Post # 1
I should probably first explain that my fiance and I are having a small wedding of 50 guests on a Saturday afternoon. No bridal party, no bouquet or garter. Even though we won’t have many intros I will still want that and cake cutting and the three special dances. My dilemma is that we first originally set up our budget for no DJ and were going to do the iPod thing. But now I’m nervous because I just don’t think any of our guests, even family would be brazen enough to get on the mic and do introductions.
So I started looking at ‘DJs that aren’t so much in the spotlight/moonlighters hoping they might have some reasonable costs. All the documents/web pages that I come across of ‘what to ask a DJ’ to be frankly honest I don’t really care about. Don’t care what they wear, in fact, they’d be out of place if they wore a tux, don’t care about their style etc. I’m even willing to work with someone who is starting out. The one thing I won’t compromise on is that I will not hire services without a contract. My venue also wants outside vendors to have certificate of insurance. I have heard this is a reasonable cost for vendors and for a DJ not to have one is inexcusable. I was talking with one DJ who has been around 10 years in the business and was giving me an extremely reasonable cost but as soon as I said certificate of insurance he came up empty handed and almost gave me attitude about it saying he has done handfuls of weddings and worked for other DJ companies and this request has never come up. He says he takes care of this kind of stuff in his own contract.
Should I continue on my DJ quest and tell them right up front what we can afford and what we’re looking for or seek out a friend of a friend who would be willing to oversee our iPod setup and introductions in exchange for free meal and a little money.
Post # 3
I just wanted to say that the reason your venue wants a certificate of insurance from the DJ is so that if someone gets hurt or something because of something he does, his insurance will cover it. If he doesn’t have insurance (the certificate proves that he has it), then it would fall back on the venue’s insurance. They are just trying to protect themselves, and it is a totally reasonable request. You are probably having problems finding DJs with insurance because it’s not required by most places and small businesses like that don’t like to pay for insurance if it isn’t required.
Anyway, I think that for what you want you might be better off having a friend of a friend do your intros. They will know you as well as any DJ would (or better), and that way you don’t have to worry about the insurance stuff. 🙂
Post # 4
I think you are better off getting a friend or aquaintance to do this for you. We are having a similar type wedding, small, not too formal, and we are not hiring a DJ. And we are also going to do iPOD (or laptop) music, and we will have someone who can make the few announcements that we are going to do, like toasts and first dance. I am lucky that I have several friends who I know will be able to do this. We also do not want to hire an officiant, but a friend is going to do our ceremony for us (he is not ordained or anything, so we will have an official signing of the marriage liscence at the courthouse before hand). It is possible that things might not go as smoothly as if we had a professional running the show, but in the end as long as it gets done, that is fine. I have been to other weddings like this and everything worked out really well.
Post # 5
I have read on here about brides that had to get insurance for their vendors to satisfy their venues. I don’t remember how much it was, but I have heard of it before. If you really want the DJ, perhaps look into the insurance?
Post # 6
Yes, your venue might allow a non-insured DJ if you took out your own event insurance instead. I have to do this for my venue, and I don’t think it’s a lot of money (a few hundred dollars, maybe).
I’m in a similar position with regard to the DJ. Originally I didn’t want one at all (I have an intense dislike for most DJs and have been to a few weddings with really awful ones). But, my parents keep saying we "need" one, and I do worry a bit about announcements and who will make sure the music is working if we do an iPod. Our other issue is that our venue is fairly strict about volume, so if we go with a DJ I want one that is willing to keep the music to a tolerable level.
Post # 7
Thanks everyone for your input. I asked my fiance again, mr. budget, and after seeing pros/cons on both sides he thinks we should look for a DJ. Granted we might have to dig deep to find someone for our budget. The funny/sad part is that we moonlight as wedding videographers over the last couple years. We only do a handful a year so we haven’t exactly made ‘buddies’ with other vendors yet. You’d think we would have seen a DJ so far that has impressed us but we haven’t. One of the first weddings we did the DJ was late so the cocktail hour was cocktail hour and half and we usually sit at the same table with the DJ for dinner and some have had a pretty bad attitude about the client. I’m in talks with one now that we have worked with in the past and he liked working with us so he has our company website linked to his website so I’m hoping for a small discount for future business trade-offs.