The thing your guests will most remember most is if they had fun. It’s not ‘just music’ but the experience of your guests. You and your guests’ memories of your wedding day will be directly related to their experience. Years later, few will remember the flowers, lighting, cake, food or even dress - regardless of how stunning you look, they will remember if they had a memorable, fun time.
Selecting your wedding DJ or band is most likely the most difficult vendor selection you will make, and often one of the last. It’s human nature to procrastinate on the more difficult tasks. It’s easy to see why, few people have experience selecting DJs or bands, no two are alike and worst of all, you don’t really know how to select a good one – it’s intimidating.
Use these tips when selecting your wedding entertainment.
Recommendations – listen to your vendors, they know quality. One of the biggest mistakes I see is relying excessively on referrals from family and friends. A referral from a professional vendor (who is at the events and interacts with the DJs or band) is a significantly more valuable and informed referral. Often I hear from clients about a ‘great’ band or DJ, who based on my years of experience I know lacks the most fundamental skills necessary to be even a good DJ or band!
Cost - Price should not be the primary consideration on something so important to the overall success of the event. Keep this in mind: Price is what you pay, Value is what you get. In an industry with so many part-time providers, price is the only way many DJs or bands can compete. As with anything in life, if the price seems unusually low, there is something wrong. Quality providers will be price competitive.
Local – Minimize your risk, use a local provider. You are planning arguably the most important event of your life, is it worth the risk of using a provider who regardless of quality must deal with variables they can’t control? The time it takes to get to Santa Barbara due to traffic alone is often underestimated (not to mention if there’s an accident) and can wreak havoc on the best timeline!
Ask open ended questions – When you are interviewing your potential DJs, don’t ask yes or no questions. Rather, ask questions that require a thoughtful response. It is in those responses that you will see their true character and priorities. For example: Don’t ask – ‘Do you take requests?’, instead ask ‘How do you select the music that will be played at our wedding’. Then resist the urge to ‘answer your own question. Make them give you an answer, then evaluate if that is in line with what you want.
Use your instincts, experience and logic – Many people make the mistake of selecting their DJ based on personality or ‘connection’ alone. Don’t get me wrong, personality is important – your DJ should have a great personality – but many couples stop there. That should be the ‘starting line’ when selecting your provider, not the finish. In addition to being friendly, fun and personable your DJ or band is providing a service. How has your experience been so far? Don’t just listen to what they say, but pay attention to what they do. Don’t make the mistake of selecting your DJ because the ‘talk a good game’ – as with other things, actions speak louder than words.
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