THE MODERN WEDDING DJ- a little history
Right around the Spring of 2005, a good friend and incredibly talented open-format DJ based in Chicago by the name of Spencer Lokken noticed a growing trend amongst his friends- they were asking him to please, PLEASE DJ their wedding. All of the companies they had interviewed featured cheesy button-pushers, completely uninterested in playing anything more than the old standby’s and tired anthems. They came complete with all of the bells and whistles, yet when it came time to the meat and bones of the reception they always seemed to fall flat, leaving an uninspired dance floor to hobble along until last call. Living in Chicago- birthplace of House Music, training ground for the world’s best and brightest- he knew the wedding DJ bar was set much lower than most of our particular demographic was used to. So he got serious.
Our big-sister company, Style Matters DJs got its start in the Summer of 2006, doing a small handful of weddings that year. Our concept was very simple- take our knowledge and expertise in the club realm, and apply it to special events and wedding receptions. The response was swift and overwhelmingly positive. People who had never heard the terms Backspin, Beatmatch or Hot Mix were marveling at the DJs ability to keep the music going so fluidly. Guests were pleasantly surprised at the inclusion of artists such as Radiohead, Bjork, Charles Mingus and Thievery Corporation during cocktails and dinner. They couldn’t believe they had just made it through a wedding without hearing YMCA or Love Shack. And so our company grew, employing more and more DJs as the years go by.
Currently Style Matters Chicago employs almost 30 DJs and is capable of handling up to 20 events per night on the busiest weekends. They have also opened their first full-service venue, Ovation, which is located in the near west side of Chicago and features (among other things) a state-of-the-art Void sound system, video wall, color photo booth, Steinway grand piano, full catering kitchen, green rooms for the wedding party and a restored 1959 Rolls Royce chauffeur service for the happy couple. Although we doubt we’ll reach those lofty heights any time soon, we hope to expand much in the same way over the next few years and are incredibly lucky to have such a great blueprint for success at our fingertips. We’ve tweaked that framework just a little bit to create our own version of the perfect unique boutique wedding DJ company- one that can handle every aspect from prelude to last call and create one of the most memorable and sweat-filled dancefloors you and your guests have ever seen.
So what ARE the needs of today’s modern couple when it comes to selecting a great DJ? Well, here is a list of things we’ve taken into account based on our observations. These are the cornerstones of our business.
- The desire to create a custom tailored music program based on the client’s tastes
- An ability to blend music to make it seamless
- The ability to read a crowd and choose music accordingly
- A solid knowledge of live sound and the ability to manage multiple sound systems
- A deep knowledge of many different musical styles, genres and time periods
- Exemplary customer service and communication skills
- Lightning fast response times
- The ability to plan sufficiently in advance, and a willingness to learn the venue beforehand
- A cool temper and ability to solve problems in the moment
- A lengthy resumé of actual dance club experience and preferably continuing employment in the club industry
We here at Caliber are dedicated to helping you find the best vendors for YOU. Don’t hesitate to send us a note if you have any questions about what to look for in DJs or other wedding professionals!!