Depending on the type of event you’re having, a DJ can make or break a party. It’s important to ensure that they’re knowledgeable and experienced, have quality equipment, and most of all – can take direction, and are easy to work with. Your DJ should also be able to create your desired atmosphere and control the flow of the event. They should be able to read a crowd, know when the pace needs to be picked up, and when to slow it down. Aside from having a knowledgeable DJ, there are things you can do to help the event turn out the way you want. Here are some tips that will help you get the most from your DJ.
- Communicate Expectations: Meet with your DJ before the event to ensure you’re both on the same page. Many times these details are included in the contract when you hire your DJ, but it never hurts to vocalize your expectations and confirm capability. The last thing you want is last-minute surprises or extra fees. You should first decide how you want to utilize your DJ. Do you want them to just play background music, do you want dancing, and will they emcee the event? You should also confirm the remaining items on this list at least two to four weeks before the event.
- Timeline Your Event: Make a detailed itinerary…down to the minute. This will help you and your DJ create a detailed schedule and will help ensure that your entire wish list will happen. Many traditional weddings include the bride & groom’s entrance, cutting the cake, the bouquet toss, garter toss, father daughter dance, and first dance, etc. It’s imperative that the DJ has a clear understanding of all the things you want and the sequence. You should also prioritize what is most important, especially if you’re tight on time. *Bonus Tip – always build a buffer. Things always take more time than you think, so plan accordingly.
- Establish Genre & Songs: The music selection will determine what kind of party you have. Do you want your event to be a classical affair, a disco throw-back, a country hoe down, a techno rave, a hip-hop dance party, or a blend that will shift through the night. You must determine this ahead of time so your DJ can bring the right collection of music. The genre and song choice should also be detailed in the itinerary, including the events through the night. For example, what music do you want playing during the bouquet toss, first dance etc.? You should also create a “do’s and don’ts” list, so the DJ fully understands what you want, but most importantly what you don’t want. You also need to decide if you’re okay with guests or family members making requests, because many times they will.
- Appoint a Facilitator: It’s also necessary to have someone you trust on hand to help facilitate during the event. This could be your event planner or even just a friend or family member. This will be the person who will communicate with the DJ, ensure the timing of your schedule, and will assist you. This will also be the person who will collaborate with your DJ if the schedule shifts and help with any judgment calls, if needed. You don’t want to be burdened with details while you’re busy being the bride.
- Confirm the Equipment & Space: Generally, a DJ will bring their own equipment, including; sound & amplification system, lighting, microphone, and connectors. It’s important to detail out exactly what’s included and make sure that the venue and space can accommodate where the DJ and equipment will be positioned. In some cases, venues will have their own equipment. It is always a good idea to ensure that the DJ has the contact information of the venue so they can also work with them directly and ensure they can accommodate your plan.
- Be Flexible: Sometimes the unexpected happens and things may not exactly go as planned. A good DJ can help make adjustments when needed. Prioritization and communication is key!
Knowing what you want and having open dialogue with you DJ ahead of time should ease the planning of your event. As long as your DJ knows what’s most important to you they can help make your day a smashing success. Happy Planning!