In selecting your wedding entertainment here in Charleston, you have two options; bands or DJs. While bands generally trend higher in cost, a DJ can no longer be looked upon as a "cost-cutting" measure for your Charleston wedding. DJs have the ability to play many different types of music, and do much more than "just" play music, and don't take breaks. But I digress, this post was not about whether or not you should choose a band or DJ, it was to raise greater awareness toward choosing the entertainment more carefully for your Charleston wedding. It was to remind brides just how important the entertainment is and how hiring the wrong entertainment can derail your big day. You are getting married in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Every aspect of your Charleston wedding should be perfect, and this includes your entertainment.
One Week After Her Wedding It Gets Worse
Perhaps she's had a little more time to reflect on how things went, but the percentage of brides who are unhappy with their wedding DJ / entertainment increases slightly to a staggering 78% roughly one week after her wedding day. If you ask most wedding planners and coordinators, they will tell you that the entertainment is one of the most integral parts to having the best wedding reception ever. It's a sad state of affairs if only 22% only of brides were totally happy with their wedding entertainment. I keep asking myself. "What's it going to take to make these percentages look a little better?" It's actually going to take a fundamental shift in how brides look at DJs and their entertainment and how they choose them for their wedding day here in Charleston.
All Charleston Wedding DJs Are Not Created Equal
Oftentimes, DJs are looked at as "products", but at the end of the day, professional wedding DJs provide a service. Unfortunately, they are all not created equal. Since this post is aimed at Charleston brides, here's a great example, and it actually involves your hair, which is a very important part of looking awesome on your wedding day. Your hair must look excellent for your wedding day. Do you want to go with a stylist who is experienced with a proven track record or the girl who just graduated from beauty school? Yes, you need to think about your entertainment the way you think about your hair. The equipment that a professional wedding DJ has purchased is their "product", but at the end of the day, being a wedding DJ is very much a "service-oriented" industry. One of the reasons that the DJ / wedding entertainment is looked at as a "product" is because brides are just thinking they are paying for the time at the venue, along with setup and breakdown at the event. But, professional wedding DJs work many hours behind the scenes before they even arrive at your wedding venue to perform. Check out some of the services they provide down below.
Music / Playlist Creation
Contrary to what you may have heard over the years, professional wedding DJs do not just show up with a box of CD's, some speakers and play music. If it were that easy, then everyone would be doing it. Well, I take that back. :) Sometimes I look around and it does feel like everyone is a DJ today. But before I go off on a tangent, let me get back on topic. A lot of brides I speak with are actually fairly surprised at how much preparation the DJ does behind the scenes to get prepared to properly execute a wedding. After all that legwork behind the scenes, it's truly one of the most rewarding things to see all the planning and preparation play out in front of me. It's a beautiful experience to see the emotions of the bride and groom and her family when the special dances occur. Seeing all those moments play out in front of me makes me quickly forget about all the extra hours put in to make sure those moments are special.
MC / Announcer
And you thought DJs only played music? The professional wedding DJs will keep the flow of your wedding reception going perfectly. There are several transitions during any given wedding reception. Usually those transitions occur between the cocktail hour going into dinner, and from dinner into dancing. The best Charleston wedding DJs are going to be able to read your crowd properly and play the proper music at the right times. For me personally, I will make as few or as many announcements as you need during your reception, but will NEVER take over your event with silly smart cracks, noises or jokes at your guests on the microphone. You want to make sure you hire a professional wedding DJ who sounds good on the microphone, and has a seasoned professional voice. An annoying voice circulating through your wedding venue for 4 hours is likely to be a big downer on your special day.
Planning / Coordination
Under ideal circumstances, each bride should hire the best wedding planner possible. At the bare miniumum, each bride should hire a "day of" coordinator. I cannot stress enough that the amount of stress in planning and getting prepared for your wedding will be signficantly reduced if you hire a planner / coordinator. If you just got engaged, you should shop around for wedding planners just like you would do for your DJ. The price you pay for your wedding planner / coordinator is priceless. However, if you want to forgo hiring a planner, a professional wedding DJ can assist with helping you create a basic timeline for your wedding day to make sure the flow of the day runs smooth. When you tell yourself that you cannot afford a wedding planner, imagine yourself arriving at your wedding venue (after having not slept all night because you were worried) at 5:30am to begin setting up your chairs and tables, and all the other decor. Check out this archived post for 10 reasons to hire a wedding planner. On your 10th anniversary, you'll look back on your wedding day and you'll be glad you invested in a professional wedding planner. You want to ALWAYS be happy on your wedding day, and not become a disgruntled bride "wishing that the day was over with".
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
Music Research & Production
Every single DJ does not have access to a production studio like Mike Bills Entertainment, but there are times when edits need to be made to songs, especially if the couple has requested a song that may have expletives throughout it's lyrics. Some DJs do advise against playing songs of this nature, but if the couple insists, it's my goal personally to remain "clean" with your playlist, as it is terribly unprofessional to hear expletives coming out of the speakers when your grandmother is sitting next to you. In terms of research, professional wedding DJs will sometimes need to create playlists with music they don't have. This will involve additional research behind the scenes and possible extra purchases of music to ensure you get to hear everything you have requested, especially if you have a lot of "custom" songs that might be fairly obscure.
81% Of Wedding Guests Says "Entertainment" Is What They Remembered The Most
Much to the chagrin of some of the best wedding caterers in Charleston, their special recipe for shrimp and grits is NOT what the guests from New Jersey or Illinois are going to remember. I still love you guys and there are actually some of the best caterers on my preferred vendors list. :) They are going to remember how awesome it was to digest their delicious food on the dance floor in the presence of an amazing wedding DJ or band. After all the preparation and tension associated with getting ready for one of the biggest days of your life, it'll be most remembered with an exceptional mix of music created by one of the best wedding DJs. When you book your Charleston wedding with my company, I'll work with you every step of the way to make sure the music is perfect and your guests are still talking about it for many years later. Simply put, it's YOUR wedding, so the music should be about YOU.
Don't Become A Part Of This Statistic
As a professional Charleston wedding DJ, it's my duty as a contributor to this craft to continue to raise awareness about the importance of focusing more time on hiring your Charleston wedding entertainment. I have a vastly deep respect for the art and the craft of being a wedding DJ. We can reverse these percentages by putting more time and resources into the selection process of your Charleston wedding DJ. It's my recommendation that the minute after you book your wedding venue you should begin your search for your wedding DJ. If you have hired a wedding planner, they will make that process easier, but be sure to interview numerous DJs before making your decision. Find someone who you are truly comfortable with, and who genuinely is interested making sure the entertainment for your event is successful. Be sure to check their reviews and website. Make sure they portray a professional and classy image. You will have the time of your life if you focus more time and resources on your wedding entertainment. I'll say it again. "All Charleston Wedding DJs Are Not Equal". Be sure you hire a true professional wedding DJ and not an amateur.
1. Amateur DJs will use non-professional grade equipment.
2. Amateur DJs will most likely NOT offer to meet with you before your wedding
3. Amateur DJs will not have the stellar online reputation and reviews and website.
4. Amateur DJs will most likely not provide a contract.
5. Amateur DJs are more likely to double or triple book or event, and run the risk of not showing up to your wedding day!
6. Amateur DJs may not be set up on time (when your guests begin to arrive) and are likely to NOT have backup equipment.
7. Amateur DJs may have had a club gig the night before and will want to play their "own" music and not stick to your requests
8. Amateur DJs will not know the importance of just "complimenting your reception", and instead will try to take over your event.
9. Amateur DJs will possibly invite prospective clients to YOUR wedding and use your wedding to try to sell their next gig.
10. Amateur DJs are more likely to drink alcohol at your Charleston wedding.
Thank you for making it to the end of another one of my blog posts. Sometimes I have to take a break from the multitude of music playlists I create for my clients on these blog posts and talk about more serious topics. Finding the best wedding DJ for your Charleston wedding is serious business and I want to make sure you make the right choice. The truth of the matter is I truly love being a professional wedding DJ and want to continue to spread that professionalism throughout one of the top wedding destinations in the country. You don't have a second chance to make a couple's wedding day the best ever, so I take being a professional wedding DJ pretty darn serious. You deserve nothing less than perfection for every single aspect of your wedding day down here in Charleston. That being said, if you are planning a destination wedding from anywhere in the country and coming to Charleston in 2019 or beyond, I would love to meet you and talk to you about your wedding. Click HERE to tell me a little about your big day. I prefer my coffee black if you are here in Charleston, or if you are outside of the city, we can set up a Skype or Facetime. Congratulations on your engagement! You are going to love Charleston, SC. Be sure to check out this post for 5 Reasons To Get Married In Charleston