DJ AL GARCIA Is A Proud Member Of These Fine Organizations:
National Association of Mobile Entertainers aka N.A.M.E
Hilton Head /Savannah Bridal Association Bluffton,SC.
Maryland Wedding Professionals Association, Forest Hill, MD.
“National Society of Event Professionals” San Francisco, CA.
World Wide Disc Jockey Association Pequot Lakes, MN.
Savannah Weddings Savannah, GA.
Charleston Bridal Association Charleston, SC.
Wedding Musician Association Alexandria, VA.
Wedding Network USA
Professional Wedding Vendors Association, Elk Grove Village, IL.
Wedding Solution Specialist of Fayetteville, NC Fayetteville, NC.
Every day, couples hire entertainers that they should not be hiring. Planning a wedding reception can be a DIFFICULT and STRESSFUL job. There are so many details that must be attended to. But here is the undeniable truth:
The Overall Success Of Your Wedding Reception Hinges On You Hiring The Right Entertainment
When is the last time you remembered the dinner you had at a wedding? Did the centerpieces make the event memorable and successful? When is the last time you attended a wedding when what you had for dinner made the event successful? Probably never.
The entertainer is the “key” to a successful event, but here’s the problem…
Hire the wrong person and your wedding will be a flop. Hiring the “cheapest” entertainment costs you money, it rarely saves you anything. Arguably, it costs you the entire investment of your wedding day. If you hire the wrong entertainer, and your reception tanks, there are no “do-overs”. Those are the memories you will carry for the rest of your lives. If you are capturing your reception in photographs and video, wouldn’t you want the best photo opportunities possible?
Before you waste any time calling DJs randomly, take the time to read this report in its entirety. You will benefit by understanding the role a DJ plays at your reception, how to find an entertainer that is your best match, and you will avoid costly misconceptions about DJs-before you hire one.
Assuming All DJ’s Are The Same
There are many, many folks that can pony up the money for really nice equipment and are capable of plugging in and playing some tunes, but very few who have enough experience in entertaining an audience and organizing the smooth flow of a reception to fill a thimble. This is where you must be very tough minded and asking your prospective DJ where their experience comes from. It is a mistake to think that a person who has only “club” or “corporate” experience can get through a wedding reception.
An inexperienced DJ may be able to get through a simple birthday party or backyard gathering, but where they really can wreak some havoc is at a wedding reception where timing, organization, and flow are vitally important. Be sure to obtain a list of wedding reception specific references. The best advice I can give you is that whatever DJ or company you hire, you better be sure that there is someone there who has a strong track record and understands the fundamentals of organizing and performing wedding receptions.
Thinking Your Entertainment Is Just Music
Your DJ is entirely responsible for the smooth flow of your reception. The DJ will be your “Entertainment Director”, who will create and execute the agenda for the entire evening. This role is especially amplified if you are not using the services of a wedding consultant.
You will benefit from the experience of a wedding entertainment DJ professional. They will be able to guide you through all the formalities, and give you suggestions to make your day unique and unforgettable. A great entertainer will also use their expertise to incorporate your ideas and suggestions into the program.
Waiting Until Last Minute To Hire Your Entertainment
Every year, I get a number of calls from brides in “panic”. For one reason or another, they cannot find a DJ entertainer available for their date. Even worse, I have heard more than a few brides say that the DJ they got “through a friend” has disappeared, and left them in the lurch. What makes this even scarier is that now their choices have gone from “who is the best DJ for them” to being forced to hire whoever may be available. With no time left to research, and with so many other details hanging over them, finding the right DJ will be more about random luck than an educated decision. Don’t let this happen to you.
The truth is, the best, most popular DJ entertainers will be booked more than six to twelve months in advance, in some cases up to 2 or 3 years. If you begin your entertainment research early enough, and you discover a great entertainer, don’t think that he will be available if you call weeks later. It is difficult enough to find that perfect entertainer- the one who makes you comfortable, someone you like, and who understands your tastes. It only makes sense that you secure your date right away with a written agreement. In most cases, DJs see their calendar as their “inventory” and cannot hold a date without a written agreement and a retainer.
Auditioning A DJ At Someone Else’s Wedding
Auditioning a DJ at another bride’s wedding has long been a controversial subject. I will put it in a logical perspective here, and give you the real scoop. Simply ask yourself if you would like strangers walking into your reception (often in street clothes) for the purpose of seeing one of your vendors? It is not the proper time or place to audition a DJ. There are several reasons why it is not even useful for anyone involved.
First, it is an obviously uncomfortable position for both the wedding party and the visiting prospect. Uninvited guests stand out like a sore thumb and are an un-welcomed distraction. Second, unless a prospect sees the entire reception, they won’t get any value out of the visit. Also, they are seeing someone else’s unique wedding, and unless the DJ is of the “cookie cutter” variety, the prospect again will get no value without knowing what is unique. Third and most importantly, it creates a “split loyalty” from the DJ. The DJ may do things out of place just to show off for their prospect, when they should be focusing 100% on appropriate timing for their current client.
There are better ways to audition your DJ. The right time should be one on one, at a private consultation. A professional wedding DJ should be able to provide you with references from previous weddings they have done. This allows you to verify all the different formalities and unique elements of their performance without crashing someone else’s wedding.
Allowing Someone Else To Choose Your DJ & Or Hiring A Family Member Or Friend To DJ Your Wedding
Perhaps your family or friends are assisting you in the planning and prep work for your celebration. That’s great, but unless everyone has the EXACT same taste you shouldn’t let anyone select your entertainment for you. If they want to pay for it by all means, but You and Only You should choose your entertainer, it’s the only true way to make sure you get EXACTLY what you desired.!
Although it may sound like a good idea, trust me it’s usually not. There’s an old saying that goes if you want to stay family or keep a friend… DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH THEM.!! The fear of damaging the pre-existing relationship will only hinder you from having things done the way YOU want.
Thinking All Weddings Are The Same
No two wedding receptions should be alike. Your reception represent the first time you and your spouse are throwing a gathering as husband and wife. It should be an extension of your personality and style. A big mistake is allowing an entertainer to do their usual “schtick”, making your day a carbon copy of every other wedding for the year.
How are you sure the DJ will make your day unique? Simply see if he or she asks you what you are looking for. Be wary of the DJ that just touts his music list and achievements. See if they ask you what you are looking for first, and then offer you the right solutions to make your day special.
Shopping For The Lowest Price DJ
Of course, price is a factor when hiring your DJ, but don’t let it be the single deciding factor. Is the highest priced performer always the best? Not necessarily, but on the other hand, hiring the least expensive entertainer is rarely the way to go either. Inexperienced brides often mistakenly think of DJs as “dime a dozen”, or a commodity.
The fact is that each DJ entertainer is unique. Like every profession, there are some DJs who are great, others mediocre, and others who should never be allowed to perform! You need to decide on the performer that is most qualified to perform your reception, that you are comfortable with (since the DJ will be representing you and your family), and that has the proper experience and credentials. Understand that DJs should not be hired by price alone and BEWARE of “suspiciously cheap” DJs, there may be a reason for it.
Instead, decide on a price range that you can afford, check out a few in that range, and choose the best performer. Professional DJ rates are all over the board. They range from under $1,000 to over $3,500 for a complete reception, and are based on the DJs popularity, demand, and availability. Considering the fact that the DJ is responsible for over 80% of the success of your wedding reception, I recommend setting a range between 5% and 20% of your entire wedding budget for your entertainment.
Please Read More About DJ AL On The DJ Bio Page.