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Help! My friend was going to DJ my event, and now they bailed!!

May 22, 2018


Consider that price reference the DJ company’s average booking.
As an event professional, a call I get far too often, mostly from brides, is where the client is left high and dry by their friend who convinced them they could “DJ their event for cheap”.  However, the other day I actually got a call from one of these DJs, and I posted the story on my Facebook page.  What made the call from this DJ, who fully intends to bail on his couple, even more troubling is that he has a company name, and appears to be professional to the people researching him.  The other thing that made this example stand out is that I had just ended a phone call with another bride 20 minutes prior who mentioned that she was going to make this exact same mistake, and also claimed that the “friend” was part of a DJ company.  Keep reading to see the excuse this DJ gave for wanting to bail…

Planning a wedding, or will be in the near future? Take note:

The other night I get a call back from a bride I met at a very recent wedding show. She was very interested in our services, and knew the price range, but now her fiancé is telling her he’ll get a friend to DJ the wedding because it will be lower in price. She claims this friend is part of a DJ company. I offer helpful experience to her and say, “Be extremely careful. While you may not go with us, make sure you thoroughly put anyone you’re considering through the paces to make sure they’re professional, skilled, and reliable. I get calls all the time, every wedding season, from couples in a panic searching for someone open telling me about the friend who bailed on them.” I then thanked her for calling and offered to provide any help she may need down the line. 

Not more than 20 minutes later I get a call from a DJ. They have the words “Double D” in their business name (smh). I had never heard of them. What does this guy tell me? He was supposed to DJ a wedding for his work-friend he works with at his factory job (this guy isn’t a full-time DJ), and he got asked to stand up in a closer friend’s wedding. He didn’t realize for some time that the two weddings were on the same date! He’s bailing on his work-friend to stand up in his other friend’s wedding despite having agreed to DJ the work-friend’s wedding first. He even said to me “I’d rather stand up in my friend’s wedding than DJ a wedding. You understand!” No I don’t understand. The only thing I understand right now is that you are unprofessional, and have no business taking on an event where you weren’t prepared to 100% commit. 

Now this bride is in a panic because she’s without one of the most important services of the day, and she is only a few months away. Plus her wedding falls on a prime date that’s booked up nearly everywhere. She had no contract with “Double D”, and the amount of money involved with this transaction was insignificant enough to where there was no incentive, or “skin in the game”, for either side to press for the agreement being kept. She also sounds completely unprepared to find a professional DJ at a professional rate. Which means she’s likely going to roll the dice again on a hobbyist. 

Moral of the story: don’t hire the friend who does this as a hobby for your wedding day. Not all DJ companies are actually professional – and be especially careful of the ones that do this as a side hustle. Do your research, and prepare in your budget adequately (at least 10-15% depending on your total budget). Hire the professional that has a solid reputation, works on your experience (instead of selling gear), and charges a professional fee. You won’t miss the few hundred or even a thousand bucks more 10 years later to get who you want, but you’ll regret not having the best possible experience and memories.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research, and pick the very best DJ you can afford.  It’s no exaggeration when people say that, “The DJ makes or breaks your party.”  If you’re spending thousands on a photographer to capture your memories, why aren’t you also spending that much on a DJ to help create the memories your photographer will capture?  Equally prioritize them in your budget, and you won’t be sorry when your wedding day comes.  If you would like an “easy” button to help find your DJ, get in touch with me.  If we’re not a good fit, I’ll get you connected with one of my worthy competitors.  

At your service,

Alton Olson
SoundFire DJ

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