What Makes A Great Wedding DJ?
I’ve done a few articles detailing different types of DJ’s, how to interview your DJ, and even the cost and break-down of an average DJ. All of this is fine and dandy for the average bride searching for a wedding DJ. But what about the in’s and out’s of being a great wedding DJ? This can differ depending on who you talk to. DJ’s will have a completely different view from behind the booth and the experience of many events, where our Bride’s have their individual unique perspectives as well. This post is intended to give you insight as to what Brides and other DJ’s in the industry would classify as the characteristics of a great wedding DJ. I believe that incorporating the mixture of these two can help clarify what other potential Bride’s should look for during the process of their DJ search.
Ask almost any DJ and he/she can tell you just how much better they are than every other DJ in the universe. DJ’s tend to be very confident in themselves and their abilities, which is probably a great trait to have in somebody that is required to stand in front of crowds, speak eloquently, and make sure your event runs smoothly. The truth of the matter is, that every DJ probably brings something unique to the table, which always makes it hard for brides to choose. What is interesting is that DJ’s will probably find different characteristics that they view as important when it comes to DJ’ing/emceeing/coordinating a wedding. Here’s a few takes from the view of DJ’s surveyed from the DJ Idea Sharing Group on facebook, a networking group of DJ’s all across the United States.
- DJ Justin Darling: “A great DJ has ‘lack of ego.’ I’m simply an equal part of a larger pie. I’m not a rock star–my job is to make them (the Bride & Groom) the rock star. Hire somebody based on the value they present, not the price they quote.”
- DJ Peter Merkle (ChicagoWeddingDJs.com): “What it takes to be a great DJ/MC is the willingness to acknowledge that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ This simple philosophy allows you to be open to more training, further experience, and greater fulfillment. Brides and Grooms who understand this as well will find the end result of their celebration experience more successful than they imagined.
- DJ Justin Prahar (Sounds2Go.com): “When you hire a DJ for your wedding reception and/or ceremony, you are hiring a lot more than someone who can ‘play music and make some announcements’. Your DJ is the person responsible for ensuring the uninterrupted and successful flow of your event from before you enter the room to the time the last guest has left.”
- DJ Alan Robb (www.ScottishDJ.com): “A wedding DJ should never be the star of the show. That honor belongs to you, the happy couple. A good DJ puts his personality on the evening. A great DJ puts YOUR personality on the evening.”
- DJ Jeremy Burgess (www.jbentertains.com ): “Two weeks after, no one will remember what they ate, or the color of the flowers.. but they will remember whether or not they had fun… whether or not they were entertained.”
- DJ David Dave (www.flashanddance.com): “Asking the right questions and see the vision of the Bride and Groom is where I start. That will tell me what kind of direction to go”
- DJ Sean Lee: “The most important thing for an amazing wedding is what we do to stay in line with the clients vision and that we create an atmosphere that is enjoyable from beginning to end”
Bride & Groom Perspective
This article would not be complete without the actual testimonies from those that have experienced great DJ’s. We’ve all heard plenty of horror stories about the bad DJ, but what does the great DJ look like through the eyes of the Bride and Groom? Cutmaster Music created a post on our facebook page asking the simple question, “What is it that makes for a great wedding DJ?”
- Whitney Phillips (Bride): “A great wedding DJ listens to their clients, comes prepared, has excellent timing, and understands how to be flexible with each crowd.”
- Lesley Escobar (Event Coordinator): “Reading the crowd!!!! Trying to keep people on the dance floor.”
- Adrienne Hare (Bride): “I definitely think it’s important for your DJ to be prepared and genuinely invested in giving you the kind of reception YOU want..but I think the essential element is being able to read the crowd, and make calls on-the-spot to keep the party going!”
- Chris Apodaca (guest at one of Cutmaster Music’s events): “There are only 2 things people remember about your Special day, the food and entertainment. A good DJ is able to cater to his crowd!”
- Cassondra Lucero (Bride): “Being able to read the crowd and knowing your clients. My family and friends are still in awe of our wedding and the main reason had to do with how much fun they had because of the DJ”
DJ’s vs Bride & Groom
When one thinks of a wedding DJ, the first vision is usually music, lights and a microphone. But as seen from both DJs and Brides, the process of getting to know your client and create an event based around their vision, is a common theme. Based on our polling, Brides definitely seem to emphasize that a great DJ is one that can make sure their dance floor is rocking by reading the crowd and adjusting to make sure guests have a great time. Brides seem to be most concerned about the result or outcome of their reception, whereas DJs seem to have an invested interest in the process leading up to the event. This makes the case, that having a great DJ is not only about having skills on the microphone and the DJ decks, but also knowing what your clients expect and having a good grasp on your crowd and what their expectations are as well. Both the DJ and the client must work together to achieve this end result.
So what is the definition of a great DJ? It seems that a great DJ is one that takes the time to gather all the necessary information needed to customize each and every event to each specific client’s needs. This preparation will allow the DJ to make the necessary adjustments through out any event, based on the client’s expectations and based on the ability to read the crowd and improvise through out the night and adjust as needed. Although we don’t discuss the experience of a great DJ, it’s easily seen how more experienced DJs will be able to handle events and the varied situations that can occur. In the end, a great DJ is one that matches up well and can perform to the Bride and Groom’s expectations while also managing to keep their crowd engaged and having a great time. The great wedding DJ is created through the process of planning mixed with the DJ’s skill-set.
Article written by Chris Romero of Cutmaster Music
Thank You, Chris Romero
Women Encouraging Hope Guild hosts its fourth annual Mardi Gras Celebration Fundraiser on Feb. 8 at Meridian Valley Country Club, 24830 136th Ave. SE, from 7- 11 p.m.
The celebration includes hors d’oeuvres and dessert, a no-host bar, cocktail hour music by the Kentlake Jazz Band, a short program highlighting the group’s activities, followed a DJ to fill the dance floor.Women Encouraging Hope Guild
Check out this gutsy wedding proposal to his fiance on the link below.
Victoria B.C.-based photographer Reid Gower is gobbling up the Internet today with his time-lapse video shot in locations all over the world. It starts out with some serene nature shots, and then it gets crazy.
He writes on Vimeo: “Humans are part of the natural order. We’re risen apes that acquired language and learned to use tools. Skyscrapers and spacecraft may seem unnatural, but they’re just as much a part of the natural order as beaver dams and bird nests. Boring electrical lines hint at the energy solution of a mammalian species. Open your eyes to the world you’ve grown accustomed to, and rejoice in the fact that you can participate in the human project.”
Watch for a few spectacular shots of Seattle along the way.
EmceeDJ is excited to announce our services in Salt Lake City, UT, They will be providing professional DJ services for Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions with audio and lighting equipment rental. Gary McCord has personally performed over 1200 Wedding Receptions personally to his clients total satisfaction. He will be performing events in Salt Lake City Utah starting in December 2012. Please visit Emcee Entertainment to check his availability.
Cities near Salt Lake City,
It was a joy working with Tristin’s mother a year in advance on planning her daughters Wedding Ceremony. With Accent Wall Uplighting, Video Presentation, Emcee Services, Disc Jockey Services and Elegant Dancefloor Lighting, it was a very busy day. Twelve hours of planning, setting up and executing, was very tiring but rewarding day. Enjoy their photos from Northern Lights Photography
First Dance Video
Cory & Rachel enjoy the country, so it was a natural to plan their Wedding at Camp Korey. Her colors were orange with orange ribbons on chairs, orange uplighting on pillars, orange mason jars with gold fish, orange vases with tulips in them (they to were orange). With help from their families they pulled off a great wedding day and still stayed within budget. Enjoy their Photos.
Camp Korey is such a great location for a large Wedding Party. It has so much to offer a couple with 200+ on their guest list. With a beautiful manicured garden for your ceremony, golf course sized lawns for your cocktail hour and open or covered venues for your reception, it’s all there. Gina and her staff are easy to with and take care of the details.
Here are the comments from the Mother of the Groom who is the Chef at Camp Korey. (They were going to do the music themselves but she convinced the brides family to hire a DJ. In addition, she had to leave 3 hours early do a health condition.) ” Gary, A special Thank You for your services, they were SPOT ON. I will recommend you to anyone I know needing a DJ. Thank you for taking over, please send me some business cards to my address. I think they got it how hard it would have been to do ourselves. I wish I could of boogied with the rest but I was so sick that day it was a miracle everything on the food end went well, thank goodness for family and friends.” fondly, Mim
Clarence Clemons, a standout Saxophone Player who I always enjoyed listening play. I most enjoyed “You’re a Friend of Mine”
Outside of his work with the E Street Band, Clemons recorded with many other artists and had a number of musical projects on his own. The best known of these are his 1985 vocal duet with Jackson Browne on the hit single “You’re a Friend of Mine“, and his saxophone work on Aretha Franklin‘s 1985 hit single “Freeway of Love“. He was managed briefly in the 1980s by former Crawdaddy editor Peter Knobler, whose wedding Clemons played with his band, Clarence Clemons & the Red Bank Rockers. During the 1980s Clemons also owned a Red Bank, New Jersey nightclub called Big Man’s West. He toured in the first incarnation of Ringo Starr & The All-Starr Band in 1989, singing “You’re a Friend of Mine” (dueting with Billy Preston) and an updated rap arrangement of “Quarter to Three.” In the mid-1990s, he recorded a Japan-only CD release called Aja and the Big Man “Get It On” with Los Angeles singer/songwriter Aja Kim. In the 2000s, Clemons along with producer Narada Michael Walden, put together a group called The Temple of Soul, releasing a single called ‘Anna’. He also recorded with philanthropic teen band Creation. Clemons collaborated with Lady Gaga on the songs “Hair” and “The Edge of Glory” from her album Born This Way, providing a saxophone track and solo. Clarence Clemons occasionally sat in with the Grateful Dead and as recently as April 2011 sat in on several tunes with the Grateful Dead “spinoff” band Further during a concert in Boca Raton Florida.