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Reception Ideas

Choosing a DJ

So now that we finally booked a venue (yay!), our next task is to find a DJ. However, unlike a venue, which you can tour, and a photographer, which you can see samples of, a DJ seems harder to pick. How do you find one that you know will be good? I already posted on my local board (New Jersey), but it isn't usually very active. Also, I've been to a few weddings with DJs that were good, but those weddings were way outside our budget, so I can't really look for help there. Help? 

Re: Choosing a DJ

  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Have you looked on WeddingWire for your area? I find their reviews to be pretty reliable. You can also look for a DJ on Thumbtack, which is great for budget options. (Though you often get what you pay for!)

    Some DJs will put videos of their events on their website or facebook so you can at least get a sense of their voice, presence, style, etc. 
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    nerdwife
  • have you gone to any bridal shows or asked friends? Might be a good facebook poll to see if anyone has first hand recommendations. We also ruled out a couple from bridal shows because we didn't like the vibe they gave off but ended up choosing one that I met at a show early on and then contacted months later because he had affordable packages.
    lnixon8nerdwife
  • Our DJ had a website which had a film that showed samples from wedding's he'd done. We had the option to sit down with him before booking and look at more videos as well though we didn't take him up on that, we liked what we saw from the video and review and just talking with him was enough to be confident. 

    I'd look to see if any DJs you're interested in have sample videos. If not I'd go by reviews and try to meet with your top couple choices to make sure their vibe matches your vision. 
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    nerdwife
  • julieanne912julieanne912 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2015
    I asked for recommendations on a wedding buy/sell/trade Facebook group I'm on, that's how I found mine.... my local board here is pretty much non existant.  Once I got his name I googled and found him on Facebook and Yelp and there were good reviews on those places.  Once we met w/ him we had a good vibe and went with it.
    Married 9.12.15
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    nerdwife
  • Second check out bridal shows. One guy we met had SUCH a foul mouth. And its not like my friends and I walked up cussing but in less than 90 seconds he literally said "Some of these other guys are just in it because they have small dicks" "you don't want some little bitch standing up there" and "You don't want some douche f-ing up your big day hooking up with the bridesmaids". Unless he walks away and there is no music at my reception I don't care who you hook up with, but the way he spoke was so gross. 

    I really liked my DJ because although he was a great MC he kept the side comments to a minimum and didn't act like it was some crazy show he was hosting- it was just a great party.He was professional but let the fun music speak for itself.


    nerdwife
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    A lot of DJs will have a Youtube channel or website and post videos of receptions and events they do. I also agree that looking at reviews on WeddingWire and askind Facebook friends.

    nerdwife
  • Thanks everyone! I have been checking wedding wire a lot and am going to a bridal show in a few weeks. Fingers crossed!
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    We found ours by scouring for reviews and asking for recommendations.  I found, as with most of my wedding planning, that the best vendors aren't at bridal shows - they have enough word of mouth recommendations that they don't need to spend the time or money at shows.

    And a quick tip - make sure you sign up for another 'wedding only' email address - or else you will get bombarded with all kinds of email from those bridal shows.
  • Ask your venue for recommendations.  The coordinator at our venue was able to recommend a DJ/emcee who he knew does a great party -- and who he could further recommend as reliable and someone they often call in as a back-up when outside DJs no-show. 

    Do meet with the DJ before you book them and have a serious conversation about the style you're looking for. Our DJ was great and kept the party hopping. He also had a penchant for games which our guests raved about but which the socially-awkward bride and groom could have gone without.  
  • We found the DJ company at a bridal show, and liked that they did a lot more events than just wedding and their big advertisement/selling point is that they will NOT talk unless you specifically have planned stuff for them to say, and thew will NOT play any "classic" terrible songs like the chicken dance unless you beg them to. We picked the specific DJ by looking through the bios of the company's DJs and picking one within our price range that listed music types that we like. We also had a meeting with him to go through our likes/dislikes and the overall vibe we were going for. He was great.

    We met a different DJ/DJ company at a different bridal show, and knew it was exactly what we DIDN'T want! They were much more of a "typical wedding DJ" type of company, and it would have been a lot of stress worriying that they were going to be talking and playing the electric slide (since clearly that's the type of "fun" the company was all about). 
  • MandyMost said:
    We found the DJ company at a bridal show, and liked that they did a lot more events than just wedding and their big advertisement/selling point is that they will NOT talk unless you specifically have planned stuff for them to say, and thew will NOT play any "classic" terrible songs like the chicken dance unless you beg them to. We picked the specific DJ by looking through the bios of the company's DJs and picking one within our price range that listed music types that we like. We also had a meeting with him to go through our likes/dislikes and the overall vibe we were going for. He was great.

    We met a different DJ/DJ company at a different bridal show, and knew it was exactly what we DIDN'T want! They were much more of a "typical wedding DJ" type of company, and it would have been a lot of stress worriying that they were going to be talking and playing the electric slide (since clearly that's the type of "fun" the company was all about). 
    We did finally pick a DJ, based on the fact that they have over 1000 positive reviews on wedding wire and after talking to them and seeing their demos. But I do have to say that I was always looking for a more typical DJ - I think it's fun to dance to both top 40 music and have that part where it's older songs (like shout is a personal fav of mine and my family). And while I don't actually know the dance to the electric slide, lots of people love it - that's why it's so popular. So while everyone is entitled to their opinion about what music is best, I don't think you have to knock someone else's choices (especially the choices of like lots and lots of people).

    Otherwise, thanks for all the advice! Really appreciate it and SO glad to have this all set.
    donethat
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I lived OOT and  I asked my venue for recommendations.  I figured they heard enough DJ's to know.  Then I asked my photographer.   Again, I figured he was local and worked enough weddings to know who is good or not.

    2 names were on both lists.  From there I asked the local knot board.   Same 2 names came up.  I then just rolled the dice and picked the first one I could get a hold of.     He was great.    






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • We were in the middle of our group of friends to get married and loved the DJ one of my good friends used when she got married.   After I asked her to be a BM I asked if she could send me the contact info for her DJ.   It was the easiest thing we did since we knew he did a great job already.
    lauram1015
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