Why Hiring a Cheap DJ For Your Wedding Is a Huge Mistake
Did you know hiring a cheap DJ could cost you more than hiring a professional?
There are many instances where couples who are shopping around for a DJ for their upcoming wedding day are sometimes overtaken with the impulse to pick the cheaper priced DJ over the professional who has been in the business for many years. It is not something new we all have done it for one reason or another when purchasing something, but when it comes to picking your DJ price should not be the overall determining factor. Picking a DJ or any other vendor for your special day is not like other contractors you will deal with throughout your life. You cannot just stop in the middle of your wedding and say "This is not going to work out" and call someone else to finish the job. A Wedding DJ is more than just playing music, there are etiquettes that need to be followed, details throughout the day that need to be cared for and the ability to change it up on the fly without making everyone in the room feel uncomfortable.
For the most part your DJ actually wears many hats, and is mostly cool and under control. They are there not only to play the music to keep the crowd dancing but they also ensure announcements are made, create moments so your photographer and videographer can capture them and are the central communication between all your vendors on that special day. Your wedding DJ will have the experience and skills for a smooth and flawless reception. Hiring a DJ based on price that is cheap is probably not going to get you this level of service.
Another concern with hiring a cheap DJ is that they are probably not charging you enough to sustain their business. Do you really want to find out a month or two prior to your wedding that your DJ has gone bankrupt or is out of business? This is a reality when hiring a cheap DJ, and yes it happens a lot. Those frantic emails, texts or phone calls from desperate couples looking for a last minute DJ because the one they hired is no longer in business. Would you rather hire a true professional who is invested 100% in their business, who risks their entire reputation on every performance? Or would you rather hire someone who is substantially cheaper, who is doing it for fun, who is not affected if something goes wrong and treats it like not a big deal? Just remember you get what you pay for…
As a couple looking for a DJ for your next event, there are a couple of things you should be looking for even though they may not be necessary for your day.
- How long has your DJ been in business and doing weddings? Just because they have been in business does not mean that they are experienced in weddings.
- Does your DJ carry liability insurance? This may not be a requirement of the venue, but it is still important check into. Most cheap DJs do not carry liability insurance because it is an expense they do not think they need to make, but what happens if a piece of equipment falters or someone trips over a speaker stand or cable not secured properly? These are not things we hope will happen but a true professional understands the need to carry insurance and does so just in case.
- This one is probably going to get you a funny look from your DJ, but ask them questions about their equipment. Try to get a feel for is the equipment pro audio and lighting or are they using consumer grade equipment. Ask for pictures or videos of their setup. Ask them “What type of equipment do they bring onsite as backup in case something fail?”
- Another question would be, are you the DJ who will be at my event? This question is important because you have your single-ops (They are the only DJ for the company), your multi-ops (Who have multiple DJs to choose from) and then you have those businesses who subcontract out to other DJs to perform on their behalf. So now you see why this question is so important.
- How many people will be showing up on your wedding day? This question is important because there are professionals who show up by themselves and will DJ and Emcee your special day. There are also DJs who show with an assistant to help out during instances such as taking requests from your guests. And finally there are 2 person teams that show up, one will DJ while the other will Emcee. This is what we do, this way we can be in two places at once and not negatively affect the flow.
- Does your DJ take requests from you and your guests? Believe it or not there are DJs out there that do not take requests, they actually have their sets all setup and do not deter from it at all. This is because they do not know how to read a crowd, or have the experience to create sets around your music preferences. Ask them what genre of music are they comfortable in? You may not think it is a big deal, but how awful would it be to find out on your wedding day that your DJ is not familiar with Latin music and 25 % of your guests are Latin. For your professional this is their livelihood, they will carry a wide variety of music from different genre. They may not have all the selections but they will have the popular ones and know how to incorporate them properly.
- What is their plan if something happens to them or they get sick on your wedding day? I know no one wishes for this, but it does happen, get their backup plan, ensure they have one in place. Trust me only your professional has thought of this and has a contingency plan in place.
- Watch out for the big money upfront deals. This may be true about both cheap and professional DJs, but if they have checked the boxes on the previous seven items and the balance is due within the 30 days before your special day, you should be okay. It is when they ask for half up front is where you should be a little concerned. Normally we ask for a nominal fee of about $100 with a signed contract (And yes there should be a contract signed by client and DJ) and the balance is due at the event or just before the day. The only instance we ask for more on the booking fee is if the event occurs on a holiday weekend.
- Finally the contract. This was mentioned in eight and yes the contract is there to protect you and DJ. It spells out what services are being provided, at what cost and where the services are to occur during what times on a specific date. This means that an agreement was made and signed by both parties. There should be specific language in the contract spelling out cancelation policy, space requirements, and payment options. Make sure there is a contract before any money changes hands. A professional will have one, a cheap DJ, not so much because they do not want that paper trail leading back to them.
Just remember this is a once in a lifetime event, and if you are investing thousands of dollars into your special day. You should also ensure that you are hiring the right person for the job of being your DJ. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who was cheap, thinking it is no big deal, all DJs are the same. Instead you have hired some who does not know what they are doing, and you are jeopardizing everything you worked so hard for, and spent so much money for, just to skimp on a cheap DJ.
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