I've talked about it in The Mike Bills Podcast and I've written about it numerous times on this blog. You can find millions of posts about how to find the right wedding DJ for your big day. And I must say that a lot of those articles are from reputable wedding DJs that I would have come play at my own wedding. YOUR wedding reception here in Charleston is going to be the grandest of parties and should be looked upon as a gift to all your friends and family who have taken time off of work to travel to the Holy City to marry the man or woman of your dreams. All that being said, it is completely horrifying when I read articles about "being your own DJ" at your wedding. Some of these posts tend to come from people who are trying to carve out their own niche online by telling you to be frugal when it comes to planning your wedding. I certainly tend to be pretty frugal, but there are certain things that I won't scrimp on. Is music important to you? Most of my clients LOVE their music, and the fact that I allow them to design their own soundtrack for their special day is something that they just eat up. It's YOUR wedding day, so the music should be about YOU.
If there are two things that should never be DIY when it comes to planning your wedding, they would be planning and coordination, and your wedding DJ entertainment. Be sure to click over to a post that was written a few years ago about reasons to hire a wedding planner , and be sure to read ahead for reasons you should not put the wedding DJing into your own hands. Your wedding reception is a once in a lifetime celebration. You might be tempted to load up your Ipad full of danceable tunes for your guests and cut the expense of having a DJ off your budget spreadsheet. Let me be crystal clear here. The average wedding is costing between $30,000 and $35,000. If your wedding DJ costs only $1,500, that's only a very minute 5% of your overall budget. You'll probably spend more on flowers, but will your guests remember them? You'll definitely spend more on your caterer, but will your guests remember the food if Emeril did not serve it to them? Do you see where I am going with this? In case you don't, I'm going to go into a few of the reasons why you should not try to DJ your own wedding and what you'll be up against in trying to save a miniscule $1,500.
Professional Equipment Needed
So, you've decided that you are going to try to tackle the art of being a Charleston Wedding DJ. Where are you getting married? How many people are going to be at your wedding? You'll need to call up a company that rents large speakers, a subwoofer and a mixer. How were you going to play your music? Was it going to be from an Ipad, or a laptop? You'll need a way of connecting your laptop or Ipad to a device that amplifies the music to the point where everyone in your reception venue can hear your music. Do you have any experience with speakers and subwoofers and mixers? Some companies may have a staff member available for your event that can help out if need be, but you'll probably be paying an extra fee to have a professional on hand in the event of any issues.
Coordination Of A Wedding Day Timeline
If you are thinking about winging it and not hiring a wedding DJ, odds are you probably are not going to hire a wedding planner. If this is the case, you'll need to take it upon yourself to create a timeline for the day. That being said, when will your ceremony begin? Are you hiring a musician? How will people hear your wedding officiant? Were you planning on doing your own vows? How will your guests be able to hear your vows during that very special time? You'll need to rent more equipment from whoever you are getting your speakers and subwoofers from for your wedding reception. The only way you could avoid this extra expense is if you hire a professional musician for your ceremony, but you still need microphones and speakers so that your guests can hear you and your officiant. Then, after your ceremony, your guests will probably have a cocktail hour while you guys go and get your pictures taken. When it comes time for the reception, you'll need someone to introduce you and your bridal party into the reception. As you can see, there are lots of questions to be answered when doing things yourself. By this time in this blog post, your hopefully saying to yourself that all this work is not the trouble "just" to save a few hundred bucks. But wait, it gets better. You'll want to read on.
So you've hired a company to bring into your wedding venue the big heavy speakers and subwoofers. Were you aware that those speakers needed to be on stands that are raised into the air so that the sound can travel around the confines of your wedding venue? What's going to happen if one of your guests knocks over one of these stands with the 60 pound speaker up on top and it falls on them? Well, for one the odds are they could be knocked out. When you hire a professional wedding DJ, they will have liability insurance (upwards of $1 million to $2 million) for accidents such as this. Since you are interested in being your own wedding DJ, you'll need to invest in a liability insurance policy and make sure your wedding venue is added as an additional insured.
Music & Transitions
So you have chosen all your music and have placed it on an Ipad. Have you by chance tapped anyone to be the person who switches and fades out songs? You'll need to fade up and fade down songs. especially at the key moments of your wedding reception when you and your bridal party are introduced, as well as your first dance and other special songs. Who will you get to do this? They'll need to be someone with a strong sense of detail and accuracy. You don't want someone who will abruptly change songs or someone who will the let the song go all the way to the end before firing up the next song. I've seen firsthand what happens when you assign a good friend or guest to be the button pusher. Of course there will always be technical difficulties, and you guessed it, the song you wanted to be played for your father / daughter is played for your first dance or vice-versa. If you would like an example of what can happen when you "wing it" or don't have the right person taking care of your wedding entertainment, watch the video down below.
The video up above has been You Tube for almost 10 years and has been viewed just over 4 million times. Let's hope that 4 million weddings have been saved since it's been viewed that many times. First and foremost, the woman on microphone was very unprofessional. If you fast-forward to about 35-40 second mark, the couple have been on the dance floor long enough for the wedding DJ to fade down the Black Eyed Peas, and fade into the first dance. If a singer was going to sing this couple's first dance song, then the wedding DJ should have been ready with an instrumental version of the song and faded down the introduction song instead of leaving the bride and groom out on the dance floor with no music playing at all. There is so much to talk about it when it comes to the failure of the wedding DJ. But to be honest, the wedding DJ was not the only one who failed, the bride and groom failed miserably in providing the ultimate gift to their family and guests, which was the most fun and memorable wedding reception.
Hiring A Professional Wedding DJ Is ALWAYS The Answer
As you can see, there a lots of questions to be answered if you are thinking about being the DJ at your very own wedding. And to be honest, there would need to be multiple sequels of this post for me to go into all the little details that I might have missed or what goes through my mind as I am setting up at a wedding. The entertainment at your wedding, (whether a DJ or band) is the one investment that you simply cannot afford to cut corners on. The entertainment at your wedding is the single most remembered part of your big day. It's the part that your family and friends will remember the most. They won't remember the flowers you purcased. Those flowers by the way probably were much more money than you would pay a great wedding DJ such as myself! And those flowers will wilt and die in the days after your wedding where the memories of all the great times you and your guests had on the dance floor will live on forever.
Stop The Madness And Just Hire Mike To Be Your Wedding DJ!
I would love to set up a time to speak with you about upcoming wedding in Charleston or Savannah. In case you missed it on the homepage of my website, click on this link to learn more about why you should hire me to DJ your wedding. If you are ready to speak with Mike, click on this link to reach out to Mike right now.