Mobile Disco Booking Guide
This guide to booking a mobile disco for your wedding has
been written by Richard (Mobile Disco Directory) and Ian Maddock
who is a full time professional DJ and Smart FM (Stoke on Trent)
Finding a Mobile
When you are looking at booking a DJ for your wedding,
do not make your decision based upon price. There are lots of DJ's
out there, especially in the yellow pages that will quote you under
£100. This may seem a bargain at the time but are likely to
be un-reliable and may not turn up at your wedding. A good quality
DJ will usually cost around £150 - £500 depending on
the size of your wedding reception venue and your location in the
UK. There are some important factors to consider and questions to
ask before you book. Hopefully this will give you all the advice
you need and ensure that you book with a reputable DJ company.
I strongly recommended that you book with a company that
has public liability insurance (PLI). This is important should anything
happen to you or your guests, such as a trip on a lead or a lighting
effect come loose and fall on someones head. If this was to happen
you need to be assured that the DJ has sufficient insurance against
such accidents. Even more so if you will have young children at
your reception. You can ask the DJ to send you a copy of his/her
insurance certificate to prove that they are insured. We also offer
a new service on the directory where you can see at a glance who
has cover. We do this by having the companies send us proof of cover.
I would also recommend that you ask the DJ if there
equipment is PAT tested. This is a annual electrical safety test
of all their equipment. This is not yet a lawful requirement but
is a good way of ensuring you are booking a DJ whose equipment will
have been checked by a qualified electrical professional. Yet again
you may ask for a copy of the certificate.
Booking & Contracts
When you do decide to book a DJ for your wedding,
I strongly advise that you get a signed contract from them. If you
get a contract, this will give you a legal guaruntee that they must
attend your wedding. Be sure to read the small print on any booking
form or contract and ask them what happens if they are taken ill
or have equipment failure on the night.
Be sure to get a receipt for any reservation fees or deposits they
require to confirm your booking. Some companies require full payment,
others let you pay in cash on the night. Either way ask for a receipt
for any money that you pay, this gives you proof of payment.
Ensure you have sufficent contact details for the DJ. A mobile phone
number is not adequate. Insist that you have a full postal address
and a landline if possible. I would not recommend paying any money
until you have these details.
Music & Play
Ask the DJ what kinds of music they carry with them.
These days all good DJ's will carry a wide and varied selection
of music. If you are after a paticular kind of music, ask them what
they have in that genre. Most DJ's these days will accept play lists,
where you can specify what tracks to play and what not to play.
These are a good idea and usually helps the DJ in knowing what your
musical taste is. I recommend having a playlist for 60% of the evening
with the DJ filling in the rest. This gives the DJ the chance to
keep the dancefloor busy should they need to change the music slightly
to please all your guests.
Check to see that the DJ has your chosen first and if any, last
dance. With the resources available these days to purchase music,
this should not be a problem.
You could always bring your own CD's along if the DJ is short of
a few specialist tracks.
Ask the DJ what equipment they use, such as lighting
and sound equipment. This will give you a good idea of the kind
of show that they will be using. I recommend jotting the names down
and looking them up on the Internet. Another good way of seeing
the kind of show they have is to ask if they have a website with
pictures of them working. Another important factor is whether or
not the venue allows some of their equipment such as fog or haze
machines. You may also request that they do not use smoke machines
if you have any guests that will not like this.
Remember, ask your DJ what they will be wearing on the evening.
Ripped jeans and an old T-shirt may not be what you are looking
for so ask them if they will be dressed accordingly. Most DJ's will
wear a shirt and tie or a suit.
Hotel & Venue
Don't rely solely on the recommendation of venue
managers. Venues are businesses and in most cases will recommend
their "in-house" disco because they are probably the cheapest
they could find in order to make a mark up. If you do decide to
book an "in-house" disco insist that you are given the
telephone number of their disco company so you can check them out.
However, some hotels do recommend high class discos - But insist
you make the booking yourself, by doing so you almost guarantee
you'll not pay the venue mark-up.
It can be of great benefit & is important to build up a working
relationship & work on a 1 to 1 basis with your chosen DJ from
the moment your event is planned to the moment it is completed.
Not only will your DJ be responsible for ensuring you have a good
night to remember your special day but your disco host should be
experienced in many kinds of ceremony & can really help bring
the night together. Your DJ will of course be the one who has or
should have the most of the experience as although it may be your
1st wedding it could be the DJ’s 100th, so to speak. It is
his job after all & has to consider all those special moments
on your evening wedding reception, such as the bride & grooms
1st dance & of course those special moments like the bride having
a dance with her father & other things like getting the guests
to stand in a circle so everyone in the room gets a good photo or
a lasting memory of that 1st dance as man & wife or when cutting
the cake if that is done later in the evening.
Another thing you may want to do is ask the DJ
if he will allow you to pause the show & use the microphone
to say a few words of thanks or issue presentations of gifts to
family members or important people who have made your day come together
or if you wish your DJ should be happy to pass the microphone over
to one of the key guests or even yourself. The best thing you can
do is try to make a schedule of your day as well as your evening
reception, inform your show host in what you want to do & how
you plan the reception night to turn out & together you can
bounce ideas of each other out so that on the day you can relax
in comfort & leave the hard work to someone else so you &
your guests can savour those moments & memories for a long time.
Like has been quoted before in this section previously,
do not book a DJ simply on the basis he is low priced. It has been
quoted many times, a good DJ is the one thing that can make or break
your night. When arranging a wedding or similar event the DJ is
usually the cheapest thing you will need to hire – the wedding
cake will probably cost a lot more than what your DJ will quote
- yet hiring the right person will probably turn out to be the most
important decision you make for the day. Don't make the wrong choice
as you may well regret it & everyone who comes along will probably
not remember your party for the right reasons. If you hire a poor
quality DJ or if you find one that goes out for really cheap rate's
it may be worth remembering that they may not be covered for insurance,
use basic or inferior sound equipment, not carry the right music,
not be registered by the taxman.. Etc. so your night could cost
you a lot more in the long run & your night of fun could be
quite the opposite. A poor DJ also only tend to play the music they
like themselves & not what gets a dance floor going. Also, chances
are they won't carry the music you need to get any atmosphere going.
I myself through doing work in the entertainment
industry, as well as doing mobile roadshow & other similar entertainment
have built up a rapport with some other wedding specialists &
people who are trained & have experience in working with wedding
crowds or wedding features. A lot of well established DJ's or entertainers
will probably know many of the people whose services may also have
been hired at weddings. Also exhibiting at various wedding fayres
I have got to know a few caterers, photographers & even believe
it or not hair stylists & balloon modellers. The point I am
getting at is that if you talk to your chosen photographer, video
bloke, limo hire, caterer or whoever they will probably be in the
same position. With this in mind they may well be able to help you
fill the gaps & help complete the rest of your needs & usually
they recommend people they would recommend themselves & know
are reliable & worth hiring. This could save you hours of trudging
through directories & asking for references.
Also remember DJ's have worked in numerous venue's
& may well even be able to recommend a suitable venue to hold
the reception & also that a lot of DJ's have worked alongside
bands or artists & got to know them, so it may not hurt to ask
if your DJ can help fill in the gaps. Asking some of the people
you have already hired may just save you trudging around the phone
books for weeks on end or it may even save you money and if they
are recommended from a good source the chances are they will know
who can do the job best.
By following the above advice will ensure that
you employ a professional DJ for your wedding. Good luck.