Periodically, Real Detroit Bride's Guide likes to profile local businesses for you to find out more about them, and to give you a professional's opinion on the state of the wedding industry in the Detroit/Metro area. This time I talk with owner (and active DJ) John DeVergilio of JD Entertainment DJ & Video.
Bride's Guide: Tell us a little bit about your company.
JD: We offer DJ, Video shooting & editing, invitations, party favors, & supplies. We currently have a total of 8 DJs. We book no more than 6 on a given day so we are able to have at least 2 DJs available for backup. Each of the DJs has 5 or more years of experience and has performed at over 500 events. We allow you to meet the DJ (available for your date) before you book. We give a live personalized audition right in our studio and get to know each of our clients’ needs & personality as far as musical tastes, lighting, sound, etc.
Bride's Guide: In your opinion, what constitutes a "good DJ"?
JD: A good DJ enjoys what he/she is doing and gets his/her gratification out of seeing the audience enjoying themselves. So really caring about what you’re doing and who you are working for. A good DJ accepts that a majority of “the success of the evening” is in their hands and should take an assertive approach to the completion of that goal (even if it requires stepping out of their job description). Surely there has to be some skill involved as well. The main areas of skill should be Music Programming/reading the crowd as well as announcements/voice projection.
Music Programming and Reading the Crowd: All DJs are not created equal. It takes a special personality and love for music to be able to read and anticipate what music people are going to respond to. Playing for the crowd is different from event to event so being receptive to the surroundings and taking an interest in the audience plays a huge role in the level of the energy throughout the night. Programming the order of the songs and how you transition from one song to the next really makes a difference as well. “Dead air” in between songs or a change in volume or beat almost always kills the dance floor. An experienced DJ knows how to transition from song to song with a resulting increase in energy throughout the evening and should be able to explain how he/she does this.
Announcements & Voice Projection: Announcements are a huge part of any event and the audience should always know what is going on. The DJ should be able to project his/her voice just enough to command attention and get their point across without sounding too aggressive or timid. Obviously proper speech and articulation of words affects the tone of the evening and the respect of the crowd. Basically, if you are hiring a DJ you should be comfortable with them representing you as a person.
Bride's Guide: What should a bride look for when choosing a DJ for her wedding?
JD: Years of experience in the wedding field make a big difference. After 20 years of DJing and performing at over a thousand events, there are still things I can learn. There are similarities from wedding to wedding but the differences are the people and a lot times being able to “think on your feet” is what keeps the night moving along smoothly. Backup equipment, backup DJs, liability insurance, and up to date edited music are all important ingredients in finding a professional DJ as well.
Bride's Guide: What are some common mistakes brides make when first looking to hire a DJ?
JD: Email has become an easy and fast way to communicate. We get a lot of emails that ask about price and price only. It’s really hard to know what is included in the price without speaking to a representative. When you are hiring a DJ you are hiring a person as opposed to a product. Because the DJ is such an important part of the event, you should be comfortable with the person who will potentially be representing you and your family. Just with any purchase, a lower price always looks more attractive but in turn requires a lot more investigation work.
Bride's Guide: With the bad economic conditions in Michigan, any tips or advice to brides looking to save a buck?
JD: We have tried to become a lot more cost effective and as a result lower our prices across the board. I would suggest to brides who are trying to save a buck to not be afraid to ask for a deal. There are a lot of companies negotiating price more and more. Friday and Sunday events are usually more cost effective and are becoming more and more prominent.
Bride's Guide: Any "red flags" that a bride should be aware of when looking at different DJs?
JD: Go with your instinct. There is a lot riding on the DJ’s shoulders and they not only set the tone of the evening but they are also there for keeping the guests interested and entertained. If you don’t feel like the DJ you are considering is going to take an interest in your needs or may not have the experience, you are probably right. Get to know who you may be hiring.
Bride's Guide: With the emergence of ipods, Twitter & Facebook, how has your business changed and how can a bride utilize these technologies?
JD: We have been able to communicate with a great network of people through our [Facebook] fan page and update it on a weekly basis. If a bride or groom is researching our company we give them links to our updates and let them witness our experience and success as it’s happening from week to week.
Bride's Guide: Lastly, what is the most rewarding part of your job?
JD: We’ve met a lot of great people over the years. The most rewarding part of the job is witnessing a bride and groom at the end of the night with their friends and family piled around them on the dance floor. The smiles and the laughter make all the hard work worthwhile.
For more info on JD Entertainment:
JD Entertainment DJ & Video
38763 Byriver St
Clinton Township MI 48036
(586) 468-9560 Office
(586) 468-9640 Fax
Want to be spotlighted or know of a vendor that should be? Contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.cvideosolutions.com
Tom Santilli has been in the Detroit wedding industry since 2002, and in that time has established himself as one of the top in his field. His company, Complete Video Solutions , was named as the #1 Best Wedding Videographer in Detroit by local brides and Channel 4 FIVE consecutive years and is currently inducted into TheKnot.com's "Vendor Hall of Fame." He also has won several awards for his wedding production, and is a member of WEVA (Wedding & Event Videographers Association.) As the Detroit Wedding Examiner, he has helped hundreds of brides with their weddings, with a local knowledge not found anywhere else. Being in the industry for so long, he is an expert in all areas of wedding planning, not just videography. He welcomes your questions, article suggestions, or feedback, and he can be reached