First. Happy Pride Month! And since Pride Month is upon us, I want to talk a bit about Gay Weddings. If you’re getting married, no matter what your sexual preference, they should all be gay (as in happy!) but I’m specifically referring to weddings of the LGBTQ variety. Living in Florida and performing in Orlando, St Petersburg, Gulfport, and Tampa (all very gay friendly cities) I do a lot of work in the LGBT market. So naturally, a question that I am frequently asked (outside of whether or not I do weddings, which, YES I do!) is how to go about finding a DJ (or any vendor) for an upcoming Gay Wedding or LGBTQ Event.
By the way, this is such a great question! So strap on your Doc Martens, because we are about to take a deep dive into vendor screening, LGBT style!
I’ve said it 1000 times and I’ll say it again… the very best way to ensure your event is a success is to take the time to screen your vendors. (not just your Djs). This is even more important for people looking to hire for LGBT Weddings and Events, because, let’s face it, the biggest concern is making sure the vendor is actually OK WITH THE GAY. Of course, you want to feel accepted as you are and not silently judged by the people who are supposed to make your event a success. So here’s a few simple tips to make the process easier.
- Ask For Referrals. Check with your LGBT friends who’ve gotten married and used a DJ. Who did they use? How did they like the experience? Ask for recommendations from your favorite LGBT Club, Bar, or nightlife establishment, or if you’re not getting anywhere that way, refer to this article for some helpful resources: So You Need To Hire A Dj, But Don’t Know Where To Start
- Create A Short List of Vendors to Check Out. – based on referrals and preliminary research, create a list of at least 3 vendors to check out further. Check them out on google, mixcloud or soundcloud, social media sites like IG and Facebook, etc. (I always find that I get a good idea of what I can expect from someone based on how they choose to conduct themselves on an open forum like social media.)
- Interview Your Short List. Make sure you ask if they’ve worked previously with any LGBT clients. Ask about their feelings about working on an LGBT Event or for a Gay Wedding. You’ll find a list of other qualifying questions that are good for interviewing your short list here: Things You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Next DJ.
- Check Out Reviews. Especially from LGBT Clients. A professional DJ should be able to provide you with a few client referrals or reviews (websites, Google, and Facebook are great places to look for these.) For me personally, hearing about other people’s experience with a product or service definitely makes me feel more confident about what I’m actually getting.
- Meet Up Before Signing A Contract, and Go With Your Gut. Let’s be honest. Some people don’t care where the money comes from as long as it’s green. So, just because a vendor is willing to service your event doesn’t necessarily mean that they are open to or approving of your lifestyle choices. At the end of the day, the point is to find vendors who will accept you and service you with the same level of courtesy, respect, and value as any other client. I asked my friend (one of the lovely brides in the photo above – which was taken by www.rocketsciencephoto.com) and she said they preferred to meet with their potential vendors in person. She found that they were able to feel them out better and at the end of the day she went with her gut. (By the way, you can find a superb review from them here: www.djshannonc.com/testimonials )
So basically, ask for a few referrals, check them out, meet up, and go with your gut.
Simple. You’ve got this.
Hey, Before you go! if you’re still a little lost in the planning process for your event, CLICK HERE to become a Shannon C insider and download the DJ Hiring and Event Planning Workbook for free! This workbook will help you with sourcing and interviewing leads, collecting information to make sure you get an accurate quote, and planning out your events timeline and music selection for your DJ. Make sure your next event goes super smooth and download it today!