1- Hire a PROFESSIONAL DJ. There is a HUGE difference between a Wedding & Party Professional DJ, and a CLUB DJ.
KNOW the DIFFERENCE.
2- This sounds a bit like common sense, but don't hire your wedding DJ from SOCIAL MEDIA. Social Media is a place to post pictures of your food and your dog, not hiring a professional Disc Jockey. That being said, nowadays Wedding DJ's do have a social media presence do your due diligence and ask around, cheaper is not better, beware the dreaded PM SENT, go to their Website, ask for a copy of the contract, and check www.sunbiz.org, professionals have licenses and insurance. Trust me you don't want a speaker falling on Grandma at the reception.
3- Plan to have a Designated Dance Floor. I know this one sounds silly too, but over the 1500 plus weddings we have done, I've seen Dance Floors in the grass (terrible for women in heels) and Dance Floors with mirrored ceilings.
Most rental companies rent Dance Floors.
4- Expect to pay between $300-$400 an hour for a Professional Wedding Disc Jockey.
5- MUSIC. Anybody can play music to get people to dance.
So you may be asking yourself why MUSIC was listed lastly, well let me explain. Music is the easiest part of the job.
A professional Wedding DJ takes control of the reception, he is in charge of every aspect of the reception. While the guests await the Grand Entrance and Introduction of the Wedding Party, the DJ is playing music for the guests. When the Bride and Groom arrive to the reception hall, the DJ meets the Wedding Party outside the venue, and coordinates with the waitstaff on when to pour the toast. The DJ makes certain that the guests get excited when the Bride and Groom enter the venue. You can tell the Quality of the Disc Jockey by the way he or she introduces the Wedding Party at the reception.
Now it is important for a DJ to know what to play and when, for instance during cocktail hour and dinner you should stay away from Death Metal (NO Metallica or MegaDeth), and stick to the Easy Listening music. Generally I recommend playing music from decades past kind of like a time machine of music while eating, starting at the 1940's (Glenn Miller Band, Big Band Era), the 50's and 60's
(Elvis, Beatles, Motown), then the 70's and 80's (Chicago, Rolling Stones, REO Speedwagon, Journey), this gets music for all your guests out of the way for the dancing and real party after dinner.
A Professional Wedding DJ can read the crowd, gauge what they are responding to and play the appropriate music selection. This is a skill that comes over time and training we have had over 1500 Successful Weddings and Parties since 1988.
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