I often have couples asking me for Videography referrals because they want to make sure they hire someone who works well with the photography team. Rarely do I have people ask about a DJ. I guess it’s because you wouldn’t think a DJ needs to work closely together with a photographer, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. When it comes to finding that perfect DJ, you need to be on the lookout for someone who works well with a team. It is so very important when it comes to getting gorgeous reception photos. Recently, Matt from Bouquet Sound was asking me a few questions about what I love when I work with DJ’s, so I thought I share.
Pictured: The Always Amazing DJ Martin of Waveform Events:
One of my worst wedding moments, was when my assistant and I had a flash drop and the batteries die in two of our flashes at the exact same time. I knew the first dance was coming soon, and so I ran up to the DJ and asked if he could wait to announce it until after we grabbed our spare equipment~we always carry backups in case something like this happens. The DJ laughed at me and said, “sorry, camera girl”, and then announced the first dance. =/
Camera girl. Seriously.
In the end, we were able to capture the first dance because my assistant thinks quickly and we carry spare equipment for everything, but it was a shame that he couldn’t have waited for another minute or two. It was the couple he was potentially hurting because he wasn’t being a team player.
When the reception starts, a DJ acts as the Master of Ceremonies. He/she is the hub for your reception and makes sure everything runs smoothly. They work with the banquet team, the couple, the photographer, and the videographer. I always, always start a reception by checking in with the DJ and confirming the reception schedule. Working well with a DJ is like having the stars align and a string quartet softly playing above your reception room.
In my experience, I’ve found that a good DJ will:
1) Be Flexible:
Sometimes things don’t always go exactly as planned. A good DJ will take this in stride and make sure that nobody knows the speeches were a few minutes late because there was a bridesmaid downloading her speech to her phone.
2) Let the Team Know a Few Minutes Before Announcing an Event:
Our reception schedule is busy, and with the exception of our dinner break, we’re always on the floor taking photos of guests, decor, or the couple. When a DJ gives us a few minutes warning before starting something new, it lets us know what lens to switch to, what lights to have, and where in the room we need to be before an event begins.
3) Keep the Evening Flowing:
Great DJ’s know how to transition from one activity to the next. They can feel the room and know exactly when it’s time for a slow dance, or whether they need to keep the fast paced music going.
Below, everyone dancing to a song played by fun DJ Pat of Sound Prodigy:
4) Read a Room:
I was at a wedding one time, and the couple had asked to take photos outside away from the reception room. I approached the DJ to let him know, and he said that because of the crowd, he was worried if we left with the bride and groom the guests would also start leaving. We looked around at the room, realized everyone was only dancing because the bride and groom were on the floor with them, and decided to wait until after the reception for those photos. We were glad the DJ communicated with us so well.
Below, Awesome DJ Victor from As You Wish Events:
5) Have Fun and Entertain Your Guests Like None Other:
Good DJ’s will have your guests laughing and dancing well into the night. I’ve worked with a few DJ’s, and no matter how big or small the reception group is, everyone is out there dancing until the last dance.
Below, Laura and Sean’s DJ helped us get silly photos with a family member who couldn’t attend the wedding in person!
Below: Dancing to the DJ’s from Invisible Touch:
So when you’re considering hiring a DJ, ask your wedding planners, venue coordinators, and other vendors for suggestions. It’s always good to have suggestions from people who have worked closely with a DJ. They’ll have a great idea of who is easy to work with and who will keep your guests dancing and celebrating late into the night, so that your wedding is as fabulous as you envision it to be. 🙂
1 thought on “Finding That Perfect DJ”
Excellent points! We’re glad that all of our vendors worked together to make our reception run smoothly. That sucks about the DJ that called you “camera girl”. Maybe he thought that since the couple hired him that he was working for them and if he pushed back an event that he’d get in trouble with them? That was messed up though and I’m glad that you were able to get the shots anyway. In retrospect he should’ve asked the couple first and I’m sure they would’ve been okay to give you a moment to get your extra equipment.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended weddings with some of the DJ”s that you mentioned (Pat and Invisible Touch) and I can say that they really did keep the party going and I had a blast! 😀