Wedding Entertainment

Is Your DJ Really A DJ?

Bride Shopping for DJNaturally everyone loves the prospect of getting the goods and services that they need at the very lowest price… Who wouldn’t? And couples planning a wedding are certainly no exception. However, it is not uncommon for a bride to buy the most beautiful dress she can afford, book the perfect venue, and serve their guests fillet mignon for dinner.

But, when it comes to choosing a DJ they will often cut every corner in order to save a few dollars. And why shouldn’t they, after all, don’t all DJs really basically do the same thing… play music? The short and simple answer is… Absolutely not! The long answer is… it’s really difficult to compare when most DJs are not really DJs at all.

Buyer Beware!! Unlike other occupations, like a doctor for example, where in order to call yourself a doctor you must go to school and become certified, there is no such regulations for becoming a DJ. So although there are DJs who have studied and practiced long and hard and spend their days full-time practicing their craft in order to ensure that your wedding is truly an awesome experience, there is no consumer protection from those who think that buying a laptop computer and a pair of speakers qualifies them to guide, direct and entertain you and your guests at your wedding. So unfortunately, when it comes to your wedding it is truly “Buyer Beware”.

Amateur DJImagine for just a moment that you are a guest at a wedding and that you have just flown from across the country in order to participate in the celebration. As the reception is about to begin a young college aged DJ walks over to the microphone and begins to speak. It only takes a few words before you recognize that speaking and entertaining is not what he does for a living. As he introduces the wedding party and mispronounces about half of the names you are already beginning to feel embarrassed for the couple. As the music begins to play you are wondering if the DJ has any clue whatsoever as to the typical age and genre of the guests, and the quality of the sound is not much better than the boombox you left at home.

If you have ever been a guest at a wedding yourself then you know from experience that guests will notice everything, after all, they are a captive audience and have nothing elso to do but follow along with what you are presenting to them, and your presention will speak volumes. In order to participate in your celebration many of your guests will have a great deal invested in both time and money, and as your very first party together as husband and wife, this is your opportunity to shine in the eyes of your guests.

It has often been said that the “entertainment will likely make or break an event”. Yet it is not at all uncommon for a couple to book “that guy” who works at Walmart for a living to play the role of DJ at their wedding because he was able to give them the cheapest price.

The real truth is that in this economically challenging and competive market all DJ’s really charge the same. What? But you’ve called numerous DJs and they all gave you vastly different prices. How is that the same?

Different levels of professionalism, knowledge, skills and experience will dictate what an entertainer feels that you really need for your wedding and will take that into account when giving you a price. A part-time amateur DJ with little wedding experience for example, may feel that low quality illegally downloaded music on laptop computer plugged into a pair of budget speakers is all your wedding needs, while an experienced professional entertainer may feel that practice, rehearsal, and training along with high quality music and a concert quality sound system is what your once-in-a-lifetime wedding deserves.

Buyer BewareSo as a “Buyer Beware” conscious bride and groom you will need to ask the question: “If one DJs price is higher or lower than another… is the cheaper service shorting you on services you need, or is the more expensive DJ charging you for services you don’t need?

You have likely spent months planning the perfect wedding, accrued hundreds if not thousands of dollars in wedding expenses, and you have invited guests who are traveling from near and far in order to participate in your celebration… so perhaps the most important question of all is… Who will you trust to ensure that your celebration will be remembered fondly for a lifetime?

It’s important to note, if your wedding is not everything you hoped it would be it is doubtful that you will look upon the few hundred dollars you seemingly may have saved by booking an amateur DJ as a real savings.

Months of careful planning, a lot of expense, and many precious memories are at stake. Would’t you agree that choosing the one you will trust with your once-in-a-lifetime special event is worth very careful consideration?

By: Michael McCune

Why a Master of Ceremonies is essential at your wedding?

Wedding receptions today are very different from wedding receptions of only a few years ago. Sites like youtube and facebook, etc., have forever changed the the way we view weddings.

The ability to see what others have done and to share ideas globally have made the simple traditional weddings of the past seem far to boring and mundane to be acceptable for modern brides and grooms and their guests.

In order to meet the needs, goals and values of modern couples, DJs have had to evolve accordingly in order to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs. The simplistic role of the DJ spinning records for an enthusiastic dance crowd has spiraled into multiple complex roles including… Entertainment Director and Master of Ceremonies where the DJ now is often responsible for the guidance and direction of the entire ceremony and reception, as well as creating unique and personal events and activities in order to engage guests and audiences who have become increasingly more difficult to entertain.

Backyard weddings with potluck dinners have been replaced with beautiful and often expensive venues with more extravagant dinners and a full line up of both traditional and non-traditional events and activities that need to flow perfectly while sticking to a schedule, and this is what your Master of Ceremonies is all about.

The word MC (short for Master of Ceremonies) is a buzz word that you’ll often see floating around on many DJ websites, however, its meaning in regards to modern weddings is truly lost on most DJs, which is why the term “Buyer Beware” is so applicable today more than ever.

The term MC is often used on many DJ websites merely as a reference that the DJ will simply make whatever announcements the bride and groom may need at their wedding. Whereas many DJs use the term MC to indicate a passive role at your wedding because they will still likely depend upon guidance and leadership throughout the event.

Pioneers within the wedding entertainment industry such as Scott Faver and Randy Bartlett have been intrumental not only in expanding my own skills but in pushing the limits of creativity for brides and grooms worldwide.

A true Master of Ceremonies incorporates a very special set of skills and will assume an active role in both the planning stage as well as throughout the wedding as a leader, guide and director to ensure that all events and activities flow smoothly and stress-free start to finish while engaging guests throughout the wedding, including the dance floor. A Director is something that every weddding needs in order to keep it all together, and of course, FUN!

But what about if you already have a wedding coordinator to create your timeline, do you still need a Master of Ceremonies? Well, unless your wedding coordinator is also a professional wedding entertainer they will likely do just fine for creating a very basic timeline, but they will likely have no real plan as for how to implement the timeline in a fun and entertaining fashion. Their timeline will likely consist of… Dinner is at 7:00 PM… Toast at 8:00 PM… Etc. However, their plan will probably not include direction for how to transition smoothly from one event to another while engaging your guests. For that, you will still very likely need a Master of Ceremonies/Entertainment Director.

Imagine for just a moment what a Broadway show might be like without the added vision of and polish of a great director… Potential disaster! This is why for many producers their choice for director is often more important to them than their choice of actors and actresses. If you think about it, how often have you thought that a movie you had not yet seen will likely be good just because it was directed by Steven Spielberg?

So… Who is going to direct your Blockbuster wedding?

By: Michael McCune

Hey DJ… Just Tell Me What You Charge?


(Please note: Although I have written this post to help DJs to better communicate with brides and grooms, if you are planning a wedding you will likely find this post very beneficial.)

Okay Tucson DJs… The phone rings… as you answer, an excited voice on the other side says “I’m getting married, how much would you charge do DJ my wedding?”

As a director for the Tucson Wedding Network and as a professional wedding DJ in the Tucson area for many years I have had an opportunity to participate in, as well as lead discussions about how best to give a simple answer to this non-simple question… “Okay DJ… Just tell me what you charge!”

To begin, it is important to understand that most brides and grooms lead off with this question simply because they are not sure of what other questions they should be asking. In order for you to be of the greatest service to your clients it is important that you learn to read beyond the simple question and identify their ultimate goals and expectations… you are the professional and that is why they are calling you.

For some, that question is their way of opening communication and they will rely upon you to share some insights and strategy for creating a truly remarkable wedding reception, while saving them the most money. So it is your responsibility as a wedding professional to take the lead by asking them the questions that will help you both to understand their ultimate goals and expectations, so that you can provide the right type of service to fit their needs.

For others however,  that question has an entirely different meaning. Unfortunately, there are those whose wedding has simply become more of a stressful affair and has lost its magic. Sad but true, and even though you may be able to save them hundreds if not thousands of wasted dollars through some very simple communication and by asking the right questions, some couples are simply not open to communication and are merely looking for a quick answer, which you, as an ethical wedding professional simply can’t give them.

Statistics show that “the largest percentage of brides and grooms following their wedding are unhappy with the entertainment they chose”. It is important to understand that as a pro DJ you may be responsible for as much as 80% or more for the success of your clients wedding day. Ask LOTs of questions!!! Those who are open to communication will reap the benefits, and those who are not… you simply can’t help.

I don’t book every client I meet with, but I am pleased to say that in more than 25 years of business I have never received a single negative feedback from any client that I have booked. The secret of my success is attached to a very simple policy; In order to truly understand my client’s needs, goals, values and wedding day expectations, I meet or chat in great detail first, and then create a plan and pricing structure that meets their needs.

Good communication is the foundation for building a relationship with your clients that will help you to guide them towards their ultimate goal… A truly exceptional and memorable wedding day!

To all of my fellow professional wedding  DJs… I hope this helps and I wish you the best!


Tucson DJs… “A Dime a Dozen”

  Tucson DJ Shoppers Beware

As a Tucson Wedding DJ, and a Director for the Tucson Wedding Network, I have had the opportunity to hear many stories; some good, others… not so much. With the plethora of people looking to make a few extra bucks on the weekend as DJs in Tucson, it’s no wonder that local brides and grooms are a bit skeptical when it comes to booking a DJ for their wedding.

Let’s face it, even a bad DJ can be a good talker, and a good DJ isn’t necessarily a good wedding DJ. But the honest truth is you’ll need much more than talk on your wedding day in order to keep your guests engaged and your celebration stress-free, smooth flowing and fun.

DJs these days are truly “a dime a dozen”, with every household claiming at least one or two somewhere in the family tree. Why are they so common? Well… Unlike a doctor or a lawyer where there are laws requiring that verify their knowledge and education in their field before opening their own business or practice, there is simply no such law for DJs.

 Bad-DJ For a DJ, starting a business is about as easy as ordering 500 business cards online for about 12 bucks. And they can often stay in business because most brides and grooms won’t learn what questions they should have asked their DJ before hiring them, until after their wedding when it is too late.

This scenario is a common occurrence not only in Tucson, but world wide, probably in part because of the challenging economy as well as the lack of decent paying jobs available. The lack of regulations for becoming a DJ combined with the ease of online access to music, makes for an enticing proposition for someone who is having a difficult time making their car payment.

Although it is easy to understand why someone might want to go into the Tucson DJ business for themselves, however, the desire by itself to start a business of their own does not magically invoke the skills, talent or experience necessary for keeping a formal wedding celebration and a ballroom filled with guests on the path to an exciting and unforgettable evening.

It is not uncommon to hear that a DJ got started because they went to a great wedding themselves and thought it looked so easy and fun that they could do it too, without realizing that what made that wedding so fun and look so easy was because it was being run and directed by a really good professional Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies who spent years learning and practicing their craft in order to create a celebration that would come off flawlessly.

The honest truth is, it is simply “Buyer Beware” when it comes to choosing your Tucson wedding DJ. This is the case not necessarily because your potential DJ is shifty or dishonest, they simply don’t know what they don’t know. It is very likely that they have no clue whatsoever as to what is really involved in creating an exceptional wedding celebration.

This is also why there can be such a huge discrepancy in pricing among Tucson DJs. For the weekend warrior DJ, it’s simply about showing up, playing music for several hours, and collecting a check. They don’t have much involved so they can easily give a dirt cheap price.

For the full-time professional DJ who understands that a flawless celebration requires many hours of planning, preparation and even rehearsal, they simply can’t compete with the weekend warrior DJ in price, any more that the weekend warrior DJ can complete with a pro Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies in creating a truly remarkable and memorable celebration.

The key to a successful celebration is in first knowing what type of wedding experience you are hoping to create, and then learning what types of questions you should be asking your potential Tucson DJ so that you can ensure to the best of your ability that your wedding DJ will have the skills, talent and dedication necessary to help you create that experience.

If you would you would like to learn more about what to look for in a Wedding DJ, and what questions you should be asking, please feel free to visit my webpage entitled “How to Shop for a DJ”.

Best wishes and may you have the best wedding celebration ever.

Will your wedding be a comedy show?

Comedy WeddingThe challenging environment of our current economy has led to a plethora of amateurs (meaning… “I do this on the side to make a few extra bucks”) claiming they can work your wedding and save you money. After all… even in a good economy it makes no sense spend money unnecessarily, especially if you can perceivably get the very same thing for less money. The question is… is it really the same thing?

I’m sure most of us have either been to a live comedy performance, or at the very least, seen one on television. Did it make you laugh? Did it stick favorably in your memory long after the performance was over?

Now imagine the people who were sitting next to you at that performance who were laughing and enjoying themselves every bit as much as you were. Now imagine one of those very excited people coming to you and saying “that looked like so much fun I am going to put on my very own comedy show, what an exciting way to make a few extra dollars”. Do you think you would buy a ticket for his/her show?
Continue reading

Best Wedding Video Ever

Have you seen this really cool wedding video yet?

I love to see how creative wedding professionals can be, and raising the standards for cool wedding videos is exactly what David Robins did in this video.

The wedding couple, Joya and Emre, really wanted something unique that that would be fun to watch for a lifetime. They also wanted something that would showcase more than just the two of them but would include their wedding guests and friends as well.

They really accomplished that with this video, which has already been viewed more than 693,000 times as of this writing.

It is a really fun parody on the Black Eyed Peas – “The Time (Dirty Bit)”. Hopefully it will inspire all of our Tucson Wedding Professionals to let their imaginations run amok and help their brides and grooms  reach new heights at their Tucson wedding event.

Not to mention, raising the bar can create a lot of referral business. David Robbin’s phone has been ringing off the hook with new business since this video was released only a few months ago.

Keep it fresh, keep it exciting, build your business.


How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?

Telephone RingingRing, ring, ring…goes the telephone…

…and almost without fail there is an anxious future bride or groom on the other side of the line with but one question on their mind… "How much do you charge?"

As a professional wedding entertainer who sincerely cares about the clients I work with, it is quite a dilemma and a challenge to quickly and simply answer that question because I remember what my potential clients have in their excitement… already forgotten. And that is… I cannot read their minds.

So when they ask the question… “how much do you charge?”, my initial thought is “for what?”. What is it that you really want for me do? Are you really just looking for music for your wedding? Or are you really looking for an entertainer that can help you create a wedding that is fun, exciting and memorable for all?

These are two completely different questions requiring a whole different set of services. And although I cannot read their minds, it isn’t a far stretch to think that what they are really looking for is… an entertainer that can help them create a wedding that is fun, exciting and memorable for all.

So my first challenge is to bridge that communication gap and help my potential clients understand what needs to happen in order to reach their goals… and I have do this without making them feel as if I am trying to sell them something that they really don’t need… after all, they don’t know me yet and their natural fear of the “car salesmen effect” kicks in creating a natural suspicion for anyone who might be tapping into their wallet.

Here is what I suggest… remember that you are always in control! So don’t let your fear of the “car salesman  effect” prevent you from potentially learning something valuable that may make the difference between the success and failure of your once in a lifetime event. Even though most any entertainer that you would contact would like your business, it does not mean that they don’t have your best interests at heart. So listen to what they say knowing that ultimately you have the power to choose what is best for you.

If your concern is that by listening you may ultimately hear a price that is beyond what you had set in your initial budget, well… that might be true. If you have set an unrealistic budget for what you ultimately hope to accomplish, then you might have to make a choice between lowering your standards or increasing your budget. But you may not know which way to go until you have educated yourself on the options available to you.

Below is an article that was originally published on “The Flirty Blog” entitled “How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?”. The author is NOT a DJ but did a wonderful job researching the subject and it was so well done that I thought I would share it with you.

I have copied the article below for your convenience or you can visit the original article at The Flirty Blog

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?

Nitty Gritty AdviceHonestly? Probably more than you were planning to pay.


Because this isn’t easy to say, I don’t say it lightly: When it comes to Wedding DJ’s, Brides and Grooms can and should expect more professionalism than the status quo that has been perpetuated as "acceptable" for far too long.

And that’s not just my opinion. Over the years I’ve talked to brides, grooms, friends, other wedding professionals and even wedding DJ’s and everyone seems to agree that the bar for Wedding DJ professionalism has been set (but even more oddly, accepted) at an often shockingly low level of expectation. In many cases the quality of the service provided falls well beneath the level of mediocrity. IMO that’s not ok because the reputation of the entire DJ industry is damaged every time a DJ falls short. It’s created an atmosphere of apathy where people in need of a DJ often hope to pay very little for one simply because they expect so little in return.

The Bar

This post isn’t about bashing what I consider to be average or stereotypical Wedding DJ’s. For the most part I don’t think there’s anything particularly deceptive about how most of them run or market their companies. It’s not a bait and switch scenario. Clients hire them with their eyes wide open, understanding the level of service they will receive. Some are willing to contract an average DJ because they think what they’re seeing is "as good as it gets."

In some cases their expectations are so low they don’t even try to find a qualified DJ or MC because they don’t realize good DJ’s exist. Recently I stumbled upon this blog post on Vegan Bride titled "Phil Birdsell Saved the Day!" written by her real life groom. It’s a perfect example of what this article is all about. He and his bride weren’t going to hire a Professional DJ… Until they met Phil Birdsell who completely transformed their perception of what a wedding DJ can be and exceeded all of their expectations.

I know a common misconception is that all DJ’s are "cheesy" or as MC’s they are "obnoxious" on the microphone. So the logic is: Why pay a lot for someone who is most likely going to annoy or disappoint you? For some companies those may be accurate descriptions of the types of services they provide. But I want to share with you today that not all DJ companies are like that…

Some are good.

Some are really good.

A select few are truly great.

Piggy Bank

IMO the major factors that really matter when it comes to price are:

If a particular DJ doesn’t fit your budget, keep looking for the most qualified one who does. You want to choose the right DJ to entrust your reception to: One who is going to try their hardest and do their best for you, not the first one you talk to or the most convenient one.

What is a DJ Worth?
The answer to this question varies based on your needs, expectations and priorities and the level of talent, skills and customer service a DJ is able to provide to you.

The funny thing (as in ironic not ha ha) is that I have worked in the wedding industry for 13 years and by far know more vendors who do not charge enough for their services than those who overcharge. So many people who work in the wedding industry do so because they love to make people happy, they’re really not in it for the money. Some barely charge enough to break even on the cost of their labor, supplies and equipment. (When I was a custom bridal accessory designer I spent a lot of energy talking brides out of things they didn’t need because imo when it comes to wedding accessories, less is more. Less will always look classic and elegant while too much can look costumed or silly.)

Are DJ’s Who Charge More Worth More?
They can be but it may take research on your part to verify if a company is charging what they’re worth or if they are simply being opportunistic. The sad truth is that any company can "look" legitimate. All they have to do is build a nice looking website, print up some business cards and brochures and start advertising. They may even have some impressive credentials. But those things alone aren’t a guarantee of anyone’s current level of professionalism or your satisfaction as their client.

On the flip side of buyer beware is knowing that paying a premium price for something doesn’t always mean it’s overpriced. Whether or not something costs "too much" can be determined by the answer to this question: Is it worth what it costs? You can spend $5,000 dollars on something that’s worth $10,000 and get a great deal. Or you can spend the same $5000 on something that’s only worth $50 and be completely taken advantage of.

My pov is: "Value is not relative to price but to the quality of the product or service you receive in return for your investment."

DJ as MC
And what about their Master of Ceremonies skills? Especially if you haven’t ever seen them perform before I urge you not to just send out an email or chat on the phone before hiring a DJ because they will almost always be acting as your MC. You need to meet them in person. During your face to face consultation you can see their personality and even ask them to stand and do an introduction for you. When they do, watch for the following elements to see if they have mastered the MC skills needed to do a great job at your wedding:

  • Facial expression and demeanor: Do they smile and look happy to be there?
  • Body language: Do they slouch, rock or shift about nervously once they begin speaking? Or do they stand straight and tall with confidence?
  • What are their speaking skills like? Do they talk so fast you can barely understand them? Or are they so timid you can’t imagine them getting everyone out on the dance floor?
  • Do they sound engaged, interested and excited to be there or is their voice flat as if they are reading a nutrition label on a box of breakfast cereal?
  • What does their voice sound like? Do they speak with sincerity in their own voice or turn on a different affected performance voice once they’re speaking into a microphone? (Or spoon or ballpoint pen, whatever is handy during your consultation.)

After taking Mark Ferrell’s MC workshop it is now much more apparent to me how undervalued and overlooked MC skills have been in both the past and present. It’s all the more shocking because everything the MC does is an integral part of your wedding reception and should be considered when you are choosing your Wedding DJ.


The first and most important question would be: Were you referred to a particular DJ by someone you know and trust, who hired them for an event and were thrilled by their service? Or were you impressed when you saw them successfully performing at another event? If your answer to either question is yes, that may be all you need to know when it comes to selecting who to hire.

If you’re starting from scratch, here are some tips that may help you decide if a company is going to delight or disappoint you. If you can answer "yes" to all or most of the questions below you’re definitely on the right track to finding a DJ of quality.

Does the DJ you are considering hiring:

  • Have a Business License?
  • Use a Written Contract? Do they guarantee the date, their arrival and departure time and the rate they are charging you?
  • Have Quality Equipment?
  • Are They Insured?
  • Own a Vehicle Large Enough to Transport all of the Needed Equipment? Or will they forego the correct equipment because they don’t have the space to transport it?
  • Come Prepared with Back Up Equipment?
  • Dress Appropriately?
  • Not Use Inappropriate Language?
  • Not Drink Alcohol on the Job?
  • Bring an Assistant When Necessary? i.e. not enough time allowed for set up before guests arrive or lots of stairs that their equipment must be carried up and down.
  • Are they a member of an organization that has real standards for business practices and ethics? A group where not just anyone can pay to be a member.

But here are the intangibles:
These are the things that you can’t always discern from a website. These are the things a trusted testimonial from someone you know or an eyewitness account can confirm. Does the DJ you are considering hiring:

  • Rely on Expertise not Ego?
  • Deserve your trust?
  • Have Solid MC Skills?
  • Know how to Use Their Equipment Properly?
  • Understand the Pacing and Timing of the Reception?
  • Have a personality that reflects your own and/or the type of event you would like to host for your guests?
  • Care About Your Wedding? Are they honored to be a part of your special day or is it just a job to earn money?

There is a Big Difference Between how "Professional" and "Stereotypical" DJ’s View Weddings
To me there are no exceptions, every DJ is one or the other. It comes down to integrity and the choice they make when it comes to how do they approach your wedding day? You will find both types of DJ’s within owner operated and multi-op companies. Professionalism is defined as competence and skill. The Professional understands and cares that your wedding is special and will use their competence and skills to help make it enjoyable and memorable. For the Stereotypical DJ’s, the common perception is that they treat weddings as just another "gig" on their calendar.

Creme or Jello

Do you remember in the movie "My Best Friend’s Wedding" when Julia Robert’s self centered, no frills character makes the analogy that she is "Jell-O" and in the same breath labeled Cameron Diaz’s sincere character as being "Creme Brulee?"

Professional DJ’s are the Creme Brulee
They are honest, have integrity and treat being a DJ as an occupation, not a hobby. Professionals know that their business requires commitment, effort and integrity to be successful. They treat their clients with appreciation and respect because they care about the fact that weddings are special events.

I’ve noticed over the years that because they get to know their clients so well, many owner operated "Professional" vendors in all categories, often create friendships with their clients that may last for years or decades. That’s a great thing!

A Professional DJ will incur many overhead expenses to maintain their company and the high level of service they provide to their clients. These costs have to be factored into the price they charge for their services to create a profit margin. The expenses may include but are not limited to:

  • An annual business license
  • Registering their business name (DBA) with the city
  • Business Insurance
  • Association Fees
  • Computer and needed software
  • Collateral/Printshop: Brochures, business cards, letterhead, etc.
  • Website which includes: Design, development, monthly hosting fees, annual renewal for their domain name, periodic updates to their webmaster, etc.
  • Continuing Education: Attending educational industry events, workshops, seminars and conferences
  • Graphic Designer: Logo design & collateral development
  • Equipment: Initial purchase, maintenance and repair
  • Company Vehicle: A DJ has to own a vehicle large enough to transport their equipment to and from your event. Some own a dedicated vehicle and others purchase a larger personal vehicle than they actually need on a day to day basis simply to be able to transport their equipment on the weekends.
  • Gas and mileage: Some events and consultations may entail a 4+ hour round trip to reach the wedding venue
  • Vehicle maintenance and repair
  • Paying assistants when required to do their job properly
  • Advertising: Bridal shows, magazines, etc.
  • Hiring a book keeper or accountant

Stereotypical DJ’s are like Jell-O
Sometimes Jell-O does hit the spot, it can have its moment. But as Julia said in the movie: "Jell-O can NEVER be creme brulee!" The Stereotypical DJ’s have made being average an accepted standard. Many often treat being a DJ like a hobby. Their most common offenses, many of which you may have witnessed in person or have seen portrayed in movies or on tv that have helped to perpetuate the stereotype are: Being late, incorrectly pronouncing the bride or groom’s name during the introductions, not knowing how to properly use their own equipment, not following the timeline for announcements, dressing or acting inappropriately; hitting on guests, drinking on the job, using inappropriate language or using inappropriate humor.

I know. I get and empathize that these are the reasons that some of you are considering making your own mixed music cd or playlist and may forego hiring a DJ. You just don’t want to risk "that guy" showing up and ruining your wedding reception. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you didn’t before I hope you now realize that there are highly skilled, experienced, talented, caring Professional DJ’s out there. They do exist!

How Much

So, How Much Should your Wedding DJ Cost?
Because different areas of the country have different price ranges, and different couples have different needs and budgets, it isn’t possible for me to give you a definitive amount.

The best guidance I can offer is directly related to the following factors:

  • Do you want your guests to be able to hear the ceremony and vows by using an additional sound system not provided by your venue?
  • How important is the success of your reception to you and your fiance? Do you want classy intros, someone who entertains (as opposed to interrupts) your guests, unobtrusive sound systems that won’t look tacky in photos and great music & dancing for your reception? How things sound and how successful the dancing goes is especially important if you’ve hired a wedding videographer.
  • If you haven’t hired a professional wedding coordinator, do you need the DJ to help you create and execute your wedding day timeline to make sure all of the introductions and announcements are made at the appropriate times? Are you going to count on them to ensure that the photographer and videographer are in place for elements like the toasts, cake cutting and first dance?
  • Do you want a DJ you can trust? That knowing they are there will give you peace of mind that everything is going to go smoothly and that their presence will positively impact the success of your wedding and reception?
  • Have you ever hired the wrong person to do an important job? You didn’t realize until things went wrong how important it was to you. Or maybe you were just too busy to be overly concerned and thought you could get by. Whatever the reason, regret basically sucks when you know you could have had a better outcome if you had done things differently.

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, you will want to hire the best, most Professional DJ you can afford. What do good DJ’s charge? I will say while there is always the possibility you can find a better than average DJ at any price point, if you want a really good or great one they will probably charge at least twice as much as the average estimates you’ll receive.

I hope this post has explained why and that I’ve made the process of locating, recognizing and qualifying a good DJ easier for you.
If you are a DJ and would like to link directly to this post please use the direct url:
My thanks to Mark Ferrell, Jason Spencer of Jason Spencer Weddings and Entertainment, Carl Mindling of I MC Events, Ron Grandia , Leonard Ybarra of Music Plus Events, and to the other DJ industry professionals who helped contribute to this article by allowing me to consult with them. Their insights and perspectives are very much appreciated.

Question: Why Should I Hire Weddings of Distinction?

Today’s bride and groom are more conscious and discerning than ever about whom they will choose to be a part of their wedding. This is likely due to a combination of economic challenges and the ability to learn and gather better information via the Internet.

 One fine day a particularly discerning bride asked me a very simple and yet very intelligent question: “With so many DJs and entertainers available why should I choose Weddings of Distinction for my wedding?”

 It seemed like a very simple and straightforward question. I thought about it for a moment desiring to give her a very straightforward and simple answer. After all, it was a very legitimate question and she certainly deserved an answer.

 I thought about all of the things that make my particular service special and unique, and yet as I scrolled through a mental list of all those things with a full and clear understanding of how my service will benefit her wedding, I began to realize just how difficult it was going to be to share what I knew about creating fun and entertaining weddings, in a single concise statement.

 Since I have entertained at literally hundreds of weddings since 1988 I could very simply say to the bride that I have experience. But then I thought… does my telling her that I have experience really convey a clear and concise understanding of how my experience will make her wedding experience better? Probably not!

 So then the thought occurred to me that I need to share with her something tangible that she could see and hear. Typically, most DJs will show up at an event with low end gear that they can fit in the back of their car or minivan, whereas I have a huge box truck packed with the latest and greatest concert quality gear. Yes I thought, this was one really huge difference between myself and probably any other DJ.

 So I asked her to follow me to my studio where I then gave her an audio and visual demonstration.  She was very impressed and overwhelmed by what she saw and heard, but then she asked… “This is absolutely amazing, but is this high level of quality equipment and performance really necessary for my wedding to be a success?”

 It is important to be honest, so I thought about it for a moment then said…” honestly, your wedding can still be a success without having this level of quality and performance, however, I feel your wedding deserves my very best, and this is just an indication of my level of commitment to the success of your event”.

 Her response…”Thank you, that’s what I really needed to know, now tell me how you’re going to make my wedding FUN!”

December 2017
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