Post # 1
So I booked my reception musicians early in the planning process. We found a company that would set us up with a 4pc jazz band during dinner and cocktail hour and a DJ for the rest of the night. Seemed like the best of both worlds and the price was reasonable so we were excited! We talked to one of their DJs and he seemed to just not hear what we were saying (we asked for a mix of Top 40, classic pop-rock typical wedding songs, and old and new country music). He was suggesting some really off the wall stuff and just didn’t seem to get what we were asking for. We asked to be connected with another DJ at the company and he seemed to get us a little bit better. Reviews for the company in general were positive, I only saw one or two for this specific DJ but they were also positive.
Flash forward to today when I googled the company again. I found a (new) SCATHING review of the company and our DJ in particular. That his sound system was too small and inaudible for the whole night and that he played multiple songs off their “do not play list.” This really scared me. I know one crazy person can leave a bad review and it’s not necessarily accurate, but the music sets such a tone for the night I don’t know how willing I am to take the gamble.
Please help me, bees. What would you do? I’ve already paid a deposit which I’m sure I would lose. Would you raise the concern with the company? I’m sure they’ll tell a different version of the story. Would you start looking for someone else? My wedding is still 10 months out so I may be able to find a replacement although I’m not positive I’ll get any of my “top” choices. Has anyone encountered a similar situation!?
Post # 2
Honestly we hired out DJ based on some seriously great word of mouth reviews and everyone said he was absolutely fantastic at our wedding so I would get out while you can.
Post # 3
ladyvk : how far out did you book?
Post # 4
People are human. I would contact them and specifically mention the review and ask if the sound system is adequate and if they will stick to a ‘do not play’ list. Reviews can be one sided – what happened if the DJ thought the do not play list was actually the requests list because of a communication breakdown? What if they were asked to play in a spot of the venue that they had not prepared for? Bride and groom asked them to play in a cavernous expanse out of the blue that their sound system was not adequate for?
There are too many variables here for you to lose money and not have anyone you like to book better available as a back up. Suss it out first – I would.
Post # 5
legallybee : definitely raise it with your DJ. Our venue had some awful reviews about the food (which we can’t change) and I went into panic. But we spoke to the owner and he went through every bad review (even one’s we hadn’t seen) and explained how they’d taken it on board and how they had rectified it. Felt so much better.
Post # 6
Well, we have to wonder if the person leaving the review had a do-not-play GENRE or a list of do-not-play SONGS. If a list of do-not-play songs, I could see it being a mistake maybe? Particularly if the couple approved the genre. If a do-not-play GENRE, that’s more difficult to screw up, and it COULD suggest that he’s a poor DJ.
I second PPs when I say that you can certainly consider bringing up the negative review with your DJ. Even if he didn’t do anything wrong and the reviewer was just being a jerk, your DJ will STILL know that he needs to stick with your playlist.
Post # 7
Is the review posted in a forum where you can ask the poster questions?
I would also bring it up directly with the company and see what they have to say. If they have good explanations, then stick with them, but if your gut says otherwise cut your losses and find someone else.
Post # 8
One bad review in isolation is not necessarily dispositive of anything. Were there other good reviews?
Keep in mind that people seldom bother to leave reviews at all unless they are really angry. Those who had great experiences won’t post nearly as often.
That said, you absolutely have to feel comfortable about your choice.
Post # 9
legallybee : obviously i have no idea what happened, but here are two very innocent ways that those things could have transpired: the sound system might be perfectly fine, but the VENUE might have forced the DJ to turn the volume down due to noise restrictions (this happens more frequently than you’d think). Bride gets mad at DJ instead of venue. And as for the songs, there is so much that could happen here: it could be that guests kept requesting the do not play songs over and over and the DJ decided to play some to try to keep the party going; it could have been that the bride and from disagreed about the do not play list and there was a miscommunication to the DJ; it could have been that the do not play list was so long that it was just ridiculous. Our DJ asked us what kind of music/vibe we wanted, and then asked for two lists: 5 MUST play and 5 DO NOT play. That’s it, 5. If your list is 100 songs, it’s unrealistic to expect a DJ to Stick to it (also, you clearly don’t trust your DJ)
Post # 10
DeniseSecunda : it was both, the reviewer said the DJ played several songs off her do-not-play list and she also requested that he not play rap music and he did.
The company also responded to the review and said they contacted other vendors that were at the wedding and those vendors gave a different account of the night. Is that a thing? Can DJs contact like your caterers and ask about how they did? That seems odd to me.
Post # 11
My DJ had only 5 star reviews and then bailed on us at the last minute (days before the wedding) and I met the replacement DJ 2 days before the wedding not knowing anything about him. It turned out great.
Honestly, I wouldn’t stress about one bad review. It’s impossible to make some brides/grooms happy. You can always bring it up with them if you really want though.
Post # 12
we just delt with this same sitution but it was other vendors bad mouthing the DJ saying he has treated other couples terrible and his behaviour is very unprofessional. Well we had a sit down withh him yesterday and it seems like it may just be small town trash talk in hopes of getting friends hired instead of him. I strongly recomened having a face to face meeting with the DJ and lay out your concerns if he can not negate them look for someone else, but if he can I would keep with him if you feel comforatble, one bad review does not always mean a bad DJ
Post # 13
I would contact the business and the DJ and just say that you saw the review and just say that you want to make sure that you communicate with them correctly about the no play list and equipment. Don’t approach it in an accusatory way, but you never know where the communication breakdown occurred – especially if all of their other reviews were good. Maybe that couple wasn’t very clear about their lists or about the size of their space.
Regardless of whether it’s true or not the company will most likely be VERY careful about not repeating those mistakes now that they’ve been made public.
Post # 14
Thanks for your advice everyone, I’m gathering some quotes from other local bands and DJs just to see what my options are. I set up a phone call with the account manager for the DJ company (he was also mentioned by name in the review) to give him an opportunity to tell their side of the story. I think I’ll then proceed depending on how he handles it. If he is professional and admits to some mistakes but treated it as a learning experience I would feel better. If he’s bad mouthing the reviewer, even if he’s right, I think I would find that unprofessional and start looking at my other options.