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The Value Of A Wedding DJ (Member Article)

NADJ Member Tony Winyard writes about his thoughts on the DJ/Disco/Wedding Entertainment sector.We've received some great feedback on the articles from Tony Winyard who is passionate about the DJ profession and he is also playing a part in organising our NADJ London branch.  If you would like to comment on any of Tony's thoughts, please add your comments to the bottom of each story.  His latest blog details the true value of hiring a Wedding DJ for such an important and memorable day:

  When two people get engaged and then begin planning a wedding it can at first seem extremely daunting, faced with the enormity of organising such a huge event, and very often without any experience of organising anything this big.  It is very easy for it to get quite overwhelming especially with all the advice, much of it conflicting, that is offered by so many people. There is just so much to do and what to do first?  It can quickly get quite stressful.

  With so much to do, the entertainment can easily get overlooked in the early stages.  Additionally as most people will never have booked entertainment before, that can be another reason to put it off because of not being sure how to go about finding the right entertainment.

  In most cases the first decision will come down to choosing between having a band or a DJ for the wedding entertainment, and once that has been decided how do you then go about finding the right DJ or band?  What questions would you ask?  How much will it cost?  What things are standard?

  If you haven't got experience of booking this before you often won't know where to start, or on what to base a decision?  Is it just a case of plucking a figure from the air with regards to what to spend? How should you decide what percentage of the total budget should be allocated to the entertainment? There's so much to think about!

  For those thinking of having a disco, the following is a post from Mark Ferrell, a respected advocate of mobile DJs, on the subject of wedding DJs and the perception of them by the public:

"The public thinks that many wedding DJs all do the same thing and at the same level of proficiency. Based on what they’ve seen, they don’t expect much. That’s why they want to pay the average price or “going rate”. And for that reason, most wedding DJ services charge about the same price, varying by only a few hundred dollars.

  In many instances, brides and grooms don’t think the entertainment is very important because they haven’t seen a DJ that can really deliver quality entertainment. So they get the cheapest DJ that can play the best music. Sometimes they forgo having a DJ and instead use an iPod or no entertainment whatsoever."

  If you've never hired a DJ before it's easy to think of them as a commodity and all much of a muchness, after-all, they just play music right?  So, not much to think about?  As with most things in life there can be a huge diversity in what is available, ranging from kids just starting out trying to get a bit of DJ experience and charging a couple of hundred pounds through to the seasoned professionals charging ten times that amount but who will create an incredibly unique experience, as summed up again by Mark Ferrell:

"The only reason to pay more for something – anything – is because you are getting more/better. Dinner, cars, real estate, entertainment, anything.

  People will buy a BMW over a Hyundai because of quality – they are getting a better car. Not everyone will afford a BMW, granted, but they still recognize it as a better car that they would prefer to have. Generally speaking, people want better stuff."

  There is a service for all budgets.  From the guy that you book but never meet until they turn up on the night and they play music for 3 or 4 hours, to the other end of the scale, where they will meet with you 2 or 3 times before the wedding itself and even attend the rehearsals.  They'll really get to know you, they will ensure they have a thorough understanding of the vision you want to create for your day.  They will also assist you throughout the wedding day, from the ceremony onwards, ensuring that the whole day is completely personalised and very unique.

  A good rule of thumb is to allocate at least 10% of the total budget towards your entertainment.  If you would like me to send you information on my services please do get in touch, or why not subscribe to the weekly issues of Wedding Tips that I email, for lots of tips that you may find useful in planning your wedding, not just on entertainment, but on other areas of wedding planning too.

  To finish with, some stats from a magazine called Bride and Groom: 

  • Bridal magazine research has found wedding guests remember the entertainment more than anything else.  Surprising then, the happy couple sometimes spend more on chair covers and skimp on entertainment.  When the wedding favours cost more than the DJ, it's no surprise the party is average!
  • The vast majority say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
  • During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer – reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities.
  • Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!
  • 72% of all brides say they would have spend more time choosing their reception entertainment.
  • When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
  • 65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding, said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a DJ.  
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