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  • Ken Prentice, C.Tech

Is Your Wedding Reception Important

If celebrating into the night after the ceremony, and dinner matters to you, then it’s a mistake to be indifferent about your DJ. Before drawing any conclusions I fully encourage you to ask for input from other wedding professionals. Venue Coordinators, Wedding Planners, Photographers, Bartenders, and Servers since they are present at least for some part of the reception and they can tell you if the DJ makes a difference. It was conversations with Venue Coordinators, Wedding Planners and Brides requesting quotes that inspired me to write on this subject. When vendors provide something that is primarily service based it is intangible making it harder to compare because the key is the person providing the service. However, after experiencing the service most people will have some opinions on the subject. Those with more experience such as wedding planners and venue coordinators often have strong opinions. A couple of the coordinators and planners talked to me concerning the vast differences in quality from one DJ to another DJ. This was a fairly interesting perspective since brides often comment comparatively on the bases of price. The subject matter is the same, however, one is at the beginning stages of the wedding planning while the other is at the end and referring to the results.

In many cases brides are concerned with the budget. Sometimes they’re using an average wedding cost which today is just over $33,000.00 in Southwestern Ontario and assigning a percentage to each item. In other times they might be simply comparison shopping. The latter is certainly true for a many brides we’ve spoken with in the past. Recently a bride that contacted us for a quote explained that another DJ was offering her a half price discount to book now. This was in fact a seemingly large variance, but there is one caveat the bride didn’t know: the DJ had zero experience. The DJ had researched the equipment and even pricing of companies then pushed significant discounts that were only available for a short period of time. It was fairly obvious to me since the DJ heavily referenced equipment and not any qualifications or experience. Although I love high end equipment most brides don’t know gear or really care. Equipment and sound really only becomes noticeable at the reception if it’s insufficient. What’s more noticeable to Venue Coordinators, Wedding Planners and just about everyone at the wedding is inexperience.

There’s a second key component that I would consider paramount to developing skillsets, and that’s training. This aspect is not only overlooked by most brides it’s also commonly neglected by DJs themselves. Training isn’t tangible like equipment so it’s frequently not a focal point of discussion. Some DJs might mention their training, but most of the time that means in-house training or free since less than 5% of all DJ’s will ever pay for any training. Unfortunately I’ve only every seen 8 local DJs that have attended some of the training and conferences we pay to go to that work in the KW and Stratford area. That number includes our team so 3 of the 8 DJs are part of Loops N Jamzz and we know the other 5 were the owners of various DJ companies in Southwestern Ontario. The DJs investing in training are better for it, no question. This also helps to explain why those in the wedding industry such as Venue Coordinators and Wedding Planners view us differently. Investing in the development and the quality of the people providing the service at your wedding should be a major priority, but it’s still very rare.

The best combination for any wedding reception involves hiring experienced DJs, as well as, those that make an investment in training. If you want to understand the differences in value of similar wedding services examine the company’s commitment to the people providing the service. This goes beyond providing in-house training which every company should really offer as a minimum standard. An investment in training is what will set these DJs or any service provider apart from the average at your wedding reception. Brides can easily validate if a DJ does training quickly using social media since all of us post photos when we attend conferences and training. Whether we’re in Las Vegas or somewhere else there will be posts online. Conferences also issue us badges that further confirm our attendance and some training courses offer certificates. Both of these are like badges of honour so DJs keep them. It would be great to see more DJs make an investment in training because the service levels and overall standards definitely improve. If you’re a bride and comparing DJ’s based on sounds systems, lighting, and price you’re comparing the wrong things. Instead, look for reviews on the DJ to gauge their experience and check to see if they’re investing in training because this combination is what really helps to make your wedding the best day ever.

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