This article was written by Jordan Nelson, owner of SLC Mobile DJ, one of Utah’s premier wedding entertainment companies specializing in unique, unforgettable entertainment. Visit our home page to learn more.
Every day, I receive emails from brides and grooms who are on the hunt for wedding entertainment for their big day. Eager to find the best deal for their buck (because let’s face it, money does in fact NOT grow on trees), they sound out dozens of emails to the far reaches of the web, probing and prodding like they were haggling with street vendors in Tijuana. Have you sent out similar emails? Well today, my friends, you get to come behind the receiving end of those emails with me and learn from the (sometimes painful) experiences of others who have gone before you.
The most frequently found line in any of these emails that I receive usually reads something like this;
“Hi! Our wedding is on the _____ and we were wondering what your pricing is for….?”
While I could write a post entirely on the problems associated with that question (give me a call if you’re intrigued), today’s thoughts have to do with the SECOND email I sometimes receive after I send the couple a quote. It goes a something like;
“Oh, that’s a little out of our budget. We actually have a friend who DJs, we’ve decided we are just going to use him.”
Excuse my while I *facepalm*.
Now, for those of you that have friends, brothers, or neighbors that DJ, I’ll tell you up front this is NOT an article meant to put them down or discount them. Heck, I’m somebody’s friend, brother, and neighbor that DJs. But today we are going to hopefully lay out the difference between somebody who “DJs” and somebody who runs a professional wedding entertainment company. Notice the difference? Let’s elaborate.
Training and Experience
Did any of you take piano lessons as a child? I did! I enjoy playing the piano all the time. Yet nobody is calling me to come provide the music for their cocktail hour. But why Jordan?? You love playing and your mom thinks you’re so good! While this is true (at least I hope it is mom), I wasn’t trained as a professional piano player. I make mistakes, I don’t know enough music, and I don’t have a quality piano I can take to events.
Nowadays, it’s easy to get into DJing. Equipment is readily available and knowledge is plentiful. But having a mixer and 3 hours of bedroom practice under your belt does not make you a professional wedding entertainer. After all, a bride and groom are not just trusting their 9 year old’s birthday party to this DJ; they are trusting the biggest day of their entire life. Handing control of the music over to someone with very few or *GASP* no weddings under their belt is an accident waiting to happen. I attended a wedding where the “DJ” started the YMCA, complete with hats and costumes, in the middle of the completely romantic dinner hour. Talk about setting a mood.
There’s nothing worse than handing your hard earned money over to someone and then never seeing them again. Don’t think it happens? Google “no show wedding vendors” and you’ll see what I mean. I’m part of a few online groups where wedding vendors can network, and I can’t count the number of times “Just got a call from a bride who’s DJ bailed on her and her wedding is in a week” has been posted. “But Jordan, our friend is an amazing guy and he would never do that” you’ll say to me, and I’ll respond with “Yes, but your wedding is most likely not as high of a priority for him as it is for you.” There are few things in life less motivating than working for less than you know you are worth.
Then there is the equipment issue. While I’ve never had a bride say “We booked this guy because he has the COOLEST sound system,” I have had brides, grooms, and guests compliment our professional looking, professional sounding wedding audio systems. We did spend quite a few thousand dollars on them, so that’s always good to hear. But in all seriousness, your wedding vows deserve better than to sound like they are coming out of 2 tin cans with a string attached between them, and your guests most likely won’t be eager to dance to music that sounds like it’s being played through the Walmart overhead speakers.
Take the Stress off YOU
Weddings can be stressful, do I even need to say it? But on the day you say “I Do,” stress should be the last thing you are feeling. It’s the best day of your life, and you deserve to spend it gazing lovingly into the eyes of your new spouse and laughing/partying with your friends and family. Don’t spend your wedding day hunched over Spotify because your friend had something “last minute” come up. Don’t spend the precious moments before your first dance awkwardly standing in front of your guests while your friend searches for your song. Don’t cringe in your seats as he or she fumbles over his or her words on the microphone. And don’t spend your wedding day, and the rest of your life, regretting the fact that you didn’t hire professional entertainment for your reception. Hire a professional and relax knowing that every aspect of your wedding is taken care of while you enjoy the moment with those you care about most.