The one behind the turntable at your reception desk does so much more than just play the tunes.

This story first appeared in the Spring / Summer 2020 issue of Columbus Weddings, which was published in December 2019.

OK, bridal couple: You have set the framework for your big day, signed the contract with the photographer and concluded the negotiations about who is sitting where. Next comes the easy part: choose a DJ to host your reception. After all, it’s just a matter of choosing the melodies and pressing play, right?

Not correct.

David Kurtz of D&M DJ Entertainment says couples should pause to consider the multiple tasks a DJ has to perform. They go way beyond the song for the father-daughter dance.

“A DJ is more than just someone who makes music,” says Kurtz. “You’re there to keep the schedule going. You are working with a photographer; they work with a caterer; and they work with a wedding planner. “

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In fact, he adds, the DJ is the person who – if not selected with due care – could potentially disrupt or even ruin an otherwise perfect affair.

“I’ve heard of DJs who happen to say, ‘Oh, we’ve forgotten that one formality – it’s no big deal,'” says Kurtz. “We’ve heard of DJs who just won’t show up because they found a better paying gig, or they’ll tell their brides [at the] Last minute, ‘No, I can’t.’ “

Due to the tasks that DJs are often entrusted with, Kurtz warns couples not to give the seemingly simple job to a family friend or a cheap “professional”. He says there is more to consider than the bottom line.

“For example, if you’re spending $ 5,000 on a photographer – which seems to be the newest number – and you’re only spending $ 200 or $ 300 on your DJ, you need to be clear about your priorities,” says Kurtz. “You want to get to the heart of the only person who couldn’t let the photographer know when something was going to happen?”

Kurtz admits that couples want value, but based on the old maxim: You get what you pay for.

Investing in the right DJ is therefore comparable to investing in overall reception. “When they meet up with the newlyweds, they often help them make those decisions,” says Kurtz, pointing out that the DJ takes on that role if a couple doesn’t hire a wedding planner. “Sometimes the person who creates the day is the DJ.”

On the big day, couples should expect the DJ to oversee the occasion and all of its nuances during the scheduled time. The DJ’s tasks range from advising the couple about favorite songs weeks in advance to completing the formalities on time for the photographer’s benefit. Handling a microphone doesn’t hurt either.

“When it’s time for the big show, they have to do their best to get the pronunciation right and [make] sure that they know when something is happening, ”says Kurtz. Nothing can spoil a newlywed couple’s mood like having their newly divided last name mispronounced when they walk into their reception.

It can also be up to the DJ to keep the extended family happy by making sure that important events are properly announced from the stage.

“Our job is to let everyone know what’s going on,” says TEAM DJ’s Todd Jones. “If Grandma doesn’t know that the newlyweds are cutting the cake, who will Grandma be mad at? The DJ. “

Of course, music management remains a large part of the job description.

“[We] make sure people dance, ”says Jones. “If a song doesn’t work, [we] turn it off immediately – as soon as possible. “

When choosing a wedding DJ, Kurtz recommends couples consult online reviews to ensure consistency of reviews. Choosing a DJ who has the background, personality, and skills to make your day run smoothly – musical or otherwise – can result in higher costs, but the experts say it is worth making the investment.

“A skilled DJ will always be worth a lot more no matter what you pay for,” says Jones. “You really want to look for experienced DJs who already exist – the longer the better.”

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