10 Tips When Hiring a DJ for Your Wedding or Event

When hiring a DJ for your wedding or special event, be sure to do your homework.  Ask the right questions and check their references.  If you have the opportunity, attend a public performance or at least check out their video highlights.  Needless to say, the DJ can make, or break your special event, so choose wisely.  Here are some great tips to help you choose the right DJ for your next event.

1.  Planning:  A professional DJ will help plan your wedding or event.  From the timeline toDownload your free copy of the Ultimate Wedding Checklist now! music requests and all of the special moments in between.  Remember the old saying; “Failure to plan is a plan to fail“.  Small items are often overlooked and can cause serious problems later on. Lean on the expert advice of a professional DJ to ensure success.

2.  Experience:  Make sure that he or she is not a “newbie”.  You don’t want your event to  be a training session.  A seasoned professional will have the knowledge and foresight to overcome potential problems and deliver a  memorable performance.

3.  Appearance:  Does the DJ represent your style?  Does he or she match your event?  Appearance & personality are key components to successfully connecting with your guests.

4.  Availability:  In addition to booking the date, a good DJ should give you personalized attention.  Your DJ should be available for consultations and be easy to reach via email, phone, text, etc.

Elan, Jeremy, Amberlie5. Focus:   The focus of your event is you.  Your event is not just another stop on the DJ’s personal world tour.  A professional DJ knows that he or she is not the star of the show, but rather an enhancement to the overall success of the event.  The music should be tailored to you and your guests, not the DJ’s personal favorites.  Be careful, some DJ’s are limelight hogs.  The style, energy, volume and activities should all be customized to your wishes.

6.  Interaction:  A good DJ will know how to read and react to a crowd.  He or she will know when to play the right music to keep your guests dancing and to appropriately interact with your guests.   There is a science to “cooking up” the ideal social atmosphere and a professional DJ will know many different “recipes for fun”.

Jeremy-Microphone-BW-250px7.  Voice:  Make sure your DJ is good on the microphone when making announcements.  He or she should have a clear voice and be able to capture the attention of your guests.  Additionally, their personality should compliment yours.  After all, they are a representation of you during the event.

8.  Equipment:  Ask your DJ about their gear.  Most DJ’s will be eager to brag about the quality of their equipment.  You don’t need to understand all of the technical jargon, but pay attention to the level of passion as they describe their components.  Beware if they don’t seem too proud, it probably means that their gear is inadequate.  You deserve a reliable sound & lighting system for your event.

9.  Volume:  Make sure your DJ understands appropriate volume.  In addition to performing at a level that is comfortable for your guests, there are laws regarding noise.  In San Luis Obispo County the law prohibits noise disturbances between 10pm-7am.  The maximum noise level for short-term operation of mobile equipment is 85dbA at the property line (dbA is a measurement of sound pressure level).  A professional DJ should be aware of these laws and should be able to make suggestions for minimizing potential disturbances while maximizing sound effectiveness.

10.  Licensed & Insured:  Professional DJ companies are licensed and insured.  They will be happy to provide you with copies of their policy (Many venues require this now anyways).  Additionally, you might inquire about any other professional organizations that they belong to.  Memberships in reputable organizations are a good sign that you’ve found a real pro!

Hiring the right DJ can make all the difference.  It could be the single most important aspect in the overall success of your event… and you deserve to have a great celebration!

Wedding: Kristen & Patrick @ Santa Margarita Ranch

Slater_Richards_Patrick_Ang_Photography_06Slater225_lowWe love being a part of a Santa Margarita Ranch wedding!  Kristen and Patrick had a very romantic spring wedding at the Historic Santa Margarita Ranch in March.  When choosing to tie the knot in the spring, you never know what the weather will bring!!  Typically the ceremony takes place in the garden underneath the beautiful oak tree, but due to the first storm of the season here on the Central Coast, we had to move the ceremony inside the barn.  It turned out to be more beautiful than expected!

Thank you to Patrick of Patrick Ang Photography for the beautiful photos and check out this sweet video.

Kristen & Patrick SM Ranch

A great group of vendors were assembled for this unforgettable wedding, including:

DJ/MC-  Jeremy Ryan with By Request

Floral & Event Director-  Nina with By Request

Caterer- Gusto On the Go

Desserts- Just Baked

Photographer- Trent Buckle with Proimage Weddings

Videographer- Patrick with Patrick Ang Photography

Rentals-  Embellish Vintage Rentals

Bar Service- Cork

Wedding: Amy & Kyle

Amy & Kyle had a breathtaking wedding ceremony under the shade of a beautiful oak tree at the Taft Barn inChristine Sedley Photo-2105 Atascadero.  Surrounded by family, friends and their furry kid, everyone enjoyed the  perfect weather and the amazing barn.

Amy & Kyle are such a sweet couple!  We felt so comfortable with them from the first time we met!  They became instant friends.  We were thrilled to help create the music list, floral design and coordinate this incredibly fun wedding!!!

Christine Sedley Photo-2227

The Taft Barn is a gorgeous venue that has a lot to offer. Featuring a stage for entertainment, bar, billiards, horse-shoe pit and a photo booth backdrop surrounding a dance floor and reception area all inside the barn.  Not to mention, the bridge that makes for great pictures.  Thank you to Christine Sedley Photography for the wonderful shots.

* A special “shout out” goes to the Thrive family who helped make this a celebration to remember!!

Wedding: Kyle & Amy

Wedding : Hillary & Joseph @ Lago Giuseppe

Lago Giuseppe is a breathtaking location in Paso Robles. The quaint lake is surrounded by View More: http://asiacrosonphotography.pass.us/murrell-weddingbeautiful oak trees, making a gorgeous backdrop for Hillary & Joe’s romantic wedding.

As the sun set, the trees came alive with the magical mood-lighting we provided for the reception.  Hillary & Joe chose some very fun and unique details for their wedding.  Both are avid beer lovers, so we added fresh hops to the boys’ boutonnieres and “growlers” on the tables.  Succulents were added to the bridal bouquets and table centerpieces. Dessert was a donut buffet, followed by the cigar and scotch bar to top the evening off. View More: http://asiacrosonphotography.pass.us/murrell-wedding

Jeremy & I enjoyed working with these two in designing all of the beautiful floral details and great music to keep the dance floor packed… all night long!  Congrats to Hillary & Joe!!

A special thanks to Asia Croson Photography for all the wonderful pictures. Enjoy!

Wedding Hillary & Joe

Wedding: Kelsey & Andy

Kelsey & AndyIt was an incredible day with amazing weather for Kelsey & Andy in San Luis Obispo.  We provided the DJ, Lighting, Floral, Design and Coordination services for this wonderful couple. Kelsey & Andy were a pleasure to work with and their enthusiasm was contagious! The gourmet popcorn bar was a highlight for this popcorn-loving couple.

Reeves-00-278 (427x640)The La Cuesta Ranch set in the hills of San Luis Obispo was the location of this gorgeous wedding. As you can see, the mood-lighting looks absolutely incredible in the barn.  Thank you to Peer Johnson for some of these great shots! The food by Zest It Up was fantastic too!!

Wedding: Kelsey & Andy

Wedding: Evelyn & Tim @ Portola Inn

IMG_1927It was a gorgeous day for a wedding!  The Portola Inn in Atascadero was the location for this beautiful, Paris themed wedding in shades of peach, coral and light pink with accents of grey.  Evelyn and Tim were engaged in Paris and decided it would be the perfect style for their wedding day.  It was such a pleasure working with Evelyn to create the perfect bridal bouquet wrapped in hand dyed silk ribbon from France, her fiance’ Tim’s boutonniere and  floral centerpieces for the ceremony and reception.  Congratulations to the sweet couple!

Portola Inn Wedding

Evelyn & Tim October 2014

10 Thoughtful Ideas for Bridesmaids

It is a great honor to be a part of the wedding party.  It is also a responsibility to take seriously.  Have fun with it and get creative.  The Bride will be very thankful!  Here are some thoughtful ideas for all of you bridesmaids out there.

  1. Take responsibility for the welcome bag for the out-of-town guests.
  2. Have a girls night and help stuff envelopes with save the date cards and the wedding invitations.
  3. Offer to help assemble wedding favors.
  4.  If the rehearsal dinner is a casual affair, arrange the centerpieces for the table.
  5.  Help ward off the pre-wedding jitters by taking the bride out for a movie or a play.
  6.  At the wedding reception keep the bride’s drink filled. She will have a hard time getting to the bar.
  7. Offer to collect the cake topper, champagne flutes and other keepsake elements that have been used during the wedding.
  8. Have snacks and beverages waiting for the newlyweds when they check in to their hotel room.  More times than not the bride and groom don’t eat much at their own wedding.
  9. A honeymoon bag filled with sunscreen, Visine, toothbrushes, romantic items, etc.
  10. When the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, have their refrigerator stocked with food & drinks.

By: Nina Hamilton-Wilber

Wedding: Surprise Performance!

Elan, Jeremy, AmberlieOn September 5th, 2014 at the Santa Margarita Ranch in California, newlywed Elan surprised his bride Amberlie with an unexpected live performance of their favorite song. Elan is a lawyer by trade (with a rockstar soul). He secretly took guitar lessons and coordinated the entire performance. He even sent CD’s to all of the guests with instructions for participating in the surprise show. Needless to say, Amberlie was astonished. The marching band of drummers was the icing on the wedding cake!! It was an honor and a pleasure working with such a wonderful couple.  Enjoy the video and please be sure to read their nice comments below.  Cheers!!

Absolutely Phenomenal:  We went searching and interviewing for a local DJ on the central coast. We interviewed at least 7 different people and sat with them each for over an hour. We had our checklist handy: The DJ had to: 1) Have experience; 2) Be likable; 3)Be reasonably priced; 4) Seem genuinely interested in making our day special; and 5) they had to mesh with our personalities. I know this list sounds long, but truth is, we thought and now know, the DJ is one of if not THE most important vendor. Jeremy exceeded our expectations on every single check mark on our list. 1) This guy knows what he’s doing. From the equipment he recommended and used (everyone could hear everything perfectly)to his song order to keep the crowd entertained to his MCing – he was simply the best! 2) Jeremy was more than likable. We got quite a few comments about what a cool DJ we had. Who comments on that? Really, that’s how good he was. He wasn’t cheesy, he wasn’t into taking any spotlight, he was just the man behind the curtain and someone who you could easily see being friends with. 3) The price was right. We noticed that a ton of DJ’s had gimmicks – “get a free photo booth” – “get some extra lighting” – we heard it all. After meeting with all the DJ’s, we sat down and talked about all the side deals and extra – but ultimately none of it mattered to us. Not only was Jeremy the right price – he didn’t need any gimmicks – what was important to us, was that we got the Best DJ at the Best Price. And we were right when we picked him. 4) From the very start, Jeremy and his wife Nina said their job was to focus on “us” and to make things as special as possible. They met with us numerous times – even when it was last minute. They spoke to us over the phone, through email, and once even at 1 in the morning when we were having a difficult time picking a song to walk down the isle. They met up with me for a rehearsal performance (my surprise for the wife) and set up all their equipment and assisted in the actual performance itself! 5) Finally, and possibly most important – they meshed with our personalities. I cannot see them not meshing with anyone. They are both so relaxed, sweet, generous, thoughtful, and simply good people. To whomever is reading this, the DJ company “By Request” of Jeremy and Nina is phenomenal and HIGHLY recommend them for any event.  – Elan and Amberlie

Wedding: Alicia & Kevin

It was a beautiful day for a wedding in Nipomo, CA.  The Monarch Club is nestled in Nipomo’s eucalyptus tree forest on California’s Central Coast.  Famous for it’s seasonal visit from thousands of vibrant orange and black monarch butterflies, this beautiful setting features rich architecture and chic design.  Views of lush, green rolling hills of the Monarch Dunes Golf Course provided a breathtaking backdrop for this gorgeous wedding.  It was a pleasure working with Alicia to create a romantic & elegant floral design in colors of white, blush & plum.  Champagne ribbon rosette table runners accented with pearls, crystals and lots of candle light finished the tablescapes .  Congratulations Alicia & Kevin!  Such a sweet couple.

Alicia & Kevin

Grand Entrance: Charise & Jared

Here’s a custom Grand Entrance that we produced for Jared & Charise. This amazing couple wanted a big introduction like a movie-trailer for their wedding reception. As you can see, the Bridal Party had a blast with it and the guests were on their feet! The energy definitely set the mood for a fantastic celebration. Special moments like these are unique, priceless and memorable. Ask us about adding a custom Grand Entrance to your wedding celebration!