Choosing a great dj
Choosing a DJ for Lesbian / Gay Weddings or Civil Partnerships is not as straightforward as you might think. It’s very much a case of “Horses for Courses!”
However, by following Gay Wedding DJ Tony Adams’ eleven fantastic, impartial tips, success is pretty much guaranteed …
Click Tip 1 below now to make a start !
If you have left things until the last minute and you are finding that everybody is either booked up or too expensive, consider moving your party to an off-peak date or time. Have a wedding on a Sunday morning or celebrate your civil partnership on your birthday, even if it is a Thursday ! – You will suddenly find that not only are all the LGBT-friendly venues and services you require available, you will be in a great position to bargain for the best price !
Tip No 1 is “It’s never too soon to begin compiling your shortlists.”
The first thing to be somewhat wary about is that the sites at the very top of the search results page, marked “Ad” are only there because they have paid Google a huge amount of money. Guess who will be picking up the tab for that ? I have never paid a penny to Google to advertise ! ”
Most DJ’s websites have a telephone number or an enquiry form. As you will see in the next tip, I strongly recommend that you call, not just me, but a selection of DJs.
However, if you fill in an on-line enquiry form, be very, very wary if you get an instant computer-generated quote within seconds.
Professional DJ’s will contact you in person, discuss your event.
Tip No 2 is “Research your DJ thoroughly. Don’t simply book the person who has paid to be at the top of the search results, or the one who is using a program to be the first to email you with a quote. You are only getting hitched once. Speak to your DJ – The price alone tells you very little about his or her suitability for the job!”
Tip No 3 – “Pick up your phone and ask to speak to DJ himself – Not his wife, girlfriend, one of the children or the DJ’s smooth talking agent.”
Speak to as many DJs as possible, give each of them exactly the same information i.e. the date, times, nature and location of your event. Make sure that you ask appropriate questions to check that the DJ that you plan to hire is suitably experienced for your type of party. Not all DJ’s can cater for every type of function, or venue. For example, if you are celebrating your 50th birthday, would you want someone who has nothing but chart songs ? Similarly if you were holding an 18th and need mostly up to date music, shouldn’t the DJ be very familiar with current trends ? You know your music – Don’t be afraid to ask some specific questions about what tracks normally go down well at your type of event. – It will very soon become apparent if the person to whom you are speaking is clueless or bluffing. It is also important to ensure that the DJ has equipment suitable for the size of the venue. Most amateur DJs have just one set of gear. They will use it regardless of whether the event is in a small flat, or an enormous hotel banqueting suite.
Tip No 4 – “(i) Ask some specific questions about your style of music. (ii) Check your DJ has equipment suitable for your size of venue.”
“Tip No 5 – Ask good questions and make 100% sure that you know what you are getting for the price offered”
Tip No 6 – If your DJ can barely string two words together and doesn’t ask for the info he obviously needs, it’s a clear warning that you must look elsewhere !”
Tip number 7 therefore is “Don’t let an amateur DJ ruin your important event for heaven’s sake, book a professional ”
So, Tip No 8 – Leave absolutely nothing to chance – Get everything in writing !
A DJ’s P.L.I. indemnifies a venue in the event of a claim; so venues can insist on the degree of P.L.I. required. A typical hotel or banqueting suite usually demands between £2 and £5million. What would happen if one of your guests accidentally knocked over a speaker and it broke something expensive belonging to the venue. Would you not feel more comfortable knowing a DJ could simply claim against his insurance, instead of the venue holding you liable.
Portable Appliance Test certificates are something else which a venue (particularly council halls) now insist upon. At the very outset, when you are looking at venues, ask which certificates your dj needs. Don’t let it be a nasty surprise later on, when a venue finally remembers to tell you.
Ask your dj if he is insured and tested. Make it one of your first questions when you speak to him. An amateur DJ will simply not bother. So if you need a certificate you will only have to decide which pro DJ to book. The rest have ruled themselves out of the equation by default !
Here’s a thought though … Whether your venue needs these certificates or not, if a DJ is insured and tested, he is probably a professional or at the very least is extremely conscientious, As such, he perhaps deserves a chance of going on your shortlist.
So, Tip No 9 – Before you book, ask your venue & every DJ about Public Liability Insurance & Portable Appliance Test Certificates.
The majority of DJ websites will simply have short, unattributed extracts from testimonials such as “ABC Discos did a fantastic job at my wedding – Everybody danced all night.” – John A., Maidstone.
Although this possibly may be true, would you not feel more reassured if you had that person’s full details.
So, Tip No 10 – Almost nobody does it – We are all too shy … Before you book anything, ask for the details of some past clients who will vouch for the DJ.
The venue probably pays the agency from which they get they DJs, £300.00 plus VAT not £400.00 and they keep £100.00 plus VAT as commission. That is the reason they don’t want you to bring in your own DJ.
If you knew about this, you may still think it is worth paying top dollar for the fantastic resident DJ and £100.00 extra to the venue for sorting it out.
But there’s still more to it than that …When an agency gets a job from a venue, They text several amateur djs to see who will do your event for the absolute cheapest rate.
The suggestion isn’t that the DJ at the bottom of the food chain will be sub-standard – He is probably OK – Just be aware that if you decide to pay the hotel £400.00 plus VAT because you want to use their fantastic resident dj, the young dj you actually get will be lucky to receive £175.00 or £150.00 inclusive.
That’s how it works – The rest of your hire fee – at least half is swallowed up in needless commission !
So, Tip No 11 – Use these top tips to research & book your dj yourself – Don’t get ripped off by hotels & greedy agents !