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Wedding DJ Advice – before booking a mobile disco

At Heart and Soul mobile disco, we are passionate about one thing – ensuring customers get an amazing mobile disco experience.

This year, we have received over 30 calls from distraught customers who have been let down by cheap DJ’s at the last minute, asking for our help. Sadly, like most excellent DJ’s we have usually been fully booked, so unable to step in,  but this blog will help you make the right decision in choosing a supplier who is going to entertain your guests, and give you a night to remember.

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Making a decision on cheap prices. Yes, we understand everyone has a budget, but for mobile disco’s typically you get what you pay for. Bedroom DJ’s are exactly that, and that’s where the should be. Pay £150 and don’t be surprised if they don’t turn up because they have a better offer, the football is on, their cheap speakers broke, or the venue refuses entry because they don’t have a PAT certificate or Public Liability Insurance.

If you think we are being harsh, think about what it costs to run a professional mobile disco service with good sound equipment, back-up gear, experience in reading the crowd, and you should get to an hourly rate of at least £75 or more to entertain your guests professionally.

A party for a 100 people, for 5 hours @ £375 is only 75p per person per hour!!

Don’t choose a venue with the bar in a different room – the best venues are those where the bar and dance floor are close, so you get the best of both worlds.

It’s never a good idea to tell your wedding DJ to stick to your playlist only – because if you got the first point right, they are the experts, so let them get on with it, they do this for a living – give them a list of a few favourites that mean something to you, and they should be able to fill in the blanks.

Don’t do a pay on the night arrangement – you might be stood on an empty dance floor with your guests, £150 still in you pocket, desperately asking the venue for some speakers so you can play your first dance on an ipod because you have no DJ..

Venue selected DJ’s – sorry, I know its controversial, there is a difference between venue referred DJ’s who you contract directly, and venues supplying DJ’s for you.

Why?  In our experience, if you choose the latter, you get a £150 DJ ( see above) for £400 because the venue squeezes a resident DJ and takes a huge cut.

Who’s going to work harder for you, the guy you paid £400, or the guy who got £150 from the venue for doing £400 worth of work? I won’t name and shame, but a popular grade II listed Surrey venue does this, and tells customers they must choose their DJ because of sound restrictions….nonsense, all good DJ’s can control sound levels in software or using a decibel meter, but in this case it’s to force you to select their resident DJ so they take a bigger cut.

Avoid doing the first dance too early, people won’t dance at 7.30, its much better to do it later, which gets people onto the dance floor.

Don’t ask a DJ for lists of equipment – not only are you unlikely to be able to tell the difference, its a better use of time to look at their reviews / testimonials or discuss the evening plans with them.  You will soon figure out if they know what they are talking about, which is a much better indication than whether or not they use Serato or Virtual DJ software….

It’s a good idea to:

Book a mobile disco who offers a detailed booking form and contract for you, PLI Cover, and formal checklists, as it means they are investing in getting to know you and interested in understanding your arrangements.

Ask your DJ for suggestions on the evening plans, because this may be your first wedding, but they would have seen hundreds. If you pick their brains, you will find they have some amazing ideas!

Dance!  That’s right, if the hosts dance, guests are guaranteed to dance. Let your hair down and everyone will have a great time joining in.

End at the right time.  Yep. later isn’t always better.  Usually a big finish around 11 or 11.30, at the end of a long day is so much better than some drunken shuffling at 12.30 by a few stragglers. You know what I mean….

Suggest music which will appeal to everyone, by all means choose some special music for a short set, but a whole evening of Old Skool UK Garage won’t be to everyone’s taste.

Be polite, a good DJ want’s you to have a brilliant night, but if you make unreasonable demands, such as changing the music to a waltz for Aunty Ethel when the dance floor is full during a 90’s club set, you won’t get the best out of them – instead ask them when it would be possible, and they should appreciate this and make such a fuss of Aunty Ethel’s big moment later, she will thank you and remember it forever.

So, based on years of experience, DJ’ing from castles and listed buildings to the Brighton Dome and everything in between, we hope we have helped you think about the best DJ for your party, and be assured that if you do choose Heart and Soul, you are investing in one of the most professional DJ’s in the South of England. Happy Celebrations!