Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Orange County Thumbtack DJ- Buyer Beware!

Thinking of hiring a disc jockey from Thumbtack, Craigslist or Wedding Wire for your wedding or special event? Many of the DJs that get their work through competing to be the “lowest cost provider” may be untrained, unprofessional and inexperienced.

Over the last 6 years, 269 complaints have been filed against Thumbtack with the Better Business Bureau.


The internet landscape has changed. If you Google to find a local Pro, chances are your results will include national companies that have edged out local special event providers. These companies often represent low budget DJs with ultra cheap rates. The promise of a low price and increased competition has a dark side.

In this video, the DJ gets drunk, the music stops and guests try to help. Then the real trouble starts. I can’t say for sure that this guy was hired from a national corporate DJ booking agency but I guarantee you he was not a highly touted referral from a reputable wedding pro or from the event facility. He probably charged way less than others and that’s how he got the job. The bride and groom thought they were getting a great deal but in the end their wedding was ruined. This could have been avoided.

Warning #1. The ugly, cheapo lighting hung on the tripod at the beginning of the video. This is ok for a kids party or a frat house bash but not for a wedding. Ideally, lighting should be placed unobtrusively down low, ceiling mounted or pole mounted with black or white wrap to make it look nice. Tripods have a large footprint and are a tripping hazard. My advice, “Just Say NO” to the Tijuana Disco Look! This why I recommend SEEING the DJs sound rig and lighting as part of the evaluation process.

This DJ got wasted, argued and fought with guests and eventually got arrested for assaulting a police officer. Odds are this isn’t the first event he’s drank too much at. A bit of research (Yelp! anyone?) would have probably unveiled this prior to the decision on hiring him. Did anyone ask for his referrals prior to hiring him? Was he ever asked if he drinks while performing?

There are LOTS of wannabe DJs that buy some equipment, then drop a Craigslist ad or start advertising on Thumbtack, Wedding Wire, GigMasters, Decidio or other large event service platform. These DJs charge incredibly low prices and are just happy to get a paying gig. 

One disgruntled Thumbtack user said, "I hired a DJ through Thumbtack and I was extremely disappointed. He didn’t do any of the things we asked of him during our event. We even requested to meet with him the week before, gave him a written outline of the events, announcements etc and he still did not do it. I would have been better off running the event myself with music from my iphone."

"Anyone with an email address and a computer can open a Thumbtack account."


Many clients don’t realize that their party is actually part of this disc jockey’s internship and on-the-job training. The DJ is at the start of a long learning curve and may be proficient someday, after enough events and experience. At which point they will no longer charge a rock bottom price and will start getting word of mouth referrals if they are skilled. People who hire them before that may be disappointed. They may not get drunk and arrested but their performance may be substandard and amateur.

Your special event is only going to happen once. Get a good DJ!

Orange County Thumbtack DJ Disc Jockey

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Seal Beach Wedding DJ and Lighting

Recent wedding in Seal Beach, CA for which we provided DJ and Lighting. Each table was individually pinspotted as well as the cake and head table. LED Uplighting surrounded the venue on each wall. Custom gobo projected on dance floor.

Here's to another great beginning!

The Wedding DJ

Friday, April 17, 2015

Orange County Wedding DJ Rocks Fullerton!

Jennifer and Cameron celebrated their Spring 2015 nuptials at the upscale Summit House in Fullerton. Grand Entrance was made to the now Old School, “Whoomp There It Is!” to the delight of the guests as the wedding party danced their way in.

After The First Dance (“Making Memories Of Us”- Keith Urban), a few toasts and dinner, guests danced the night away to a variety of songs including “We Are Family”, “Suavemente” and “Rock Lobster”. Special thanks to Carmen Kaiser and her wonderful staff for making this event special.

For the coral colored uplighting we used battery powered, wireless, flat LEDs with RGBA diodes. The wedding cake was beautifully lit with two battery powered LED pin spots, dance floor gobo was also an LED projector. Two sound active Tri-phase units provided dance floor lighting.

Our sound system was JBL 715 speakers, Crown amp, Traktor software and Pioneer CD/MP3 player, Denon mixer.

Here’s to another great beginning!

The Wedding DJ

Monday, March 2, 2015

The DJ Test: Listen!

This post is on performing a very simple test anyone can do to make sure they hire the right Disc Jockey. Many people struggle with hiring a DJ because it’s not something they have experience in. Some hire based on a recommendation or a brief meeting. 

Imagine it’s now less than week before your wedding or big event. You’ve spent a year planning every detail, down to the seating arrangements and choosing the perfect font your invitations. Suddenly it occurs to you that you have no idea what your DJs system looks or even sounds like! 

Will it be a tangle of ugly wires supported by milk crates blasting the kind of sound usually heard over the Walmart intercom? Will the bass be overwhelming, making it impossible to talk and blocking the ability for your guests to think? Will the DJ have incorporated some kind of cheesy lighting to try and cover the unsightliness of his rig?

Thankfully, there is a simple way to evaluate your prospective DJ before you fork over hundreds of dollars as a non-refundable deposit. Forget checking for a business license (anyone can get one), or endorsement by some far removed, "official" DJ association. Send them their required fee and they will endorse you too.

Whether your entertainer is recognized on paper or not, how his or her system SOUNDS is critical. Most DJs are not experts in the technical realm of sound specifications. They may not even know what “signal to noise ratio”, “total harmonic distortion” or “frequency response" is. The good news is, you don’t have to be either!

For many DJs the quality of their sound system is dictated by how much they can afford to spend. The resulting sound may turn out to be shrill (too many highs), unclear or "muddy" and even distorted. This is where your ears and eyes come in. Ask for a LIVE AUDITION so you can gage for yourself how the DJ’s equipment sounds and looks. If your DJ is not willing to "audition" for you, it may be because he is embarrassed by the look or audio quality of his rig. This may be a red flag.

Have the DJ play a song you know. One that that incorporates bass, drums, keyboards and vocals so you get a full range of sounds. Dance songs are usually good. Ask the DJ to turn it up for a moment. Now close your eyes and listen.

You don’t have to be an acoustic expert to know if you like it. Is it full and warm or hollow and “tinny”. Does it sound like an AM radio or more like what you might hear in a movie theatre? Is the base “punchy” but not overwhelming, allowing room for the mids and highs? Are the highs too brassy, making dogs howl and ears bleed? Are the mid-range (vocals) present enough? Is the overall sound flat or is there “depth”?

Remember, this is what you and your guests will be hearing all night long!

Of the top 20 cinema chains in the USA, 75% use JBL sound!

While the sound can be enhanced by the use of equalizers and sonic enhancers, the right speakers are key. Whether it’s JBL, Yamaha, Mackie or others, speakers have their own sound characteristics. And off-brand, budget speakers are often lacking in sound quality. Ask the DJ why he chose the speakers he uses. Often great sounding, name brand speakers are not much more expensive than low-end, budget cabinets. If the DJ is scrimping here to save a couple of bucks, what else is is he cutting corners on?

If there is too much “hiss”- brass or cymbal sounds (highs) or too much bottom end (bass), ask if the DJ can adjust it. The MIDRANGE is where the melody is- warm and full vocals, keyboards and guitar with the highs and lows serving as complimentary bookends.

Now go find the sound YOU like. You’re already an expert as you’ve been listening all your life. Do a little EARWORK and you will feel confident as your event approaches, knowing your guests will experience complete sonic satisfaction!

The Wedding DJ

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Night Under The Stars For Cassidi And Tommy

Former childhood sweethearts, Cassidi and Tommy, chose a private park in San Clemente for their amazing Summer 2014 wedding.

At the ceremony, The Wedding DJ supplied a Shure wireless lapel mic so that all 140 of their guests could hear the vows clearly over the nearby ocean waves. 

After the introduction of the wedding party and the newlyweds, we announced each of our six toast givers and provided them our wireless handheld mic. Even though they were over 100 feet away, our mic performed flawlessly!

Grand Entrance: “Born On The Bayou”- CCR

Once the meal was finished we had all guests gather around the dance floor for The First Dance, Father/Daughter and Mother/Son.

First Dance: “Give In To Me”- Leighton Meesters

With a bit of encouragement, lots of open dancing by the guests followed. Party songs included “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, “Mustand Sally” by The Commitments and “Low” by Flo Rida

We ended the night with one of the Bride’s requests, the romantic “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.

As usual, our JBL cinema quality speakers and digital sound system provided crystal clear sound!

Here’s to another great beginning!

The Wedding DJ

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wedding Splurges- Lighting

Wireless Battery Powered LED Uplight
According to a recent article on “wedding splurges” in the Huffington Post, lighting can have a huge impact on the look of your reception. “As guests arrive to the reception, lighting gives them the wow factor," says Jennifer Taylor of Taylor'd Events by Jennifer. 

Lighting can be used to both emphasize key elements, like a cake table or chocolate fountain, as well as draw the eye AWAY from parts of the room that may not be so appealing. “So many ballrooms have terrible carpeting — by using uplights around the room, you draw the eye up and guests will barely even notice it. And by pinspotting your flowers, they shine brilliantly and make a bigger statement then they would without lighting.” -All You Need is Love Events. The article also stresses the use of intelligent lighting to transform the mood of the party.


MSN Living also emphasizes highlighting your favorite details (such as the incredible centerpieces or your cake table) or using colored lights to punch up a drab hallway. Ordering a custom-made gobo light of your monogram, or project a design from your invitation over the dance floor is a great way to tie the room together.


Click here to see the latest in Wireless Battery Powered Uplight rentals.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sierra and Robert FALL In Love!

Sierra and Robert chose Huntington Beach for their Fall 2013 ceremony and reception. 
For the outside ceremony we provided a dedicated sound system and wireless mic. The romantic Theme From Joe Black ("Whisper Of A Thrill") played as the wedding party appeared. Sierra chose The The O'Neill Brothers beautiful version of "Here Comes The Bride" for her walk.

Inside the reception room, we accented Sierra's Autumn colors with amber uplighting and had our JBL premium sound system in place. After a high energy entrance, toasts and a wonderful meal, "The Very Thought Of You" by Albert King initiated the first dance by the newlyweds.

Other party favorites included Santana, The Beatles  and "Feel This Moment" by Christina Aguilera.

The Wedding DJ sends special thanks to Rev. Bruce Danzara and the staff at Old Ranch Country Club.

Here's To Another Great Beginning!

The Wedding DJ

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Curse Of The Cheap DJ

If there's one thing that angers me, it's members of my own profession acting unethically, sullying the reputation of the Mobile DJ as flakey and undependable. Case in point, the enclosed message I got today from another DJ (let's call him DJ Flake) seeking someone to cover a wedding reception that is just SIX days from now. 

DJ Flake is offering to pay 300.00 for six hours of coverage for a wedding at which he promised to perform. This is an amount that no Pro DJ I know of would accept for such a gig. This leaves only the desperate, the untrained or the foolish available to perform for this event. So I doubt the Bride is going to be happy with DJ Flake's replacement. She is probably already stressed that DJ Flake cancelled on her at the last minute and is sending a yet unknown back up. 

I wish I could say this is an isolated incident but I've seen this movie countless times. DJ Flake gives no reason why he can't perform for the soon to be wedded couple and their guests. My money is on DJ Flake booking a much more lucrative gig that day. This happens more often than I'd like to admit *. An unethical DJ will offer a low price just to get something on the calendar. Then when a better offer comes along, he will take it and farm out the first gig to another DJ. Possibly someone he doesn't even know though he admittedly, "promised the client I would get them a good DJ". When DJ Flake's replacement does show up he is likely to be inexperienced, have low end equipment and be an unpolished Emcee.

And this is the risk people take when they hire a cheapo DJ for their wedding or other important occasion. My instincts tell me DJ Flake is getting more than 300.00 but is taking his cut. Plus, he'll probably be DJing that day for someone willing to pay him more than the first client.

I think this bride is now wishing she had spent a bit more on her DJ and gotten a professional who takes pride in his livelihood. And this is why DJs should charge what they are worth in the first place. It's unfortunate that there are unscrupulous people in all professions. You would probably be suspicious of a discount brain surgeon or a car dealer advertising a "cream puff" Mercedes Benz for just 500.00. Use the same discrimination when hiring your DJ and have a worry free celebration! 

* Online ad services like Thumbtack.com, Craigslist and Gigmasters may be havens for this kind of activity.

The Wedding DJ

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Father Daughter Dance Songs

This soon could be the new GO TO Father Daughter Dance song for weddings in 2013 and beyond!

Tear Jerk Alert!!!
"Daddy Dance With Me" by Krystal Keith    

Download it free here: http://specials.people.com/countryplaylist/


I know what you see when you look at me
As we walk down the aisle
Little pink tutu, bows and tennis shoes
In the wide eyes of your child
Those are all the memories you will cherish and you'll carry
No matter how much time has come and gone

Daddy dance with me
I want you to see the woman I've become.
Daddy don't let go
I want you to know I'll always need your love.
Today I became his wife
But I'll be your baby girl for life.

Don't know what to do when I look at you
Words can't say enough
What you've done for me
You gave me what I need
You were tender, you were tough
Cause the world you built around me is the strength that will surround me
And protect me now that I am on my own

Daddy dance with me
I want you to see the woman I've become.
Daddy don't let go
I want you to know I'll always need your love.
Today I became his wife
But I'll be your baby girl

You game me faith, you gave me life
You trusted me to live it right
And now you give your blessing on his love and mine.

Daddy dance with me
I want you to know I'll always need your love.
Today I became his wife
But I'll be your baby girl for life.

See more unique Unique Father/Daughter, Mother Son/Songs here: http://djcraig.net/fatherdaughter.html

The Wedding DJ

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wedding DJ In Newport Beach

Kathy and Alex chose the Hyatt Newport Beach for their Summer 2013 ceremony and reception. DJ Craig provided sound for both along with uplighting, table pinspots, dance floor lighting and video projection.

The wedding party danced their way across the floor as they were introduced. "Levels" by Avici filled the room as the Newlyweds made their grand entrance. We then segued into their first dance, "Marry Me" by Train .

When dinner was finished, the party began. DJ Craig invited the guests out to the dance floor for traditional Greek dancing as well as a mix of Top 40. Party favorites included "This Is How We Do It"-    Montell Jordan, "Jump On It"-    Sir Mix-A-Lot and the Guilty Pleasure of "Ice Ice Baby"-    Vanilla Ice!


Here's to another great beginning!

The Wedding DJ