Are you recently engaged? Been planning awhile, but haven’t focused on entertainment? When’s the best time to hire your wedding entertainment anyway? A quick Google search will yield a variety of results from several months to a year. Bill Gilliam, former owner of Choice Entertainment, DJ/MC for over 1,200 weddings (and yes, my hubby) says this:
“There’s no specific time in advance that you should book the DJ for your wedding, but once you’ve gotten your venue, do your homework, interview a DJ and if in your heart he feels like a match, that’s your guy, and you should book him then even if your wedding’s still a year away.”
My advice…take Bill’s advice. I also encourage couples to contract entertainment in the early stages of the planning here’s why:
Your DJ is also your Master of Ceremonies and therefore has an important role on wedding day (if you’ve read my previous blogs, you know this is something I preach). The entertainment should be considered one of the first things you nail down after the venue. After all, your DJ/MC is the person who will keep everything on track and flowing during the reception and represent YOU on the most important day of your life.
Good, professional wedding DJs are NOT a dime a dozen (even though an internet search will make you think they are) so the good ones will book over a year in advance, especially for peak wedding season (around here…April-July and September-early November). We represent over a dozen DJs and often sell out for the popular dates six months in advance. The further in advance you begin the process, the better the selection of available DJ/MCs and the better chance you have at finding the one who feels “right” to you.
You’re entertaining friends and family who have made an effort to come and celebrate with you – give them the quality entertainment that thoughtful planning will ensure. The sooner you select your DJ, the sooner you can start talking through the timeline and the music (so you’re not rushed at the end).
The DJ needs time to prepare! Our DJs put upwards of 15 hours of prep time into a wedding prior to wedding day. This involves meeting(s) with you, emails, phone calls, and creating timelines and playlists. Waiting to hire your DJ can rush their planning process (I have full confidence in our DJs to make your day wonderful, but granting them maximum planning time will mean your reception can be even better)!
Once you’ve hired your DJ, you can breathe easier. I have had many brides (and MOB’s) call in worried about how to plan the reception and what should happen and when. Relax…once you’ve hired an experienced wedding DJ, they will walk you through that!
Some people may encourage you to wait to hire your DJ saying that you might get a discount. This may or may not be true (it’s really up to each DJ), but you run several risks with this approach. First, there may not be any quality DJs left (as I mentioned, we sell out on popular dates). Second, the available DJs may be great, but may not have the feel or personality you’re looking for and not represent you as well as you’d like. And third – it isn’t necessarily fair to the DJ to expect a discount simply because you’ve waited. They have to do the same amount of work and in a much shorter period of time (so potentially adding stress).
This is a once in a lifetime day…you’re not waiting until the last minute to book your venue so don’t wait until the last minute to contract the entertainment - a very important piece of the puzzle and a huge part of your guests’ experience.