Make sure you use a professional wedding DJ over a conventional DJ. The wedding DJ knows how to properly mix the music to play at a wedding, they know how to work your wedding guests and can act as your emcee and they know how to keep the dance floor occupied. They help make your wedding reception. A great wedding DJ should have a good rapport with all your wedding guests, they dress sharp and they do their job with style and personality.
The great wedding DJ has from a 5,000 to 10,000 song list with a wide variety of music and music to cover all the generations at the wedding reception. Music from the 50's to the music of today. Usually a great wedding DJ will set an appointment with the wedding couple to formulate a great song list. About 40% of the music should be determined by the wedding couple, about 30% should be determined by the bridal party and the wedding guests and the remaining 30% should be the DJ's specialty. About midway through the music playing the wedding couple should allow the DJ to advertise by allowing guests to pick up a business card for future opportunities, much of a DJ's business is from referrals from weddings.
Now listed below are 10 cost savings tips for hiring a wedding DJ!
Tip 1 - See the DJ in Action Before Booking
Before booking a DJ, you should see the DJ in action. You really should know the personality and the style before booking. The preference is to stop by another wedding and see the DJ in action for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you get a CD of his or her performance make sure the video you receive of their performance is recent, a person's style changes some over time, a tape of a person over 10 years ago tends to be quite different than a DJ's style that is more recent.
Tip 2 - Make Sure the Wedding DJ has State of the Art Equipment
When you are interviewing a Wedding DJ take notes of the equipment that the DJ uses for the wedding and after the interview check out the equipment the DJ is using. Is the equipment state of the art? Check the equipment that is being used online, or go to a music store and ask knowledgeable music people about the equipment or ask other wedding DJ's about the equipment. Music equipment is constantly changing, what is used today might be different in three years time, the great DJ's take pride in being up to date with the music repertoire as well as knowing the music of today. Much of the music is downloaded to state of the art equipment, most DJ's are members of a download music club and build a song list working with the wedding couple. They should today be using a great programmable turntable, a wireless microphone and headset, and have outstanding speakers to play their music on. Note the names of all the equipment and what backup equipment they also have.
Tip 3 - Avoid Hiring a Popular Wedding DJ
If your budget is tight, hiring an established DJ in all likelihood going to cost you a lot more than what you were planning for your budget. There are hundreds of wedding DJ's that live in the area. You don't have to get a DJ that is popular. The key is to interview a number of wedding DJ's and then choose the one that you both like their style, has personality, and has a strong library of songs with a variety of music and has state of the art equipment, dresses well and is a DJ you can afford. There are many good DJ's to choose from, don't think you have got to choose one solely from their reputation.
Tip 4 - Consider Hiring a College Student as your Wedding DJ
You might be pleasantly surprised and save a lot of money by hiring a student who majors in communication and plans to be a disc jockey. Your best bet is to start out finding the head of the communication's department, tell them you are looking for a wedding DJ and if they have someone they would recommend. You might want to interview 3 or 4 students before deciding on one and be sure to work with them on music to play and touch base with the student's teacher on what music you are looking for for your wedding. Using a communications student should save you a lot of money and you give the student an opportunity to pad their resume.
Tip 5 - Find a DJ Using Connections
Ask family members, friends, co-workers, clubs, the neighborhood and ask them if they know any wedding DJs. Also stop by hotels and wedding reception halls that use wedding DJs and are there any they would recommend. Very often if you find a DJ by networking, very often you can get a discount not going through a booking channel. Still if you find a wedding DJ, make sure the DJ has the talent you are looking for. Make sure any DJ you hire you ask about their prior experience and get references from other brides or wedding couples.
Tip 6 - Use an IPod, MP3 Player, or CD instead of a DJ
If you can afford it, you only get married once in your life (hopefully), you should use a professional wedding DJ. But if your money is real tight, you could ask a family member or friend who is in to music. The wedding couple needs to take some time out to build a song list using their IPod, MP3 Player, or CD. They need to build a list of songs, make sure they have a first dance song, a bride-father song, and groom-mother song, and any songs for garter fun. Make sure their is a nice mix of music appropriate for weddings. Some great sights for downloading wedding music are www.itunes.apple.com , www.weddingmusiccentral.com , www.myweddingmusic.com , www.plan-your-wedding-ceremony.com , and www.pianobrothers.com . Make sure whoever is manning the controls for the music for your wedding, puts some practice time in playing your wedding reception so they are prepared acting as the disc jockey.
Tip 7 - Cut Down on the Amount of Time the Wedding DJ Entertains
Most DJs try to book 4 or 5 hours for the wedding reception. You could save a little in costs if you found a DJ that would play for 2 1/2 to 3 hours only. Keep in mind some DJ's will be willing to work less time and some will not. However, there are many wedding DJ's out there and they might have no gig for your wedding weekend, a little money is better than not having no money at all. At some weddings, there is both a wedding DJ and live musicians, you might negotiate a steep discount when live musicians are playing and the DJ is on break.
Tip 8 - Negotiate on Equipment the Wedding DJ has
When you are interviewing the Wedding DJ make sure you ask about what extras the DJ has. Many DJ's have dance floors, many DJ's have special effects lighting, and many DJ's have other equipment. Some DJ's can create a slide show or have electronic message equipment. A wedding guest can text a number that belongs to the DJ and have a special message in lights seen by the bride and groom. Some of the text message costs can sometimes be split and a little money goes toward the honeymoon. Also at some weddings, outside guests called "wedding party crashers" come just for the DJ dance part of the wedding and a bouncer is used to get into the festivities. All will have to be worked out with the DJ, and the wedding reception facility. Try to get a discount for any additional equipment brought in by the wedding DJ.
Tip 9 - Ask to Borrow the DJ's Mic and Speakers at an Outdoor Wedding
If you are planning an outdoor wedding, ask the DJ if you can borrow his mic and speakers for a few moments at the wedding. Often you only need this equipment briefly and it doesn't make sense to lease this equipment when you only need to make a few announcements such as it's time for dinner, a prayer, or a best man's or father's speech and toast. Many wedding DJ's are willing to share their equipment and this will save you significant money. Make the sharing part of the mic and speaker as part of the deal with your contract with them. Don't forget also many DJ's are very experiences as acting the emcee, so if you want an emcee at your wedding consider your wedding DJ.
Tip 10 - Make Sure the Wedding DJ Works with You in Choosing the Music
A great wedding DJ will spend some time with you in choosing the music you want for your wedding. Often the DJ talks over the music to be played both early in the process and a couple of weeks before the wedding to come up with a song list. Much of the music should be your style of music. The wedding DJ should be approachable and make the time to review the music for your wedding. If the DJ is unwilling to spend the time to work with you to build a wedding song list, do not book that DJ. There are many DJ's around and it's your wedding and they should be building a music list for your wedding, it's part of their job. If a DJ does not work with you, find another DJ to book. A great wedding DJ should have between 5,000 and 10,000 songs in their repertoire with many music varieties.
Last thing, about 75 percent of DJ's are very good, but about 25 percent of DJ's are bad. A bad DJ can ruin your wedding, it's a special day, you can't take the chance of hiring a bad one. Make sure you find a DJ that is responsible, has personality, plays the music you want to be played, knows how to play music that fills the dance floor, dresses well, is prompt, and relates well with people. Make sure you see them in action before booking. The DJ's of today has music that sounds like you have live performers as long as they have state of the art equipment.
See you on the other side!