I go back to the basics because there is still a large segment of the population that think a wedding DJ just comes to your wedding reception to push a button or two and "play music". While there are some DJs out there who might operate like this, those are the DJs you want to stay clear of. I don't or I just cannot operate my company like this. There is far too much "behind the scenes" stuff that happens that you might not be aware of. Some of the very basic stuff you'll see in this post are how I conduct myself with my brides and grooms and how I've managed to become a great wedding DJ.
Meeting The Bride & Groom Before Their Big Day
Yeah I get it. You are very busy and are getting stressed out with all the wedding planning and preparation and don't think you have the time to meet your wedding vendors. You'd be surprised how much you would be put at ease if you took a few minutes to meet your DJ. While a lot of the planning and preparation can be done online and on my website, setting up a brief phone call or Skype / Facetime to have a prospective wedding DJ introduce themselves to you does wonder in building trust with you as you make your decision. Then, if you are destination couple coming to Charleston, most professional wedding DJs do schedule a meeting with you for a few minutes when you get into town at your leisure to go over any last minute details.
Learning Your Musical Likes And Likes
Music is ALL I do as a wedding DJ here in Charleston. I've spoken about this and the fact that I outsource lighting and photobooths to actual companies who specialize in those entertainment options for your wedding. Since music is all I do, I want to know what you like, and equally as important, I want to know what you don't like. Hearing a song at your wedding that feels and sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard is not an option. When you meet your DJ, they should be taking notes and asking all sorts of questions as to what your musical vision is on your big day. Do you want a bouquet or garter toss? What's your bridal introduction song going to be? These types of discussions are designed to get to know you and get you thinking about music. Some couples have everything laid out when I meet them because music is an important part of their lives. Some couples need some assistance which is why I've spent countless hours on my blog helping them through the process.
Site Surveys & Meeting Your Wedding Planner
Maybe your DJ has not been to the wedding venue you are planning on getting married at. Perhaps they have never worked with your wedding planner / coordinator before? Sometimes a DJ needs to head out to your wedding venue to meet with your wedding planner. Perhaps your DJ has been to your wedding venue, but your wedding planner has a different floor plan? These are important details that your DJ takes note of before your big day. I do it for peace of mind because I am not a big fan of surprises on a couple's wedding day. Having these types of meetings can avoid those types of surprises.
Music Preparation Before Your Wedding Day
When a couple books their wedding with my company, they are set up an account on my website that they are able to log into at their leisure to begin selecting their music. Well, as a couple is inputting their songs, I am logging in on the back-end to check to see what's up. Maybe you are looking for a completely custom music set for your cocktail hour? Your DJ will have to find those songs and that is extra preparation done in advance of your wedding day.
Loading In And Setting Up
Since I work alone as an owner-operated DJ service I like to give myself ample time to arrive at your wedding venue for setting up and conducting a good sound check. If the bride and groom need ceremony music, that will require extra time for setup like the 300 feet of extension cord I needed for a Boone Hall Plantation ceremony music setup. Even though I carry backup equipment with me, the stress levels for me are usually at an all-time high for me personally because the pressure is on to get everything set up for you. I like to give myself at least 2 hours of preparation and setup before your reception begins. This time might be lengthened if you need ceremony music.
Execution Of Your Timeline
The DJ will closely work with your wedding coordinator / planner to make sure the timeline of your big day is executed flawlessly. If you opt not to have a coordinator or planner, the best DJs will assist you in creating a basic timeline for the evening.
Working The Crowd And Creating The Vibe
When it's time to shift from the dinner music vibe to dancing, the DJ needs to be ready and keep you and your guests on the dance floor. Here's a helpful tip on how to help the DJ pack the dance floor. Even if the bride and grooms are not huge dancers, get out there and pretend and all your guests will follow. This dramatically helps the DJ keep things nice and full on the dance floor.
Photo Credit: Aaron & Jillian Photography
The last song has played. The DJ has wrapped things up for the evening and announced your send-off. All your guests are leaving. The night of your dreams is over and you are buzzing a little in your limo headed to the airport to get to your awesome honeymoon for 10 days. What is the DJ doing? Undoing all the setup he did to make sure you had the night of dreams. They are also loading all that gear up to drive home. They are tired because they have been on their feet for hours making sure you had the night of your life. But you know what? All of that is worth it to see everyone dancing and having a great time.
So you see there is ALOT of legwork that goes on behind the scenes by your Charleston Wedding DJ. When I first started my own DJ company, I saw fit to execute pretty much everything I've outlined in this post. As a new DJ, I was scared. I did not want to make any foolish mistakes, so I made a list of all the important aspects of the day (with a common sense approach) and all the prep work that was going to be required. Did I make any mistakes? Of course, we all do, but I analyzed each situation that was not perfect and made sure NOT to have it happen again. Some weddings are easier to prepare for than others. Some weddings have you worrying because they are outdoors. But there is one thing that they all have in common in my eyes: I want them to go as smoothly as possible so I will do my best to make sure all the T's are crossed and I's are dotted. We are all human though and mistakes are going to happen, but having a detail-oriented wedidng DJ whose focus will be on YOU because he only does ONE wedding per day will greatly increase the chance of a very smooth wedding day.
Looking To Hire A Top Wedding DJ In Charleston? Wanna Speak To Mike? It's one of my passions to talk music with my couples. I hope you enjoyed reading this post about a lot of what a wedding DJ does. The best ones will work hard for you from start to finish. They will respond to emails in a timely manner (not just 2 weeks away). They WILL check in with you from time to time to see how your music selection is going and see if you have any questions. Hiring your DJ is serious stuff because you are not planning on having another wedding so you wanna hit a homerun this time. Let me be your wedding DJ! Click here to tell me a little more about your big day. Also, feel free to check out a few more posts about me and my company and helpful posts about finding a DJ.
What Makes Mike Bills Entertainment Different?
Why Are The Prices For DJs In Charleston So All Over The Place?