Why Hire a Professional DJ?

Update: this article is now featured by Today’s Bride Magazine and Shows!  You can, now, read it on the advice section of the Today’s Bride site, too, in the Disc Jockey section!

Published January 23, 2010 by Anna-Jeannine “DJ AJ9” Herman.  Unauthorized use prohibited.

With today’s economy, many couples are looking for ways to save money on their wedding.  You may be wondering to yourself “why spend hundreds of dollars to hire a professional company when my friend, a DJ from an online classified ad, or an MP3 player can do the same thing for less?”  But, remember: like choosing a photographer, dress designer, or cake artist, hiring a DJ is not always an “apples to apples” comparison.  While you might pay less for the services of an amateur entertainer, you may not be buying an equivalent product.  Differences in quality and style can make a very big difference.  The abilities of your DJ selection can determine how enjoyable your reception is for yourself and your guests — whether your dance floor stays packed all night long or whether everyone leaves by 9:00 P.M.

While it is certainly true that, like higher-quality photographers, dress designers, and cake artists, a professional DJ company may not be your lowest bidder, here are a few good reasons to choose one anyway:

  • Experience: how much experience does the person operating the sound equipment have, not only with the equipment itself, but with public speaking, crowd control, and problem solving?  Even using professional-grade equipment, an amateur DJ may not have sufficient knowledge to effectively use all those knobs and buttons to their best advantage.  The resulting sound may not be much better than your boom box.  Something New DJ/MCs complete a rigorous apprentice program with a written curriculum emphasizing not only how to use the equipment effectively but how to evaluate acoustics, “read” the crowd to keep them dancing, speak with good diction, be tactful with guests, and anticipate the needs of the bridal party.
  • Peace of Mind and Good Memories: what do you want to remember most about your reception?  Worrying whether your caterer knows it’s time to pour the champagne or if your photographer knows it’s time to cut the cake?  Coordinating your reception instead of dancing?  Cheesy announcements?  Cueing and re-cueing the MP3 player?  Listening to songs you don’t particularly like or maybe have never heard?  Hiring a professional DJ company allows you to relax and actually enjoy the party you’ve spent so much time planning.  Something New even schedules planning with your actual DJ!
  • Reliability: what will happen if your friend or amateur DJ develops an illness, equipment failure, or transportation problem?  With a professional company, replacement equipment and additional staff should be readily available.  Something New DJs work in pairs and have backup equipment on-site.
  • Equipment: is the stereo setup able to produce high-quality sound sufficient to fill your reception hall but still sensitive enough to prevent the music from blaring or becoming distorted?  Do you need a microphone for toasts or other events?  A professional DJ company will utilize specialized equipment designed to fill a large hall without distortion and will have microphones available for speeches and announcements.  Something New also provides a wireless microphone for toasts.
  • Etiquette (Professionalism): how will your DJ dress?  Will your DJ adhere to your “must play” and “do not play” lists?  Will your DJ be set up early and ready when the guests arrive, or still be loading in at the beginning of dinner?  Something New DJs partner with you in planning, paying careful attention to your musical preferences.  We arrive early and dress appropriately for your event, according to your preferences, typically in tuxedos or other black-tie eveningwear.
  • Music Variety: will your DJ have access to all your favorites?  What about newer music?  Professional DJs often have access to new music before it is available for purchase to the general public.  Something New stays up-to-date on the latest music.  If you’ve heard it on the radio, chances are we have it in our library, and if we don’t, we’ll try to get it for you.

If you are very brave, you can watch this video courtesy of the American Disc Jockey Association entitled “iPod Wedding Disaster”… While not exactly a “disaster,” I warn you — it’s not pretty.  The excitement — or lack thereof — starts about 1:50 in.  It points out — “You have worked countless hours and spent thousands of dollars on decorations, food, beverages, flowers, etc.  But if your guests leave early, how will they ever enjoy your hard work?”

With 81%** of wedding guests surveyed in a national poll saying that the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment, the quality and style of the entertainer you choose can very dramatically influence the enjoyability of your evening for both you and your guests.   Certainly something to think about when debating whether to splurge on chair covers or entertainment.

The Northeast Ohio Bride is incredibly fortunate to have so many excellent choices of reputable DJ companies to choose from — through Akron, Canton, and Cleveland, there are are a number of high-quality professionals out there.  All you have to do is find the one that fits best for you and your fiance!  If you’re ready to take your wedding “a step above the same old,” contact Something New today!  Please give us a call at 330-253-2900.

***Sources: Simmons 2001, USA Today 2002, National Bridal Service 2001, The Knot 2002, StLouis Bride & Groom Magazine 2004

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