As the bride or groom, you will try on your outfits for the big day, you will visit your venue and you might even try your food before sitting down at the all important wedding breakfast but will you talk to the person who has the responsibility for providing you with a memorable evening reception? If not then you should!
Wedding DJs – those companies who specialise in providing music for weddings specifically - will always be happy to chat through your day. It is important to us to know what you day will have been like before we arrive to provide your evening entertainment. Have you had an early start? Lots of guests travelling from quite a distance? Long gap between wedding breakfast and evening reception? All these questions are key to the direction a wedding DJ will take with your own event.
Talking to a DJ, either in person, or over the phone, will allow you to gauge what they are like as a person. Do you feel like they are on the same wavelength as you? Do they sound like someone who will provide the night you want? Ultimately, do they sound like someone you actually like?
If a DJ is easy to talk to in person or on the phone this often transmits to their style when at an event.
Chatting through your music choices and how you envisage your night also means you can start to put some trust in the DJ you are about to employ!
Experience and Pricing
Experience in various aspects of entertainment is a must here – A DJ must be comfortable with talking on a microphone. This doesn't mean they should do it before and after every song, or that they should take over and 'host' your wedding (unless that is what you have requested!) but they should be able to encourage guests to join in the party and confidently deliver any messages to your guests.
How many weddings does your DJ play at?
Do they provide entertainment at other events?
Do they have experience of planning/organising events outside of the music?
If they are able to help you with the timings for your evening reception, offer advice about the order of events etc. then this is a sign of experience – a good thing!
As for pricing, DJ's can charge anywhere from £100 upwards to provide services at your reception.
In 2017 the average cost of a DJ was over £600.
Ultimately, the cost of the DJ will depend on experience and equipment.
In 2019, Primo Parties charge £400 for their evening package and adapt this price as required, depending on your venue, duration and access arrangements.
Does your DJ offer anything in addition to their DJ Services?
Businesses which offer a number of services might not 'specialise' in their wedding DJ services and this means you may not get the focus on the music that it deserves.
Some businesses will advertise DJs but will outsource this to another company. Do you know the name of your DJ? Will you get to speak to them?
You can sometimes save considerable money using a 'multi-service' company but most DJs will be able to offer some kind of 'deal' with suppliers they know – Our own business for example, have links with a photobooth company who we can offer a discount for.
Some of the most valuable recommendations will come from friends and family but also from other wedding suppliers. Ask around, has anyone been to a reception recently when the DJ impressed them? Does anyone know a bride who raved about their entertainment choice? Most couples will have chosen some suppliers before their DJ – who do they recommend? Suppliers are a faithful bunch and will recommend those people who they get on with and who do a job similar to their own. If you have chosen your photographer already, ask them particularly. They see everything!
Using a recommended supplier of a venue is a personal choice. A venue cannot force you to use a supplier they have chosen but they are often a good place to start – Remember, a recommended supplier might have paid to be on the list for a venue so remember to do your research – A DJ who hasn't played at a venue isn't a bad thing, they might just come up with something a little different to the 'norm'.
With social media and the forefront of a DJs advertising. Reviews are a must. If a DJ shouts about 5 star reviews, take a look. When was the last review, what was it for? Do the reviews happen regularly or were there a large number at the same time? (sometimes this means they have actively searched out reviews!)
A 5* review with very little detail is hard to use – what common positives are mentioned in reviews?. Recommendations on a DJ's own website may be selective, use Trustpilot, Facebook and Instagram to do a bit of research!
There are a number of award ceremonies out there, some localised, some national. Again, have a look at the awards. What are the criteria? Were they voted for by couples or suppliers? Awards are often the difference between two businesses and by choosing an award-winning DJ you have a degree of confirmation that your DJ has the skills and experience you need to make your night a success!
As a popular business, we often have to pass business to other DJ providers locally. We use the criteria above to make sure they are perfect for a couple! However, as a business we believe we are the perfect choice for any wedding in Dorset and the surrounding counties!
Favourite music to listen to:
As a resident of London during the 90s – I can only describe myself as a UK garage man. Many nights spent reciting the lyrics to 21 seconds ( I can still happily remember the lyrics even now!)
In my later years, a couple of trips to Ibiza mean I moved into the dance scene so anything with a bassline really!
My childhood can only be described as a combination of Chas and Dave and Status Quo – something which I hated at the time (every car journey!) but have learned to love as time has gone on!
Favourite ever gig:
I have a very eclectic list of gigs i've been to!
Spice Girls, All Saints and S Club 7 during their peak years – I know, don't ask!
In more recent times, Dizzee Rascal, Jay Z, Labyrinth and Tine Tempah, Faithless (5 times!) as well as the mighty Foo Fighters a couple of times.
My favourite? Seeing Chas and Dave supporting Status Quo with my dad was amazing!
Current radio station listened to:
Radio X in the mornings followed by Kisstory if I am near a digital radio!
Best Song EVER?!?!
Almost impossible question!
Songs that get me dancing, I would say...
Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You
Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Through This
Faithless – We come One
Most memorable event played at?
I have been fortune enough to play at some amazing weddings since 2014 – the most memorable? Probably the night I was asked 'if I knew any UK Garage' and then had a packed dancefloor for the next 3 hours!
Or the night I was asked for a 'bit of 90s dance' and managed to play dance music from 8pm until the night was extended until 2am (at the request of the bride and groom – because they were having such an amazing time!)
Other memorable moments? A first dance which was a song by German rock band Rammstein, A choreographed dance routine from the bride and groom and a theatrical performance from an amateur dramatics group for the bride at a Weymouth wedding!
Best piece of advice for a Bride and Groom?
Don't worry about making sure all your guests are having a good time – if you are, then they absolutely will. A bride on the dance floor encourages everyone else to join them and really gets the party started. Your night will go so quickly, enjoy it and take it all in!
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