Do Your Research – Finding the Perfect Wedding DJ   5 comments

How many of you walk into a store looking for a piece of household equipment and walk up to the display, look at the price tickets along the bottom and automatically buy the one at the lowest price? I’m guessing almost nobody. You’ll look at the features; assess to yourself those that are important to your needs and, based on that, evaluate all the factors before making a decision. Heck, I know guys who won’t buy a toaster without checking back copies of “What Toaster?” monthly and comparing the pros and cons of all the top models!

So why, when it comes to the biggest, most expensive, single day in most couples’ lives, do they forget all of those instincts, and settle for a company that they’ve either under-researched or not researched at all? Why are there horror stories of DJ companies that stopped communicating with their clients, failed to show for meetings and, worse yet, failed to show on the wedding day? Simply put, legit, reputable companies have too much at stake to ever risk the terrible PR that comes from today’s savvy, internet-friendly bride bashing them online. Established companies rarely ever let you down.

It’s that tantalizing teeny tiny price, often several hundred dollars less than many of the other companies they might have considered, that makes for value-for-money amnesia, in my opinion. I mean, what difference does it make which DJ you hire; they all do the same thing don’t they? Obviously, that’s not the case, or everyone would be delighted with their entertainment and, clearly, some couples aren’t.

There are only two options when a company is noticeably cheaper – either the DJ is really good, and just doesn’t know it….or he’s not very good! That seems like a coin flip to me, and why would you gamble when a number of ways exist to turn the odds in your favor? The main methods to research  an entertainer for your big day are:

  • Personal referral from someone you trust implicitly. Not “a friend of a friend knows someone who knows a guy”, but a firsthand account of a good experience from a trusted friend, colleague or family member. It’s the Mrs Einstein approach. When asked about the Theory of Relativity, Albert’s wife said ,“I don’t know about that, but I know my husband, and he can be trusted”!
  • Your trusted venue or wedding vendors. Hotels, photographers and other wedding pros see literally dozens of entertainers every year, and can accurately compare the good, the bad and the sometimes very ugly! For them to pass along the name of a company, they need to be very secure in the knowledge that they are referring a great ambassador.
  • Online sites with unbiased reviews. Many wedding websites allow for reviews of vendor services from past clients. Look for generally favorable reviews – even the best companies can have off days, or even an off hour, so look at the big picture. If choosing a company with multiple DJs as opposed to an owner-operator, look for the individual DJ’s names that are praised and note those who are criticized. Then ask the office manager or owner of the company for the good guys!
  • The Better Business Bureau. (www.bbb.org) Always run a quick search of both company and owner name through the BBB website in your area. Some bad companies’ names are all over the BBB like a rash and they somehow keep getting booked afterwards!  Don’t be put off by the fact that your DJ company isn’t named as one of the BBB’s Accredited Businesses – this requires a yearly payment.  The fact that your DJ isn’t accredited just means they haven’t paid the $400, not that they are less competent than one that is on the list. If they are disreputable, they’ll very likely be on the BBB’s radar!
  • Check for a business license. Most states have a search engine to check for business licenses. Competent, legit DJs, even part-time, so-called “weekend warriors”, should have a business license. If not, ask why not. That same lack of care in doing things the right way can easily manifest itself to your wedding preparations. Famously, in their gig contract, 80s rockers Van Halen requested M & Ms with the brown ones removed. They didn’t do this to be rock divas, rather if there were brown M & Ms in their bowl, they knew that the contract hadn’t been read fully, so what other, more serious, precaution had been overlooked?

Finally, never underestimate the power of intuition, the sniff test, to put it another way. If you get even one red flag, one twinge that all is not what it seems, dig and keep digging until you are sure. There are some wonderful, affordable, reputable entertainment companies out there. Don’t let your reluctance to research or the lure of an ultra –low price stop you from checking the credentials of the pro you plan to entrust with hosting the biggest party you’ll ever throw. Do your homework, then relax in the knowledge that your dream day is in good hands.

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Posted December 6, 2010 by ScottishDJ in Brides, Uncategorized, Vendors, Wedding Tips, Weddings

5 responses to “Do Your Research – Finding the Perfect Wedding DJ

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  1. Outstanding advice for brides and grooms Alan! I always say that for most brides and grooms, this is the first time they’ve ever had to hire a DJ. It’s like buying your first car or major appliance–you know there are questions you should be asking during the sales meeting, but sometimes “how much?” is the only thing you can think to ask. Great ideas here on what to look for in a wedding DJ. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks, Bri. It’s early days yet, but I’d like to think people might be able to get some great advice from the occasional post!

  3. Valuable advice. Any business should have the appriate documents and certifications- if they dont, then, they probably are not invested in their business in the long run. You definitely want someone professional for a day like the Big Day. And internet searches on a business are so easy to run!

  4. Pingback: How to Hire a DJ for Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding « DJ Bri's Blog: Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding

  5. Pingback: 8 Tips To Help Find A GREAT DJ « ScottishDJ's Blog

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