Sarasota Best DJ Tips – Do You Really Want a Cheap DJ?

What Could Possibly Go Wrong When Searching for a Local DJ Deal??

For this edition of my blog here at David Turner Music, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about a common pitfall when brides and grooms are searching for local DJs to handle their wedding. I’ll start this subject by throwing out a question. Here goes…

Is it surprising that when people search online for any type of product or service, a common search term is often “cheap?” The answer to this question, of course, is no. Everyone wants a terrific deal when they make any kind of purchase, and it’s a term that people toss around without much thought. In fact, I would guess that almost everyone has been shopping online at some point, and done a search that includes the term “cheap” when looking for a product or service. When you really think about it, however, “cheap” is a word that should be used with caution. I’ve heard some pretty wise individuals talk about using a more appropriate term…inexpensive! I can’t agree more! It has far fewer negative connotations, and doesn’t seem to imply that something is poorly made, or of poor quality.

When it comes to weddings and important events, it sometimes worries me that people do online searches for local DJs and wedding musicians using a phrase like “cheap wedding DJ” or “cheap wedding band.” Do I think that everybody should pay incredible amounts of money for wedding entertainment? My answer to that is “absolutely not.” However, in my experience, it’s a good idea for couples to step back for a minute and determine if they’ve set a realistic budget for their wedding music.

What do I mean, exactly? Well, we live in a time full of incredible innovation, where a person with even a mediocre income can experience things that a king or queen could only dream about a hundred years ago. Think about this. Refridgeration of food was a luxury that only the ultra wealthy had just a few centuries ago. Imagine summer days without ice cream!! Think about our insanely equipped cars, powerful iPads and computers, airplanes, and the quick access that we have to gourmet foods from all around the world as examples. Think about this…$300 will buy a TV that just a few decades ago would blow people’s minds. It was not uncommon for people to spend $1000-2000 for a big screen TV in the 1980s or 90s that we would laugh at today…with a grainy, dim picture that would be painful to watch for any length of time. It might even weigh 200 pounds or more, and take up half of your living room! We really do live in an incredible time period in many ways, and it’s important to remember that, sometimes, it’s ok to spend a little bit more on something of value.

An image depicting a cheap local DJ service, being offered at a fictitious price of $9.99
Why hire an overpriced, terrific, professional DJ, when you could have this?!

Anyway, it’s not my intention to stray from the subject of music and DJing with this post.  I’m mentioning this stuff because it’s important to recognize that weddings and events are a big deal, and it’s critical to have a balanced budget that includes a sufficient amount of money set aside for wedding entertainment. You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and put $50 tires on it, right? Similarly, if you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding (or more), it’s unreasonable to budget a few hundred dollars for your DJ. 

When you pay for a legitimate, quality DJ, you’re getting a lot more than just music. Your DJ will make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day, by working hard in the weeks and months prior to the wedding, a well as the day of. It’s so much more than pushing play. Getting back to the term “pitfalls” that I used earlier, here are just a few problems you may encounter if you choose a “cheap DJ” for your big day.

Just a Few Problems Encountered When Hiring a Cheap DJ

  • Inexperienced DJ without a solid skill set
  • Experienced DJ, but limited wedding and event experience
  • Uninsured Disc Jockey (some venues require insurance!)
  • Insufficient music collection, no access to quality music streaming service or “record pools”
  • Unable or unwilling to provide planning assistance, help with wedding music selections
  • Limited MC experience or uncomfortable making announcements
  • Unaware of how to follow a wedding  timeline, resulting in less dancing and fun!
  • Poor equipment that may fail or sound bad (at the worst time, of course)
  • Critical music like first dances, father/daughter dance, cake cutting, etc. not backed up on additional devices
  • Lacking extra equipment in case of failure
  • Poor manners and inability to work with the venue, vendors, etc.
  • May not dress appropriately for your wedding
  • Shows up late (there’s no such thing as fashionably late for DJs)
  • Bait and Switch…yikes!! Disc jockey service seems cheap, but they start charging for every little thing you need (MC service, microphone, ceremony PA speaker, lighting, etc.), driving the price sky high!

Of course, there are many, many more scenarios that could occur. My point is only to get you thinking about screening your DJ carefully, so you can avoid a wedding day catastrophe.  Obviously, this advice applies to other vendors and services you may be considering for your party as well. Research the price of wedding venues, wedding photographers, party planners, caterers and more. Think about the role they play in your wedding, and how critical their service is to making your wedding day “vision” complete. In the end, being realistic about your budget, and utilizing the right amount of money for each part of your wedding will produce great results! And, what does that mean? An awesome wedding that everyone will remember!!

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