As we delve deeper into the electronic age, a common question we hear as planners is "Why can't I just connect my MP3 player or phone to a speaker instead of paying all that money for a DJ?".
The truth is, yes...you absolutely can. Now, with that being said, it doesn't mean that you should.
Let's think about what we expect from a professional DJ:
We want them to play the songs we choose. (CHECK! My phone does that for free all day long.) And sometimes in a particular order. (BOOM! Another task easily accomplished.) It seems our do it yourself plan is off to a good start. But that's just about where it stops.
Will your phone announce the bridal party as they enter? Announce the special dances? Speeches? Cutting the cake? Release tables to the buffet? Point out something exciting but unplanned that you'll want people to remember? Distract attention away from those things you don't want your celebration remembered for? (None of that? We're quickly loosing momentum in this debate now.) What happens if plans go astray and the party needs to be put back on track? (That can happen?? More often than you might think!) Who will monitor your guests to determine what songs they respond to and adjust as needed to get people on the dance floor? (You thought that would just spontaneously happen on it's own? It's about a 50/50 chance in the right crowd.) Will someone important to you have to stop being part of your celebration to start and stop the music, or find the right songs you chose for your special dances? What if cords get pulled loose? (Let's face it. This is not the "hands-off" operation it started out sounding like.) A real live DJ is your only guarantee.
A professional DJ will work closely with your coordinator to keep your guests not only entertained but also on-task. They are key to maintaining a smooth flow to your event. They should be experienced and trained to foresee and avoid possible disasters. To ensure you get the right DJ, get referrals from your planner/coordinator or other vendors you trust.
My ultimate advice on the subject: Leave the music and entertainment to the professionals. They know their job better than anyone.