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Choosing a DJ or Hiring a Band for Your Wedding

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Nothing will energize and liven your wedding like the right entertainment. Without it, your well-planned festivities will be lackluster at best. Therefore, choosing a DJ or hiring a band for your wedding is one of the most important tasks on your "to-do list."

Without careful planning you may end up with a band of American Idol rejects or an unseasoned DJ who plays Metallica for a Frank Sinatra crowd. Furthermore, professional musicians and DJs know which songs will get your guests involved and when a slower melody is appropriate.

Avoiding entertainment disasters means doing your homework. Here is some advice on how to find a DJ or find a band for a wedding that nets sensational results.

Know Your Performer

Before you hire a DJ or find a band for your wedding, you have to interview several candidates. Watch them perform at a local club. Check out a video of their DJ skills at a recent wedding. Make sure the performer will set the tone and mood you want at your wedding.

Through your conversations with the DJ or band members, you should be able to determine if your personalities will blend well. Ask them how many weddings they have played and how much experience they have.

If you go through a company, make sure you know who will perform at your wedding. Some companies represent a stable of musicians and DJs, and they choose the individual(s) right for your occasion. Companies often use this opportunity to do a bait and switch routine.

Finally, determine if the performer will be professional enough for your crowd. There is a certain etiquette that you want in a DJ or band; make sure the individual(s) you hire will be courteous, well dressed and well groomed.

Know Your Songs and Setup

Make sure the DJ or band plays the style of music you like. Professionals will have a large list of songs-from current hits to classic wedding tunes. If the DJ cannot provide a song list it may be best to find someone else.

You should be able to select the songs you want. The process of song selection enables you to specify must-have songs and identify which songs are off limits.

Also, find out if the DJ or band takes requests. This provides much of the fun during a wedding reception. If your performer will not accept requests, your guests may feel they cannot participate in your event.

Keep in mind that the performance is more than song selection. First, ensure the performer you hire knows how to pronounce the names of every individual in your wedding party, including relatives who will be introduced. Take the time to walk through each first and last name.

Additionally, can the DJ or band's sound system handle the size of your venue with no problems? A home stereo will not have the output required to entertain your guests. If you want colored lights, mirror balls or other effects, ask if these elements are part of the setup. Professional bands and DJs should have professional equipment.

The entertainment sets the tone for your reception. Never underestimate the importance of finding the performer who is able to create the right mood. Following some of this simple advice will ensure your hired DJ or band will compliment your wedding day.