Choosing Your Wedding DJ PART 1
One of the most difficult decisions a couple can make when planning a wedding is deciding on what professionals to hire. They have to pick so many including a venue and photographer to a cake designer to a DJ or band. I have been in the wedding and event business for 24 years and have meet with and worked for thousands of couples on their wedding day celebrations. This blog is what I have learned in my years and how I help couples I meet make good decisions.
I will strictly deal with picking a DJ suited for your needs although some of these principals can be applied to all vendors. The first thing is when you find a professional DJ, who has been recommended or you found from searching the web, is verified reviews of their work. Take the time to look at and search what other couples have said about this vendors work. Look for reviews in more than one area also, in other words multiple sites. Today most professional wedding vendors will link these sites right to their website or social medial pages for easy access.
A good trick to follow when looking at the reviews is to search them various ways. Do not just look at the first couple you see because they are usually the best reviews. You see a lot of these sites, although the reviews are verified, are paid advertising sites. They try to hide negative reviews in order to have the professional vendor keep paying monthly service fees to the site. Look for options to search for reviews that may not be so flattering. Now granted you can not make every customer 100 % happy all the time, especially when you do sixty to one hundred events per year, however one or two of these types of reviews is different than 10 when looking at a full body of work.
After you find a couple professional DJ vendors that you think you make be interested in contact them for pricing options. A vendor in todays industry should be transparent about their pricing. Today these prices should be available for a quick easy instant quote. Avoid the trap of a professional attempting to price gauge you just because they feel they can. A good example of this is they try to charge more because you are having your event at what would be considered a five star or upscale venue. I do not ask my clients where the event is held until the very end. The price for a wedding is the price for a wedding no matter where it is being held. This does not account for travel cost. We all have to add small fees for traveling over a certain amount of miles, however this fee should make sense when compared to the normal price for the particular vendor to work an event. An example of this would be the following, I charge 700.00 dollars for a 5 hour wedding, if I have to travel to Cape May County New Jersey to work and event I charge 800.00 dollars.
The next step is a meeting to fit your needs and see if you would be comfortable with this person working your special day. This meeting should be on your terms to a certain degree. The vendor should offer more than one avenue to accomplish this meeting. I offer phone meetings, meetings at my office or video meetings. The later is becoming a very popular option today, couples have busy schedules and planning is a stressful time, if you can take some stress off by doing a video conference they accomplish the same goals as an in person meeting.
The meeting is set up for the vendor to explain the services they offer, They should also explain the pricing and the entire system of planning a wedding. The DJ should go over what tools they have available to assist you in the planning of your event and be realistic as to what you need to do as you move forward should you chose to hire this professional. One thing to watch out for here is the pushy vendor. When I have my meetings, I do not ask for nor do I accept any money or deposits at this time. A vendor should not be pushing you to sign a contract or leave a deposit during this time. A professional wedding vendor respects the consumer process and should be confident that they have presented their service in the best possible light. The couple should leave the meeting and have time to discuss what was said and compare it to the other vendors they have meet with or are set to meet with in the near future. The couple needs time to decide which vendor they are most comfortable with and make the best choice for them and their event. This may go against sales logic 101 (never allow the client to go without leaving a check) however picking a wedding vendor is different from buying a car.
Establish a line of communication and explain how it works. A couple should be given all the contact information for the person who is going to be working the event (the meeting should actually be with that person not just any person associated with that particular vendor). The professional should assure the couple has their phone number and email address and assure the couple of the best possible ways to contact them should questions arise and during the planning and event process. They should also explain how to establish future meetings as needed. The professional DJ should make every reasonable attempt to be available for their clients on an as needed basis.
Do not discount the independent wedding professional. This professional may be your best option to obtain the most professional services and receive the best possible price. A lot of independent vendors have been in the industry for a long time. Some have even been the best DJ at a larger company. They have decided to go on their own for one reason or another and you can benefit from this decision. This professional usually does not have the overhead of the large company, they have established their reputation as one of the best in their business and do not need to rely on paid advertising. These savings are passed on to you the consumer. What this translates into is you getting the BEST PROFESSIONAL DJ at the best price possible. The large company acts as a booking agent. They add the booking fees onto the price of the job. An example of this is I charge 700.00 for a 5 hour wedding. This is what I have made my entire carrier as a DJ, the company would charge 950, 1050 or even 1150 for me to come work your event. They would take that money off the top just for booking the event.
This is phase one for my blog on choosing the right professional DJ for your special day. I will do more blogs on this in the future. I hope you enjoyed reading and can apply some of this information to your search for the perfect wedding DJ. THE DJ JOE BENE