A reader writes:
"Awesome article on choosing between a band and a DJ. My fiancée and I decided the DJ route is the way to go for us, but now it's my job to pick the most kick ass DJ St. Louis has to offer.
Do you have any tips on choosing between different DJs. Oh, and none of them will let you attend a function they are putting on, disrespectful to the clients (or something like that).
Thanks for the help and the laughs."
You found some good news. Do you really want to attend random functions of random people you don't know, just to hear the random DJ? I mean, yes, that would be helpful for your decision, and yes, we (half-heartedly) recommend doing just that. But trust us--you dodged a bullet. It's sort of like if you go on a beach vacation and "forget" your jogging shoes. Oh no, you can't go jogging, you have to sleep in, instead. Damn.
Plenty of experts suggest that you get technical. They instruct you to ask your DJs about his sub-woofers, about the specs of his lighting system, etc. Screw that. You're not really going to know what you're talking about, and he'll secretly laugh at you.
The three most important ways to choose a DJ: 1) References; 2) References; 3) References.
Ask other friends who have recently gotten married. Ask your other vendors. Hell, as geeky as this sounds, even ask your co-workers. If all that yields nothing, you're stuck doing things the old-fashioned way: google.
And we know, we know, it's a crapshoot. When we just googled Best St. Louis wedding DJs, we got 87 pages of shot-in-the-dark, standalone businesses. A better option: check out sites like OneWed.com or MyWedding.com, which aggregate vendors and provide user reviews. In this case, there's something to the wisdom of crowds. Call me lazy, but if I see one vendor who has 17 user reviews with an average of 4.7, and they charge the same as the dude with only 1 rating (2 stars), well, that's not exactly an agonizing decision. Why over-think it, right?
That said, there are some things you want to ask your potential DJ. Don't sweat the technical stuff, but you should, however, get a feel for their style. What's their request policy? Do they act as a larger-than-life MC, or do they just spin and grin? Personalities matter. If they seem like a coked-up hipster who will scare the holy hell out of your grandmother, don't use 'em. Ask for references. Watch their demo reel. If you get a good vibe, if the user reviews are positive, if you like his MC style, and if his references check, you can go to sleep knowing you've done your homework.
If you still need more specific help, just give us a shout. Anyone else have any suggestions? Sound off in the Comments.
(And for anyone who hasn't yet read it, don't miss Picking the Music: Band or DJ?)