Do I really need a  Professional DJ?

Yes! And you should know, they do much more than play music during your wedding.

Image: DJ Omar – Stumptown DJs, Courtesy of Emily Vandehey Photography

Hello Dear Readers!


Sara here with another edition of the Abernethy SMOOCHblog. This month we’re talking about a crucial element of the reception that doesn’t get enough attention. Your wedding DJ!  These days streaming music makes it easy for anyone to create a playlist, leading some couples to think they don’t need a real DJ. But the truth is, a professional DJ does much more than play music.  When you hire a DJ they fulfill an array of jobs, some seen, others under-the-radar, to ensure your wedding flows smoothly and everyone has a good time. So let’s take a deeper look at your DJs wedding day role.

What does a wedding DJ do?

To get the inside scoop I contacted Matt Kurowski, founder of Portland-based Stumptown DJs. Here are four essential tasks your wedding DJ does, aside from pressing play!

They serve as professional MC for your wedding

This might be your DJs most important role! An experienced wedding DJ will be an engaging public speaker who knows how to get people’s attention and deliver information and directions concisely. When making announcements they know how to use the mic properly, and how to project their voice.  This is important because of all the little events during your reception, like your formal introduction, meal service, cake-cutting, that all-important first dance, and finally your grand departure. All of these things require coordination and great timing. A professional MC will keep guests informed so the reception moves along as you planned and no one misses an important moment.

They’re responsible for the vibe

A professional DJ knows how to set the mood by playing the right song at the right time. They’ll read the crowd and the energy of the room to keep your party active and everyone having fun.  You won’t have any long pauses between songs as someone works to change the playlist or varying volume levels from one song to the next. A wedding DJ can blend music so one song fades into the next, even creating mashups and song cuts to accentuate your special moments.

They have the equipment and know-how to use it

A professional DJ will bring their own high-quality equipment, perform a soundcheck before the event to make sure everything is working, and know how to troubleshoot if something goes wrong. There’s nothing worse than music that’s too quiet or muffled, a malfunction that leads to dead air, or awkward pauses when you change playlists. With all you invest in the reception, it’s worth making sure people can hear and enjoy the speeches, toasts, and music.

They cover any possible snafus

No matter how meticulously you plan, something unexpected will probably happen.  Fortunately, wedding DJs are pros at covering potential mishaps. Let’s say bride and groom photos are running slightly behind schedule. Your DJ can play an extra few songs so that guests are too busy dancing to notice you haven’t arrived yet.  Or maybe your dad is in the restroom when he’s supposed to be giving his toast. Your DJ can cover until he’s available. 

Ready to find your perfect wedding DJ?   

Take a look at our favorite local DJs on the Abernethy Preferred Vendor List. Peruse their websites and I’m sure you’ll find a DJ to fit your style and spending plan. In closing, I must express a giant THANK YOU to Matt at Stumptown DJs for serving as my expert on speed-dial while writing this article. We can’t recommend his team enough, and you can learn more about them HERE.


Love + Gratitude



Abernethy Center is truly one of a kind! A full-service wedding and reception venue just on the outskirts of Portland in the heart of historical Oregon City. Our property features two distinct gardens, a gorgeous chapel, and an elegant Grand ballroom spread out over 9 acres. With nearly twenty years in business, an expert culinary team, and a tremendous staff experienced in providing exceptional service, we have everything for the perfect, uniquely yours Oregon wedding. 

Abigail’s Garden —– Veiled Garden—–Abernethy Chapel—–Grand Ballroom