DJ #Fail

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Unfortunately, I find myself revisiting topic of hiring professionals. In what is indisputably the craziest wedding DJ disaster (aka DJ #Fail) I have ever experienced, I must tell you about “DJ C”.

(Names and places are not important, the point of the post is: this really happened!)

“DJ C” started out with a fair amount of promise. I learned that he was hired by the Father of the Bride on a recommendation. On the wedding day, “DJ C” arrived on time, nicely dressed, with decent equipment. So far, so good.

Unbeknownst to us, the dj/mc started drinking before the guests even entered the dinner reception. He must have gotten a beer (or two) from the cash bar at the cocktail reception. By the time we were ready to introduce the wedding party into the reception, we began to sense that the “DJ C” was a little ‘off’. Only a short while later the bartender came to us and mentioned that the dj/mc had already purchased four drinks. We had no choice – “DJ C” was cut-off immediately – and we were only an hour or so into the reception! Drunk DJ

*I must stop momentarily to point out that I do not condone vendors drinking, nor do the establishments I work with. However, when we are dealing with a vendor we have never met before, we are typically not aware of their relationship with the client (friend, co-worker, etc.) – so we keep a watchful eye on them.

“DJ C” continued to act oddly, and in my opinion obnoxiously; the music was a bit too loud and I was incredibly annoyed that he kept repeating his own name (“I’m DJ C…!“), but we focused on managing the flow of the reception and keeping everything on track. We made it through parent dances and cake cutting, then said our farewells for the evening. All the formalities were complete, and the guests were dancing up a storm – exit the coordinators.

The next day:

Apparently, a few wedding guests* were buying and slipping the DJ/mc drinks and he got more intoxicated. Mother of the Bride told us how “DJ C” with microphone in hand, announced a special message to the groom: “Congratulations on marrying a nice piece of ass!” Further… three wedding guests* were actually friends of the DJ (aka crashers) – they flew under the radar due to open seating, and everyone just assumed they were invited by the other family. Last but not least, he kept trying to end the reception early.

So… to recap: DJ/mc came by way of a recommendation (not from a preferred vendor list offered by venue or coordinators), drank continuously during his shift (a no-no), brought his posse (who does that?), acted unprofessionally and made inappropriate comments, and tried to shortchange his clients by ending their evening early.

How much for a DJ?

This story gives me an opportunity to share a very informative article with you:

In the article “How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?“, author Stacy Tamaki shares timeless tips on selecting a quality DJ/mc.
She also lists a number of mis-steps, including  a few I have witnessed over the years,  such as:  incorrectly pronouncing the bride or groom’s name during the introductions, dressing or acting inappropriately, hitting on guests, drinking on the job, using inappropriate language or using inappropriate humor.

Continue reading weditorial for universal tips on hiring qualified professionals and planning a sensational, emotional and unforgettable wedding!

About The Author


Planner | Designer | Speaker I've been planning for as long as I can remember! When I was younger, I planned birthday parties for my siblings and surprise anniversary parties for my parents. I spent many years in the Hospitality industry and also studied Interior Design. I couldn’t have guessed that my creative and organizational talents would lead me to a career in event planning...seriously! "To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?" - Katherine Graham

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  1. 1

    I wish I could say that this is the first time I have heard about a DJ drinking on the job but it isn’t. I am offered drinks all the time at weddings, sometimes even by the bride and groom themselves. I politely decline and let them know that I do not drink while I’m working (just as I’m sure that they don’t drink when they are working).

    As to the wedding crashers, that is a first.

    When searching for a PROFESSIONAL wedding disc jockey, there are certain things to look for.
    -how many weddings have they done and how many years have they been a DJ
    -are they insured (many venues are now requiring this),
    -do they have their business license,
    -how were they trained (big one, anyone can buy gear and illegally download music)
    -will they provide a written contract,
    -do they belong to a professional DJ association,
    -will they work with and show respect to the other wedding professionals

    This list will not ensure they won’t get some hack, but it does go a long way in preventing a story like in this blog.