Weddings are expensive. Unless you are marvelously wealthy, you probably have a budget that you are struggling to stay within. You may be scrambling for an area to cut costs, asking yourself, “Do we really need a professional wedding DJ?”
Yes. Yes, you do.
Though you may be desperate to economize, do not give in to that temptation to let uncle Earl bring in his sound system and throw on his “Wedding Playlist” or hire your neighbor’s fifteen year old son to provide the evening’s main entertainment. This is one area where you are going to get what you pay for, and you need to be careful about scrimping on the budget. You probably would not ask a family member to make the cake or design your dress, and you should not settle for an amateur DJ either.
Here are 10 reasons why you shoud hire a professional.
1. Dependability – You are making arrangements for an important day. The most important day. But it is six or more months away, and the teenager you hire today may be less interested or willing when your big day comes. That friend of a friend who thought it would be handy to make a few extra bucks may decide that they have a better offer by the time the date rolls around. What if they just get sick? Don’t be left high and dry.
2. Professionalism – Your uncle Earl is much more likely to use his time on the microphone to tell inappropriate stories from your childhood than is a professional wedding DJ. Do yourself a favor. Search online for wedding reception disasters and note how many of them are related to DJs behaving badly. It may sound like fun to have a friend or family member running the show, but it has potential to turn into a train wreck.
3. Reading the Crowd – A DJ is used to watching the crowd and knowing the right moment to bring out a slow song or the chicken dance. They know when to get things moving and when they should fade into the background of a special moment. It’s more than a list of songs that you love, but the right ones at the right times. That premade playlist may start blasting “Baby Got Back” at the most inopportune moment.
4. Master of Ceremonies – Your DJ is more than somebody to keep the music playing. They serve as host of your reception, your representative to those who you might only get a few moments to speak to. Your DJ is part of the entertainment, energetically announcing fun dances and setting the mood for romantic ones. They are so much more than just somebody who will show up and play music. Your choice can make all the difference in the atmosphere for the party. Do you really want to leave that to your fifteen year old neighbor or somebody you have never even met?
5. Handling Requests – Maybe uncle Earl refuses to play “that fandangled new stuff” that your younger guests are begging for, or the neighbor boy doesn’t even know who Neil Diamond is. Spinning a mix of new and old, and having it available, to please everybody with appropriate timing is a skill that only a professional DJ will have. Most will have extensive libraries of thousands of songs, and have the expertise to blend them together for an enjoyable evening for all.
6. Equipment – Are you sure that the amateur equipment that you plan on using is going to be able to boom through a spacious hall? The speakers that seem more than adequate in somebody’s house might be embarrassing inside a room full of 300 people. It’s difficult to dance to whispering lyrics or those that have become distorted by inadequate equipment. What if something breaks? A professional will be prepared for such a possibility with back-up systems available, but your uncle, neighbor, or friend of a friend probably won’t be.
7. Liability Insurance – If something happens to the DJ’s equipment, you don’t want to be responsible for replacing it. A professional will be covered.
8. Presentation – A professional DJ will show up looking like one and will treat your guests as such. Do you want your DJ showing up in an Aeropostale t-shirt and ripped jeans? Maybe that friend of a friend is more interested in flirting with the bridesmaids . . . or the bride’s mother! Do not be embarrassed by your Master of Ceremonies. Keep it classy.
9. Investment – Yours and theirs. You are investing in your own memories and those of everyone who will be in attendance. The DJ has an investment in their business and their reputation. They are going to strive to please you and your guests. They will be dedicated to making the night everything you want it to be. An amateur just does not have the same incentive. They are in it for a few bucks or because they thought they might be able to have some fun and meet some people. Their priorities are not the same as yours. The wrong DJ can turn your dream wedding into a nightmare.
10. Peace of Mind – You are marrying the love of your life and having a fabulous time! The last thing you are going to want to do is worry about whether or not the DJ is showing up, if he has the right music, or if he has drank too much. After all, you are already going to be checking your hair, trying to maneuver in that dress, and keeping the peace between extended family members. Don’t give yourself one more thing to increase your anxiety. Hire a professional DJ, and know that the evening’s entertainment is in good hands. You can relax and enjoy yourself.