I am very fortunate to be a successful mobile DJ amongst a large group of similar-minded professional colleagues. We often swap tales and amusing anecdotes from behind the decks and generally chat about the industry as a whole. And one subject rears its head time and time again….the subject of Hotel Resident DJs. Some of our group defend the idea of booking the hotel’s recommended service and some of them question their quality and commitment to each function.

I have been (and currently help out) with a couple of hotels as one of their resident team. In fact, I am sub-contracted in by a good friend and colleague who manages the DJ needs for the hotels in question. We always provide a very good service, above and way beyond most others we’ve seen despite the relatively low fee paid to host and DJ their wedding receptions. All of the contact beforehand with the bride and groom is dealt with in a couple of emails. No extra services are offered as this doesn’t fall into line with the ‘package price’ charged by the hotel. At no point do we meet the happy couple until the wedding day itself. So….we turn up on the night, plug in and play, then go home.

Of course there are advantages to this way of booking your DJ:

  • They come recommended by the venue
  • They are almost always the cheapest option (our small poll concluded that the majority of venues pay £250 or less to their resident DJs)
  • It’s all included in one package deal invoice…less for the bride and groom to worry about.


I see things differently….

When I arrive as a ‘resident’ DJ, I feel no connection at all with the happy couple, as we haven’t spoken directly or discussed any of their plans in great detail. Conversely, they don’t know me. We haven’t chatted about their favourite genres and styles, all I have is perhaps a one-page emailed listing of songs. There’s been no discussion about how they’d like to start and end the evening reception…whether they would like confetti cannons during the First Dance…whether perhaps they require an earlier ending than the hotel’s licensing times…no detail whatsoever. It definitely makes our job as the DJ/host a great deal more ‘detached’ and uninvolved than if we’d set up meetings with the couple and/or spoken at length about the festivities.

And finally, a little evidence of the poor quality offered by one local hotel’s resident DJ earlier this year….I was hosting a wedding reception in the adjacent function suite when the ‘DJ’ next door came rushing in, panic in his voice….”Have you got Endless Love by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie?” I told him I had, after all it is still a hugely popular love song…”Can I get a copy please?” He shoved a USB stick into my hand and wandered off. Unluckily for him, the stick was incompatible with my much-newer technology so when he returned to collect it (a full 45 minutes later), I gave him the bad news. “Oh no! But it’s their First Dance.” I replied, “Surely you agreed that simple thing with them beforehand?” He looked at me blankly, and still with mild panic in his eyes, said, “Can you burn it to a CD then?” To shorten this ridiculous adventure in unprofessionalism, he then spent an hour locating a blank CD for me, which I kindly burned for him. And the time he got to finally play his bride and groom their First Dance…9.45pm.

If you don’t want to take a huge gamble on the quality of your Wedding Day DJ, please please please shop around before accepting the hotel’s resident!!



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