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Tying the Knot

Go DJ … That’s My (Wedding) DJ!

Our digital content editor's fiance shares what to look for in a wedding DJ in a blog documenting the journey to "I do."
Credit: Thinkstock

As I mentioned before, I’m not the average groom. I’ve been involved in just about every decision so far and, overall, it’s been an enjoyable (albeit stressful) experience. Granted, I didn’t have much of an opinion on flowers or bridesmaids’ dresses, I still enjoyed the process.

One thing I do have strong opinions about, however, are the music and DJ. A wedding DJ can make or break your reception, so selecting the right one is important. The first thing you have to do is take a mental note of the number of people who will actually enjoy having a DJ. You don’t want to have a DJ blasting Top 40s when the average age of your guest is 60+ years. No, Grandma, you cannot “Dougie.” We’ve already taught everyone how to Dougie (well, with the exception of L’Oreal). It’s over.

My point is, you have to know your audience. For us, we knew right from the start that we wanted someone who was going to keep the party going. I mean, wedding receptions are basically parties, right? I have an aunt who is a line-dancing queen and she would probably kill me if we didn’t play any line-dancing music.

So I searched the Internet and Facebook messaged anyone and everyone I knew about contracting the right DJ. You would think that it would be easy to have someone provide music. But surprisingly, there are some unforeseen issues that have to be addressed before the proverbial beat drops:

1. What’s your DJ’ing style? Soul? Hip-hop? Go-go? (I’m from Ohio, so I’m still not sure what go-go is?)
2. How comfortable are you with emceeing?
3. Can you DJ live, or would you be using a pre-recorded set list?
4. How many weddings have you done?
5. How comfortable are you switching from “Watch the Throne” to “Serpentine Fire”?

These are just some of the questions I asked prospective companies. Perhaps I’m more detail oriented than the average person, but I just wanted to be extra sure.

Besides the customary online customer reviews, some companies offered Skype consultations with samples of their mixes/styles. These were a great help seeing as how we’re planning our wedding four states away. (Note: I would advise anyone looking at online reviews to consult multiple websites. Certain places will show only positive reviews and hide the less than favorable ones.) I relied heavily on these, to create my list of potential vendors. I even had one booking agent request that we contract one of their DJs before we even had the chance to interview the actual DJ. Uh…you want me to put pen to paper before I can even talk to the guy? No, thanks.

We probably contacted seven or eight different companies–everything from full service audio/video entertainment companies to working professionals who moonlight as party disc jockeys. We ultimately decided on a company out of Maryland called Absolute Entertainment. We got a chance to interview our DJ, Gordon, through a Skype consultation and we instantly knew that we wanted him for our wedding.

He took the time to listen to our suggestions, explain his style, and offer to customize a playlist that would represent us as a couple (if it were up to L’Oreal, our list would include Beyonce…lots and lots of Beyonce). He was an experienced DJ, who could connect with the older crowd without losing touch with the younger group–a MUST with our guests.

We can’t wait for him to DJ our wedding and party with everyone on the dance floor!

About L’Oreal and Jeff

LOreal and Jeff

L’Oreal and Jeff met in May 2008, became friends and went on their first date at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium in May 2011. They currently reside in Chicago and are planning a fall 2014 wedding in Baltimore with a LOT of purple details. Despite rooting for rival NFL teams, they love laughing and having fun together and look forward to getting married!