What Type Of DJ Should I Book For My Wedding?
Booking your wedding DJ might be one of the hardest vendors to hire. As most will find out after making a few phone calls, DJ's can be all over the spectrum in regards to pricing, experience, equipment, etc. According to an article published in the St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine in 2003, 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their wedding entertainment and 65% of all couples that chose a band as their entertainment, said they would go back and choose a disc jockey. When asked, 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
So, what are the different types of DJ's that I can book?
Not all DJ's are alike. Here we will summarize the different types of DJ's you might encounter when picking up the phone and interviewing for potential reception entertainment:
- Club DJ-
Club DJ's usually don't have their own sound and lighting equipment. Also, many are specialized in only one or two styles of music. They are used to showing up to a nightclub and playing, without much planning and interaction with the actual client. Club DJ's are usually good at beat-matching, reading crowds and making sure there is good flow to their night, whether that means clearing a floor or keeping a dance floor hopping at the right times of the night.
- Radio DJ- Radio DJ's tend to good at public speaking and handling the microphone. Sometimes they assist in planning and coordination of events. They typically do not have their own equipment outside of what is provided by the station.
- Bedroom DJ- These are DJ's that are either starting, or DJ as a hobby. These are typically the people that advertise on craigslist for a very cheap price. They tend to have little experience, cheap equipment (or rent cheap equipment), little experience coordinating events and planning, small music libraries (it's even common for the music to be bootlegged from file-sharing sites), and are basically going to do anything to gain experience. This means you can find them for a very cheap rate, but at a very high risk of your event having hiccups due to inexperience.
- Contracted DJ- This is the DJ that works for a contractor DJ company, might have some experience, but is usually told a day or two before your event, that he/she is working this weekend. This is a wild-card in many cases. Sometimes these DJ's are very well versed in coordination, speaking on the microphone, and guiding the night. Other times these DJ's are hired for cheap, have little experience, and are basically bedroom DJ's looking for work.
- IPod DJ- Need I say more? They hook up their Ipod to their sound system and basically push play. These DJ's tend to have playlists and don't usually invest the time into reading their crowd and have interaction when needed. Many times these DJ's play songs that they enjoy, rather than what their crowd might want to hear. Or, they might play your Ipod, which again is music geared around only your tastes and interests. Either way, the key component of playing to your audience is basically gone.
- Mobile DJ- These DJ's are typically owners of their smaller businesses, have invested in equipment, might network with other mobile DJ's and keep up to date on trends in the industry. Some have club skills (such as beatmatching, mixing and scratching),
while others only push play on their ipod. They usually have experience in event coordination (depending on how many events they have done), are typically comfortable in front of crowds, leading the formalities, and sometimes have the tendency to "over-do-it" on the microphone (cue the cheesy wedding DJ stereotype). Mobile DJ's have a wide range in ability to read their crowds and keep a party jumping.
Which DJ Is Right For Me?
Ideally, most brides might want to have some combination of all these DJ's. Who wouldn't want a really cheap DJ that knows how to handle the mic, coordinate your event, read your crowd and play great music with awesome nightclub lighting? The reality is that what each DJ brings to the table is going to be different from DJ to DJ and from DJ company to DJ company. By having a list of questions and interviewing many DJ's, you should be able to find the right fit. Our next post will take you through the questions you should be asking when you interview your wedding DJ's...