As we begin this new year we see an alarming trend is the DJ business. We are hearing more and more:
“My friend is a DJ” “DJ’s are all the same, you just play music”
and the list goes on and on. What most couples don’t know is that by trying to
save money by hiring an amateur DJ for your wedding comes with a high price
tag. But here are 9 reasons why hiring an amateur DJ is a huge mistake.
1. There’s a high probability that a cheap (or free) DJ won’t be in business
by the time your wedding arrives.
Many low-priced DJs are not charging enough to support their own businesses
for the long term; you’re just financing their hobby. Meanwhile, your wedding is 6-12
months away or more.
We have received those calls from desperate couples who had a “friend of a friend” DJ cancel
on them last minute. It’s not pretty.
Do you want to risk the possibility that the cheapie DJ is bankrupt and
out of business before your big day?
2. Amateurs are less invested in their performance than a wedding professional.
The amateur DJ is doing it “for fun,” and if something goes wrong, it’s not a big deal.
A wedding professional, on the other hand, risks his entire reputation and livelihood
with every performance. One bad review can destroy his business and he knows it.
At one wedding, the DJ brought along his wife and newborn. Their table was littered
with McDonald’s bags and his wife decided to breastfeed the baby during dinner.
Would you rather have an entertainer who is 100% invested in his
business and performance on your wedding day or someone who does it as a hobby?
3. A wedding is a unique event that require the skills and
experience of a wedding specialist for a smooth, flawless ceremony and reception.
It’s about more than just playing music. Your wedding DJ and MC is responsible
for coordinating the timeline, orchestrating the introduction and flow of events,
working with your other vendors, managing the guests, reading the crowd
and making sure the right song is played at just the right time.
Even a DJ who is quite experienced in the club setting will be at a loss because they
simply aren’t familiar with the flow of events and how to prevent disasters when something goes awry.
One inexperienced DJ mistakenly announced a special dance with the bride
and her grandfather because he forgot to update his notes. The entire family
started crying because Grandpa had passed away two weeks earlier.
Are you willing to place the outcome of your wedding in the hands
of someone who doesn’t “do” weddings for a living?
4. Your guests won’t dance without an experienced
entertainer who can read the crowd and keep the momentum going.
You have to play the right songs at the right time and in the right
order to maintain dancing. Oftentimes, the mood changes and your
entertainer needs to change the program to maximize the dancing along the way.
If the DJ can’t mix from one song to another, you’ll have gaps of “dead air”
or awkward rhythms that will frustrate your guests and clear the floor.
Many couples think that providing an amateur with a set list of songs
they love will be enough to make a fun wedding. It’s not. You need someone with
experience to work with your requests and what your guests are responding to in
order to avoid an empty dance floor.
One bride regrets hiring her DJ because he played “Unforgettable” five times
during the wedding because he didn’t know any other slow songs.
Are you willing to sacrifice the fun at your wedding to save money on a cheaper DJ?
5. The MC has a huge impact on the mood and outcome
of your party, for better or worse.
An obnoxious MC with an abrasive voice will irritate your guests and
dampen the mood of the entire party. Professional MC’s invest in
vocal training and practice to optimize their performance.
I personally witnessed one MC embarrass everyone by making
suggestive comments to the bride over the microphone.
Do you want just anyone acting as your wedding host or
do you want a professional speaker you can trust?
6. Your special events may not happen if you don’t
hire a specialist who’s experienced in channeling the flow of events.
Who will direct your bridal party and guests at the ceremony?
Who’s going to line them up for introductions? Who’s in charge of making
sure the toasts, special dances and dedications go without a hitch?
Just having the equipment and knowing how to push play doesn’t
guarantee the people wrangling skills you need for a fun, smooth reception.
In most cases, your entertainer is the one who makes sure your special events
are executed as you have requested.
One inexperienced DJ forgot to bring the couple’s First Dance song;
they were forced to dance to Barbra Streisand, who they can’t stand.
Will you risk leaving your special events to chance or do you
want to ensure that everything is done according to plan?
7. An amateur doesn’t have the experience to include your
unique requests in a way that truly expresses your personality
AND keeps people dancing.
You can’t make your guests dance to the songs you like if they don’t feel the same way.
Your DJ needs to read the crowd and have the experience to build sets of music
around your preferences. An amateur DJ can play the songs you request,
but lacks the experience necessary to make it work.
One bride told us her DJ played the unedited version of Sexy Back during dinner
and had five minutes of dead air while he queued up the next song.
Do you want your guests on the dance floor all night or is it
acceptable to have large chunks of time with no dancing?
8. An amateur DJ has inadequate or non-existent backup equipment,
which means that if something fails you have no music at your wedding.
A fully functional backup system on the premises is essential to making sure you
have music at your wedding no matter what. Most amateur DJs won’t have
a backup plan if a speaker blows or a laptop crashes.
We were approached at the end of one wedding by a DJ in the next room
who asked if he could “borrow our speakers” because his were broken.
Are you willing to takes your chances without a backup on your wedding day?
9. DJs who charge less invest less into their equipment, which means you
have inferior sound and performance at your wedding.
A stereo system that sounds great in your living room doesn’t sound good
in a spacious wedding venue. Professional speakers and equipment are
necessary for clear sound that has impact at low volumes,
so your guests can speak at the tables even while the dance floor is thumping.
If you want your guests to actually hear your exchange of vows at the ceremony,
you’ll need professional equipment and an onsite tech to make sure that happens.
One DJ showed up at a venue for the first time without ANY speakers or mixer
because he’s been told that he could, “use the venue’s sound system” and he didn’t
call ahead to verify.
Are sound issues like blasting music or impossible to understand
audio acceptable on your wedding day?
If you’re not planning to have any formal events at your wedding,
and you’d like a cocktail party more than a dance party, it may make sense
to save money by hiring a non-professional. But if you’re investing thousands
of dollars on creating the perfect day, please don’t jeopardize it by
hiring someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Your wedding day only happens once; make sure you hire a DJ who gets it right.
Call the professionals at Big Apple Entertainment and
don’t worry on your wedding day.
Big Apple Entertainment
2005 Palmer Ave.
Larchmont, NY 10538
Our first wedding showcase of 2014 is Monday, January 6, 2014 at the Radisson Hotel in New Rochelle. Doors open at 7pm.
A note about price:
Budget is a big factor for just about everyone these days. However, it’s wise to allocate your
budget in a way that reﬂects the importance you place on each element of your event. Keep in mind, also, that your DJ’s success (or failure) will be extremely prominent at your wedding, even more so than any other type of vendor. No one will know if the caterer switches one of the hors d’oeuvres you selected, or if the photographer captures a few bad shots, or if the ﬂowers aren’t the exact perfect shade. However, everyone will notice, and remember, the music and emcee work of your DJ. There are many DJs available at many points on the pricing spectrum, but creatively mixed music, polished
announcements, and incredible customer service are