I get tagged, which is nice & much appreciated, in so many Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion/Cardiganshire or Swansea ‘Facebook Buy & Sell Page' posts which are on the lines of: ‘Looking for a DJ for my Wedding’. Well, OMG, within a few hours, every man & his dog gets tagged. It appears that the person posting is usually looking to obtain the cheapest price by asking everyone to ‘PM me with a price’. The cost, although obviously an important consideration seems to be the only thing on the mind of the person who has posted. Really? For one of the most important days of your life? Some of these names are not even DJ’s they are just ‘playing at it’ I see some names that have been ‘recommended’ and I think, ‘I can't believe this. He’s not even a DJ’ How do I know? (apart from me knowing or knowing of the standards of nearly all the reputable DJ’s in West Wales and likewise the ‘muppets’ too.), a simple look at the profile of the person who has been ‘tagged’ will tell you all you need to know. Do you really want this guy as the DJ for your wedding? People will tag their best friend, neighbour, relation or acquaintance, not always based on how good or professional or experienced they are, but simply because they want to try to help them get a gig to earn some money. I know so many of these people who get tagged as being recommended for that person’s wedding and I know that they will wreck that wedding or function, no question. So, as I have written in previous blogs, Google should be your first research point and any DJ who is professional enough to invest in his own website and not just rely on a free Facebook page will stand out and be worth contacting. (To underline my point, some of those that get tagged do not even have their own free of charge Facebook dedicated page for their disco!)
Just a simple Google search of 'DJ Pembrokeshire', or 'Wedding DJ Pembrokeshire' will be a good start to find a direct contact link to the more professional and accomplished DJ's. Avoid agencies or companies who may be national companies who just pay a lot of money for a top Google presence like 'So & so Entertainments'. Make sure you look for a sole trader DJ who is confident enough to trade on his own name and not via an agency name as per above, or a Disco name, like, 'Welsh Discos', or 'Super Sounds Disco', or similar, as again you will probably end up with whoever is available to the agency or the Disco Company at the time of your date. Word of mouth, genuine reviews from previous clients, personal recommendations from bona fide previous clients and indeed the venue are by far the best initial DJ research methods that should be employed.
So, what can happen if you engage a DJ you have found because he or his friends and acquaintances have talked the talk, but in no way, based on the following, will he be able to walk the walk?
He got taken ill or had an accident on the morning or even week before your wedding. Does he have a backup strategy?
· His equipment broke down. Does he have backup equipment?
· Your wedding venue won't allow a DJ without Public Liability Insurance to perform, and your DJ doesn't have it.
· You don't have a contract or written agreement with your DJ, or he hasn’t taken a deposit and he gets a better offer three days before your wedding. Are you prepared to begin looking for a DJ during the busy and sometimes stressful week of pre-wedding chaos? (You'd be surprised how many calls I get from brides at their wits end just a few days before their wedding telling me her DJ has let her down by text message! Not even a phone call!)
· He can’t read or express himself properly and doesn't know how to pronounce some of the names of the bride & groom, your bridesmaids or groomsmen, so he guesses - and guesses wrong!
· He announces the first dance or the bride-father dance, but the groom or bride or father of the bride isn't in the room. Are you prepared to wait through 5 minutes of awkward party-killing silence while everyone stops and looks for the bride, groom or bride’s dad?
· He announces the bride and groom's first dance while your photographer is smoking a cigarette outdoors. Will you be satisfied with someone's Mobile Phone picture of your first dance because the DJ hasn’t liaised with everyone concerned?
· No one is dancing. Does he know how to revive a lifeless dance floor and generate some energy?
· A drunk guest gets a little "over-excited" and decides he should be the centre of attention on the dance floor bumping into everyone, much to the annoyance of others. Does your DJ know how to handle it?
· A guest requests a song with profanity in the lyrics while there are children and grandparents in the room.
· A guest asks the DJ to break up a great dance set by stopping to wish someone a happy birthday.
· A guest asks the DJ to let him sing along with a song, or indeed the DJ sings along with a song thinking he’s being entertaining!!
· The DJ is a friend or relative, and he wants to join the party by dancing to a few songs, letting the music run out while he sprints back to his decks/mixer. (Incidentally, my next Blog will be about friends or relatives offering to ‘DJ for free’ at your wedding)
· A guest repeatedly demands to hear a song or an artist that you have expressly forbidden your DJ to play. Will he cave in and play it anyway?
· Some of the tracks that you may request will positively ‘kill’ your dancefloor. Will your DJ have the courage and experience and musical knowledge to advise you that, "With respect, this will not enhance your party and encourage people to dance” while there's still time to have a think and make your request list more danceable and to create a superb party atmosphere?
· Will your DJ have the musical knowledge and experience to even know what songs will enhance or ‘kill’ your dancefloor or wedding party atmosphere.
· Your DJ wants to impress a pretty girl, or one of the guests he knows by honouring their request to play the same song three or four times during the evening, even though no one dances to it.
· Your DJ wants to play some of HIS favourite music, even though it's not danceable or suited to your guests.
· Your DJ has limited musical knowledge and hasn’t got a clue on what songs to to play to ensure the smooth running of the music as one track follows another, as the party evolves.
· Your DJ has cheap tacky substandard equipment which sounds and looks awful
· Your DJ cannot use the microphone properly to enhance the atmosphere and enjoyment of you and your guests.
· Your DJ has been a nightmare to contact via phone or email in the weeks & months leading up to your wedding date in not answering calls or returning calls and messages, is inefficient and quite simply lacks professionalism.
· You have booked a DJ via an agency, paid a fortune as the agency will take their cut and just send anybody they know, the cheaper the better as they will make more money, but what you have paid for is not what you have got. In life, you always get what you pay for, so book directly with a DJ and make sure that it is him who will be entertaining at your wedding for the whole evening.
· If a DJ values the service that he offers quite lowly, making him cheap, and he offers himself as being ‘cheap’ then there must be a reason why!
· The DJ you booked doesn’t arrive, but somebody else turns up in his place without discussing it with you beforehand