5 Misconceptions of a Wedding DJ
Most Brides I speak with, come with an open mind about their DJ. I try to encourage them, when we speak on the phone or via email that the connection between them and their Host/DJ is VITAL to the reception flowing properly. Over the course of 11 years, I have come to witness too many couples come into a meeting with myself, JT or Jason with these thoughts of what a DJ "is going to be like", and I thought I would address some of the more popular "Myths" of Wedding DJs!
1: "DJs are Cheesy!"
This honestly stems from a wedding that the couple has been to in the past where they didn't care for the DJ/Host that was at the event. Most professionally trained Wedding DJs are FAR from cheesy. Do we know different types of ways to interact with your guests, some of which are game based, and some are conversation based? Yes. It's how we use those methods within your reception, that make us either "cheesy" or not. Personally, I am not a fan of those "games" that trick people into coming out onto the dance floor. I would prefer to actually meet your guests as they are entering for cocktail hour, introducing myself and getting to know them a little bit. However, some DJs ARE "Cheesy", they will use every trick in the book to get your guests up and dancing, and normally that is because the Bride wants us to use that bag of tricks. In addition to that, lots of Cheese can be found when you hire a DJ that has a totally different personality off the mic than when they are on the mic! You want someone that you know will be themselves during planning meetings, rehearsal dinner, day of and after, then you know you are getting the real person. Lastly, Cheese normally shows it's head when there is lack of communication, and the couple refuses to work with the DJ/Host, to talk about what they are wanting the day of. As long as you work together, you'll make sure to let you DJ/Host know what you want, and what you don't want.
2: "The DJ is blaring music during cocktail hour/dinner!"
This is a two part answer. First, if your DJ/Host doesn't know how to control sound properly, yes... this will happen. Everyone that works with Sure Tones Entertainment, is either a musician, a vocalist, a sound technician or sometimes we luck out and get a hat trick of awesome and they are all three! If your DJ/Host doesn't know how to properly adjust levels for the difference between Cocktail Hour, Dinner and Dancing, then yes, you're going to run into problems. If they are properly trained though, there is still the other factor... Placement. Which brings in the second half of this answer. If you place the DJ/Host in the corner of a room, and you have 200+ guests, and your seating arrangement has grandma and grandpa Jones sitting right next to the speakers... guess what's going to happen. Either the music will be at an appropriate level for the middle of the room, but grandma and grandpa will complain about it being too loud and the back of the room will complain about it being too quite... OR... grandma and grandpa will LOVE it, but no one else will be able to hear it. Solution? Easy stuff really. Talk to your DJ/Host about the layout of the room. We normally have two meetings before the actual wedding date. At the 2 week meeting, we will try to go over the layout of the room, and if we see a problem, we will let you know. Trust your DJ/Host. We don't try to put ourselves in the limelight, we are trying to place ourselves in a perfect balance so that everyone in the room will have an enjoyable time!
3: "All DJs do is push play on a CD player!"
This is one of THE biggest misconceptions that I hear. This is so far from the truth, it's actually very laughable. Now, let me start this with, sadly, YES, there are some DJs that actually only play music. If that is what you WANT for your Wedding, you can have it, but it's not what a trained Wedding DJ/Host does. Playing music is simply one very small part of the whole sha-bang. To give you an idea of what all we do....
- Planning meetings with the couple to make sure that everything goes to plan
- Being an open reference person for the Bride/Groom to bounce ideas off of
- Hours of time spent going through room layouts, music prep, lighting programming, etc.
- Walking around and meeting your family and friends the day of so that they feel comfortable talking to us throughout the night
- Staying in direct communication with the Venue, Photographer, Videographer, Photo Booth, Caterer, Cake people, Bride/Groom, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and pretty much anyone else there for the wedding
- Creating a playlist for when the dancing opens up to all guests... on the fly!
- A DJ/Host/Roadie all wrapped up in one... we have to set up and tear down all within a certain time limit
And that's just part of what we do. To simply say that we "press play", is quite the understatement and I would encourage you to meet with us so we explain just how much you will come to rely on us, on your big day.
4: "The DJ will play music that I/We don't like!"
This again goes back to planning. Most DJs have an online planner, well, most full time Professional Wedding DJs/Hosts. Part of that planner is a music tool, and normally you work with your DJ/Host to plan out music that YOU both love. Now, let's put into play those other 200+ guests that you have. If you both love country, and only 5% of the guests remotely like country, and all your DJ plays is country, granted you both will hopefully have a great time, but all those guests are going to leave early because there is nothing being played that they like. This is where training and communication comes into play. Remember before when I mentioned that I like to walk around and talk to guests? One of the many things I talked to them about was "what are some of your favorite dance songs?". You, as a Bride/Groom, have to be prepared to have some music that you might not love. For most, it's staples songs like "Cupid Shuffle", "Footloose", "YMCA" and the like. The reason these are played at so many weddings? They are easy to dance to. Not everyone loves to dance, and they need something familiar they are comfortable with, to get the ball rolling. If there are songs that you HATE, absolutely, we will veto them, but everyone here at Sure Tones Entertainment strives to make sure that you will have a great time, by taking YOUR favorite songs, and mixing them with YOUR GUESTS favorite songs as well as the CLASSIC favorite songs. That mixture normally creates a great cocktail of fun!
5: "All DJs are in competition with each other and hate each other!"
Not true at all. For those of us who are full time, like Sure Tones Entertainment, this is our business and company. And in business, there IS competition, there are other DJs out there that are bidding and going for the same Bride and Groom that we want. It happens. However, just like all other companies out there, it forces us to be better and look forward rather than hovering in the same "comfort zone". There are some DJs out there that I personally have worked with, or worked next to, and I would encourage couples that I meet with to stay away from... however... there are others that I have an immense amount of respect for. Other DJs that I turn to if I need help on something, or if we are booked solid I will turn the couple their direction. Yes, we are in same industry and providing the same, conceptual, product, but when we need to ban together, there are lots of great guys out there that I would trust and turn to.
Biggest thing to remember is that you need to talk with your DJ/Host before jumping to those ever popular assumptions. They will get ya... every time! - Jared :-)