Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hire a DJ Just for the Music? I Don’t Think So!!

msanchez Guest Author, Mark Sanchez,

Many people think that Disc Jockey’s are just the music at weddings.
 When a Mobile DJ performs at a wedding, he has much bigger role
and many more responsibilities to handle then just playing music.

The Responsibilities & Duties of a Disc Jockey, Day of the Wedding…

1. Master of Ceremonies – A good experienced MC will keep your guests
informed about the activities & formalities throughout the night, and make
timely & appropriate announcements without taking the focus off the
Bride & Groom.

2. Director – Weddings need direction because of all the formal events that
take place. The director is primarily the MC/DJ. The director guides the
guests throughout the night. The MC has the wedding entertainment training
to keep the reception flowing smoothly.

3. On-Site Coordinator – Your DJ will work with you your banquet manager,
and all other day of vendors to keep your reception on schedule.
A professional DJ/MC will make sure all vendors are prepared & ready
before any announcement of an activity is made.

4. Music Programmer – Anybody can play music. Playing the right music at
the right times, at the right volume levels, and be able to generate a dance
floor and keep it going for everyone to enjoy is something only an experienced
trained professional can do. If you bring in an amateur to just play music, your
party will end fast. The music will set the mood & the tone of a reception.

5. Music Expert – In this day and age anybody can have a vast music library.
Having music is one thing, but knowing music is another. Every wedding has
a diverse crowd that will enjoy a variety of all types of music. It takes years
of experience to learn all styles of music and to know it well.

6. Lighting Tech – Proper lighting also sets the mood during dinner or late in
the night. Your DJ should control the lighting so it’s not too bright for dinner
or not to dark later for dancing. He will also brings the right kind of lighting
for dancing.

7. Crowd Motivator – Unexpected things can happen at a wedding, like rain,
or the cake toppling over, etc.. An experienced pro can recognize the situation,
lighten the mood, and continue the fun & festivities no matter what. A good DJ
can create a fun filled environment without stealing the spotlight.

8. Music Mixer – The better DJ’s can beat-match music for a smooth transition
from one song to the next without disrupting a dance floor.

9. Problem Solver – When guests need to know anything, more than likely they
will ask the DJ. He is “the answer man”, he knows where the restrooms are,
the gift table is located, etc.

10. Roadie – A DJ has to bring more equipment, notes and supplies then any
other vendor you may hire, and usually sets up without help. Forgetting one
thing could be disastrous to the event.

11. Board Operator – A DJ should know how to work his audio &
lighting systems. Yet some DJ’s use rental or barrowed equipment, and while at
your event, learn it as they go along.

12. Audio Tech – In case of technical difficulties or audio failure, a DJ should 
be able to recognize the problem promptly, and know how to fix it. A Professional DJ 
should always carry back up equipment. If an Amplifier goes out with no back
up the party ends.

13. Etiquette – Maintain a high level of etiquette at all times.

All other “day of” responsibilities…

Sound checks, check volume of music & microphones.

Find out the seating arrangements of the wedding party.

Go over the agenda with the catering manager & banquet captain.

Turn off all house music before starting his music.

Find out where house lights are dimmed, and dim at the appropriate time.

Go over the agenda with photographer & videographer and cover the procedures for Grand Intro, toast, cake etc..

Check microphone frequencies with videographer to make sure they don’t interfere with each other.
Locate the person giving the blessing.

Verify with banquet manager when the food is ready.

Verify all pronunciations of bridal party, the order to walk in, and instruct where to walk in.

Coordinate the releasing of guests tables through the buffet line (if necessary)

Talk to each member of the wedding party about toasts, and instruct each speaker on proper microphone use, and at the end to raise their glass to toast.

Check cake table for knife, plates, and napkins.

Locate the throw bouquet.

Remind the Bride and Groom to visit with guests, and or use the restroom when finished with dinner.

Remind parents for the parent’s dances, and timing.

Verify that all parents are in the room & bridal party members and at the head table for the toast.

Double check the batteries in the microphones before toasts.

Confirm that the photographer & videographer are ready before the first dance and all other formalities.

Be ready to adjust lighting for the Bride and Groom’s first dance.

Locate the bouquet for the toss.

Bring out a chair for the garter removal.

Talk to the Best Man and Maid of Honor about helping with the money dance.

At the end of the night personally congratulate the Bride & Groom.

Make sure the DJ’s area is clean before he leaves.

Services & Responsibilities before the Wedding…

1. Event Planner – Help coordinate your event schedule in a 2 to 3 hour
personal planning session, with a timely detailed itinerary and check list
in the manner and style you desire, and ensuring that your every need
& wish is carried out.

A. Go over all the fine details of the wedding.

B. Send an e-mail of the agenda out to all other day of wedding vendors to
ensure we are all working together as a team, and your reception is in
This prevents the Bride & Groom from being interrupted throughout the 

C. Make a check list: Make sure all equipment, formal music, and tux is packed
and ready to go 3 hours prior to the start time.

D. Refer you to other quality wedding vendors that will fit your needs.

Most of all a DJ is responsible making sure your wedding is engaging, fun,
and memorable for you and your guests.

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that needs to be done right the
first time because there is no doing it over tomorrow.

BONUS Articles: How DJs $pend Their Time
Read “How to Hire a Disc Jockey” and “Full-Time DJ vs. Part-Time DJ” by Mark Sanchez.

Special Note from Larry James: I’ve worked with Mark Sanchez many times and he delivers a professional, quality show from beginning to end. He is the owner of Professional Mobile Entertainment. – 5 Stars from Larry James!

Copyright © 2009 – Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez has performed more than 900 weddings in the Great Phoenix area. He started his career at local valley night spots where he received years of personalized training by some of the best entertainment directors. In 1990 he performed his first wedding working for a reputable mobile DJ service in Phoenix primarily as a DJ/Emcee for weddings. Today he is a career DJ who runs his own business as a full time owner/operator specializing in weddings. – Send e-mail to Mark Sanchez!

Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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    Comment by Man in Thailand — Tuesday, September 30, 2014 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

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    Comment by private profit plus — Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 6:59 am | Reply

  3. Could not agree more, but a couple will spend £24000 on the day and feel hard done by forking out £300 on a DJ who can really make or break the day.


    Comment by spectrumdisco — Friday, April 9, 2010 @ 12:33 am | Reply

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