Whether you are planning a traditional wedding reception with a full sit down meal, a buffet, or a cocktail party, or another event that calls for music…. sooner or later the guests are going to push the tables back and want to dance. Now, it might seem odd for a caterer to write a blog article about event entertainment, but professional event entertainment is just as much an integral part of making your event run smoothly as having a timely dinner service. We’ve worked with some amazing entertainers in the industry and we’ve worked with some that we never want to work with again. Trust us, your entertainment is important.
Hire a Professional
This might seem obvious. We’ve expressed before the importance of working with industry professionals, but it bears repeating. There is more to being a DJ than simply having turntables and a microphone or an iPod with a great collection of music. They need to be a great MC too.
Think about this – a wedding as three key vendors: photographer, caterer, and DJ. While the photographer handles the timeline before the reception begins and the caterer takes guests through the dinner service, it’s the DJ that MCs the entire event. DJs are vital and work with the caterer to announce the caterer’s timeline, essentially, as it happens by calling guests to dinner, drawing attention to toasts, cake cutting, and in some cases, even releasing tables for the buffet on the caterer’s behalf. Once the dinner is complete, it’s the DJ’s time to shine and get some of their must-do items checked off the list like spotlight dances and the bouquet toss. Having an amateur DJ can cost you. Things can get sloppy very quickly and that might make for a memorable event in the wrong way.
Just because your cousin’s best friend is just starting out in the business and wants to give you a great deal, doesn’t mean he is going to give you great service or have the level of professionalism and know knowledge of events to make it a success.
While many amateur DJs may have ads in the local paper or on Craig’s List, they cannot always offer the level of professionalism you need to make your event a success. Use online tools such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, or even Google to point you indirection of professional DJ services.
Match the Entertainment DJ to the Event
Some DJs specialist in certain types of events whether it’s wedding, corporate events or children’s parties. Each has a special set of skills involved. What works for a wedding DJ may not be suitable for a fund raiser. When considering a professional DJ service always keep in mind to match the DJ’s specialty with your type of event. In the same line of thought, if you want to a have a mellow atmosphere to your event, an over the top DJ may be someone that is too active for your event as well.
View the Website
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but if you go to a professional DJ’s website and find it void of information, or poorly designed, it might be the DJ you’ve considered isn’t up to the job. Let the style and content of their website be your guide and use that to narrow the field of prospective entertainers.
Get Recommendations and Referrals
A great DJ should be able to provide you with customer endorsements and referrals from their former clients and you should be able to see this type of love online whether it’s through Google ratings or reviews on event planning websites like The Knot. These recommendations are the professional entertainer’s resume and if the DJ you are considering cannot supply you with satisfactory customer endorsements, it might be wise to interview another service.
You actually do get what you pay for. Hiring a DJ, in most cases, will be less expensive than hiring a live band, but it still requires a financial investment. A cheap DJ may save you money, but it may also result in a poor performance and a party embarrassment.
Booking entertainment for a wedding reception is typically out of the comfort zone of most people. But by allowing some time for research and ‘auditions’, and by relying on the expertise of your event planner and venue staff (we can give great recommendations!), you can make the decision much easier, and ensure that your guests have a delightful and memorable evening. Searching for a great vendor? View our recommended vendor list to see some of our favorites! These individuals were selected for this industry professionalism and ability to deliver on the promises made while maintaining a high standard of service. Each has worked with us multiple times and we can vouch for their excellent service and reputation.