Guest Blogger: DJ Jason Barnes from ientertainment
Finding Your Perfect DJ: Personality is KEY!
So you’ve got the dress, you’ve got the venue and the food. After all that comes the cake. Now you’re moving on to entertainment and you’re finding it’s not as easy as it was to pick everything else. You can look at a dress, try it on and fall in love with it and you can taste that cake an instantly know it’s the one, but with a DJ, there’s a little more research involved. You may have an uncle who DJed back in college who offered to work for free or a guy at your office who likes to play around on the weekends, but you want a professional. Your uncle might have been awesome back in 1985 at a few house parties, but this is your wedding! If you’re getting married in someone’s garage and bad one hit wonder 80′s music is all you want to hear along with announcements in that unmistakable “cheesy DJ voice”, maybe your uncle is a good choice.
You honestly don’t care what the designer of your dress looks like or if he or she has a personality, you just want that dress to look as good on you as it did in the magazine. With a DJ, personality is really all we have to showcase to you at our initial meeting. Unless you’ve seen the DJ at your sister’s wedding or have been to an event where he’s been playing, his personality is the number one thing you have to go by when you sit down for the first time. That’s right, you actually have to sit down somewhere and meet your DJ! NEVER do a phone consultation unless maybe you’re out of town and it is your only option or if it’s merely a follow up conversation after your initial meeting. If he’s not willing to sit down and meet with you he’s not worth hiring. Make sure you like your DJ. It sounds simple enough but sometimes brides tend to focus more on everything else over, “do I LIKE this guy?” You don’t have to be best friends, but that DJ has to be someone you wouldn’t get bored with if you were out on a date. If he bores you, what’s he going to be like in front of all of your friends and family? Make sure his personality fits yours. Just as your cake and your decor match your little quirks and style your DJ should also compliment this
What about referrals? Who has this guy worked with and where has this guy worked? You know by now to stay away from the Yellowpages and Craigslist…don’t you? If you have a good wedding planner or have done your research than you do! Talk to the Director of catering at your venue, most times they have a preferred vendor list and this list is VERY important. These venues work with DJs every weekend so they know who is and who isn’t going to be the best choice most of the time. Your planner, photographer and even your florist sometimes can also help with your decision making. Remember, folks in the wedding industry see at least one wedding a week, so anytime a DJ blows a circuit, yells at the staff or brings Whataburger and eats it at his table with his wife and 2 kids (this actually happened) everyone will know, “this guy might not be the best choice.” Talk to your other vendors and they’ll help! If the DJ you’re talking to is a professional, he’ll have plenty of referrals to give you at your initial meeting.
We don’t just sit back and play music anymore. This isn’t a club – it’s your wedding. Yes, you’re hiring us for music and you may even want a “club” atmosphere, either way, your DJ should be emceeing the entire reception. Any DJ who says they don’t have a timeline or says, “I don’t talk” (actually happened) is someone you toss in the discard pile. We control the flow, the timeline and all the formalities. Not only should we be heard and understood on the mic, we also need to be aware of what’s going on around us. When those plates are being bussed and people are finishing up, it may be time to make an announcement to get your drinks ready for toasts. The 4 or 5 hours we’re there we’re reading the crowd 100% of the time. Speaking of music, you want someone who’s knowledgeable of ALL genres including everything that is currently played on the radio. Clean edits of songs are (obviously) important and the DJ should take your requests seriously in his mixes.
On the subject of insurance, mobile DJs operate on location and are required to carry at least a liability policy so that they won’t be personally responsible for anything that could happen. I won’t to go into gory details or horror stories about why they’d need it but, they do! The venue you’ve chosen has insurance but it doesn’t cover the gear the DJ brings in and you don’t need any added expenses or drama if something should happen. Honestly, you wouldn’t hire a mechanic or someone to repair your house unless they were bonded and insured; the same goes for a DJ service. It protects them and you! Did I just compare DJs to mechanics and roofers? Hey, “Drive My Car” and “Up On The Roof” are two of my favs.
As someone who’s been in this industry over 12 years, I’ve seen every kind of DJ you can imagine and most of us who work all the time are great at what we do, happy, and love it! That’s who you want: someone who loves what they do. It shows in their performance and in the meetings you have. Imagine hiring a DJ who’s burnt out on the whole thing, think he’d be good at getting a party started?
In conclusion, make sure your DJ is a fun person. Personality is key and is really the MOST important part in choosing the right entertainer for the most important day in your life!
- Jason Barnes, Dallas DJ Extraordinaire
Contact i-entertainment today to see which one of their DJs will fit into your vision for your perfect day!
1222 W. Corporate Dr.
Arlington, TX 76006