7 essential tips to become the perfect wedding DJ
With our handy guide you can become the best wedding DJ around!
Been booked for your first gig as a wedding DJ? Or are you looking to sharpen up your set-list to make sure your next show brings the house down for the bride and groom? If so, cast your eye over our best-practice guide to ensure that you put on a performance nobody will forget. To get the job done, you're going to need the right tools. If this is the first time you've been booked, or you're doing a friend of yours a very special favour, then you'll want to take stock of what equipment you're going to need – in which case you're in luck! Take a look at our list of essential kit for the aspiring wedding DJ right here.
Once you've got the gear, you're probably going to need an idea (or two). This is where we can lend a helping hand. Here, we'll fill you in with the crucial tips to make sure you give the bride and groom a party to remember on their big day.
1) Get there early to set up
You'll want to give yourself plenty of time to set up your equipment ahead of the guests' arrival. Nobody wants to be panicking about whether they've remembered everything, or if they're going to be ready in time for the last dance. Remember, if the DJ is sounding hesitant, then this will filter through into audience. Try and arrive with plenty of time to spare, say hello to the families of the bride and groom and grab yourself a drink before the action starts. But not from the free bar!
2) Think about your sound
It's worth sparing a thought about the venue you'll be playing in and what is going to be the best way to get your sound out there. Are you going to be outside, in a marquee or a large hall? The acoustics where you're playing could have a big effect on how much people enjoy the show. With this in mind, you're going to need to need to consider what type of speaker is going to work best, so you'll need to know which type you own and whether you'll need something extra.
Active speakers come with an in-built amplifier inside of them to give you an extra boost when you're playing. These are popular with bands as well as DJ's, as you only need to plug them in and away you go! These can be great for when you're playing to an audience outside or if you're trying to reach the back of that huge hall. Keep in mind however, that with a built-in amplifier, these can be quite heavy pieces of kit, so you'll need to take care while moving them about. Our Public Liability insurance is designed to protect you against third-party claims of injury or damage to property is something was to go wrong while you're performing. We can provide up to £1million to cover such claims with our standard level of Public Liability, and you can even extend your cover to up to £5million. Find out more about our policy here.
Passive speakers don't have an amplifier built-in, so while they may be lighter and easier to move around than their more powerful counterparts, you're going to need to also pack your amps to any bookings you've got. The great thing about passive PA speakers is that, if you are playing to a large room, you can place a few of them strategically and control the sound output from one location. With active speakers, you would need to adjust the volume on each specific speaker, so you'd save yourself some leg-work!
3) Bring backup
We cannot stress the need for backup equipment enough. For things to run smoothly, you're going to have to have a plan ‘B', or even a plan ‘C' in place. If you're turning up to a new venue, then you may not know what equipment they already provide and even if it's a venue you've performed at a dozen times or more, you never know until the day what's going to be in store. Sadly, that's far too late. Equipment breaks, and batteries have a nasty habit of running out, so keep yourself as well-stocked as you can if the bride has her heart set on some isolated setting that's far away from civilisation. We've heard the horror stories of the party ending two songs in and the once-happy couple thoroughly unhappy. It's not worth the stress for the price of packing light.
If you are still concerned about your equipment breaking down and leaving you in quite the pickle, then try not to worry yourself more than you need to. If any of your kit has stopped working; by making a claim with us, we can replace your equipment - once a claim has been accepted - up to the value of £2,000. Conditions do apply, and you'll need to provide enough time to submit full details of the claim ahead of the big day, so take a look here at what our insurance can offer you today.
4) Charge a fair price
There are three certainties in life. Death, taxes and a demand for a good wedding DJ. Wherever there is a couple tying the knot, there will always be someone in attendance who wants to get up and boogie. Wedding DJ's are always in demand, so competition is high. Keep in mind how much you're going to charge for your services and be realistic. Make sure you don't sell yourself short, but at the same time, don't price yourself out of a great opportunity because someone will do the same job for less.
5) Raise your profile as well as the roof!
If you haven't already, get yourself a website or be active on social media at the very least. If you want to get yourself new gigs and earn some more cash, you're going to have to be easy to find. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool to help you do just that. Include your name, contact details and location on all of your pages and to really seal the deal, post some professional-looking shots of yourself performing and videos of the crowd dancing along! Going the extra mile in terms of marketing yourself may just make the difference between a busy summer and a quiet one. If you haven't already, it's also worth printing out business cards to dish out to the attendees. There's a good chance that there are other couples in the crowd who may be looking for a wedding DJ in the near future, and hopefully they like what they see.
6) Take control of the situation
As much as weddings are a wonderful occasion, when families come together to watch a happy couple tie the knot, they can be particularly daunting for the young bride and groom. If you're a seasoned performer on the wedding circuit, then this is your time to shine. Remember, this is a new experience for a lot of young couples and there is an awful lot going on in their mind. It's imperative that you and the almost-weds meet face-to-face ahead of the date to discuss what their plans are and in what order they want events to be in. If there is one, you'll want to know when to announce the buffet, when to introduce the speeches from the friends and family, and when to clear the dance floor for the first dance. Anything traditional is going to require time to be set aside to do and needs someone to choreograph it. For this, you'll need to be on top of your organisational game. This can be a lot for you to consider, along with creating the perfect wedding playlist, so have a chat with whoever is in charge of catering to give you discrete reminders of the time. A good wedding DJ isn't just the person who gets people dancing, they're also the Master of Ceremonies.
7) Stay positive
If you aren't enjoying yourself, then nobody else will be either. In order to be both the life and soul of the wedding party, make an effort to bring a positive persona to the set. To get into a fun and excitable frame of mind, you'll need the right soundtrack. Some real high-energy, high-tempo songs are sure to get you and your crowd in the party mood. Keep your tone light and good-humoured and your positivity will ensure everyone goes home happy.
To make sure that things run smoothly ahead of your first wedding gig, you'll want to have peace of mind so you can get on with putting the perfect party in place. For this, you'll want to know that your equipment is protected should the worst happen on the big day. With our cover, we can protect your kit no matter your level of expertise and can cover you against theft or accidental damage.