9 Reasons Why Hiring an Amateur Wedding DJ Is a Huge Mistake

by Stephanie Padovani

What most couples who are planning a wedding don’t know is that saving money by hiring an amateur DJ for your wedding comes with a high price tag.  Before you make a decision you regret, here are some things you need to know.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional wedding DJ, wait until you hire an amateur one.

1. There’s a high probability that a cheap (or free) DJ won’t be in business by the time your wedding arrives.

Many low-priced DJs aren’t charging enough to support their own businesses for the long term; you’re just financing their hobby.  Meanwhile, your wedding is 6-12 months away or more.

We’ve received those calls from desperate couples who had a “friend of a friend” DJ cancel on them last minute.  It’s not pretty.

Do you want to risk the possibility that the cheapie DJ is bankrupt and out of business before your big day?

2.  Amateurs are less invested in their performance than a wedding professional.

The amateur DJ is doing it “for fun,” and if something goes wrong, it’s not a big deal.  A wedding professional, on the other hand, risks his entire reputation and livelihood with every performance.  One bad review can destroy his business and he knows it.

At one wedding, the DJ brought along his wife and newborn.  Their table was littered with McDonald’s bags and his wife decided to breastfeed the baby during dinner.

Would you rather have an entertainer who is 100% invested in his business and performance on your wedding day or someone who does it as a hobby?

3.  A wedding is a unique event that require the skills and experience of a wedding specialist for a smooth, flawless ceremony and reception.

It’s about more than just playing music.  Your wedding DJ is responsible for coordinating the timeline, orchestrating the introduction and flow of events, working with your other vendors, managing the guests, reading the crowd and making sure the right song is played at just the right time.

Even a DJ who is quite experienced in the club setting will be at a loss because she simply isn’t familiar with the flow of events and how to prevent disasters when something goes awry.

One inexperienced DJ mistakenly announced a special dance with the bride and her grandfather because he forgot to update his notes.  The entire family started crying because Grandpa had passed away two weeks earlier.

Are you willing to place the outcome of your wedding in the hands of someone who doesn’t “do” weddings for a living?

4.  Your guests won’t dance without an experienced entertainer who can read the crowd and keep the momentum going.

You have to play the right songs at the right time and in the right order to maintain dancing.  Oftentimes, the mood changes and your entertainer needs to change the program to maximize the dancing along the way.

If she can’t mix from one song to another, you’ll have gaps of “dead air” or awkward rhythms that will frustrate your guests and clear the floor.

Many couples think that providing an amateur with a set list of songs they love will be enough to make a fun wedding.  It’s not.  You need someone with experience to work with your requests and what your guests are responding to in order to avoid an empty dance floor.

One bride regrets hiring her DJ because he played “Unforgettable” five times during the wedding because he didn’t know any other slow songs.

Are you willing to sacrifice the fun at your wedding to save money on a cheaper DJ?

5.  The MC (the guy or girl on the microphone) has a huge impact on the mood and outcome of your party, for better or worse.

An obnoxious DJ with an abrasive voice will irritate your guests and dampen the mood of the entire party.  Professional DJs invest in vocal training and practice to optimize their performance.

I personally witnessed one DJ and embarrass everyone by making suggestive comments to the bride over the microphone.

Do you want just anyone acting as your wedding host or do you want a professional speaker you can trust?

6.  Your special events may not happen if you don’t hire a specialist who’s experienced in channeling the flow of events.

Who will direct your bridal party and guests at the ceremony?  Who’s going to line them up for introductions?  Who’s in charge of making sure the toasts, special dances and dedications go without a hitch?

Just having the equipment and knowing how to push play doesn’t guarantee the people wrangling skills you need for a fun, smooth reception.  In most cases, your entertainer is the one who makes sure your special events are executed as you’ve requested.

One inexperienced DJ forgot to bring the couple’s First Dance song; they were forced to dance to Barbra Streisand, who they can’t stand.

Will you risk leaving your special events to chance or do you want to ensure that everything is done according to plan?

7.  An amateur doesn’t have the experience to include your unique requests in a way that truly expresses your personality AND keeps people dancing.

You can’t make your guests dance to the songs you like if they don’t feel the same way.  Your DJ needs to read the crowd and have the experience to build sets of music around your preferences.

An amateur DJ can play the songs you request, but lacks the experience necessary to make it work.

One bride told us her DJ played the unedited version of Sexxy Back during dinner and had five minutes of dead air while he queued up the next song.

Do you want your guests on the dance floor all night or is it acceptable to have large chunks of time with no dancing?

8. An amateur DJ has inadequate or non-existent backup equipment, which means that if something fails you have no music at your wedding.

A fully functional backup system on the premises is essential to making sure you have music at your wedding no matter what.  Most amateur DJs won’t have a backup plan if a speaker blows or a laptop crashes.

We were approached at the end of one wedding by a DJ in the next room who asked if he could “borrow our speakers” because his were broken.

Are you willing to takes your chances without a backup on your wedding day?

9.  DJs who charge less invest less into their equipment, which means you have inferior sound and performance at your wedding.

A stereo system that sounds great in your living room doesn’t sound good in a spacious wedding venue.  Professional speakers and equipment are necessary for clear sound that has impact at low volumes, so your guests can speak at the tables even while the dance floor is thumping.

If you want your guests to actually hear your exchange of vows at the ceremony, you’ll need professional equipment and an onsite tech to make sure that happens.

One DJ showed up at a venue for the first time without ANY speakers or mixer because he’s been told that he could, “use the venue’s sound system” and he didn’t call ahead to verify.

Are sound issues like blasting music or impossible to understand audio acceptable on your wedding day?

If you’re not planning to have any formal events at your wedding, and you’d like a cocktail party more than a dance party, it may make sense to save money by hiring a non-professional.  But if you’re investing thousands of dollars on creating the perfect day, please don’t jeopardize it by hiring someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Your wedding day only happens once; make sure you hire a DJ who gets it right.

5 Reasons to Dance at Your Reception

I recently served as the DJ and Officiant for an amazing couple named Erica and Charlie. They invited their closest family and friends for an intimate wedding and reception for about 50 people. You might expect that a smaller guest list would result in a calmer, quieter reception.

Not hardly.:)

These people came ready to party! The dance floor stayed full for 3 hours and essentially turned into a dance club by the end of the evening.


Because Charlie and Erica danced.

It might sound surprising, but at your wedding reception, your guests will mimic your behavior. If the bride and groom are sedate and quiet, the guests will feel like they have to be. If the bride and groom are ready to celebrate and dance, then your guests will enthusiastically join in!

It turns out that dancing has even greater benefits. According to a study conducted by the University of Brighton, dancing makes you healthier and helps you live longer. So, not only should you dance at your wedding reception, but maybe going out to dance regularly is one of the healthiest choices you can make as a couple.

According to the study, here are 5 reasons to dance at your reception and as often as you can:

  1. You burn 300 calories per hour
  2. You increase your energy
  3. You lighten your mood
  4. You make your brain healthier
  5. You strengthen your social ties

So, as you plan your wedding reception with Elevation Live Entertainment, plan on dancing. Your guests will have a much better time, you and your new spouse will enjoy yourselves more, and you and your love might just live longer together!

Your Guide to Wedding Ceremony and Reception Lighting

Ask engaged couples what they think of wedding reception lighting, and you’ll get as many answers as there are couples, sometimes more. There is a wide range of opinions, and there is certainly no one way to provide lighting for a ceremony and reception.

When many couples think of wedding lighting, they think of a disco ball (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but ceremony and reception lighting can be so much more. If a disco ball is what you want, then let’s make it happen, but there are many kinds of wedding lighting that can add a whole new look and feel to your big day.

Please allow Elevation Live Entertainment to shed some (ahem) light on the controversial topic of wedding ceremony and reception lighting. With some help from The Knot, here are 5 kinds of ceremony and reception lighting styles that go with the overall vibe of your wedding. Of course, Elevation Live Entertainment can customize any of the following lighting styles to fit the feel of your big day:

Your Wedding Style: Classic
Many classic reception spaces are outfitted with gorgeous fixtures, like crystal chandeliers and wall sconces, that add elegant ambience to a space at no extra cost. If you’re looking to up the glitz, add silver candelabras to dining tables—they’ll give off a soft glow and serve as decoration. Keeping things more modern? Fill glass hurricanes with pillar candles for the same romantic effect. Consider adding a monogram to your dance floor with a gobo, or use a spotlight to show off a raw bar, an ice sculpture or a gorgeous cake. If you’re dining and dancing under the stars, twinkle lights are pure magic. And don’t forget to end the evening on a high note with a classic sparkler send-off, venue permitting.

Your Wedding Style: Rustic
Saying “I do” in a barn? Start with market lights. These globestyle strands add a bit of whimsy to outdoor spaces. They’re larger than twinkle or Christmas lights, so each bulb provides a generous amount of illumination while also creating a charming atmosphere. Line ceremony aisles or outdoor pathways with luminaries—the simple paper bags will make a big statement. If you’re going for a more eclectic look, opt for a unique chandelier treatment (think mason jars or Edison bulbs) or mix a few styles of lighting. Make an open space feel more intimate by designating spaces within the venue, like hanging a chandelier over the lounge area or creating a ceremony backdrop with suspended paper star lanterns.

Your Wedding Style: Romantic
Enhance your picturesque plantation home or castle with twinkle lights. Hang them vertically to create a ceremony backdrop, or drape them from a tent for a canopy or starry-sky effect. If you’re celebrating outdoors, consider suspending lanterns from trees, or use them to light pathways. (Mini lanterns could also make cute escort cards.) Chandeliers make any setting feel more intimate, while pink color-wash lighting will give your whole space a romantic, rose-colored glow. At the end of the evening, ask guests to send lanterns into the night sky with a wish for your future.

Your Wedding Style: Modern
Add a party vibe to an unfinished modern space (a gallery, a city loft) with color-wash lighting. Opt for hues that flatter skin tones, such as pinks and purples, and let them build in intensity over the course of the evening. Sleek, pre-lit tables, which literally glow from within, offer a warm but contemporary feel. Consider adding LED lights to floral arrangements for luminous stems that double as décor and mood lighting. Illuminate venue walls with a cool gobo pattern effect, or project tiny stars on the ceiling above the dance floor. A moving design or video projection of blooming florals or a bustling cityscape is another cool, techy option.

Your Wedding Style: Edgy
Planning to exchange vows in a converted warehouse or historic building? Play up your unique style with lighting that matches. Use uplighting to draw attention to architectural details or add a wash of color to the space. For table lighting, look to clusters of iron lanterns, which can double as illumination and centerpieces. Or incorporate an Edison bulb chandelier for a more retro look. Personalize your ceremony space with a custom marquee sign or strands of vertical market lights. Hosting an after-party? Have some fun with ’90s-style glow sticks, or ask your bartender to add LED cocktail stirrers into your signature sip for a festive nightcap.

Elevation Live Entertainment can customize any of these lighting styles to fit the overall feel of your big day. Contact Elevation Live Entertainment for more information today!


Courtesy of The Knot


There Are No Do-Overs at Your Wedding

With many things in life, you get a second chance. Unfortunately, your wedding is not one of those things. You only get one chance to make your big day everything you’ve always dreamed it could be.

Today, some couples choose a DIY reception and invite a friend to use an iPod and a rented sound system instead of hiring a professional wedding DJ. Because of the expense incurred in a wedding, it is understandable why this can be tempting. There are many ways to save money during a wedding and reception, but in my opinion, a low quality DJ/MC is not one of them.

You only get one chance to make your big day everything you’ve always dreamed it could be.

The truth is that your reception will take up the majority of your wedding night, and it will be the last thing your guests remember most about your wedding. A DJ/MC can make or break the biggest day of your life. Cutting costs here is simply not worth it.

Having a friend MC your wedding reception is fraught with peril, because a great event is more than equipment and music; great weddings are made possible by the talent that a qualified professional brings to the most important event of your life.  A professional DJ not only makes you and your guests comfortable but also guides and communicates with your other wedding vendors (caterer, photographer, officiant, coordinator, etc.) to keep the event smooth and stress-free.

A friend with an iPod can play music, but countless married couples could tell you that only an experienced and professional DJ/MC can provide customized planning and expertise, both before and during the wedding, and also serve as an organizer and event host.

A DJ/MC can make or break the biggest day of your life. Cutting costs here is simply not worth it.

More troubling, even some so-called professional DJs are not all that professional. A friend of mine recently got married in another state. After he got back from his honeymoon, he told me that his wedding DJ played the wrong recessional music at the end of the ceremony and then gave little guidance to the guests during the various parts of the reception. The guests were confused and annoyed, and his new bride held back tears when she expressed how angry and disappointed she was that all of her planning was overshadowed by the DJ’s incompetence.

On your wedding day, you shouldn’t have to think about anything but your love for each other, and a professional DJ/MC takes the stress off of you. You can rest assured that your wedding day will be amazing.

We are absolutely convinced that Elevation Live Entertainment is the best value for your money in the Valley. We serve as DJ/MCs for your wedding reception and are also available to officiate your wedding ceremony, if needed.

Click the link to learn more about the Wedding Packages Elevation Live Entertainment offers for every budget.

Why Choose an ADJA DJ?

A professional DJ who is a member of the ADJA (American Disc Jockey Association) can create for a smooth flow to your wedding ceremony and reception with no embarrassing surprises. A Professional DJ from the ADJA can provide you with confidence that your wedding day will be an event that you, your family, and guests will never forget, instead of one they would like to.

All American Disc Jockey Association DJs are committed to the following rules:

  • Operate my business in an ethically sound manner while maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct.
  • Abide by all laws and regulations governing my professional activities.
  • Use legal forms of music and performance materials in the conduct of my entertainment services.
  • Be honest and realistic in conveying my talent, abilities, and level of services to my clients.
  • Deliver products and services to my clients, as promised, to the best of my abilities.
  • Use a written contract clearly stating all charges, services, products, performance expectations and other essential information.
  • Provide a safe work environment with adequate protection for my clients and their guests.
  • Maintain adequate and appropriate insurance coverage for all business activities.