Music & Songs Wedding Entertainment: 6 Suggestions for Selecting a Wedding DJ
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Wedding Entertainment: 6 Suggestions for Selecting a Wedding DJ

With a multitude of entertainment options to choose from, how do engaged couples select the right entertainer for their once-in-a-lifetime celebration? The stakes are high, as guests are less likely to remember a cold fish dinner than a wedding entertainer whose performance was ice cold! Here, we offer six suggestions on how to find the perfectwedding DJ to rock your reception and get the most of your wedding planning.

1. Word of Mouth and Referrals: A wedding entertainer is very hard to describe via websites, blogs and brochures. If you have attended a wedding where you loved the music and entertainment, this can be a great starting point in your research. Similarly, if a friend or co-worker raved about their DJ, this is valuable information. What in particular did they like about their wedding DJ? Was it their thorough preparation, transparent business practices, musical selections, dance skills, or something else?

2. Experience Counts: A wedding Emcee's duty is to keep the reception program moving smoothly. Transitions should be smooth and pacing is important. An experienced DJ understands the flow of a wedding reception and offer seamless transitions. They understand the importance of working with the team of vendors (banquet manager, photographer, videographer). They will better be able to address potential problems that can crop up at receptions. Ask your prospectivewedding DJ what percent of their annual events are weddings, and how many weddings they have worked at in the past.

3. Styles Vary: Are you looking for an elegant event with music at moderate volumes, or for extreme party rockers? Is a magnificent light show important? Are you seeking a high or low level of guest interaction? Do you like the typical line dances, or are you looking for something more contemporary? There is no right or wrong answer, but it is important to align yourself with awedding DJ whose style matches the intended style of your event, or else is flexible to incorporate your preferences. You can get a sense of style compatibility in your initial phone or meeting interviews. First impressions are important - do you connect on a personal level and believe that you can work well with this individual?

4. Professionalism: The term "professional DJ" is hard to verify. However, characteristics of a professional DJ include:
  • professional grade equipment (i.e., no dilapidated, carpeted speakers from the 1970s or home stereo equipment);
  • a professional website;
  • testimonials, preferably gained over a period of time, as well as a list of references;
  • member in professional organization such as the American Disc Jockey Association (ADJA)
  • carries liability insurance;
  • participates in industry conventions and continuing education, to elevate their craft;
  • carries back-up equipment to each event; and
  • responsive to your phone and e-mail communications.

5. Planning: The level and modes of reception planning vary. One option a wedding DJ could offer as incentive to book is online planning forms that allow brides and grooms to plan their reception casually from the comfort of their own homes. Other DJs rely on in-person planning meetings, while other use a combination of mediums. How important is the planning process to your event? Be sure that you have access to the specific DJ who will be performing at your event. The better that the wedding DJ understands your program specifics, the more successful your event will be.

6. Pricing: Particularly in today's challenging economy, engaged couples may be operating on a tight budget. Our advice is to secure the bestwedding DJ entertainment that your budget will allow for!

One additional tip regarding pricing that is particularly important in today's competitive economy. Couples should ask their prospective DJ about any special offers. While DJs may not discount their prices, they sometimes will throw in a service for free, or at a reduced rate. Follow these great tips and you’re sure to find thewedding DJ that makes your reception one to remember.

Gregg Hollmann is the owner of Ambient DJ, LLC, a music and entertainment company based in Central New Jersey. Gregg has been DJ'ing since 1999 and has formal musical training on several instruments, including the piano and alto saxophone. His musical knowledge allows him to excel in environments ranging from elegant wedding receptions to convivial dance parties. His specialty is Weddings.