5 Areas a Professional Wedding DJ Thrives
Being Prepared Makes a Professional Wedding DJ
Preparation is key to the success of many aspects in our lives. As Ben Franklin said: “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” That is an important quote for any DJ to understand not just Wedding DJs. In this post we are focusing on 6 areas a Wedding DJ thrives when they have thoroughly, completely, and lovingly prepared for their couples’ weddings. Anything less than completing the following means you, the aspiring professional wedding DJ, has left a lot of room for improvement and money on the table. So, let’s hop into it…
1. Knowing and Understanding Your Clients Vision
We like to party with our couples! It’s important to us that we can find that value and desire within our potential clients. This all starts from the moment a couple inquires with us about their wedding. From the moment a client gets in touch with you – your goal should be to understand what they need and getting a basic idea of how you can be of most value to them in supporting their needs. Simply put: Build Rapport.
Once a client is booked because they like you, you like them, and it’s time to get down to the planning process before their wedding ask yourself what it is that you do for them.
2. Plan The Music
Each part of a couples wedding sets the stage for the end goal of having a really awesome time dancing the night away. During the planning process with your couples it isn’t good enough to book them, take their deposit, and talk to them again a month before their wedding. Where are they going for the honeymoon? Are there any songs that they remember from college that their friends will love? As their DJ what can you do to make their wedding the best day of their lives?
Create a Diverse Playlist
Any DJ with experience knows what generally works and what doesn’t for a packed dance floor because there is always some crossover. But, we are not talking about just the dance floor here. Working with your couples to understand their ceremony is huge. Coaching them to exit their ceremony on a high note with an upbeat song because this sets the stage for their cocktail hour. Their cocktail hour should follow up with some upbeat songs that reflect their music tastes. Then dinner hour continuing their music tastes and ending with some songs that get guests tapping their feet, singing along, and getting that energy up. Make them WANT to dance early on.
Their Music Matters
In recent years couples have come into the idea that their music matters. This may sound a little odd because it is their wedding; however, as the traditional wedding trends die new ones take their place we see more couples embracing their music and not really caring what others think. We have always advocated that couple utilize their cocktail hour and dinner hour to use music they enjoy… Rather than try to shove it all into the dancing portion of the night. Instead of smooth jazz and crooners go for your Indie and Alt Rock. We had a couple that wanted rap instrumentals for their cocktail hour in 2023. It was interesting because it was different. You could hear and see people reacting to what they were hearing. A memorable wedding includes these little touches.
3. Arrive Early
This sounds so simple minded but there are DJs that show up an hour before the wedding and consider that normal. Hint: it’s not and it’s unprofessional.
During the planning process you are there for your couples the whole way. If you have read any of this and made it here anyway. You’re reaching out, asking questions, and making sure they are comfortable. Continue that to the day of their wedding. In all honesty we show up too early. Anywhere from 3 to 4 hours before their ceremony. This does not mean that you should do just that – also, maybe you should?
What if a tire blows on the highway, what if your cables on site are on the fritz and you need a little extra time to troubleshoot.. or in the worst case hit up your local pro-music shop to buy what you need? You may need that extra time – not every time, maybe not for a long time, it’ll be that one time you don’t show up with ample time that you need to do something that is out of the norm.
Pro tip: have enough gear with you that you’ll never ever have to actually leave a wedding to buy something new.
4. Communicate With Other Vendors
Working directly with the couple is great; however, if you have a wedding planner taking care of the couple then any work you directly with the couple should be in line with the planner. Communication is key, here. If you find yourself getting info that the planner might not know it helps to wrap them into a conversation. CC them on emails, send texts if you have that relationship with the planner, do what needs to be done to make sure you are not overstepping or doing things that are frowned upon.
We always include the planners, photographers, videographers, and sometimes the caterers in our Google Docs that we share with the couples. Don’t be the reason for the wedding day to be chaotic.
5. Stay Professional
Think about how you look, what you say, and how you act reflects on your aspiring wedding DJ business. New, old and tried true, or somewhere in between you have got to show up.
Show up means dress well, look good, be courteous, respectful, kind, and have some manners. A little bit goes a long way and it doesn’t cost you a thing.
Keep in mind that preparing for anything in life is great. But just like life a wedding can have numerous things go wrong. Reduce your stress level by planning ahead, being ready to go, and being flexible. Your ability to adapt to any situation that arises is of utmost importance. You are the professional DJ because you know how to handle anything that comes up.
Your enthusiasm and willingness to help will take you a long way. Think on your feet and have fun. How good is a DJ who doesn’t dance along with the guests? 😉