We've all been to a wedding nearly ruined by a DJ: He or she mispronounced the couple's last name, was rude when responding to a guest's request, or cracked corny, dance-floor-clearing jokes between each set. Here's what you can do to avoid a similar nightmare scenario at your own wedding.
First, it's important to pick the right DJ for you. That means, says Aviva Samuels, owner of Kiss the Planner in Palm Beach, Florida, getting references from your planner or friends who've already tied the knot. "If the DJ company passes the appears-to-be-a-reputable-company test, it's a good idea to schedule time to meet with the specific person or persons who will be entertaining the guests, not the owner," says Samuels. While the owner may be a great guy or girl, that person isn't always the one performing at the wedding. Carving out time to meet in person, over video chat, or at the very minimum by phone will allow you to get comfortable with the DJ's professionalism and feel confident that you're are in sync with each other."
During your meeting, ask your potential DJ about his or her style when it comes to making announcements and how they work to motivate a crowd. "Taking the time to ask these questions and listening carefully to the responses will give you great insight into your potential DJ's personality and the manner in which he or she will handle any given situation so you can put her worries at ease," Samuels explains.
Once you've hired a DJ, be very specific about your needs. For example, Samuels says, if you don't want your DJ to play suggestive music that will make your family blush, don't assume he or she knows that. "While most DJs have the experience and are capable of using good judgment, it's always a good idea to let a DJ know when there are specific preference or sensitivities to certain things," she says. "A DJ wants to make their clients happy and they can do that as long as they know what their clients want."
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It's also a smart idea to make a song selection before your big day. "Sure it's possible to leave it up to the DJ to decide what to play while cutting the cake, but what if it just so happens that you can't stomach The Archies and thought that nobody in their right mind would play 'Sugar Sugar' ever again?" Samuels says." What one person thinks is awful, someone else thinks is perfect."
Then, get micro-specific: Spell out any names that will be announced phonetically, in writing, in a document the DJ can reference on the day. Explain any divorces or family matters of which he or she needs to be aware. Ask to see the DJ's attire if you have an expectation of how he or she will appear. And check out his or her setup to make sure you have adequate space and power to prevent day-of issues.
Finally, "if the unthinkable happens and your DJ does something that makes you want to cringe, keep these facts in mind: Know that embarrassment is temporary and it is what you let it become," says Samuels. "If you focus on what went wrong, it will surely eat you up inside and spoil your perfect day. But why let an embarrassing moment define you, or your wedding day? Chances are that no one is hung up on it but you. What good does it do to let it take over one of the nicest days of your life?"