What Does A Wedding DJ Do?
If you’re like many others who aren’t knowledgeable about the methods of a professional wedding DJ, you will think all they do is push a button and play music. A DJ’s primary functions go beyond planning and playing back music, they will be assumed to take on several roles. A wedding DJ is usually charged with comprehensively planning your wedding entertainment experience. Amazingly, wedding DJs begin their preparation before the wedding day and even before they play the first song. In fact, such preparations goes as far back as the very first contact.
I can’t particularly say these applies to all wedding DJs. There are even quite a number of wedding DJs that do not conform to the following functions and can make the experience unpleasant for many couples. I will love to give you an insight of the roles I play as a wedding DJ for my clients.
Get To Know The Nature Of The Job
One of the very first things I do when I meet with new clients, is to create rapport with you. I get to know what you are looking for; what sort of music do you like? Are you the type of couple that wants to boogie to the electric slide and cupid shuffle or have you done it so many times you never want to hear it again? What other experiences do want for your wedding? All these information will give me an idea of what I need to create your wedding day just as you want it.
Learning The Nitty-Gritty
As the wedding date draws closer, the details of what has been discussed in the first phase needs to be fleshed out. 60 days prior to the wedding I issue a series of forms that need to be filled. This will act as a guide to some of the key elements of the wedding, such as, the pronunciation of the names of some of the guest if you’re going to have a bouquet toss. A list though tedious is important. I will undoubtedly ensure that you have a great night full of entertainment, that is, if I know all the ins and outs of the wedding.
I will need to also visit the venue around this time to get a grasp of any specifics and guidance. In a situation which I’m unfamiliar with the location, I will have to take a trip there just to get acquainted with the layout of the venue, know where to place my equipment and try to find out if it will hamper me in anyway. If I’ve not collaborated with other vendors such as the photographer and videography in the past, then this will be the perfect time to reach out to them so we can reach an understanding on how things will play out on that day.
Sometimes, Planning More Meetings
Planning meetings can be done at once, but the truth is that elements of the wedding can change at any time. The musical selection might need to tweaked to accommodate a group of guest, changes to the floor plans can occur due to headcount changes, you may decide that you want a different experience, and the list goes on. I reach out to my clients 30 days before the wedding to find out if changes have been made and if more meetings are necessary.
If there are any special songs that the couples would like, this is the proper time for them to let me know, so I can determine how long it will take me to procure it. There are times when I’ve had to order odd music requests from other continents. So, if you fall into this category, let me know about these special songs, so I can procure them in time.
Preparing For Your Special Day
A week to your wedding is a critical time for me to lock things in place. I will have to check each details repeatedly to make sure I’ve answered any questions I have. It is part of my duties to make sure your wedding day is as stress-free as possible. I will arrange all your special songs in a playlist, backup my hard drive, and get another copy in a thumb drive. This ensures that I’ve different backups just in case something goes wrong. I go over my equipment to make sure everything is working properly and nothing is missing. A well detailed document of everything I’ve gathered is sent to other vendors and the venue, so they have a baseline to work off of. Surprisingly, there are quite a few ‘little things’ that I’ve to check off my list before the big day.
The Day Arrives
On the day of the wedding, it means workout time for many DJs. I’m not exempted from this. My routine as a Solo-run DJ business usually goes like this; put all my equipment in the van, unload, equipment setup, test, entertain, breakdown, go home and unload. If a ceremony is included, then I would have to setup and configure not one but two separate systems. The real fun begins after setup and testing phase has been accomplished.
Playing Well With Others
There are different reasons why DJs work. For many it’s for the adrenaline rush, ego, or even the need to be control of everything. Every professional DJ knows fully well that ego has no room in the business, so does conflicting personalities. There are a lot of moving parts involved in a wedding, so it’s important that everyone works as a team and support each other when it is needed. This means liaising with the venue to ensure that all key points in the list are carried out. It also covers notifying the Photographer and Videographer when events are about to unfold so they would take a shot. In a situation where there is a change of plans you can easily make sure nothing is missed by fitting it into the timeline. If it means going as far as doing it alone to make sure everyone is on the same page as regards the sequence of events, then that’s what you should do.
The “Clutch Shot”
The DJ does not operate like other vendors. This is because there is little or no room for errors. A photographer can make a bad shot and there will still be several other shots to choose from. A florist can get away with one or two wilted flowers as long as the other assortments are stunning. A caterer’s mistake with one bad plate of food can be overlooked because of the other exquisite plates of food. But if something goes wrong on the DJ’s watch, especially at those critical moments then things might go out of control. There are no second chances for a wedding DJ and they must react at a moment’s notice. If a song refuses to play, I have another copy to replace it immediately. A microphone cuts out and there’s a backup. I give a tremendous amount of care to make sure that the entertainment aspect of your wedding is as impeccable as possible.
Managing the Evening
Upon the conclusion of such things like the vows, speeches, cocktail conversations and last bite going down the throats of all present, it is time to unleash all the party songs we’ve discussed prior to the wedding. I will make sure the songs cut across the different age groups and styles, so nobody will feel left out. I can proudly say that my DJ skills is showcased in my knowledge of music and in my dexterity to blend, transition and mix different tracks.
The arrangement and vibe 0f party and club DJs is different from that of a wedding DJ. The mechanics involved in trying to build up a crowd into the dancing mood is different, because after spending one or more hours sitting down, some people want to jump right into a dancing frenzy. I read the crowd to know the right songs to play to create the perfect mood, feeling or memory. I would create extensive wedding experiences using multiple genres, tempo, styles and trends to create and change the energy in the hall. No matter what I play at this point, the goal still remains the same, to keep the guests dancing hard and looking at me in astonishment; words cannot quantify the joy I get when I see such looks.
The wedding soon comes to a conclusion. The curtain eventually closes on months if not years of meticulous planning. The last songs are played and goodbyes are said. It’s time for me to pack up and head back home. It’s been a tedious day but I will go to bed glad that everybody had a splendid day.
What Does A Wedding DJ Do? Now You Have More Insight!
The aforementioned details are just a tip of what I do, there are several more details that are mundane to be mentioned. On average, I spend between 10 – 30 hours in weddings. It all boils down to the size and requirements of the wedding. This is to also let you know the reason behind the extra hundreds of dollars charged by wedding DJs. The prowess of the wedding DJ could be factored into the whole experience.
It is my hope that this broadens your appreciation of the efforts of the wedding DJ at your wedding.
Do not let this happen to you. It is a funny video but your wedding is serious, so hire a professional DJ emcee!