Wedding DJs wear many hats. Providing the right music at the right time depends on the DJ’s knowledge of what is supposed to happen and when, and his ability to help the bride & groom with last-minute changes. He is, above all, in a CUSTOMER SERVICE position.
Your DJ’s highly visible position makes him, by default, the evening’s “go to” guy. That’s why it’s important to choose a DJ who is poised and professional, one who can think on his feet and is trained to handle each issue promptly, as it arises.
As you interview DJs, ask them to list their responsibilities before and during your reception. If they talk endlessly about their state-of-the-art equipment and fabulous lighting, then that’s where they will focus their energies during your reception. Hire a DJ who understands all of his responsibilities.
1. EMCEE. Your wedding DJ is a Master of Ceremonies, (MC). Don’t settle for a Rookie of Ceremonies. A good host only becomes great with practice. A great MC has a charismatic and friendly presence. He speaks with authority while directing guests’ attention to important events. He enunciates clearly and pronounces names correctly when making formal announcements. Ryan Seacrest, host of American Idol, for example, is a great MC because he doesn’t try to BE the show, but rather helps it move along; allowing the contestants (and judges) to enjoy the spotlight. Your wedding DJ should have the same attitude.
2. SOUND ENGINEER. Great DJs will intentionally engineer his equipment to the size and shape of the room, his placement, as well as to number of guests. He knows that proper sound checks and engineering can make an enormous difference in the quality of the sound. Your DJ will also take the time to teach guests how to use his microphone for speeches and toasts which saves time and avoids embarrassment.
3. WEDDING PLANNER. Before your wedding day, a great DJ will be in contact with you, to help you plan your sequence of events and offer suggestions for fresh ideas and how to implement them. An experienced wedding DJ has attended hundreds, even thousands, of weddings and knows what works and what bores. He can be a powerful planning ally for you, whether you hire him months or years before your wedding day.
4. WEDDING RECEPTION COORDINATOR AND ORGANIZER. Since he has received and, in some cases, helped you prepare the night’s itinerary, your DJ knows what needs to happen and when. He arrives early and meets the staff and other vendors and makes sure everyone is one the “same page”. And most importantly, he knows how to take a leadership role without being pushy or stressed-out, and knows who to coordinate and when.
5. MAITRE D’ As he’s in the room well in advance of the party, your DJ is already familiar with where things are and which staff persons to contact. Your DJ can direct guests to the gift table, help them find the restrooms or bar, and send them to the hall’s Lost & Found Department, (or be one, himself). He’s able to quickly address heating/cooling issues or guest spills/accidents with appropriate staff.
6. COUNSLER. Your DJ is often put on the spot and finds himself placating nervous brides, arbitrating family disagreements or mediating when guests wish to hear music that the bride or groom doesn’t. An experienced DJ calmly resolves potentially-volatile situations that would unnerve novices.
7. PERSONAL ASSISTANT. As a person in the customer service business, a DJ’s primary responsibility is to care about you and the success of your party. A professional DJ will go many extra miles to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. It’s not uncommon for a DJ to fetch drinks; find safety pins, aspirin, or bouquets to toss; track down guests; and many other errands unrelated to his primary job of spinning songs, but are essential to smooth running and enjoyable nights.