Responsibilities of a Wedding DJ

For those that are not familiar with the role of a professional wedding DJs, you may think all we do is push the play button and play music.

Now not all Wedding DJs, and yes there are a number of DJ’s that deliver weddings and don’t necessarily put in the same attention to detail and ultimately can sour the experience for many couples and their guests.

Wedding Multitasking? Not a Problem!

While planning music is one of the major core functions of the DJ, there is so much more that goes on from behind the booth. In many cases, the Wedding DJ stands in the Wedding Coordinator if there is not one hired in or if the venue does not provide one.

Many times they are also the sound engineer managing all the critical sound/ Speeches and coordinating other vendors like the videographer.

I would like to give you an insight of what we provide at DJ Services Cornwall provide as a Professional Wedding DJ and our preparation for your Big Day. We start preparing months ahead. it starts on the very first contact.

Introductions

One of my aims is to get to know you and your likes and dislikes and to figure out what exactly you require from me, you may not beware what service we have on offer,
What type of music do you like? What sort of lighting do you require to create the right ambience for the venue and your setting? What have you experienced at other weddings which you feel would be applicable for your wedding? All of this information becomes the foundation of determining the things you want, and don’t want, from your wedding.

Establishing the foundations

While the introduction, meeting or convenient phone call gives the DJ a glimpse into what you are actually looking for on your wedding day, once you get closer to your wedding date the finer details need to be finalised, lighting, special effects, music choice, playlists , first dance, what is to be played and when, anything music related.

If I am unfamiliar with the location I’ll typically plan a trip to the site to determine things like establishing a line of communication with the venue, equipment placement and if there are any issues with some of the details discussed, timings are always critical, especially as I work alone. A 2 hour set up, for example, does not set up in 45mins. This is when myself and venue look at the various options to ensure the set up is seamless and with the least amount of disruption for you and your guests.

Sometimes, Additional Planning Meetings

So while some planning meetings can be “done in one” the truth of the matter things change all the time. Numbers attending can force changes to the floor plans; musical selections might be altered to accommodate a group of people, you may decide to enhance your experience that you didn’t plan before, the list can go on.

I always contact couples 30 days before their wedding to see what has changed, and what hasn’t, and see if more formal meetings are required. I am keen to clarify their special songs just in case it takes a while to procure anything.

Preparing For Your Special Day

Usually the week prior I go over the details again and again, and if there are any unanswered questions about any detail that I don’t have an answer to, I am not afraid to ask. I want to make sure that your day is as stress-free as possible for all parties. I establish all your special songs in specific “crates” of music, clone onto a USB thumb drive, so I have 2 copies of music to play on just in case. Technical issues to arise in our line of work and go over all my equipment to make sure nothing is missing.

I send the venue, Liability Insurance, Risk Assessments and Pat Testing Cert. There is a surprising amount of “little things” that I have to check off my list before your wedding day comes.

The Day Arrives

When the wedding day arrives, for many DJs it means workout time and it’s no different for me. I am a solo-run DJ business which means I put all my equipment in my van, drive, unload, setup, test, perform, breakdown, drive home, and unload. If you are doing a ceremony as well I have not one but two separate systems to setup and configure. Once setup and everything is tested out to my satisfaction then the real fun begins.

Playing Well With Others

Many DJs that are in it for the ego, the adrenaline rush, the need to control everything. For a professional wedding DJ, that ego does not apply. There is no room for conflicting personalities and the genre you want to play. Everyone needs to be working as a team, supporting each other where needed. This means working with the venue to ensure all the critical points on the timeline are met. This involves notifying the photographer and videographer when things are about to happen, so they don’t miss a shot. This means if a change in plans occurs that you can work that into the timeline to ensure nothing is missed and more importantly playing those tracks the clients have chosen for their special day.

It can soon become a lonely place

Making sure nothing goes wrong is always on a DJs mind and for a good reason. A photographer can have a bad photo, but there are literally hundreds of great shots to choose from, a florist can have a wilted flower or two, but the remaining stunning assortments may overlook it, a caterer can have a wrong plate of food, but the hundred or more other dishes are exquisite; but if something fails with the DJ especially at those critical moments all bets are off.
A Wedding DJ does not get a second chance and they must react at a moment’s notice. If a microphone cuts out a backup is at the ready. A song fails to play and another copy of it is a click away. A tremendous amount of care for your event is given by the DJ to ensure that your entertainment goes as flawlessly as possible.
Managing the Evening

After the vows are taken, the casual conversation of cocktail is concluded, once the last bites are eaten, and the last speeches are made then it’s the DJ’s time to shine to play a great set of dance music based off all the discussions you had prior, trying to cross different age groups and styles to make everyone feel included.

I take a lot of pride in my knowledge of music and my ability to seamlessly blend, transition, and mix track into track.
For those that have seen the club or party DJ in action, I have to tell you, the whole arrangement and vibe is much different. The mechanics can be totally different in trying to build up a crowd because after spending two, three, or more hours of not dancing, some people want to jump right into a big dance set. Also knowing how to read a crowd. In one night you could go from Rock & Roll, Club hits, to EDM, to old school Hip Hop, 80s Pop, 90s House; and as a DJ you have to have a pretty intimate knowledge of that diversity. But the goal is still the same, getting people dancing hard, picking songs that make a guest look at you with amazement; that look on their face at that moment is priceless

Before you know it the night is wrapping up. The whirlwind of months if not years of planning has drawn to a close. The last songs are played. For the DJ it’s time to pack up and head on home. It’s been a long day, but I sure feel damn good that you and your guests have had a great night.

Summary

The Responsibilities of a Wedding DJ. Well, the above paragraphs explain quite a bit, there are still, even more, details that are too mundane to go over. On average I spend about 15-30 hours per wedding “all in all” depending on the size and requirements. This also leads into the reasoning on why a professional wedding DJ costs more than a couple hundred pounds.
I hope this can give you a greater level of appreciation of how involved the Wedding DJ is at a wedding and the attention to detail required to become a Profesional Wedding DJ and this apt opportunity to read our testimonial section.