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  • Writer's pictureKen Prentice, C.Tech

It’s Not the DJ Company You Hire That Matters, It’s the DJ That Shows Up At Your Wedding That Does




A professional wedding DJ makes a difference and we've seen it and heard it from others in KW, Cambridge, Stratford, Guelph, Listowel, Goderich, Alton, Waterloo, Kitchener and more.

Last week at Coachella 2024, the set of an artist (who was marketed as a DJ) turned out to be a complete failure, solely due to their lack of experience DJing and unfamiliarity with their equipment. Their failure very clearly demonstrated two things, firstly: not everyone is a DJ or can DJ, and secondly: to be proficient at DJing, you need to have some level of technical expertise. Despite the DJ shifting blame onto a ‘complicated technical issue’, ‘difficult math’, and ‘poor quality technicians’, an experienced DJ would tell you that the issues laid elsewhere. This was clear cut case of a DJ suffering from a skill deficiency. The potential for these very issues happening and more at wedding absolutely exist, not only is the DJ playing the music but also doing the job of a technician. So instead of a whole team, you’re typically relying on one person and if they’re not technically proficient, people are going to notice. I’ve personally witnessed the disastrous impact that an inexperienced DJ with an underdeveloped skillset can have on an event. This is a less than ideal risk for a wedding day, but presently, it’s a risk many couples will unknowingly take after being assigned a DJ they don’t know anything about.


In 2023 I was invited by my friend to hang out at a stag-n-doe, which I gladly attended, because I had the night off. The couple had hired a well-known company in the area, so I figured it was worth checking out. Entering the hall, the first thing that struck me was how noticeably quiet the music was, but at the time it hadn’t set off any red flags in my head, as the majority of the people there were engaged in conversations. Some time later, I noticed the music was periodically stopping. Sometimes it’d disappear only for a few seconds, but in other cases it was silent for minutes at a time. As the DJ increased the volume, the frequency of the disruptions also increased. Looking towards the DJ, I realized he was pulling cables out and sometimes even blowing on them before plugging them in again, which thoroughly perplexed me.


As the event went on, things started to progress, but not in a good way. The MC for the event hopped on the microphone to make a few announcements, but they were inaudible, as between the screaming feedback frequencies and dropouts, it was impossible to clearly understand what was being said. To be fair, eliminating feedback offers its fair share of challenges, (higher quality equipment certainly can help in this regard,) but it still requires a level of expertise to yield those benefits. Unfortunately, neither higher end equipment nor expertise was present, as the DJ made little to no adjustments to address the feedback issue. Had I not witnessed this for myself, I would have not believed anyone recalling the scene as such or that virtually no effort was made to correct this issue.


After those “announcements” they were trying to get the party going, despite most of the issues still persisting, including the frequent stoppages. As the DJ attempted to mix songs it became very obvious he lacked the necessary skill set to do so. It also did not help that the song choices were completely erratic and lacked any flow. I avoided commenting, but people who knew me in the crowd began asking me what was happening. It was at that point when members of the bridal party spotted me and approached me, asking if I could go and help their DJ? I told them that I couldn’t, but that he’ll probably be fine. After they left, a friend there who was also a DJ turned to me to say he didn’t think I, or anyone else, could help their DJ either, and that we should probably get going.

 

I’ve heard lots of second hand accounts of DJ horror stories from people in the wedding industry. In most cases, I had assumed they’re to some degree embellished and perhaps lacking necessary contexts to fully explain why certain things happened. However, in the span of less than two hours, I saw firsthand more night-ruining incidents than I would’ve ever believed possible to have happened at only one event. Later that week, I was asked by someone in the wedding party about the DJ and my thoughts on him, as he had left them with an understandably unfavorable option of DJs. I simply said that I understood the wedding party believed they had hired someone who was experienced, but that who they had hired was not an experienced DJ from what I could tell. The majority of what I saw could have been avoided, or at least corrected after it occurred, if the DJ had experience and a higher skill level. They then inquired about my schedule in regards to their upcoming wedding. I explained that, unfortunately, I’m typically booked from about 6 months to 1 year or more in advance. I told them that the best thing they could do would be to research DJs by name, looking to get one with years of experience and dozens of positive reviews, and to also make sure they’re specifically named in the contract. Given the wedding date was only a few months away, I suggested they make this a top priority, otherwise they could end up repeating this experience at the wedding.

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