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Expert Advice from Cosmo Creations: Price Shopping For Your Wedding DJ

Monday, March 7, 2011

As huge proponents of researching your vendors and that "you get what you pay for," we wanted to start this week off with some expert advice from an industry professional.  Brent Cantrell runs Cosmo Creations which has on its team five DJ's and lighting experts for special events.  They are professional, experienced and affordable without sacrificing quality.

As today's guest blogger, Brent will share tips for finding the perfect DJ for your wedding day and several things to keep in mind when doing so.  Cosmo Creations is also one of our newest site sponsors so show definitely support them since they support ABG, the site that keeps you educated!

Guest Blogger: Cosmo Creations - Shopping For Your Wedding DJ

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Brent Cantrell, owner of Cosmo Creations (Image courtesy of Kristyn Hogan, Lifestyle Photographer)

If you’re planning for your big day and you’re already over budget you may ask yourself: why not cut your cost by reducing your entertainment budget? Want a hint about the answer? Just look to your guests. There are plenty of checklists available to help you pick a reliable DJ (adja.org). If you find a deal too good to be true, then it probably is.

When considering your wedding entertainment options, some of the most important questions are: “Do you carry liability insurance?”, “Do you bring back-up equipment?”, “How long have you been in business?” These are all great standard questions, but how do you get to the facts about what you’re really paying for?

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DJ booth at a good vantage point but not in the way (Image courtesy of Cosmo Creations)

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Keeping the guests moving and shaking at a recent wedding

Here are a few things to think about prior to picking your wedding DJ:

My DJ showed up with these huge speakers, it looked like he was setting up to do the sound for AC/DC. The worst thing is they smelled like smoke - the table in front of the DJ booth actually complained about the smell of smoke coming off of the speakers.

It’s important to know if your DJ is bringing professional grade, state of the art equipment. You may not think you care what kind of equipment your DJ uses, but if you’re spending money on flowers, table settings, etc. and your DJ brings in some ugly equipment, it could be a negative reflection of your overall décor. If the DJ service plays at night clubs through the week you may want to ask that they bring speakers that are not used inside rooms that permit smoking. Most speaker boxes are wrapped in carpet and the carpet can absorb odor, especially smoke.

The DJ talked way too much...I’m not the type of bride that is ‘me, me, me’ but I did want the focus to be on our bridal party and not the DJ. Announcing the events was important to me, but we didn’t want talking or a play-by-play after every song.

You need to communicate your expectation levels with your DJ. Asking “What style DJ are you?” is a great way to find out if you’re talking to someone that’s going to be over-the-top or laid back. And depending on the type of wedding your planning, that can make a huge difference!

Our DJ couldn’t turn the music up loud enough. If you were right in front of the speakers it was fine but in the back of the room you couldn’t hear the music or any of the announcements.

This kind of goes with making sure your DJ brings professional grade equipment and making sure the DJ knows the size of the reception hall before the day of the event. Most professional grade loud-speakers are 500 watts per channel, so two speakers would require at least a 1000 watt amp to power the speakers. In most cases, this will be plenty of sound reinforcement for a small to medium size room. Asking “How many watts is your amplifier?” could keep you from having this issue. Between 800 and 1500 watts is a good range to be in. Most home stereos are only 100 watts (that will not be loud enough).

I paid our DJ to provide dance lights for our dance floor. What we received was a strobe light, a small disco ball, and Christmas lights!!! That’s not what I saw in his brochure.

Often, a bride may get caught up in offers for “music and lighting” at a great price. Sometimes you do find a great value, but other times it can be a trade-off for inferior sound or inferior lighting (or both). If lighting is important to you, then you need to ask for photos of exactly what you can expect the day of your event. A DJ should not have a problem e-mailing you photos of what will be provided for the day of your event (and most established DJ’s have photos on their website).

You can learn a lot about a DJ service by attending bridal shows, checking references, and doing some research on their website. However, some marketing materials can be very deceiving. If you pick up an elegant postcard for a wedding DJ depicting a well-dressed DJ and a bride and groom having a great time on a packed dance floor and your actual DJ shows up with two strobe lights and a crate full of records in a polyester suit that he’s been wearing since 1978…….well, you get the picture……..and he’ll be in your pictures - your wedding pictures!

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A happy couple having their first dance

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Thanks for the advice Brent.  We hope this is helpful to you when it comes to picking a DJ for your big day! Cosmo Creations also has a few videos of weddings they've DJ-ed on their YouTube Channel that you can watch to give you a sample of what they sound like at weddings.  For more information on the company and their team of DJs visit them at their website CosmoCreations.com.

About the Author:

Tabitha's avatar
Tabitha

Blogging is something I’ve enjoyed doing for years. My interests lie mostly in lifestyle related topics like fashion, style, design, food and weddings. When I heard Ashley was looking to bring on new members to the ABG team, I jumped at the opportunity - I can’t think of a better way to stay involved in weddings than to write about them and to stay in touch with the trends and new ideas. Lucky for me, Ashley likes my blog and trusts my experience to bring me on and so far, it’s been a blast.

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send Posted on March 7, 2011 | Filed under: Advice & Planning, Bands, DJs, Music,

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