Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who's REALLY running the show????

There are lots of hands on deck when it comes to your wedding planning. From your officiant, to the venue staff, to your event planner and your photographer, each person adds a different element to the big day. Each person is important, but for your reception, WHO is really running the show?

It's your DJ! I spoke with Jeremy Gearries, owner of DJ's Direct, and asked him to share with you, the importance of hiring the right DJ. The first thing a couple needs to realize is that there is a BIG difference between hiring a wedding DJ versus a club DJ, or someone who "does this on the side". Jeremy says "I-pods and the internet sources for music have made songs readily available to everyone, but the true talent of a DJ is in reading the crowd, not pressing "Play". " Weddings, unlike most events, bring diverse crowds, of all ages, from all walks of life. You have to be able to read the crowd's reactions, anticipate people, and bring the type of variety that will get everyone up and moving! The bride and groom have to have confidence in the DJ to create the right type of mood and vibe to the wedding. Not only is the flow of the music and the song selection important, but having a DJ with the confidence, tact, and swagger to direct people to do what you need them to do to have the reception go smoothly, is key. For example, directing guests to dinner, introducing your first dance, quieting everyone for toasts, and creating the sweet moment when a father dances with his daughter, are things an amateur DJ simply CANNOT do.

What should you look out for? What are the red flags?

It's not a good idea to hire a family friend, or "that guy" who DJ's on the side. Jeremy notes that "The industry is flooded with I-pod DJ's and people who just aren't professionals. If a DJ doesn't have a website, or doesn't have DATED testimonials for you to see, you shouldn't hire them." Testimonials and referrals are key in finding the right DJ for you. You want to know that they have experience, and experience only comes with time. "If you look at our website, you will see testimonials date back to 2002, we want our future clients to see that we have established experience."

When do you need to start looking?

Jeremy says his clients tend to book "about 8-10 months prior to the wedding." DJ's Direct has a team of DJ's to choose from, but dates book up quickly. Its important to take time to meet with them, make sure they have references and experience, are solely devoted to the wedding industry, and exude professionalism that provides YOU with the trust that your day will go smoothly! You will find as you look around, that like most things, DJ's pricing can vary tremendously. Higher priced DJ's "have a tremendous demand and have established themselves in the wedding industry. Demand always reflects quality".

Just for a fun little finish, I asked Jeremy to tell me what the Top 5 "First Dance" songs were right now. I assumed that with all trends, music choices changed very quickly. What we find, is that when it comes to weddings, people stick with the classics. These are listed on the DJ's Direct website along with other "Top" lists and tools that help you pick the right songs for the right times!

Top 5 "First Dance" Songs
* "Then" by Brad Paisley
* "At Last" by Etta James
* "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
* "Amazed" by Lonestar
* "Everything" by Michael Buble

Happy Planning! Big PINK hugs, Tiffany


Brandon Lindsey said...

It is amazing how many people undervalue the DJ and entertainment at the reception. You are 100% right. The DJ is running the show at the reception. Having a DJ who is also an excellent (trained) MC is key. The night will flow more smoothly, guests will stay longer and you'll get to dancing quicker. A good MC will make it feel very personal and incorporate your personalities into the day. There is honestly not a single vendor decision more important than selecting the person who is going to control the reception (80% of the day) and represent you on the micrphone. That's why all these wedding shows are such a hoax. They make it seem like the day is about beauty and flowers and fluff. In the end it is about YOU and your guests celebrating with you.

angel canary said...

I've worked with Jeremy and his staff multiple times and they are the magic of the reception, no doubts about it. I'd recommend them anytime ;)

Circle City Designers said...

Thank you Brandon! I am so glad you posted this! I agree with you....The wedding is all about the couple and the celebration of their love!