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Helpful Advice When Booking Your Entertainment

posted May 8, 2014, 5:26 PM by Paul Clairs   [ updated Nov 1, 2014, 6:45 PM ]
I have been doing this for a very long time. Over the years I have seen and heard things that would blow your mind when it comes to dodgy operators in the wedding industry. As recently as just last week I was made aware of a Brisbane "DJ" who turns up to your wedding with an iPod...that's iPod and a couple of cheap speakers - for the biggest event of your life!

On the bayside of Brisbane (where I am based) there is a guitarist/DJ who not only copied all my pricing and package deals but made an exact copy of my FAQ page (word for word) and placed it on his website...a short phone call to him and it was removed but he still uses my tagline "Invite Paul To Your wedding"...he  changed it to "Invite Me To Your Wedding" but it's still very poor form.

I thought it might be helpful to some couples to offer some advice on what to look for when booking your entertainment.

  • Make Sure Your DJ is Licensed - it is illegal to play recorded music in a public venue without a P.P.C.A license. If a P.P.C.A rep happens to do a spot check of your venue and your DJ is unlicensed the DJ can be shut down.
  • Equipment - make sure your DJ/Musician is forthcoming with what equipment they are going to use. All my sound gear & lighting is listed HERE for all to see. It is also a good idea to ask if they carry a back up system - if they have a system failure what is their plan?
  • Testimonials - Any pro or semi-pro DJ/Muso will have countless testimonials on their website and facebook page - if there is 2 or 3 testimonials and they claim to have been in the business for years be very afraid!
  • Ask for photos of their set up -this is the biggest event you will probably ever plan. It is costing you thousands of dollars. If your DJ turns up with Crazy Clarks flashing lights on top of a black milk crate it is a pretty good sign of what is to come.
  • Do your homework - see if the supplier has reciprocal links - if other suppliers recommend them that is a good sign. The people listed on my links page are professionals that I have worked with. I know how good they are or  I wouldn't recommend them.
  • Ask what time they would arrive at your venue to set up - some DJ's proudly boast they turn up 1 hour before...really? the bride and groom are entering the reception room at 6pm and this guy is strolling in at around 5 to start setting up - WRONG ANSWER...I arrive a minimum of 2 hours prior to the reception start time - more if I am allowed to by the venue. I need to set up my gear, sound check, set up lighting, discuss the run sheet with the venue many things to do how can it possibly be done in less than an hour?....maybe if all you have to set up is an iPod, 2 speakers and a some party lights from Crazy Clarks :)
  • I love this story - I did a wedding last year for a couple who had originally met with a a band. They went to see the band play and the set consisted of pub standards such as Rolling Stones, Jimmy Barnes, classics...when they asked the band what music they would play during dinner they said "We play these same songs but slower"...LOL...ask for song lists or at least discuss what types of music will be played during the various parts of the evening...unless you actually want Eagle Rock played during entree...we all know what that leads to...

I hope some of this information is helpful to you as you wade through the minefield of DJ's and musos out there.

Paul Clairs

Wedding Music Queensland