When You Ask a DJ If They Take Requests, What Answer Should You Expect?

We sit down with Edmonton wedding couples almost daily to talk about either hiring us as a DJ company or planning the details of their event after they've already hired us. One of the most common questions we get is "do your DJ's take requests?"

Couples are often surprised by our answer.

It would be great if we could simply say yes, but taking requests is never that simple. It's rarely a yes or no question if a DJ company or specific DJ knows the actual art of being a DJ or has experience from other events in their back pocket. Why?

I don't mean to be rude or demean our desire to let guests make requests and hear the music that will help them have a good time, but... people make stupid requests. Yep, I said it... people make some seriously awful requests.

Is the picture above appropriate behavior for a DJ? Of course not. That said, guests will often pick songs, that a) other guests (sometimes even the guest who requested it) will never dance to b) do not fit what's happening at that moment of the dance c) are inappropriate for the crowd d) would clear your dance floor faster than a case of chicken pocks in a room full of people who've never had chicken pocks...

A good Edmonton DJ company understands that requests are important. At Equinox Sound and Entertainment Inc., we absolutely take requests. However we are also always up front with our clients and make sure they are aware that we do not always grant all requests.

Have you ever been to a wedding where they used an Ipod? Have you ever noticed that only the same four or five guests go up and change the Ipod to put a new song on? Have you noticed a recurring theme in the artists that get repeated? Or that there is no flow or order to the music that gets shuffled through that Ipod system? Maybe that you'd heard that specific song not thirty minutes earlier?

It's a major reception killer when the flow, the atmosphere and the energy of a room is deflated by music that makes no sense together or is repeated constantly.

I can give a good DJ fifty songs and a bad DJ the same fifty songs. One will have a fantastic dance, the other will have guests leaving at 10pm. Why? The order and the flow to which those fifty songs are played. It's a critical component of a good DJ and something we take a lot of time on when training our staff.

The truth is, not all guests will make requests, even though they might like to. These guests are simply too shy and hope that maybe someone else will suggest a song they like. On the flip side, not all guests who make requests have other guests in mind. They'll choose songs that may be great for their car ride to your reception, but are terrible and inappropriate choices for a wedding reception.

A good DJ has to find the right balance between taking and granting requests. He/she must be experienced in reading the crowd and adapting based on who is responding to what type of music. He/she must consider age ranges and what is appropriate or not and above all else, ensure the wedding couple -- the people paying the DJ for his services are happy while keeping all the couples guests in mind.

It's often not an easy task to accomplish. Therefore, if you ask a DJ company, "do you take requests" and their simple answer is "yes", do yourself a favor and dig a little deeper. You may discover that company is not being completely honest or doesn't have the experience to know that "yes" isn't always the most complete answer.