Your big day has arrived and so has your DJ! He (or she) shows up ready to go, but doesn’t know where to set up. He also has no idea where the power source is and how far away from it he is. Fast forward to the reception. He bungles two of your wedding party’s names during the grand entrance and REPEATEDLY refers to the newlyweds as “the bride and groom” instead of their ACTUAL names. Now, it’s time for the first dance, but instead of playing the Michael Buble version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” like you wanted, he plays the Elvis version. Maybe there was even an anniversary that you wanted to recognize, but the DJ didn’t know and the moment passed without recognition.
Believe it or not, I have made ALL of those mistakes in the past. Yes, I’m not afraid to admit that at one point, I was a TOTAL amateur! I had not yet learned the value of PLANNING!
The planning process is absolutely VITAL to insuring the success of your big day! Everything from the basics like when the wedding starts and ends to the more complex information like family dynamics (are mom and dad still together? Are there any relatives that need to be recognized?) or knowing which versions of the songs you want.
Believe it or not even if there is information that you know that you haven’t given the DJ, it is STILL your DJ’s fault if they don’t ask the necessary questions to set themselves-and you-up for success.
When I started out, I used paper forms that I kept possession of. This insured that if my bride and groom had an idea or picked a song, it couldn’t be put down on paper until I did it myself. This caused ALL kinds of problems even though the paperwork was very thorough.
Now, I have an online planning software that is accessible to my clients 24/7. If they randomly think of their Father/Daughter dance song, they can go straight in and enter it into the software! It covers the entire day (DJ-wise) from the very first note of the pre-ceremony music to the very last note of the last song of the evening.
How many times is your DJ going to meet with you? Your DJ should be meeting with each client AT LEAST 2-3 times before the big day. I typically have my first meeting about 2 months out from wedding day although, I will meet my clients as many times as necessary to ensure their peace of mind. The first planning meeting normally consists of going over the logistics of the event like power location, setup location, whether it’s indoors or outdoors and whether the client wants any add-ons like photobooth or uplighting. The second meeting is usually two weeks out from the big day and is very detail oriented with major focus being put on the music and timeline.
If you’re feeling unconfident or nervous about the planning of your day, make sure you voice that to your DJ and ask for a meeting so you will feel more comfortable!
As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments at 317-354-5983
Next week I will post the FINAL part of the “What Does a Wedding DJ Actually DO?” series called Coordination!