Some people mistakenly believe that becoming a wedding DJ is easy for anybody with a Spotify playlist. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more than making a beat match a party. Platinum DJs provide a highly customized experience that the bride and groom will never forget. Whether you have a year to plan or as little as thirty days, RMF DJs know how to bring the wedding of your dreams to life.
This blog demonstrates why our approach to DJing consistently achieves a top 50 ranking in the Wedding Elite magazine. At the end of the day, we create experiences that our clients remember forever. Becoming a wedding DJ is about delivering people’s vision and leaving lasting impressions for the crowd that they never forget. The following steps demonstrate how our approach accomplishes the best results as a wedding DJ service.
Preparing Your New Business
The first step to becoming a wedding DJ is learning the industry inside and out. Reach out to other DJs for guidance, use classes to build your knowledge, make a business plan, and collect the necessary DJ equipment. Before you name your business and start telling people you can DJ their wedding, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the business.
Discuss the Business With Other DJs
The first step to becoming a wedding DJ is learning what makes other wedding DJs successful. Discussing the total expected audio equipment costs with other DJs can help you decide whether taking classes or investing in equipment is right for you as a beginner DJ.
Delving into the high-pressure culture of weddings will play a significant role in deciding whether it’s right for you. As a wedding DJ, you have responsibility for one of the most important occasions in a person’s life. Because of the stress of planning a wedding, becoming a DJ depends on whether you feel comfortable with high-pressure situations. Talk to other DJs to discover the challenges they face and how they rise to the occasion. You aren’t just a club DJ at a wedding-- you’re the conductor of the entire celebration.
Take Classes on Audio Mixing
Some people are prodigies and have an innate knack for audio production, modulation, volume control, and mixing. But for most of the DJing world, knowledge is power, and the best place to get guidance is from audio classes. Online classes or community college classes are an affordable way to boost your DJ skills so that you can drop the funky beats after the wedding bells chime.
Create a Business Plan
If you’re just DJing weddings for fun, you can skip this portion, but if you’re trying to make a living as a respectable wedding DJ, creating a detailed business plan will save you stress down the road. Musicians aren’t normally considered the most administrative individuals, but success in the highly competitive wedding DJ field depends on meticulous attention to detail. Map out your business and make sure there is a clearly defined method for making a sustainable income. Many DJs are utilizing online methods like social media to get their name out there and business off the ground.
Buy Your Gear
The last step in preparing your business is purchasing all of your equipment. Collecting your audio equipment can be a process--so don’t rush it. You don’t need every state-of-the-art piece of equipment on the market to be a killer DJ, but you do need the essentials.
Mixing DJ software, a PA system, a mixing board, and studio-grade headphones are essential to any serious wedding DJ setup. However, it’s more important that you know how to effectively use the equipment rather than buying the most expensive pieces. A simple DJ mixer and DJ controller can go a long way for aspiring DJs to start playing events, but your equipment will depend on what kind of DJ you want to become.
Set Your Rates and Write a Contract
Setting your rates depends mostly on how much trust you develop within the community you serve. According to Modern Bride magazine, entertainment is 5% of most people’s wedding budget, yet it accounts for 38% of what the guests remember. Statistics also show that wedding DJs shoulder 75-80% of the responsibility for a reception’s success.
These statistics show the importance of hiring wedding DJs with established reputations. If you’re just starting, understand that your rates might be lower until you prove you’re a reliable option.
Writing a contract is also a vital part of establishing your business’s credibility. Thorough contracts cover cancellation and damaged equipment policies. Make sure you cover all of these policies during your consultation with the bride and groom.
Creating an Unforgettable Music Playlist
While creating a music playlist, successful DJs remember it’s not about them. As a wedding DJ, your primary concern is the bride and groom. It’s their special day, and it’s your responsibility to bring their dreams to fruition. Schedule a consultation with the bride and groom and work to uncover their musical tastes and what their guests will enjoy to implement into your DJ sets.
By wedding time, you should already feel like you know what the crowd wants to hear and have a full selection of songs ready to go.
Diversifying the Cocktail Hour, Entrance, and Dinner Playlist
Though most do, not every occasion calls for “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Cocktail hour playlists should be smooth unless otherwise instructed by the bride and groom. The entrance playlist should also be at the bride and groom’s discretion and the dinner playlist should match the venue’s atmosphere.
Plan Out Songs for the Special Dances
No wedding is complete without the special dances, and if you drop the ball on even one of these, your reputation can take an irrevocable hit. The wedding couple typically has specific options picked out for these, so make sure you have them readily available. Also make sure to plan out the special dance procession, avoiding anyso there are no awkward pauses.
Create the Dance Set
The dance set is where you can let some of your creativity run wild. Even though people will most likely pick from these top 90 wedding songs, you must remain faithful to crowds’ fluctuating musical tastes and arrange your playlist to build musical energy and create a truly unique and unforgettable set. When the party calls for hip-hop or something fast paced, make it happen. If they’re feeling sentimental, bring out the slow jams.
Work the Crowd
Successful wedding DJs are more than glorified stereos; they interact with the crowd to discover what makes them tick. They play what the crowd wants to hear before they know they even know it, seamlessly transitioning from song to song and making the crowd scream every time a new one begins.
Successful wedding DJs understand how to control wedding receptions’ flow; they make announcements, call for special dances, and call for speeches at the right time. They are the wedding metronome, always keeping time steady and remaining in sync with the bride and groom’s wishes.
Dodge Bad Requests
While wedding DJs’ primary purpose is to serve as entertainment for guests, that doesn’t mean wedding DJs have to abide by every outlandish request they hear. Learning when to say no to a guest unless instructed otherwise by the bride or groom will save you from playing the wrong thing at the wrong time and ruining the atmosphere you’ve created.
Announce the Last Song Before You Play It
Nothing is worse than finally getting into the music, only to have it abruptly halt when you’re in the middle of your favorite dance move. Don’t embarrass people by cutting them off in the middle of their Dougie, worm, or moonwalk. Give people ample time to wind down and prepare themselves for the end of a magical evening.
Make an announcement a few songs before the last that you have a few left, and call everyone to the dance floor. The crowd appreciates the head’s up.
Successful DJ Business Traits
Whether you’re a seasoned wedding DJ or just starting, there are specific attributes you should always strive to achieve.
Great wedding DJs understand how to adapt to the situation at hand. No matter how much you plan before-hand, there will always be a few game-time decisions. Bringing extra extension cords and power strips is a great precautionary measure because venues don’t always have many outlets to use.
Bringing a table is another smart precautionary measure. Sometimes venues promise you can use theirs, only to find they lent it to someone else the day of the wedding, or you have to change rooms last-minute.
Weddings are a symphony of moving parts. If one of those instruments is late, it can ruin the whole orchestra. Most wedding DJs book the majority of their gigs through referrals, so one bad review can bring the entire operation down, especially if it’s still in the beginning stages. To avoid being late, clearly designate start and end times.
You don’t need to be a musical genius to be a professional wedding DJ, but you do need extensive musical knowledge that ranges across genres. People may not like your taste in music, so exposing yourself to various kinds and familiarizing yourself with what people love to listen to will help you create enticing playlists.
Successful Wedding DJs Care About Providing a Memorable Experience
As a wedding DJ, you’re in charge of showing people the time of their lives. The only way to do this is by caring about other people’s experiences. That’s the reason RMF DJs enjoy a 4.9 out 5 rating with over 600 reviews on Wedding Wire. Becoming a wedding DJ requires patience, expertise, but most of all, it requires genuine care for others.
For the past thirteen years, RMF DJs has been Montana’s most trusted premier wedding DJ service. Our supremely talented, diverse group of DJs understand how to bring your wedding dreams to life, and we ensure your special day is seamless, stress-free, and memorable. Visit our weddings blog page to answer any questions you may have about your wedding entertainment.