Ok, we all know there are sooo many decisions to make when planning your wedding, right? Some things are a bigger deal than others and until I began photographing weddings I had no idea the importance of choosing carefully the person or group that will be responsible for entertaining your guests. The reception is when the celebration really begins! And just how much fun people have and how smoothly the reception goes is truly dependent on the DJ.
Also, if you choose to go the route of a band, keep in mind you now do not have a master of ceremony to keep things moving and organized. Think of a couple hundred of your closest friends and family, many of whom have never met each other, milling around, feeling awkward. I mean really awkward like suddenly being cast in the spotlight awkward. Like being on stage and with your ams dangling from your torso, and suddenly you have no idea where to place them: awkward! Soooo, hiring a master of ceremony is an important part of your reception. Believe me, without this, things can fall apart pretty quickly and lead to some embarrassing moments. Think…panic…"When do we cut the cake, throw the bouquet, toss the garter……!"
Recently I sat down with one of my favorite local DJ's, Will Bryan with Complete Music and Video to get his perspective on what brides and grooms should look for when hiring a DJ. I have wanted to interview Will since forever on this topic as I have worked along side him at a number of weddings and have always respected his skills as a DJ from day one. In fact, Will was the DJ at one of my first large hotel weddings and even though my skills as a photographer were solid, I was truly a bit overwhelmed with how fast the whole wedding process moved and he pretty much guided me through that evening. So, if you are a newbie photographer starting out, I truly hope Will will be the DJ at your event. May save you from crying all the way home after the wedding!
So, here we go.
Question: Will, how did you get started with your business?
Answer: My entry into the wedding DJ world started out in 1995. Luckily for me, I was working in banquets at a hotel in Colorado (for the ski pass!) and unfortunately for a bride her DJ didn't show up! I took the job and the rest is history! My franchise with Complete Music and Video began in 1995 and I located to Florida. It's been a truly great experience. (Before all of that, I was a radio DJ.)
Me: (Thinking only) "So that explains your nice, smooth voice. Yes, now I do hear a radio voice there!)
Question: Like wedding photographers, there are a ton of DJ's out there. How does a couple choose the best DJ?
Answer: Definitely choose someone that will capture a vision of what you want your wedding celebration/party to be, ie. laid back, high energy, etc. This will be the only time in your life that all or most of the people in your life that love and care for you will be in the same room. You want them to have a great time and leave with a wonderful memory that will last forever.
Technical part: Get everything in writing! Choose someone that other vendors know. Other vendors (hotels, florists, photographers) can give you feedback since they have worked with each other at past events. Reputation counts so listen to what other vendors have to say.
Question: So in addition to interviewing a DJ, is there anything else you would suggest when choosing a DJ?
Answer: Make sure your DJ is familiar with your venue and if, possible, talk with someone that has been to an event by that DJ. And good DJ's are organized and will take the time to visit the venue and plan for possible issues with the reception area.
Still want more tips? Go here or just google the topic.
Will, interviewing you was totally cool. I have always enjoyed working events with you. I really admire your level of professionalism and how you treat your clients. Thanks for the "tips" and I look forward to lots more fun weddings and events with you and your staff, which by the way, are totally cool people too!
Side note: This will be the last "tips" blog post for a while as after October I may not even remember my name. Things will be busy thru December........and that's is a good thing! I've had fun interviewing my vendor friends and hope to continue the series starting next year. Lots of new sessions will be posted in the coming weeks, though, so hang out here with me.