More often than not couples hiring a DJ for their wedding find themselves a little overwhelmed. Reason being this is the first time they have taken on a task such as this. There is a lot to learn in a very short period of time. The most important element is to hire entertainment that best suits you and your guests. Typically a professional DJ is booked at least 6 to 8 months in advance but more often than not couples hire the DJ last. Here are some rules of thumb in hiring your entertainment for your upcoming event.
The DJ should be at the top of your list for they are one of the most important vendors you will hire for your wedding day. The DJ will be the person who will create a flow, keep the party moving at a nice pace and of course get folks out on the dance floor. Your cake, flowers or filet won’t be there to make announcements, play great music and most of all be of service to you.
There are four key questions to ask your DJ when interviewing them for your party.
Is the DJ you are speaking with the actual DJ on the event?
There are many companies in southern California that are what we like to call in the DJ Industry “Multi System Operators”. There is an owner and a staff of DJ’s that to do the events. Make sure you are talking to the DJ who will be playing music on your wedding day.
What will the DJ wear?
Don’t assume they will show up in a Tuxedo (standard for the wedding industry) or a black suit. Some DJ’s will show up wearing slacks and a Hawaiian shirt. If it is a Hawaiian theme then this would be appropriate but not for a classy affair.
Does the DJ have back up equipment in their vehicle or their DJ system?
This is an absolute must. If the equipments breaks down, there is no music. When there is no music, there is no party and everyone goes home. If the equipment is 30 minutes away in a storage facility, it will take at least an hour and 15 minutes before you resume your music.
Does the DJ have liability insurance?
A professional DJ should have at least a million dollar insurance policy. This is for the protection of you and your guests. If someone was injured as a result of the DJ and he/she didn’t have insurance, then your guests would most likely be paying the bills. So only choose DJ’s who are insured. More and more venues are requiring the entertainment company to provide proof of insurance.
Budgeting your entertainment. This is by far the biggest issue for Brides and Grooms while planning their event. At a typical wedding reception the entertainment is crucial to the day. Setting a budget for your entertainment before interviewing a DJ can surely make things difficult and may result in a huge disappointment. The cost of an average “Professional DJ” in Southern California which includes Ventura, Los Angels and Orange counties can range from $1,300 up to $5,000 (this may or may not include the ceremony music). Anything under $1,300 is questionable.
Interview your DJ’s before setting your budget in stone and choose the DJ that is the best fit for you and your guests. Then look at price. Most likely the difference in price will be an average of about $200 to $500. The price should not be a deal breaker if it is within this range because when you look at the big picture, you’re spending a fair amount of money to insure your guests are having a fabulous time. If the DJ is not a perfect fit because of a fixed budget, it will be a major distraction on the best day of your life and your guests may go home before the party is over.
Remember the entertainment is about 70% of the party yet most folks only spend 10% of their budget hiring a professional DJ company. Ask lots of questions and make sure your DJ is asking lots of questions as well. If they are making the effort to get informed then that is a true sign they will go above and beyond on your wedding day!