I have the privilege of being friends with one of San Antonio’s absolute best, classiest and most sought after DJ’s in the events industry- Chris Koval of Future Sounds. Chris has been in the biz since 1985 (embarrassing haircuts, parachute pants and Wham – those were great days to DJ!!) He broadened his business to include weddings in 1993 and has been highly respected and highly revered as an expert in the field ever since. He agreed to take a few minutes of his time to write out some advice to the brides and grooms still looking to hire a wedding DJ. I sincerely hope you enjoy and learn from the following article :
When Choosing the Entertainment for your Wedding Day…
What Questions should you ask?
“You and your guests can encounter many stages of entertainment as you progress through the wedding day. From beginning to end, there is the ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing. You can hire different types of entertainment for each period or some can provide support for every aspect even the rehearsal dinner. For most, music is a mouse click away. Popular music is easy to attain. If you hire a professional, take time to communicate unique requests for the ceremony and reception well in advance especially if you are looking for a particular version or theme. The equipment purpose and quality can vary. Some use new equipment and some prefer older equipment. If they and you are comfortable and confident that it serves the purpose for your event, then move forward.
Choosing the entertainment comes down to personality, conducting business and the contract. For some, the business conducted is not important. In these cases, the entertainment is a low priority and a professional is not hired. It may work in some situations. In other instances, having an experienced professional can take the gravity off your shoulders. It is your wedding day and there is no need to worry about the music or the sound system.
If you hire professional entertainment, the most important issue to deal with is personality. Considering the term professional – best business practices, including insurance, should already be in play. Personalities differ greatly as well as how each of us deal with people directly. Think about the energy you and your guests are going to bring. Are you outgoing or reserved? Will your event be outgoing or reserved? What should the entertainer’s personality reflect? It is easy to be reserved. Some can be outgoing, but will their personality blend or clash with you, your guests and your event? Connecting with the entertainer’s personality is an absolute must, it’s your pinnacle of priorities…your DJ will absolutely make or break your event. Asking the questions below can help confirm if the entertainer is right for you.
- Are you available for my date?
- How many events do you book for a given day?
- Would I be booking you or another DJ in your company?
- Do I have the option to choose which entertainer I book??
- Do you subcontract entertainers?
- If required by my venue, do you have insurance?
- Is this a business or a hobby?
- How many events do you book in a given year?
- Do you have references?
- Do you have a contract?
- Is your equipment designed for professional use or for home use?
- What was the largest event or group where you provide your services?
- Do you prefer large or small events?
- Do you prefer weddings over other event types?
*NOTE* – Anyone can play music, however weddings are different, and harder, because of the diversity
- What is your experience with wedding receptions/Ceremonies?
- How many have you done?
- Do you provide the music (prelude, processional and recessional)
- Do you provide microphone(s) How many?
- What type, wired vs wireless
- What type, handheld or lapel
- Do you make announcements? (Master of Ceremonies)
- Are you comfortable making announcements or do you prefer for someone else to do this?
- Do you play your own playlist or can we request music and suggests the direction for the playlist?
- What is you attire?
*NOTE* – This may be important depending on your expected style/attire for guests
- Tell me about your packages and available services?
- How many hours are included?
- What if more time is needed?
- Can we make changes to the package or service?
- What forms of payment are accepted?
- What is needed to secure the date?
- When is the balance due?
- What is your cancellation policy?
The questions listed above are by no means all that can be asked to clarify your concerns and needs for your wedding day. I would suggest inquiring about availability first with any vendor, versus asking last and learning that they are not available after a connection is made. Some venues are now requiring insurance from all vendors including entertainers. These two questions are easy qualifiers. The remaining questions develop comfort and confidence during the process of selecting vendors. It is difficult to have all available types of music! It is also possible to not have worked at a particular venue because it is new or previous work has not taken them there. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Seek clarity! Demand professionalism and comfort during the selection process and the result is priceless memories!
For more information or clarity, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210-945-9601. I do have an interesting post on my website that talks about the difference between band and a DJ. Click here see the post.“
[Insert Loud Applause Here]
Chris, on behalf of myself and all of the M&M Team here I’d like you to know it’s always an honor working with you. We want the bar of excellence to be set high when we work with vendors. And you have proven, not only very talented, but generous and kind with your time and your experience…not just with your clients but with those of us in this industry as well.
If you would like to learn more about Future Sounds, or you have more questions on finding the absolute BEST DJ for you (which I sincerely hope that you do!), Chris is on Facebook, Twitter, IG, & Pinterest. And his website, one more time, is HERE.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope it was helpful. Keep an eye out for more tips from the experts coming soon. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think!!