Are you hiring a DJ, or their equipment?
What is a DJ?
What is the role of a DJ at your wedding? A host? An MC? A coordinator and planner? A sound and lighting tech? YES! The phrase "DJ" gets tossed around, and it's mostly associated with music. And rightly so. But there is so much more involved, and it's important that you are looking for the right type of DJ service for your wedding. This isn't a house party you're throwing together. It's a celebration with friends and family of all ages and backgrounds on one of the most important days of your life. There will be many points in the night where good organization and planning are critical. And the equipment alone won't magically make your event great.
There are so many choices! The internet is saturated with DJ services. A quick glance will help you narrow it down a little. The quality of the website says a lot about the companies' interest in the quality of their own service. But even then, who can you trust your wedding day to? What will make the biggest impact on the success of your wedding reception?
For the sake of simplicity, let's look at 2 scenarios: DJ #1 provides a package with a) music and b) professional MC services, along with c) unlimited planning to ensure your day is customized and engaging. Sounds good, right? But DJ #2 provides a) music services, along with b) 1 planning session, c) lighting, AND a d) photobooth. Both DJs cost about the same. What to do?
At first glance, you'd think that DJ #2 is the obvious choice! I mean, look at the extra equipment! More is better, right? Many DJ websites reinforce this. You get plenty of info on equipment and lighting, but very little info on what it is they, the actual person, do to make your wedding day amazing. But...
If a DJ spends more time talking about speakers and lighting than what they can do to make your wedding day unforgettable, it could be that they are relying too heavily on equipment over talent, which can ultimately lead to a lackluster event.
If DJ #2 has little or no experience in directing hundreds of people, and keeping them entertained and engaged, the lighting and photobooth will do little to improve your experience. On the other hand, even without the extra equipment, DJ #1 could make your night completely unforgettable because they invested hours to help you plan a customized experience in advance, and had the ability to host your event successfully so that everyone knew what was going on, and were having a great time doing it! A true MC (Master of Ceremonies) has the experience and ability to take charge of your event and make it both cohesive and entertaining for every guest invited. Customized Grand Entrances? Sure. A personalized playlist. Yes. And even more than that, a true event professional will be able to adapt, adjust, and improvise. They'll anticipate what will be needed to keep your party going and your guests happy, in addition to providing a solid entertainment experience.
Here's the point. Be sure you hire a professional that can help you create not only the right mood on the dance floor, but can successfully host your event in such a way that you and your guests had the time of your lives, even before it's time to dance.
Once you've found the right talent, THEN talk about lighting, and other enhancements, which can definitely add to the ambiance of your celebration. Just remember that it can't eliminate an awkward dinner, or an unorganized timeline. On the other hand, some of the most sought after MCs in the country don't even provide lighting as an option, but provide the best entertainment imaginable. In the end, talent is far more valuable than any piece of equipment. Make sure that you are investing in what really matters.