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Hiring a Bar Mitzvah DJ: You're Being Warned, So Stay Calm

Aug 17, 2007
One of your major party considerations is time of day. Prior to deciding on one over the other, consider the following points of view.

Luncheon Advantages/Evening Affair Disadvantages:

1. Synagogue service. "Great party. And Mazel Tov, once more!" "We're so-glad-you-enjoyed-yourselves-wonderful-seeing-you-again-drive-back-safely-bye-bye." Finis.

2. Out-of-town guests who can get home in a few hours won't have the additional expense of a hotel room for the night.

3. Depending on your (literal as well as figurative) tastes, you might opt for a less extravagant meal. Omelets and bagels vs. prime rib and garlic toast.

4. Fees may be lower for your DJ, caterer, photographer or hall. Ask and you shall receive...occasionally. You may not be offered a price break, but there's no harm in trying.

The opposite may be true. It's not unheard of for DJs to tack a concealed surcharge on a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. They feel a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is more work. They're right! (But, hey, that's not YOUR fault!) They'll justify the heftier fee if questioned, but you'd never think to bring it up.

Want to find out? Surreptitiously have someone call back and request a rate for a Reunion (a piece-of-cake gig). Some DJs keep their hourly rate fees standard for any type of affair, any time of day, any day of the year. Some don't.

Luncheon Disadvantages/Evening Affair Advantages:

1. DJ's make themselves available 24/7. (For most Conservative and Orthodox families, it's 24/6!) But, presuming you have a Saturday afternoon affair, your guests won't have had a chance to unwind after services. Evenings allow a respite.

2. The "mind set" and atmosphere at a luncheon is quite different than that at an evening affair.

From a DJ's point-of-view behind the mic, I suspect that the exact same music played in the exact same sequence would elicit a far different response from the exact same crowd during different times of the day.

It's often tougher to motivate an afternoon crowd that seems to be more talkative than active. Is there a dentist in the house? Getting some people off their tush is like pulling teeth! That's not to say that a luncheon won't be a wonderful and complete success. My wife and I had three. But, if liquor is offered, guests will drink more and assume a "looser" posture at night.

So, if the dance floor isn't jam-packed for the duration of your luncheon, it's not your fault, your DJ's fault or your guest's fault. It's the human body clock. Some bones just weren't designed to flail to The Chicken Dance at 3:30 in the afternoon! (But if you invite a fun-loving party crowd, the time of day won't matter. They'll wear a hole in the dance floor.)

3. If your banquet is on a boat cruise, no one's jumping overboard prior to the last dance! But if not, this isn't a Broadway show where they feel they'll miss something leaving before "THE END." Guests with baby-sitters, the elderly or out-of-towners who drove may exit early, especially if they also attended morning services.

Luncheon or Evening Affair, You're Being Warned, So Stay Calm:

Invariably, when you check the place-card table, there will be unclaimed names. They're not sick in bed either, but you almost wish they were! Seldom do 100% of expected, healthy guests show up. (And you had to pay for them, too!) It's aggravating and extraordinarily rude, but don't let it ruin your day. Anticipate it.
About the Author
Joe Pachino has been a Radio & Mobile DJ in Baltimore since 1974 and authored "DJ's Secrets Revealed! How To Select (And Get The Most Out Of) Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah DJ" c 2001, 2007 EMI. It's loaded with constructive, organized and valuable tip$ for Parents. He's performed at well over 1000 Mitzvahs, so take advantage of his experience. (And experiences!) You'll find loads of info and goodies at http://djs-secrets.com/
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