the next step is to choose a DJ who will play according to your style and who is within your budget.
DJ style
The first step is to decide what type of DJ you want. There are many different types of DJ’s nowadays. Most couples are after a DJ to entertain a mixed age group with a variety of genres of music at a wedding.
Every DJ has his/her own style. When you book ensure you talk and plan with the DJ who will play at your reception and make sure you feel comfortable with that specific person.

Budget

Decide your budget. DJ rates vary based on talent, personality, experience, music knowledge, mixing ability, demand, equipment required, venue accessibility (for loading in/out) and location. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for in the entertainment industry.
Do a little research before locking a DJ in for your event. Talk to friends and venues who regularly use DJs. Usually a word of mouth DJ service is the best to choose. Your guests will always remember a bad DJ in the same respect they will also recommend a good DJ.


Experience

It’s simple. Ask your potential DJ how many weddings he or she has performed at. It’s important your DJ has the knowledge on how to direct the event with the right music and show to suit the style of wedding you are having. If they can back up their experience with solid testimonials and even provide an entire gig on DVD / Video that you can review, you are onto a winner.

Music
In the hands of a master, a DJ’s Playlist will direct a room of people who came for a relaxing evening into a fun and exciting party. Each song that a DJ plays creates a mood for each person and the room as a whole. You should have a say in what music you would like for the night. Make sure your DJ will accommodate your ideas, plays the music you want at the event and who will even take guest requests.
The DJ service should provide a music list for you choose a few styles and songs and also let you choose the music you do not want played. On average around 20 songs per hour are played. From experience it’s good to choose say 20-30 must play songs and a few genres to follow. This leaves a little room for the DJ’s creativity and will give the DJ an idea of you and your guest’s tastes. The “don’t play” song list is just as important.

Written Contract

A DJ needs in-depth knowledge of your style so he/she can be prepared for the day. A contract should also be signed by the DJ service and client to ensure a legally smooth running event which protects the DJ along with you as the client just in case any issues arise. For your own piece of mind make sure you sign a contract and even pay a deposit (usually 30-50% of total price) for your booking as it makes it more legally binding when money changes hands.

Equipment
Ask if your DJ service uses professional sound and lighting equipment. If you can, look at what their setup looks like. Cables should be hidden, there should be minimum light trussing and it should suit your style of venue. If you have paid good money for a nice venue, a DJ’s setup should be subtle and blend in with the venue.

Summary
  • Choose your style of DJ and budget.
  • Talk to friends, family and venues to see if they have recommendations.
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with the DJ you choose.
  • Ensure they are accommodating and will assist with the style of your wedding.
  • Remember you are the hirer, if you are not happy with something, say so.
  • Check their experience & equipment used.
  • If you are happy & confident with what they do book them and ensure you get a contract.
  • Liaise with the DJ leading up to the day.

A full read on this article is in the July issue  of Real Brides Magazine

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