Your wedding budget is tight, and you’re thinking about saving a few dollars by hiring a relative or friend as your wedding DJ; or you’re doing it as a favor to him. You think, what could possibly go wrong? Well here are some things things that have happened to brides so that you know what questions to ask BEFORE you hire them and have a DJ Disaster.

  • Does he have a backup if he gets sick or has an accident on the way to the wedding?
  • Does he have backup equipment in case his breaks?
  • Most venues won’t allow a DJ without liability insurance to perform, does he have liability insurance?
  • He gets a better offer three days before your wedding and he said you didn’t need to sign a contract. Are you prepared to begin shopping for a DJ during the busiest week of pre-wedding chaos?
  • He doesn’t know how to pronounce some of the names of your bridesmaids or groomsmen, so he decides to guess — and guesses wrong.
  • He announces the bride-father dance, but the father of the bride isn’t in the room. Are you prepared to wait through 5 minutes of awkward party-killing silence while everyone stops and looks for dad?
  • He announces the bride and groom’s first dance while your photographer is smoking a cigarette outdoors. Will you be satisfied with someone’s iPhone picture of your first dance?
  • No one is dancing. Does he know how to revive a lifeless dance floor?
  • A guest gets a little “over-served” and decides he should be the center of attention by dancing on a wobbly table top. Does your DJ know how to handle it?
  • A guest asks the DJ to let him sing along with a song with no advance permission from the bride and groom.
  • The DJ is a friend or relative, and he wants to join the party by dancing to a few songs, letting the music run out while he sprints back to his console.
  • Will a friend or relative have the courage to tell you the music you picked is not dance-able or boring, while there’s still time to fix your request list and make the reception more fun?

A professional DJ is trained to how to handle all of these and many other potential party-killing situations, and ensure that the bride doesn’t leave the party room in tears. Will an amateur DJ know what to do? Do you want to trust him — and gamble your friendship — just to shave a few dollars off your wedding bill? There are many better ways to save money while ENHANCING your guests’ experience instead of destroying it. Start here.

This is your first big party as husband and wife, and it will affect your friends’ and relatives’ perception of you for years to come. Think carefully about who you plan to entrust with making your reception successful.

– Jay Congdon, President, Fourth Estate Audio
Fourth Estate Audio has been a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company since 1965.