What to expect from your DJ

Often the professionalism of a wedding DJ or sound and lighting company can make or break a wedding. In fact it’s often the most underestimated service, because wedding couples don’t know what to ask or even look for when selecting the services of a DJ. Here is some sound (excuse the pun), advice from Wedding Collection Magazine.
What’s most important is the quality of the DJ’s equipment. It will decide whether the speeches at your wedding sound like the announcer at a school sports track or the presenters at the Oscars. A little bit of research beforehand can go a long way to ensure the sound at your wedding won’t be a huge let-down. Ask about the type of equipment your DJ uses and the condition thereof. Good quality brand names for sound equipment include HK, JBL, Wharfedale Pro, Shure for microphones and Chauvet for lighting equipment Remember that you’re not merely paying for the songs played, but for the very expensive equipment, professionalism, the overall experience and the fate of your whole wedding day from the wedding march to the last dance.

Inside the reception the DJ can dictate the mood of the wedding significantly. Having the latest music software with special effects and fading techniques ensures that there is a never an awkward silence at your wedding. Make sure that your chosen DJ has the latest technologies and software, which they should have if they are in the business of entertainment. They should know how to transform your wedding into a fantasy world with professional lighting and the finest sound equipment.
Look for a DJ that can offer you design, staging, lighting, video and sound; as well as including professional DJ services. Look for the top DJ services which will attend to the finer details and ensure a successful, smooth and well-co-ordinated production.
If you would like to make a grand entrance and wow your guests, find a DJ who specialises in pyrotechnics using small scale fireworks and confetti cannons, which will add to the ambiance of your wedding.

With so many creative ideas and latest technologies available today, bridal couples have the opportunity to really make a statement with the right DJ. Look for a DJ that can offer you professional sound systems, wireless microphone systems including lapel headsets, dance floor lighting and mood lighting, which includes ambience or up lighting. Smoke machines or low level fog machines which will have you dancing on the clouds, your names, initials or monogram in lights, bubble machines or bring back the 80’s with disco balls.

Questions to Ask Before Booking Your DJ

Looking for the right DJ is like going on an awkward first date, you hope there’s a connection but you’re not sure what to say. Here are some guidelines to help you along the way:

How many weddings or functions have you done in the last year?

Determine if your DJ has experience and is a successful entertainer who can bring a level of expertise to your wedding.

Can your equipment be used by the MC and for all other announcements and speeches?

Your DJ should be able to provide the correct equipment for your MC to address guests and for all other speeches that are necessary at your wedding.

Are you licenced and are there laws you need to abide by to perform?

All DJ’s in South Africa, according to law, have to be licenced to play with SAMRO (South African Music Rights Organisation) & SAMPRA (South African Music Performance Rights Association) and they are only allowed to have purchased music that is stated & certified to RISA (Recording Industry of South Africa). If any DJ does not comply with these three bodies, the client should question the quality of the performer.

How do you get the guests excited and on the dance floor?

What incentive does the DJ use to encourage guests to hit the dance floor? Ask to watch their music demo (if they have one), which will give you a sense of how they interact with guests in person.

What sound equipment do you use and do you have back-up equipment?

Mixing equipment allows the DJ to have hands-on control of the music; a simple touch can change the sound, speed and tone, so the equipment your DJ uses is just as important as a musical instrument.
When the DJ overdrives the system is when guests will start to complain about it being too loud. He should be able to discern when to turn it up or keep it down so guests can hear each other at their tables.
Back-up equipment is essential, just imagine if there is a breakdown and you’re faced with no music at your wedding?

If you haven’t played at our chosen venue would you be prepared to do a site visit?

Sound varies depending on the room. The DJ should know how to work with the room’s acoustics. He should be aware upfront of the rules and regulations are of the venue. This will allow your DJ the opportunity to plan correctly and to test the equipment.

Do you offer any other services like lighting, HD video screens etc?

Video screens allow couples to personalise their weddings by including videos and photos of their lives as a couple. Imagine watching memories roll by on the screens while you’re sharing that first dance.

Why should I choose you as my wedding DJ?

What will your DJ think is their best attribute to make your wedding music unforgettable? Will it be their equipment, their passion, their personality, or their professionalism and dedication towards making your wedding a success?

Some other points to consider:

  • All of the above can only be achieved with an entertainer who is flexible and willing to listen. It’s easy to come up with playlists, deciding of the placement of the music like during the cake-cutting and tossing of the bouquet or the first dance. The real challenge, however, is to ensure that your chosen DJ understands your uniqueness and what it is that you would like to achieve on your special day.
  • Communicate your thoughts on guests requesting songs to be played. Whether you’d ra-ther he sticks to your original play list or if you would prefer him or her to accommodate the request.
  • Beware if a potential DJ bad-mouths former clients.
  • Ask how soon before the reception they intend to arrive and how long it will take for them to set up.
  • What is their cut off time and are there additional costs if the wedding lingers on way in-to the wee hours?
  • Remember to get any details clearly outlined in your contract.