Interview With A Wedding DJ: “Too many brides choose…”
Q: I’d like to start off by thanking Paul, from Spectrum Disco, for agreeing to do this interview with us. Paul, tell our readers a little more about yourself and your business.
A: I have been DJing for over 30 years. The last 15 years have seen me move from clubs and parties and more towards Weddings and Corporate events. In the last 5 years, I have been fortunate enough to DJ full time and, even better, I still enjoy what I do (which was my main concern when going full time, that I would lose my passion for it) ,which means it does not feel like work. I am lucky that I get paid to do something I enjoy and I am able to give other people enjoyment whilst doing it. I do still DJ at After Parties on the Polo circuit as they are great fun to do. You can check them out here: http://www.spectrumdisco-dj.co.uk/international-polo-after-party/
Q: How and why did you decide that weddings are the best option for you, as a DJ?
A: Whilst I will play at any kind of event, Weddings are special and also in my mind the most challenging of the roles I find myself in as a DJ and that is why I enjoy them so much.
Q: How do you manage to get new clients?
A: Mainly word of mouth or via wedding planners who recommend me, I also get some business via the internet.
Q: In your own words, what is the positive impact of having a DJ at a wedding?
A: Not all DJ’s have a positive impact on a wedding, it must be the right match of DJ and client. With the right DJ, you will have someone who will read your guests and create a night of celebration. He will know when to keep the volume down so everybody can catch up with each other from the last time they all meet and also when to move the tempo up and get them on the dance floor. He or she will also keep an eye on the clock to ensure things like the first dance, cake cutting and bouquet throwing are down at the right moment. The DJ will have been to more weddings than probably most people in the room and can conduct the evening using that experience, to the benefit of all.
Q: What are the advantages of having a wedding DJ rather than a band?
A: Flexibility, I love bands and have worked with some great musicians ( Steve Norman Sax player from Spandau Ballet, Rusty Egan from Visage and Jazzie B from Soul II Soul , to name but a few) but a band will struggle if they had to play the 4 to 5 hours a DJ plays for.
Q: Can you describe a typical working day when you have to work at a wedding?
A: Check to see if I have the first dance in at least 3 playable formats is the first thing. I then reread all the e-mails and booking form. Type in the postcode to my Sat Nav so I know how long it will take and from that what time I need to leave giving myself an extra half hour for traffic. On arrival, I will let the duty manager know I have arrived and find out where the access point is and where they would like me to park. If I am playing for the evening only I also like to get a message to the bride and groom that I have arrived also.
Q: What do brides normally ask when they approach to inquire about your services?
A: How much will it cost?
Q: Did you ever have any problems with an event? How did you manage to overcome the conflict?
A: Normally its well-intentioned people telling me that the bride wants this or wants that, when I know from talking to her prior to the big day that this is not the case. Or the new mother in-law wanting to impose her wishes. It’s a case of being diplomatic and letting the music do the talking, but at the same time, making sure you do not turn away the tune that was the theme of the Hen night….
Q: What is the one thing that you would change about a bride’s mentality, if given the chance?
A: Too many brides choose a venue that is way too big for the number of guests, especially in the summer. Get a smaller venue, something a bit different and spend more on your dress and if I do say so myself, the DJ….
Q: What is the most important quality of a wedding DJ? What should brides look for when scouting the market for such a professional?
A: It depends on what the bride is wanting her reception to be like, does she want a particular genre of music or a personality DJ and cheese? Does she want to have only the music that she and her husband have chosen? Or do they require the kind of service I provide, which is a DJ who has the ability to react to the collective needs of the guests and find a middle path that the majority will enjoy? So to get the right DJ, the bride needs to be clear in her mind and also to the prospective DJs what kind of a night she is after.
Experience and good references would be next along with that feeling that this is the kind of person I feel comfortable entrusting a major part of one of the most important days in my life with.
Q: Do you have any last piece of advice for future brides out there?
A: If you are paying for a quality DJ, why then go and ask the guests what their individual favourite tracks are? With the right DJ a list of about 15 tunes special to the bride and groom should be all that is needed.
Lastly, it’s your day, make sure you have the day you want it. Invite those people you want to celebrate your wedding with and not who you are pressured into having there.
Make sure you enjoy the day, it will go quicker than you imagine…
Here’s a selection of wedding clips where Paul DJed.