Tips from the Pros: DJ Services with Coach Kidd
What’s a wedding without some good music?! After the ceremony, you can finally relax, let your hair down (or change your gown!) and mingle with your guests. One of the keys to making a great reception? A great DJ! Your DJ, who subsequently serves as the master of ceremonies, can make or break your reception. So choose wisely! Whether you choose a DJ or band, do your homework and know what you’re seeking.
We caught up with Jeff Kidd, better known as Coach Kidd from his infamous morning show on Electric 102.7 in Charleston, West Virginia, and we asked him a few questions about selecting the right DJ or band and how to make music a big part of your big day!
Rock Paper Sisters: Tell us a little bit about you. How did you get started as a DJ, and what do you love most about your job?
Coach Kidd: Hi, my name is Coach Kidd and I get to be interviewed. Yay, me!
I’m originally from a little town called Montrose, Michigan, about 25 minutes north of Flint, Michigan. I have a big brother (he beat me up all the time) and a little sister (who I beat up all the time, it’s a sibling thing). So that leaves me the middle child, which explains a lot. I come from a very loving and Christian, church going family. I’m thankful!
I got started as a DJ when I moved in with a buddy of mine back in 1993. He owned a DJ business at the time, and he still owns it to this day. I wanted to be a “wedding DJ,” but evidently I had to pay my dues. He put me on “karaoke duty” in a small little bar in the back of a Little Caesars every Friday night for a measly $75.00 for four hours. But it helped pay for college at the time! I was also in radio at the time working tons of hours with hardly any sleep. Yup, paying your dues indeed! I eventually left to take another radio job in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) called Sault St. Marie, Michigan. With a few boring things here and there it brought me here where I started my own DJ service in Charleston, West Virginia.
What I love most about being a DJ is making the bride, groom and their guests happy. I really try very hard to do my best at every event. I absolutely love to hear them come up and let me know I did a great job. The compliments seem to stick with me long after the wedding. That’s the best part for me!
RPS: How long did it take you to perfect your craft as a DJ? Did you attend trainings and workshops to hone your skills?
CK: Well, I’m still doing perfecting my craft! I learn every time I go out. I love to learn from any DJ that is willing to give of his or her time. I love to return that as well. For me, it’s about always learning and getting better at being a DJ. Not just as a DJ, but in life as well. It’s about relationships with others. The only training I had was actually watching and learning from those who knew the business and what NOT to do. We all have our different styles of what we do. We all have our strengths as well. I think mine is interacting with the bride and groom and having a wonderful time with their guests. I also think being in radio helps with that as well.
RPS: What should people look for as they're planning music for their wedding?
CK: Someone who’s only focus is YOU - the bride. Your DJ should also pay attention to making sure he or she plays the music that ALL can relate to. It’s also good when someone interacts with your guests and makes sure you and your needs are provided for before they even turn on the power to their gear. I make sure everything is taken care of and the order of events move from one to the other. When you’re looking for a DJ, get referrals from others and do some research in finding the right one for you. In my option, the DJ makes sure all is taken care of so he or she never has to bother the bride for anything. The best DJ takes control but also works well with wedding planners, photographers and even moms! The bride should be only be focused on the groom, family and guests! Period!
RPS: What's the value of a DJ vs. a band?
CK: The value of a band vs a DJ is this: if you can get both, do it. People like live music but there’s nothing like hearing your favorite song from you favorite artist. If you get both, you have the best of both worlds. Also remember, a band needs breaks, and that’s a break in the “party”. So having both can solve that problem!
RPS: If couples are interested in adding a DJ to their reception, what should they expect to budget?
"Having Uncle Bob play Pandora from an iPhone is not going to cut it!"
CK: Your DJ budget is one of the most important things you can have. This is the party, this is the portion of the day everyone really wants to get to anyway (sorry brides!). Your guests want to have a great time and enjoy themselves, and most importantly, they want to celebrate you! Having Uncle Bob play Pandora from an iPhone is not going to cut it (RPS side note: we laughed out loud at this visual!). I promise, shorting the budget for your reception music is the worst mistake any bride can make. Have a budget for the DJ. If you have a great DJ, you remember the party, not the wedding flowers (my unbiased humble opinion).
RPS: Do you see specific music trends emerging for weddings in 2018? Any fun new line dances we need to be aware of? :)
CK: As for music, I don’t normally start off the night with the “booty shakin” music. Grandpa and grandma still want to enjoy themselves! Don’t let your DJ do this. That should be saved for the end of the night with about 45 mins to go. As for line dances, everyone loves them. Even though the “Electric Slide” is 900 years old, people still love it! They must be played. I’ve had brides not want them and yet guests request the crap out of them. People love them! Also remember, four to five hours is all you need for your reception. You will be up early with pictures and feeling stressed that all is taken care of. Believe me, by the time four hours is up, you are ready to go on the honeymoon and relax! Trust me on this! You want your guests to leave still wanting a little more.
RPS: What are one or two pro tips that you want every couple to know when it comes to incorporating music and a DJ into their wedding day?
CK: Find a DJ you feel good around! If they are good, they will take care of you. They will put all they have into your reception and not just stand behind their gear. They will make sure you are taken care of in all areas of the reception. Remember, this is a happy, wonderful time for you. Don’t let the planning and all the other stuff get you down to the point that all you want is for it to be over. Sometimes the best part of road trips are actually being on the road. Enjoy the ride, and the destination will be that much sweeter.
I truly hope this helps you in finding a good and wonderful DJ to make your day amazing and a blast when it’s all said and done. A successful reception is talked about when you see the friends that were there talk about months later.
If you’d like to hear more from Coach Kidd or learn more about his DJ services, check out facebook.com/coachkiddproductions.