Here's a good question from a reader of Anne Chertoff's blog who presumably has already met and signed with her wedding DJ only to get cold feet. "I hired a DJ but now I'm having second thoughts and we think we should hire a band. How do we decide what to do?"
First ask yourselves why you hired a DJ in the first place. Was it because it would save you money? Did you go to an event where he played and you liked the way he got the crowd on the floor? Was it because you thought a wedding band may not play the songs you want? Is it this particular DJ that you’re having second thought about or just the idea of a DJ in general.
Before you cancel the contract, lose your deposit and start the music search over again you need to figure out what your alternative options are -- is there a band you like that’s free on your wedding day? Will you have enough time to find someone new? And secondly, what entertainment do you really want for your wedding?
Ouch. This is a tricky situation for the couple depending on what is in the contract they signed and how much they've already paid. Every DJ company handles this part of the transaction differently, which is why we ALWAYS tell couples to read the contract thoroughly before signing.
Without being able to talk to this couple and get the specifics, it's hard to know where they went wrong. It could have been that they were rushed into signing the contract before they had a chance to think it over (file that under high pressure sales tactics some DJs that aren't us employ to get clients to sign immediately). Or maybe one half of the couple was insistent on a DJ while the other wanted a band, and the band partner caved only to discover later that maybe the DJ partner didn't want a DJ that bad after all. Or it's possible that the couple barely did their research, just picked a DJ to be over and done with it, and later came across a wedding band they really enjoyed.
Whatever the reason, this is why it is important to take your time when making huge decisions like these. Read contracts, meet with potential vendors, and - most importantly - talk it over as a couple to be sure you are on the same page with your decision. If you've gotten a jump on your planning (here's Evan's helpful guide to when to book wedding vendors if you need it), you have the time to think things over. If, however, you wait until the last minute, you might be faced with slim pickings, and could be forced to settle for a vendor you didn't want because they're the only ones available on your day.
Can you change your mind? Absolutely. But you risk losing the money you've already sunk into this particular area of your wedding, not to mention the time and effort you put in to finding a DJ in the first place.
Better not to get into that kind of situation at all.