“We’ll Just Hire a Friend (or Relative) As Our DJ”

Many couples have told us they regretted their decision to let a family member, or friend of the family, be their wedding DJ. It turned out that he wasn’t very good; and since he did the wedding for little or no money, they couldn’t complain or ask for their money back. Before you consider entrusting the success of your reception to an amateur, consider these important factors.

  • If you’re hiring a family member as your DJ because he’s the family charity case, and he desperately needs the money, then accept that you’re sacrificing your wedding as an act of charity – either voluntarily or under family pressure. You’re not going to get the same performance and the same fun experience as a couple who hired a professional DJ with great reviews and references.
  • If you’re hiring a family friend because he gave you a “great price,” ask why he wasn’t already hired for an event on your date. Too often, DJs who give deep discounts are forced to do so, because they’re not very good DJs. If he does a horrible job, and your guests all leave early with bad memories of his performance, it won’t be much comfort to know that you saved a few hundred dollars.
  • Put your family member or family friend through the same tests as any other DJ. Ask to see his sound system and lighting in action. Ask to drop in on one of his performances. Check his reviews on sites like Wedding Wire and Yelp. Check him out with the Better Business Bureau. If he has no reviews, and the BBB has never heard of him, you’re hiring a total unknown as an act of pure faith. This is your wedding! You don’t owe it to anyone to have a miserable time, just for your DJ’s benefit.
  • A family member who is part DJ and part wedding guest, simply cannot give his performance his full attention. He might be on the dance floor when a song ends, and there will be a 20-30 second period of dead silence while he walks back to his console and starts another song. Silence – even a few seconds – can empty a dance floor like nothing else. And unless your DJ is experienced enough to get people back to the dance floor, the party is over.
  • An amateur DJ just plays songs. He has no wedding planning resources. He has no simplified party worksheets for you to fill out to direct him on exactly how you’d like the evening to go. He has no master song list from which you may select your dance music. Everything must be done on the fly, so it interrupts your evening, and commands your personal attention when you’d rather be enjoying the party. And your DJ probably won’t have 60-90% of the dance songs your guests request. So you’ll have long stretches with no dancing.
  • A relative or family friend deserves to be invited to your wedding as a full guest; he shouldn’t have to work for his supper. A professional DJ who has done this a thousand times before, can devote his full attention to the success and smooth flow of your entire evening, without having to double as a guest.

Now that you have a broader perspective on the risks of hiring a friend or relative as the entertainment director of the most important night of your lives, you may now accept full responsibility for your DJ decision, and know that, however your reception turns out, you made an informed choice.

To learn more about Fourth Estate Audio’s incomparable service, call me at 630.654.4440. I’m here to help.

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.    

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