It’s been a long time since you heard a live band at a wedding. In some ways that’s a shame. But, the best a small band can do is try to cover the dance numbers you want for dancing., wedding DJs have gotten much more skilled. Their equipment is better, and their music library meets every taste. So, let’s look at the wedding DJ option.
Shopping the DJ option
A DJ doesn’t take up much room. An experienced one can set up the apparatus and speakers in the corner of the room if necessary. Others bring a light show with them.
The DJ knows music well and can mix and match sounds for the bride and groom, wedding party, and guests.
A good one will work the room, play favorites, surprise dancers, and keep the action moving. Moving from one hit to another, the DJ will watch the crowd and play to its wishes as well as the schedule.
There might be a fade of contemporary sounds bled into a bunch of oldies but goodies, and then to bride and groom favorites.
Sooner or later in the performance, the DJ will get the older guests dancing, get everyone into some line dancing, and younger guests moving to hip hop and contemporary rock.
According to the team at Royal Entertainment, promoting a New Jersey DJ wedding, you want the assurance “The music played won’t disturb the proceedings of the occasion, rather it will enrich the occasion.”
Things to think about
Today’s Brides emphasizes the need to confirm the DJ’s experience and professionalism.
If you can, you need to audition the DJ or drop by a performance to watch how the player interacts with and responds to the crowd. Otherwise, you’d do better with an mp3 player and speaker.
You also want to establish a relationship strong enough to know what to expect, to share your tastes in music, and to understand your agenda for the reception.
It’s your event, so you’ll want to know the DJ’s menu for the event. You want to know what the music will be and what order to expect.
The professional wedding entertainer knows how to save an event when the unexpected happens. To reduce your stress, you need someone to lead the room with a strong voice, sense of humor, and self-confidence when trays drop or guests argue.
Talent agencies place DJs. And, it does make someone accountable for delivering what you want. If dealing with an agency, you can insist on seeing videos of their recommended “artists” at work.
You might invest in the DJ recommended by the wedding reception venue, and if your plans include a destination ceremony, you’ll have to work through a wedding planner at that location or resort. So, you must insist on a personal phone or teleconference, including a performance video.
Write the contract
You may not want to spend the money for a live band, but it’s not smart to go cheap with your DJ. If after observing, meeting, and listening, you like it, you have to write the cost into your wedding budget.
This is not a handshake deal. You need a clear and formal contract to reduce your stress and assure your plans.
Any contract must start with the time, date, and location of the event as well as the specific names of the parties to the contract - not the showbiz identity.
It must include all costs including refundable or non-refundable deposits, and the financial penalty for non-fulfillment.
It’s smart to attach a list of music to play and not play with a preferred order of play.
The DJ will probably and rightfully insist on overtime charges and specify when and how payment will be made.
You have the right and prudence to insist on backup plans. You need to know and okay the replacement if circumstances require.
The Huffington Post recommends, “If you’re not working with a wedding planner, or you don’t trust the recommendations of the venue’s banquet manager, do your own homework and research and see what other brides who got married in your area had to say about their own DJs.”