A note about speakers and equipment
It does not require a massive sound system to fill a reception hall with clean, clear sound. Today's modern sound systems can produce effective volume levels with smaller speakers and amplifiers.
At Jock In A Box we believe less is more; the talent and experience of the DJ is more important than the equipment and lights. A bad DJ is a bad DJ, no matter what brand of equipment they use.
Our sound systems are sized according to the job-not our egos! If you have any questions about equipment or lights please ask.
Disc Jockeys can bring hundreds or thousands of songs with them, and all are playable at a moment's notice. HOWEVER- Beware of the DJ with "ten thousand titles" to choose from; in four hours you can only play an average of 75 songs! It is imperative that the DJ keep the party interesting by featuring popular tunes. Your party is not the place to experiment with bizarre requests!
All Disc Jockeys are the same in some ways, but very different in others. Some play in the background, quietly watching the crowd and responding to what the crowd seems to like; some prefer to make things happen, by starting up conga lines, playing the Hokey Pokey, and so forth. Often, the power of the microphone will make a DJ feel that he or she must decide how to run things, which is great if the DJ is using the microphone to do what you would like done.
Some DJ's (and bands, too) make it difficult for other hired help to work. For example, they might insist on darkness, which hurts your photographer's ability to focus the camera well. The photographer who can't see to focus will be at odds with a DJ who wants couples dancing in the dark.
You can ask a disc jockey about these matters, but to see how they really do things, you have to watch them work. Don't judge the music, because it might not be what you would select; judge the crowd's reaction. Even if the style of music isn't what you would request, if the crowd is having fun, then the DJ is doing a good job!
Just like your friends and family, people at wedding receptions are a mixed group. DJ's with the ability to read a crowd correctly will play music that the people in that group will enjoy. Good equipment is necessary, but it doesn't make a DJ good. Many DJs hide behind their equipment to try to impress you.
Do they really need to bring all that stuff? Probably not, plus it means they are not putting the money into the things that count, like current music, or keeping the price reasonable. Don't be fooled by gimmicks! Smoke machines, big speakers and laser lights will not work in most rooms if you hope to maintain a comfortable atmosphere, especially with your older guests.