I’m in a quandary regarding what to choose! I thought I’d ask for opinions from other brides- I thought the music enthusiasts would understand the best.
We have a choice between two DJ’s (and have to make a decision tomorrow to secure the rate). One is a good DJ, but he is by no means a turntablist- he’s more of a trained musician who DJs. This means he understands 4/4 and can beat match easily, but he’s not, say, going to put together mash ups on the spot (and a good mash up can make a party just killer and I’ve seen it in action- even with people who don’t normally go out dancing) or use platters. That being said, he will play whatever we want to hear and, being a musician, will have pretty seamless transitions. He’s maybe not the hippest guy, but from what I saw in his videos he’ll get the job done. Given some live music reception situations we clued him into, he’s cool with bringing extra mikes if we need it- not huge, but adds to the convenience factor- he’s not nickel and diming us on that. I appreciate that principle. He’s a good coordinator, and works independently. If he falls through due to emergency, he’s got a few backups- although we admittedly don’t know anything about those guys. The Big plus with this guy is that for x price, he’ll throw in up lighting (and he's good at it). All of my friends have claimed they don’t really care about lighting at all, but after talking to a lighting designer (not someone I’m looking to hire, so he’s not trying to “sell” me, he’s just a friend), the designer indicated there’s a reason why clubs and lounges use specialty lighting- it can get people into the right mood from anything from eating to dancing- it’s just they’re not really conscious of it. I felt a little dimension would be important, otherwise it’s “a room on dimmers”- so either dining room lighting, or very dark. To me, not very “party” but- perhaps the designer exaggerates? And people don’t care? Or does it really make a difference? Please note: nothing over the top, again, just 10 or so uplights in the dancing area.
Option 2 is a PHENOMENAL DJ (he did a short set for us) from one of those large companies that contracts out DJs. Also excellent customer service and coordination and will play whatever we want to hear like Option 1, so no worries there. If something happens to the DJ, we’re completely covered- many other options. My friends have said “no one is going to care that this guy is great, they just want to hear the good songs…” and yet, in a similar example, people I’ve known claim not to care about food, but when they finally try gourmet food, they’re blown away. Not that they’re ruined for everyday food, but it’s an eye opener. I wonder if this guy’s expertise- he can do mashups, uses platters, essentially a trained "purist" DJ- will make the party better. He’s a young guy, an excellent performer (but does not distract, i.e. he won't be baby scratching the songs away) and has an energy that’s infectious. He’s fun just to watch! If you've ever been out dancing and a DJ dropped in and made you go "Oh DAMN!"- that guy. However, he doesn’t come with lighting. And, the company will nickel and dime us on things like an extra mic (not a deal breaker, we can get mikes, it’s more a matter of principle with the company that irks me some, not the DJ). We cannot afford lighting on top of his rate. I’m wondering if he’s good enough to where the flat lighting will be overridden, and that dance floor will be packed regardless.
I guess my question is- if you had to choose (or have you chosen) between heightened aesthetics with a decent DJ or an incredible DJ under blah lighting, which do you/did you think would most lend itself as extra insurance to get your crowd pumped- the aesthetics or the music?
I know it might look like an overthink, but that’s how I roll when I’m spending a decent chunk of change and don’t get a do over. Thanks in advance!