It breaks my heart when I hear about this happening. It could be ten minutes before, or ten days before, but when the disc-jockey backs out, it is a major upset on your wedding day. It does happen. I remember once a bride walked into her reception, ready to start her first dance, and her DJ was nowhere in sight. She called us for help, and I had a system and a backup DJ on site within 30 minutes. We pulled it off for her, but why not avoid the situation altogether and hire a professional company from the start?
Whether you hire us or not, hiring a professional for your event can save you from the worry and the heartache of something seriously going wrong. When brides are asked after their wedding what would they have planned differently, they often say that they wish they budgeted more for entertainment. If your ice sculpture isn’t the way you wanted, or the chocolate fountain doesn’t show up, it’s not the end of the world. However, if your disc-jockey is sub-par, it can have a drastic impact on the success of your reception.
Here are some tips on what to look for to identify a professional vendor (not just a DJ):
- Is this their full-time business, or is it a hobby? Someone that just does 1 or 2 events a month on the side for extra income will not have the same vested interest in making sure that your event goes well, as compared to a full-time company that has their reputation at stake.
- Are they a member of any professional organizations? Every disc-jockey should be a member of the American Disc-Jockey Association. A professional wedding planner should be a member of the AACWP (American Association of Certified Wedding Planners), Photographers should be a member of WPPI or PPA, and so on. Accreditations and awards are often indications of a professional vendor.
- Look for the small signs….do they have an actual credit card merchant account? There is a screening process that merchant companies use to identify legitimate businesses. Do they have liability insurance? They should be able to supply you with their certificate (ours is on our website!).
- How long have they been in business? Someone in business for 10+ years has a lot more to lose if they have a dis-satisfied client. Also, a newcomer will just flat out not have the experience in dealing with issues should something go wrong.
- Do your homework, look at their reviews and ask around. The internet makes it so easy to identify the professionals compared to the fly-by-nights. Check TheKnot and WeddingWire for feedback from other brides. Ask other vendors if they’ve heard of a specific person or company and if they have any working experience with them.
- Ask them about their backup plan. “What do you do if….?” Describe a scenario and find out what their plan-of-action is. For DJs, if they are a single operator, what do they do if they wake up sick the morning of your event?
- Go with your gut….how comfortable are you when speaking/meeting with them months in advance? Do they return phone calls promptly? If something feels a little off, it probably is.
Your special event should be a time to celebrate and have fun. Don’t let your event suffer by trying to save a few bucks by not hiring a professional. Just a few hundred dollars can make all the difference in the world!