The first and most important step is to find someone with a great personality, that will light up the crowd by curating the right music selections. The music should tell a story and create a rhythm: upbeat cocktails, more subdued and chic music for dinner and then dance sets moving into house music and beyond.
As with everything, hiring and negotiating successfully has most to do with how you approach people. Remember, creativity is not a light switch. You want to make sure you really gel with your talent. If you are hiring a DJ, spend several hours over a bottle of wine and go over the music selection making sure he or she understands what you like and what you don't like. Tailor the playlist with them and never think of them as a Juke Box and ask them to change direction after every song. And let them know what your policy is with requests.
Here are some basics to remember when you are meeting talent:
Verify their skills…
• It is important to ask detailed questions about the performer's skills and resume: How long have they been in business? Training? References? (Ask if you can see a video of a previous performance. It will help you assess more thoroughly.)
• What exactly will they need for their performance? (Staging? Equipment? Is it rented or do they have their own?)
During the wedding...
• While you may be focused on what your bridal party is wearing, you must also ask your entertainment these questions so it doesn't throw off the vibe of your party: What will they and their assistants be wearing to your event and when they set up their equipment?
• Do they have a wireless microphone that guests can easily use during the wedding for speeches, etc.?
• Are you guaranteed that you will have the performer of your choice at your event? Are you guaranteed a backup DJ or performer if they get sick?
• When do you need to submit your playlist and event details? Can you submit a "do not play list"? How will they handle guest requests during the party?
It's all about the money…
• This can be the "make or break it" category for most, so be careful when asking these questions because you can really save money (or lose it) depending on the answers: What is the complete breakdown of cost? What is required for a deposit? Does it include everything (the assistants, cancelation deposits, transportation or delivery fees etc.)?
• Do they carry liability insurance?
• What is their overtime policy? Are they prepared to play overtime if the party is going strong? What's their rate for overtime?
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with being straightforward and requesting the information you need. It’s important to be inquisitive now, when you have a world of options in front of you.
To discover the musical entertainment options in Northern California, we invite you to visit: WeddingsNorthValley.com
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