Most of us will hire a DJ 1 or 2 times in our lives. How do you narrow it down to make sure you are getting a professional? I was on a website called brideways.com nad they had these 16 questions that you should ask your potential wedding DJ. I think most of these are pretty spot on. I added a little of my commentary below each question
1) How long have you been a wedding DJ and how many weddings have you done?
From personal experience I know. Clubs, Proms, Sweet 16s, are all vastly different from doing a wedding. Weddings are a lot of work, and you want someone who can handle it with eloquence, and grace.
2) Will mine be your only wedding that day?
I have never booked more than one wedding in one day. Why? Because one wedding takes up my entire day. From making sure all the music is ready, loading the car, arriving 2-3 hours before the event starts. If your DJ has more than one wedding in a day it tells you something. They are not prepping enough for your wedding, they will be a little burnt out if you are the second wedding of the day.
3) Have you ever played at this venue before?
If the answer is “no” I would never consider that a deal breaker. They could still be an amazing DJ and a great fit for your night. If they answer is “yes” your DJ may have some good ideas, tips, and hints for you. The DJ will also know any problems the venue might have, and will be prepared in advance.
4) Do you mix seamlessly or will the music be starting and stopping?
We have all been to that wedding with the DJ that thinks they can mix music and they can’t. There is also the DJ who lets every song totally fade and then brings the next one in. Your guests wont know why, but the part will not feel as fun. Dead air = energy killer. If you want a party that everyone is talking about the next day, hire a real DJ that can blend music. The difference is priceless.
5) Do you take breaks?
If the answer is “yes”, move on to the next DJ. Half the time I don’t even take a dinner break. Too much can happen while I am earing or taking a break. I never even thought DJs taking breaks was a thing until I saw it at a wedding.
6) Will you also serve as an MC?
Again, never knew there were DJs that did not also MC, but they exist. Some DJs know that they are not good on the mic so they will bring in someone to MC. This is a great idea, but also more expensive because now you are paying 2 people. Things like the grand entrance, bouquet/garter toss, and just the over all party can really be enhanced by a DJ/MC who knows when to talk, and when to shut up.
7) Can I make requests?
If you are a club DJ, I can understand if you don’t take requests. At a wedding requests are a must. I personally let people log onto my website and make requests before there wedding. A good wedding DJ will know where to put requests. Some of your requests aren’t good for dancing, and would better fit dinner, or cocktails. Also ask your DJ if they have a “do not play” list. This is also something I handle through my website.
8) Do you take requests the night of the wedding?
This is up to the bride and groom. If the bride and groom say “yes, take requests”, then trust your DJ to decide what songs fit the night. Unfortunately this is one of the hardest parts of being a wedding DJ. People request songs that are clearly not fit for the night, as the DJ you want to make everyone happy,
9) Do you have a back up in case something happens and you can’t make it?
I can’t tell you how many calls from brides I have got in a panic because their wedding is this weekend and their DJ had a “family emergency”. This happens a lot with budget DJs. There is a reason they DJ a wedding for $300. They are unprofessional and not dedicated to you or your day. Good DJs have a network of other DJs that we can contact if something goes wrong.
10) Do you have back up equipment?
If the answer is “no”, move on. Can you imagine a computer crashing and the DJ doesn’t have a back up? If the DJ has a back up you might be without music for 2-3 minutes. Party continues on, and everyone forgets that it even happened.