Of course you need to pick the right DJ if you want your wedding reception to be a true success, but you also need to know how to communicate with him effectively to get exactly what you want.
Step 1: The Wedding DJ Contract
First, draw up a contract. Or carefully inspect the contract from your DJ if they have one. A good contract should spell out all the details (date, time, and location of the reception) and outline the exact services the DJ will provide and the number of hours of service. The deposit and remaining balance should be clearly specified. Other fine print issues the contract should deal with: what happens in the event of a cancellation or if you are unsatisfied with the DJ’s performance? Are you responsible if the DJ or any of his equipment is injured or damaged in connection with your wedding? What if there’s an issue with the weather at your outdoors reception?
A contract that spells out the exact terms of service and answers all the “what if” questions ensures that you’ll be protected no matter what happens. If you have any questions or concerns, bring them to the attention of the DJ and have any necessary changes made BEFORE you and your DJ sign and date the bottom line.
Step 2: Choosing your Wedding Reception Playlist
Once the contract is out of the way, it’s time to get down to business and choose the playlist. Hopefully the DJ you’ve chosen has had lots of experience doing wedding receptions before and will have a keen ear for all songs wedding related.
Discuss your likes and dislikes, mention a few songs that you absolutely must have (as well as a few non-negotiable ‘do not play’ songs), but don’t micromanage. Be open to your DJ’s advice and expertise. After all, isn’t that why you hired a professional DJ in the first place?
Step 3: Talk About Crowd-DJ Interaction
Also discuss the level of interaction you’d like between the DJ and your guests. Is your DJ open to guest requests? Will he be talking to and engaging the guests, or mostly just playing the music?
Most brides like something in the middle of the road: their DJ should be fun and engaging enough to keep guests entertained, but shouldn’t steal the show. It’s still your wedding day!
You should also remind your DJ that sexual references, jokes about alcohol, and cuss words (even PG ones) including taking the Lord’s name in vain will not fly with the religious crowd attending your reception. (Usually wedding DJs are very conservative, but you never know – ensure your DJ knows you expect to have a “G” rated music night!)
Step 4: Talk About DJ Announcements
Chances are that your DJ will also be acting as the emcee for the evening, since he will already have the microphone and sound system. Go over what events he’ll need to announce, such as the entrance of the wedding party, first dance, mother/son and father/daughter dances, generations dance, bouquet toss, cake cutting, and ring ceremony.
Discuss how you would like your entrance to the reception handled. Do you want to be introduced to your crowd as “Mr. and Mrs. So and So” or “John and Jane Doe”? Do you want background music during the entrance of the wedding party?
Also, if you’re having a ring ceremony, make sure that your DJ knows what is involved during the ceremony and when you want to do it during the reception (most LDS couples do it right after dinner before the dancing starts). Make provisions for whatever microphones or music stands you need during the ring ceremony together.
When you hire your wedding reception DJ, your hard work is almost over – but not quite. You’ll still have some loose ends to tie up and communication to work through. But if you’ve chosen an experienced DJ and work under the protection of a contract, you’ll likely be satisfied with the results and have a fabulous experience at your LDS wedding reception.
♥ Jenny Evans
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