What Makes A Great Wedding DJ?
I’ve done a few articles detailing different types of DJ’s, how to interview your DJ, and even the cost and break-down of an average DJ. All of this is fine and dandy for the average bride searching for a wedding DJ. But what about the in’s and out’s of being a great wedding DJ? This can differ depending on who you talk to. DJ’s will have a completely different view from behind the booth and the experience of many events, where our Bride’s have their individual unique perspectives as well. This post is intended to give you insight as to what Brides and other DJ’s in the industry would classify as the characteristics of a great wedding DJ. I believe that incorporating the mixture of these two can help clarify what other potential Bride’s should look for during the process of their DJ search.
Ask almost any DJ and he/she can tell you just how much better they are than every other DJ in the universe. DJ’s tend to be very confident in themselves and their abilities, which is probably a great trait to have in somebody that is required to stand in front of crowds, speak eloquently, and make sure your event runs smoothly. The truth of the matter is, that every DJ probably brings something unique to the table, which always makes it hard for brides to choose. What is interesting is that DJ’s will probably find different characteristics that they view as important when it comes to DJ’ing/emceeing/coordinating a wedding. Here’s a few takes from the view of DJ’s surveyed from the DJ Idea Sharing Group on facebook, a networking group of DJ’s all across the United States.
- DJ Justin Darling: “A great DJ has ‘lack of ego.’ I’m simply an equal part of a larger pie. I’m not a rock star–my job is to make them (the Bride & Groom) the rock star. Hire somebody based on the value they present, not the price they quote.”
- DJ Peter Merkle (ChicagoWeddingDJs.com): “What it takes to be a great DJ/MC is the willingness to acknowledge that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ This simple philosophy allows you to be open to more training, further experience, and greater fulfillment. Brides and Grooms who understand this as well will find the end result of their celebration experience more successful than they imagined.
- DJ Justin Prahar (Sounds2Go.com): “When you hire a DJ for your wedding reception and/or ceremony, you are hiring a lot more than someone who can ‘play music and make some announcements’. Your DJ is the person responsible for ensuring the uninterrupted and successful flow of your event from before you enter the room to the time the last guest has left.”
- DJ Alan Robb (www.ScottishDJ.com): “A wedding DJ should never be the star of the show. That honor belongs to you, the happy couple. A good DJ puts his personality on the evening. A great DJ puts YOUR personality on the evening.”
- DJ Jeremy Burgess (www.jbentertains.com ): “Two weeks after, no one will remember what they ate, or the color of the flowers.. but they will remember whether or not they had fun… whether or not they were entertained.
- DJ David Dave (www.flashanddance.com): “Asking the right questions and see the vision of the Bride and Groom is where I start. That will tell me what kind of direction to go”
- DJ Sean Lee: “The most important thing for an amazing wedding is what we do to stay in line with the clients vision and that we create an atmosphere that is enjoyable from beginning to end”
Bride & Groom Perspective
This article would not be complete without the actual testimonies from those that have experienced great DJ’s. We’ve all heard plenty of horror stories about the bad DJ, but what does the great DJ look like through the eyes of the Bride and Groom? Cutmaster Music created a post on our facebook page asking the simple question, “What is it that makes for a great wedding DJ?”
- Whitney Phillips (Bride): “A great wedding DJ listens to their clients, comes prepared, has excellent timing, and understands how to be flexible with each crowd.”
- Lesley Escobar (Event Coordinator): “Reading the crowd!!!! Trying to keep people on the dance floor.”
- Adrienne Hare (Bride): “I definitely think it’s important for your DJ to be prepared and genuinely invested in giving you the kind of reception YOU want..but I think the essential element is being able to read the crowd, and make calls on-the-spot to keep the party going!”
- Chris Apodaca (guest at one of Cutmaster Music’s events): “There are only 2 things people remember about your Special day, the food and entertainment. A good DJ is able to cater to his crowd!”
- Cassondra Lucero (Bride): “Being able to read the crowd and knowing your clients. My family and friends are still in awe of our wedding and the main reason had to do with how much fun they had because of the DJ”
DJ’s vs Bride & Groom
When one thinks of a wedding DJ, the first vision is usually music, lights and a microphone. But as seen from both DJs and Brides, the process of getting to know your client and create an event based around their vision, is a common theme. Based on our polling, Brides definitely seem to emphasize that a great DJ is one that can make sure their dance floor is rocking by reading the crowd and adjusting to make sure guests have a great time. Brides seem to be most concerned about the result or outcome of their reception, whereas DJs seem to have an invested interest in the process leading up to the event. This makes the case, that having a great DJ is not only about having skills on the microphone and the DJ decks, but also knowing what your clients expect and having a good grasp on your crowd and what their expectations are as well. Both the DJ and the client must work together to achieve this end result.
So what is the definition of a great DJ? It seems that a great DJ is one that takes the time to gather all the necessary information needed to customize each and every event to each specific client’s needs. This preparation will allow the DJ to make the necessary adjustments through out any event, based on the client’s expectations and based on the ability to read the crowd and improvise through out the night and adjust as needed. Although we don’t discuss the experience of a great DJ, it’s easily seen how more experienced DJs will be able to handle events and the varied situations that can occur. In the end, a great DJ is one that matches up well and can perform to the Bride and Groom’s expectations while also managing to keep their crowd engaged and having a great time. The great wedding DJ is created through the process of planning mixed with the DJ’s skill-set.
Article written by Chris Romero of Cutmaster Music
Check out Chris’s Google+ profile.