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Things Your DJ Does Besides Play Music

You may not realize it, but one of the busiest vendors at your wedding reception will be your DJ. Not only are they responsible for playing the right song at the right time, but they also play a strong role in moving the night along. Experienced DJs work together with your wedding planner and photographer to know what is supposed to happen and when, and guide the evening smoothly from when the guests begin to arrive until you and your new spouse make your big exit (or quietly sneak out the side door).

The DJ’s highly visible position tends to put them in the position of “go to” guy (or gal!). That’s why it’s important to choose a DJ who is professional and experienced enough to handle each issue promptly and courteously.

As you interview DJs, ask them to list their general understanding of their responsibilities before and during your reception. If they talk endlessly about their state-of-the-art equipment and fabulous lighting, then that’s where they will focus their energies during your reception. If you have already hired a planner and/or photographer, ask them if they have worked with them before. Ask about their process leading up to the wedding and setting out the event timeline. During the interview, ask them about how they will handle requests from your guests that aren’t quite appropriate for the audience, or someone request a song that is on your do-not-play list. Ask the DJ how they move the crowd from one event to the next, and then get your guests out on the dance floor. Hire a DJ who understands all of their responsibilities throughout your wedding.

Here are some pointers on what to expect from your wedding DJ:

  • Sound Engineer
    Professional DJs provide their own equipment. And have backups ready and waiting if needed. If they haven’t worked in the space before, they make a trip to the space to get an idea of what equipment will best suit the room and come up with a recommendation for their placement. Your DJ will also take the time to show guests how to use the microphone for speeches and toasts which saves time and avoids embarrassment.
  • Set the Mood
    Not only does a professional DJ know what song to play when, they usually also have dance floor lighting as part of their set up. This is a fun way, and inexpensive way to transform your reception room. They might even have additional lighting options they can provide. This is certainly something to ask about as part of your initial conversation to see if this is something that can be included in your package, or if you need to find a lighting company.
  • Master of Ceremonies (MC)
    You will be hearing the voice of your DJ all night so you want to make sure they have a charismatic and friendly presence. The ability to speak with authority while directing guests’ attention to important events and pronounce names correctly are a few of their jobs. A great MC doesn’t try to be the star of the show, but rather helps the event move along allowing you and your new spouse to enjoy the spotlight.
  • Cover hiccups throughout the evening
    You probably don’t want to read this, but something will most likely go wrong on your wedding day. Don’t panic, it’s part of life and this is another reason to hire a professional wedding DJs. They are quite adept at steering things back on track. Dinner could be running slightly behind schedule, therefore a great DJ would play a few extra songs to keep your guests dancing. Or maybe the best man is in the bathroom when he’s supposed to be giving his toast. That is not a problem for your DJ. They know how to cover for him until he’s available. The ability to think on their toes so your guests don’t notice any potentially-awkward mishaps is certainly a hallmark of a pro wedding DJ.