You are now engaged and are starting to plan your wedding. With some DJs booking up as much as 8 months to a year in advance it is worth considering booking your DJ at least provisionally, as soon as possible.

As soon as you have your church booked and a rough idea of which venue you will be using, I would suggest booking your entertainment, as it is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. It is what many people and their guests will remember the most. Not everybody will remember the teas, coffees and cocktail sausages yet often, Irish couples spend more time and money on these than entertainment.

The DJ is often in charge of about a fifth of your day and is also entrusted into entertaining all ages, acting as entertainment planner and advisor, MC and sound technician so getting the right DJ is important.

If you are planning on a DJ for either after the band or the full night I would suggest finding a professional DJ to meet with and get one to one advice on planning the evening’s entertainment. When choosing the function room I would advise as much as possible to choose a room that has the bar in the actual function room and an exit right onto a patio for smokers as close to the function room as possible. These two factors can make a massive difference, because if the bar is in a different room you will often find guests hanging out where the bar is, therefore splitting the party in two and the same will go for the smokers if there is a long walk out to a smoking patio. I would also suggest not seating your granny beside where the loudspeakers will be set up for the DJ!

Another aspect that I would always advise on is to make sure the bride and groom spend as much of their time in the room where the party is. The energy levels on the dance floor are always increased when the bride and groom are on the floor or at least in the room. Remember, your guests are there to celebrate and party with you not without you on your special day.

Another important aspect to planning your entertainment is to make sure that your DJ discusses your day with other vendors and the venue. Your DJ should chat with a band if you have one before him to ensure that there is enough room left for him to set up to either side. This is so the DJ can get on straight after the band finishes rather than wait around for 30 minutes till their equipment is dismantled. He should also discuss music with the band, as there is no point in your DJ starting off playing Van Morrison if the band finishes on ……….Van Morrison!

A good DJ will also liase with the banqueting manager as to when teas and sandwiches might be served if you are having them later in the evening. There is nothing worse than the floor rocking and everybody having a great time when suddenly the room’s lights are turned up and sandwiches are brought out and the energy in the room is suddenly ruined!

When planning the entertainment ensure that the DJ is fully insured for public liability insurance. I would also recommend that the DJ or his company have a back-up service or plan in case of any problems on the day or the night itself. DJs are only human after all and they can get sick also and equipment can fail.

When hiring entertainment be wary of services that offer a DJ with a band included or a band with a DJ included, as you may not know whom you are getting along with the main entertainment. It’s the same reason you wouldn’t hire a photographer who would also suggest making your wedding cake!!! If using a DJ company always make sure the DJ you book and meet from the company is the DJ who will be doing your event and not a junior staff member. There are a number of reputable DJ companies throughout Ireland.

Whether you hire a DJ or a band always and I mean, always for your own sanity hire a professional, not a friend who has a few CDs or an i-pod lying around the house. A bad amateur DJ can ruin a party.

Finally, always get the booking details confirmed in writing from your band or DJ.

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