For those people who have never booked a DJ before and wonder why the fee is more than £200, here is just a small snapshot in the life of a full-time professional wedding DJ in Essex (i.e. me!)
- Friday morning (day before the wedding) – Crawl out of bed around 9am, straight into the office and spark up the PC even before my first cuppa. Trawl through the junk emails offering me all sorts of wonderful remedies, diets and million-dollar payouts, then begin answering some queries and offering quotes for prospective weddings in Essex and Kent.
- Pull up all the details of the wedding, such as First Dance, guests request lists and important names to remember, etc. Ensure music collection is fully updated with latest popular tunes, and fill in any holes in the collection that have been requested (Wig Wam Bam by The Sweet, anyone?)
- Friday afternoon – time to load the van in preparation for a fairly early start the next day. Bigger kit than usual….starball towers and uplighting onboard. Remembered to remove subwoofers as the venue is ‘blessed’ with a lovely sound limiter….
- Friday evening….rare night in, dinner and a movie…and to bed at a reasonable hour.
- Saturday morning – Up and dressed well before noon! Wow! Smart clothing ironed to a reasonable standard (for a bloke) and hung in the van. By midday, I’m on the road. Leaving behind my Essex DJ roots, I’m off to East London, and notably, Hackney Town Hall. Set-up is required early as the logistics of getting in and out with kit are a bit messy…as I find out when I arrive and have to wait 45 minutes just for a lift pass. Lots of grunting and sweating later, I have finally put in place the tools of the evening’s entertainment, including uplighting the function hall with rose pink lighting. With just 20 minutes before the happy couple enter for the Wedding Breakfast, I make myself scarce by heading off for lunch at one of the fine eateries on Mare Street…
- Whilst no-one is around, I manage to annex the disabled toilet on my return to the Town Hall so that I can get freshened up and changed for the wedding reception. Have you seen the room in those places?! I wish my bathroom was that big! Once spruced and smartened, I head for the main hall to begin the evening’s music at 7pm.
- Great crowd, lots of guests enjoying lots of beer, people even dancing to the warm-up set….this isn’t gonna be difficult tonight! And I was right. Bride and her friends had so many anthems that it was harder to get them off the dancefloor than onto it. Party swings all night, even though the hardcore who’ve remained until the end (12.30am) are very drunk or flat-out shattered from such a long day. Or both. I use my best powers of persuasion to form a final circle of guests around our bride and groom and after the kissing and drunken hugging is done, the music falls silent and the lights come up. The night is over…….for them.
- The excitement of hunting down a lift pass at 1.30am passes me by as I make about fifteen trips to the van, laden with kit. I don’t mind admitting I’m flagging now, and the memories of reliable roadies are a distant dream. I get behind the wheel of the van at 1.45am and head home, taking numerous wrong turnings on a route that I know quite well…
- 2.45am. Bed. Ahhhhhhhhhh.