By Derald Gray
They say automation is the future. That’s one of the reasons I decided to become a wedding DJ. I don’t have to ever worry about a robot taking my job. If you’re a DJ and that sentence doesn’t ring true, I highly advise you to keep reading. Anybody could be a DJ on the aux cord, but weddings require more skills than curating music. It isn’t enough to be “decent” or “okay”- a wedding DJ’s job is to make their couple’s wedding day absolutely INCREDIBLE! This is what separates the professionals from a cell phone and aux cord or your Uncle Jim who used to burn CDs back in the day. I believe there are nine unique qualities every wedding DJ needs to have in order to be successful. I want to share them in this article because they’re what separate the professionals from the wannabes.
1. Great Personality
I believe a DJ’s personality directly determines their level of success. Wedding receptions last an average of 6 hours. Could you imagine hanging out with someone that drained your energy for six hours straight? People are drawn to good vibes and I’m adamant about keeping a positive outlook during an event. Some of my best reviews come from couples raving about how fun and upbeat I was during their wedding. Great DJ’s are the life of the party, and if you’re naturally bad at getting people to laugh and smile you might suck the life right out of it!
2. Great Communication Skills
Great communication skills are another key quality. If the DJ goes ghost in the days leading up to a wedding he might give his couples a heart attack! Couples shouldn’t have to wait longer than a day to get a response from their DJ, and even this is pushing it. I like to reply to a question or lead within 30 minutes if possible—the sooner the better. Part of the reason couples book a wedding DJ is for theircounsel during the wedding planning process. Not only is failing to communicate unprofessional, it’s just plain rude! If you’ve booked a DJ and can’t get ahold of them this is a serious red flag!
Every wedding I DJ seems to teach me more and more about flexibility. You can prepare as much as possible but you never really know what’s going to happen at a wedding until it happens. During my career I’ve done last minute song changes, switched reception locations mid-wedding, showed a family how to properly walk down an aisle, and troubleshot countless tech issues. I’m positive many, many, many more curveballs will be thrown my way. The ability to keep cool under pressure and roll with the punches is a must for any wedding DJ that wants to keep their sanity. Flexible DJs know that every wedding is unique and will present new opportunities and challenges. Being able to think on your feet in order to execute an amazing wedding will put you miles ahead of the competition.
Only time can bless you with this golden quality. The more experienced the DJ, the less likely they are to slip up during an event. At a certain point DJing weddings will become natural, and I find myself going into a flow state and forgetting I’m working. In addition to this having a great relationship with local wedding vendors will directly lead to referrals, and couples are more likely to book a DJ that’s played at their venue before. Experience is one of the reasons I started this blog. I want to share the things I’ve learned in my wedding DJ career to help Visionaries like you gain the experience to turn their visions into reality.
A versatile DJ can keep a dance floor packed all night long. One of the reasons weddings are so special to me is because I get to play a wide range of songs from various genres and decades. Unless the couple tells me otherwise I mix and match my song selections to keep the dance floor fun and interesting. I love hip hop music but most couples would hate me if I played nothing but hip hop and rap all night. Wedding DJs are expected to be versatile because if the music isn’t fire people won’t dance. Guests can range anywhere from a few months to over 100 years old. If you want to really pack the dance floor play songs that a majority of them already know and love.
Passion is one of those things you can’t teach but always notice. In some situations a passionate DJ is more valuable than an experienced yet unpassionate DJ. Every entrepreneur should know why they started their business, and if money seems to be the DJ’s only motive I’d advise couples to think twice. I got into weddings because I love seeing the faces of brides and grooms having the time of their lives with those they love. I’m able to do this by delivering a service that meets or exceeds their vision. If your definition of a wedding DJ is playing music, eating a good meal, and making a quick buck then I hope this makes you reconsider.
An amateur will get a few bookings here and there but a professional can do what they love for a living. This is why I hold myself and the DJs on our team to the highest standard. The way you interact with couples, the wedding attire you wear, the expertise you bring, and the equipment you use should all be done with professionalism in mind. Professionalism also involves change and growth. I believe any amateur could become a professional with constant skill improvement.
It pays to be observant because every detail matters, even if you think no one will notice. Chances are someone will, and going above and beyond will benefit everyone in the end. Being observant is another key to keeping the dance floor flooded all night. A great DJ can read the room and play just the right song that matches the vibe. This wouldn’t happen if they stared at a screen all night. Observe the dance floor and make note of the songs that hit and miss. Combine versatility with great observance and the crowd will beg for an encore.
A little confidence can make you do some pretty amazing things. Belief is a powerful motivator and I encourage every DJ to look for ways to boost their self-confidence. This can include getting a makeover, thinking positively, and empowering yourself with knowledge. Like passion, people can sense it and will feel more at ease working with a person that can talk the talk and walk the walk.
I’m confident (no pun intended) these qualities will help you become the best wedding DJ you can possibly be! I hope you found this blog post helpful and be sure to follow DG Visionaries on your favorite social media platform to stay up to date with our latest posts and updates.