Guest: Zachary and Jennaca Saeva | Professional DJs | Suitable Sounds
Whether you are recently engaged or a month away from the wedding, I am sure many people have tried to give advice about your Big Day. The venue, the flowers, the cake, the photographer, the DJ...there is no limit to all the possible expenses a couple can accumulate through the planning process. It can be challenging to figure out what is worth investing in and what to do without.
My goal in this article is not to tell you how much to spend;
but rather, to recommend what to look for when hiring a DJ or entertainer for your Big Day.
Let’s break it down and consider three things:
1. It’s not about the music, it’s about the DJ.
Though this may seem counter intuitive, I believe it’s one of the biggest mistakes couples often make. There is a tendency to focus so much on the music that couples might forget who is in charge of choosing and playing it. Anyone can bring a few speakers and lights and press “Play”, but do they really care about making your wedding special, comfortable, and memorable?
It’s important to find someone that you and your partner can trust. Granted, building trust can be challenging when you only have a 30 minute meeting, however it is possible. Ask the potential DJ a few questions: How they got into the business? Why they continue to DJ? What’s their philosophy, vision, or goal when arranging a playlist for an event? Also, see if they ask you genuine questions as well. Do they seem to take an interest in you and your partner, or are they strictly business? One size doesn’t fit all, but it’s important to find the person that shares your goals and values for the event.
2. It’s not about the music, it’s about the power of the mic.
When you think about it, it’s a little scary having your closest friends and family in a room, led by a person you barely know with a microphone. You want to make sure you are confident that the DJ will not embarrass you, your guests, or themselves for that matter, as they MC the event. For example, I once saw a DJ that would sing karaoke during the dinner hour. Let’s just say that Frank Sinatra would roll over in his grave if he heard his songs being performed by that guy...Again, what is his goal? Is he performing or is he facilitating? Neither approach is right or wrong, but what kind of approach are you looking for?
3. It’s not about the music, it’s about the team.
For each wedding, a team of vendors come together to make the day memorable for the couple and their guests. But, weddings are unpredictable, because anything can happen; and, ideally, you want a DJ who is a “team player”, someone willing to adjust on the fly to any changes that might happen and continue to make you and your guests feel at ease. Sometimes, the timeline doesn’t flow perfectly. Someone in the bridal party may arrive late. Sometimes other vendors need assistance in order to make their jobs most effective. For example, DJ lighting can affect how the photos turn out, or the videographer might need to connect to the DJ’s sound system in order to record the toasts.
The right DJ will be flexible and adjust to all of this. Is the person you are hiring willing to play nice in the sandbox with the other vendors in order to make this the best day possible?
Yes, the music is important. But you can see how these three points will have an impact on the wedding celebration. Each point comes down to developing trust and effective relationships:
The relationship of the DJ to his music,
The relationship of the DJ with the couple and their guests,
The relationship of the DJ with other supporting vendors.
As a newlywed myself and a DJ of ten years, I know the struggle of trying to decide who to hire and who to trust. I understand that, sometimes, money cannot buy trust. The more you spend does not mean the vendor is more trustworthy.
I offer you this age old adage: Go with your gut and trust your instincts. They’ve brought you this far in life, they brought you to your partner, and they will bring you to the vendors that will make your day uniquely YOU.
Zachary and Jennaca Saeva