The San Diego DJ Association

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Are All DJ's Alike?

No. All DJs are NOT alike. DJs vary greatly in their level of experience, professionalism, personality, and services offered. Some are willing to “hold your hand” through the entire planning process, right through the end of your event, while others only offer their services during the time they are contracted to play music. Some DJs have limited music selections, primarily offering the most-requested songs and don’t have much ability to take other requests from you or your guests at your event. While some entertainers are full-service DJs, others are limited in their skills, and may not have the ability to provide all the services needed to make your event successful. With so much variation among DJs, the San Diego DJ Association is here to help you sort it all out.

How Can I Choose the Right DJ/MC for My Event?

To help ensure you choose the right DJ / MC for your special occasion:

  1. Choose a DJ/MC with plenty of experience doing your type of event. Ask for references.
  2. Choose a DJ with a large and varied music library, professional sound equipment, and who brings back-up equipment to every event.
  3. Choose a professional DJ who has liability insurance and who dresses appropriately for your event.
  4. Choose a DJ who can do more than just play music. Your DJ should be able to help you pre-plan the details of your event, as well as coordinate with all other vendors. You may also want to hire a DJ/MC who will be interactive, leading group dances or activities to get guests more involved.
  5. Choose a DJ with whom you feel comfortable, and who fits your personality.
  6. Choose a DJ who will handle your event him/herself and not subcontract to someone else whom you’ve never met or spoken to before.
  7. Choose a DJ who belongs to a professional Disc Jockey organization which has high industry standards of ethical business practices, and which is committed to its members’ ongoing education.
Why SDDJA?

When you choose one of our DJ/MCs, you can be sure you are hiring someone you can trust to provide the highest level of service for your event. You will be hiring a true professional who has years of success in the industry and a proven track record of client satisfaction. Please see our Membership Page to see what is required of our members to join the association.

How important is the DJ to the overall success of my event?

There’s no question that a great DJ can make your event a memorable one. Playing the appropriate and optimum music can set the ideal atmosphere for your reception or event and help make your guests feel comfortable enough to join in on the fun. If your event will be photographed or captured on video, an experienced DJ can create special moments to capture. Remember, memories are made on the dance floor, not at the vegetable platter. Do you want your guests to leave the party with memories of the great time they had at your special occasion for years to come?

What else should my DJ do, besides play music?

A great DJ is about more than just playing great music. A full-service DJ should be able to help you preplan the timeline of your reception or party. At your event he or she should coordinate with the other vendors to make sure they are always pacing the party as appropriate. Of course, appropriate announcements that are well delivered go without saying. Creating an atmosphere where guests will feel relaxed is all part of the job of the professional DJ. This is done through playing the right music, and by interacting appropriately with your guests.

What’s the difference between a large DJ company and a single-operator DJ?

If, however, you hire a reliable single-operator DJ, not only will he or she help you with the planning of your reception or party, but you can also expect him or her to be the one to arrive and perform at your event. A large DJ company may have numerous DJs working for them. While this might allow the client to choose the DJ they like, the large companies generally cannot guarantee that the DJ you’ve selected will be the one to arrive at your event. If you find a single-operator DJ that you feel comfortable with and spent time planning with, you know that this is the DJ who will arrive and perform at your event. In addition, by choosing a DJ who is part of a professional DJ organization, they will also have a network of many DJs who can cover their event in an extreme emergency.

How far in advance should I hire my DJ?

You should hire your DJ as soon as you have chosen the date and location for your reception – usually at least 9 months prior to your event.

How much should my DJ cost?

Prices among DJs can vary greatly, based on duration, size of party, lighting, video, amount of interaction required, level of skill in music mixing and speaking, and amount of pre-planning required. While cost is always a consideration, it should not be the most important one. A DJ’s experience, reliability, reputation, and personality should be the most important factors in the DJ selection process. You may want to ask yourself… what impact would a bad or inexperienced DJ make on my event? If budget IS a significant consideration, then try to save money using vendors that do not impact the reception as much as the DJ does. Remember – A great DJ can make your event a memorable one. However, one way to make it even more memorable is to hire a DJ that is inexperienced. Good entertainment may not always be cheap, but cheap entertainment is usually not very good.

What is the ideal timeline for planning my wedding?

For many brides and grooms who are planning their wedding, the many necessary details can seem overwhelming. The following can help your planning be much more manageable and organized.

What is the ideal timeline for planning my wedding?

For many brides and grooms who are planning their wedding, the many necessary details can seem overwhelming. The following can help your planning be much more manageable and organized.

9 to 12 Months Before the Big Day

Select a Wedding Date & Time
Determine who will Officiate the Ceremony
Announce Your Engagement in the Newspaper
Determine how many guests may attend
Determine the type of Wedding you want (size, formality, style, color scheme)
Select & Order the Bridesmaid’s Dresses
Establish a Preliminary Budget
Select & Secure a Photographer
Select & Secure a Videographer
Select & Secure Your Ceremony Location
Select & Secure Your Reception Location
Select & Secure a Caterer
Select & Secure Your DJ/MC Entertainment
Pick out your engagement ring with your Fiancé
Select & Secure a Florist
Begin Choosing Your Wedding Cake Baker

6 to 9 Months

Start Compiling the Guest List (inform family to do the same)
Select the Attendants for the Wedding
Shop for the Wedding Dress, Headpiece, veil, etc.
Start Planning the Honeymoon
Register with a Gift Bridal Registry in Your Favorite Store

4 to 6 Months

Make Appointment with Your Doctor & Dentist for a Physical Exam
Check Requirements for Blood Test and Marriage License
Shop for Wedding Rings
Select & Order the Invitations & Stationery
Decide Where to Live After the Wedding:Complete the Guest List
Begin Shopping for Trousseau
Send Your Wedding Announcement to the Newspaper
Inform Mothers to Select Their Dresses
Select & Order the Men’s Attire
Finalize Honeymoon Details & Make Reservations

2 to 4 Months

Confirm the Menu & Catering Details with the Caterer
Prepare All Maps & Directions for the Ceremony & Reception
Select Your Wedding Rings
Purchase a Wedding Guest Book
Set the Dates & Times for the Rehearsal with the Officiant
Plan the Bridesmaid’s Luncheon & Any Other Parties
Determine Your Resources for Designing & Printing the Programs for the Ceremony
Finalize the Florist Details
Finalize the Photographer Details
Finalize the Videographer Details
Work on the DJ/MC Entertainment Details
Arrange Accommodations for Out of Town Guests
Plan Rehearsal Dinner, Time & Place
Confirm Wedding cake Details with Baker

6 to 8 Weeks

Mail Invitations and Announcements
Prepare Portrait for Newspaper (check local newspaper for requirements & timing)
Set up Appointment with Photographer for Your Formal Bridal Portrait
Select Gift for All Your Attendants
Set up Appointments with any Hairdressers and/or Makeup Artists
Hire the Limousine or Other forms of Transportation

4 to 6 Weeks

Decide on a Menu for the Reception (estimate the number of guests)
Buy a Gift for the Groom
Schedule a Final Fitting for Your Gown so it can be ready for the Formal Bridal Portrait
Purchase a Going Away Outfit
Pick up Your Wedding Rings
Purchase (borrow) All Wedding Accessories (Ring Pillow, Goblets, Garter, Candles, Etc.)
Confirm Florist Details & Delivery Times
Plan the Seating for the Reception
Write the Place Cards
Make Sure All Bridesmaids’ Attire has been Fitted
Purchase a Gift for the Bride

2 Weeks Before

Set up Final Consultation with our DJ/MC Entertainer
Make Arrangements to have Your Wedding Gift Transported to Your New Home
Handle Business & Legal Details (name changes, address changes, etc)
Prepare the Wedding Announcements for the Newspaper:Reconfirm Your Guests’ Accommodations
Make Sure All Clothing & Accessories are Ready for You & the Bridal Party
Get Your Marriage License & Any Blood Tests which are Needed

The Week Before

Review any Seating Details with the Ushers
Make Certain All Wedding Attire Fits
Finalize the Seating Arrangements
Reconfirm Your Honeymoon Reservations
Ensure You Have Your Travel Tickets
Start Packing for Your Honeymoon
Contact Any Guests who have Not Responded Yet
Complete the Place Cards
Review All the Final Details with the Photographer & Videographer
Provide a Final Guest Count to the Caterer
Delegate Specific Responsibilities to Reliable Individuals for the Wedding Day
Wrap & Present the Wedding Party Gifts
Finalize the Rehearsal Dinner Arrangements

The Day Before

Get a Manicure and Massage to Get Relaxed
Stay with Your Family the Night Before & Get Some Rest
Review & Rehearse All the Details of Your Participants

The BIG Day

Ensure the Best Man & Maid/Matron of Honor Sign the Marriage Certificate
Allow Ample Time to Get Dressed
Enjoy Your Wonderful Wedding Day & Cherish the Moment(s)
Be Sure to Eat
Rest & Relax with a Good Bath
Prepare for Your Appointments with the Hairdresser & Makeup Artist
What should I keep in mind when hiring a DJ/MC for my Bar/Bat Mitzvah?
To help ensure a great Bar / Bat Mitzvah reception, choose a DJ who will:

  • Be on the Dance Floor – That’s where the party is. They shouldn’t be “hidden” behind the equipment… that’s where assistants belong.
  • Pace the Party – Kids eat their meal in 5 minutes. Adults take 45 minutes. What will happen during the interim?
  • Make the Bar/Bat Mitzvah the Star of the Show – If not them, then who?
  • Lead Interactive Dances – The MC should call the moves; the “Interactive Dancers ” should show them!
  • Know Mitzvah Terminology – It’s not called the “blessing over the bread”. It’s called the “Motzi over the Challah”.
  • Use Party Props – Interaction makes it fun.
  • Have Backbone – to say NO to inappropriate music.
  • Know the Names – correct pronunciations of Brothers, sisters, Mom, Dad, Rabbi, etc…
  • Keep Changing the Show – Within any school year, the same kids will appear over and over again – literally. If they know what to expect, then the material is too old.
  • Use Assistants – There’s only so much that a staff of one can do.