Questions to Ask Before Booking Your DJ
Interviewing potential vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there’s chemistry, but it can be confusing to know exactly what to say. We can help. I’ve provided a short list of questions you might want to ask your DJ.
- How do you customize the music experience for each couple? Can you help with song lists and providing suggestions?
Creating a soundtrack for your wedding that is based on your style, taste, and vision for that day. One size does not fit all, every client is different. Delivering what you want is the main objective. A skilled DJ will gladly accept your must-play and do-not-play lists, no matter how short or long. We tell our brides upfront that they are in control of the music that will be played and they need to allocate time to work with us to ensure smooth timing for their event. All of the this can only be achieved with an entertainer who is flexible and willing to listen. It’s easy to come up with lists of songs to play, determining the placement of the music (e.g. cake-cutting and bouquet toss) and how it fits into unique themes is the real challenge.
- How do you handle song requests?
There could be instances where the client directives are diametrically opposed to the guest requests. How a DJ strikes a balance to deliver on the couple’s desires—while still satisfying the guests’ requests—determines the skill and experience of the DJ.Some DJs (with the permission of the newlyweds) may kindly tell family and friends that they need to stick to their playlist. If requests are pre-approved then it has to fit the vibe of the room. A good DJ will know what songs to fit in and which ones not.
- Do you provide an agreement?
Do you provide a written contract? It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial retainer.
- Will the DJ be on time?
How much time do you allow for set-up? Punctuality is a necessity. Most Disc Jockey’s arrive at least two hours prior to the start time you’ve given them. Your entertainer should ideally be setup and in-place before your first guest walks through the door.
What other services do you offer (e.g. lighting, video screens)?
Some DJ packages come with extra services such as lighting, video screens and dancing on the cloud. Imagine your first dance as a married couple in a beautifully lit room dancing on a cloud. Remember to get any details clearly outlined in your contract. Also don’t feel pressured into signing up for extra amenities if you don’t need them.
- Do you have backups?
With electronics being very unreliable at times, it is a good idea that your DJ carry a second laptop as a precautionary measure. Imagine your DJ’s laptop crashing and they don’t have any backup. Make sure they are prepared for the unthinkable.
- Dressed for the occasion?
Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion? Specify the type of apparel that your DJ is expected to wear for your event. Black tie, coat and tie or casual. If you are having a “themed” event, make sure your entertainer is informed.
- Will your equipment allow you to mix one song into another so that there are no breaks in between songs?
One of the top reasons to hire a wedding DJ is that they should be able to provide a seamless flow of music. If they can’t, it’s time to look elsewhere.
- Will you take breaks? If so, what happens during the breaks?
The DJ should be able to have a seamless flow of music with no breaks. Sometimes breaks are unavoidable, so the music shouldn’t stop while the DJ goes to the restroom.
- Will you act as emcee and announce the cake cutting, first dance, toasts, etc?
Most DJs are used to making these types of announcements and should feel comfortable behind the microphone. If your DJ doesn’t emcee it might be a good idea to find one that does. Hiring an additional person just for announcements probably isn’t the best idea.
- Can you give us an example of how you will make these announcements
Wedding DJs usually use a big Vegas-style or Radio Host voice, but you might want something more refined or elegant if that’s not your style. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to make announcements.