What to Look for in a DJ

Wedding planning is fun and all, but it can get stressful, so it’s important to totally let loose on your big day and dance your booty off! Believe it or not, the DJ plays a huge role in whether or not your guests have an amazing time. If he/she can’t keep the dance floor packed, there’s a problem. Here are some questions to consider when searching for the perfect one!

Do you offer any special packages?

You want to get the best for your money. Some DJs also do lighting and are paired with photographers/videographers, so they will offer special rates if you book their partners, as well.

How long have you been doing this professionally and how many weddings have you played for?

Of course, the amount of the experience they have in the wedding industry is necessary. On top of that, you should be aware of how many couples have chosen them to play for their wedding, and their ratings from those clients in order to see how successful they have been.

Describe your style.

You want to pick a DJ that suits your style. If you or your guests end up requesting specific songs all night long, that’s a bad sign. Nonetheless, you don’t want a DJ that might play offensive club music at your black tie affair. You could even ask for a playlist from a previous wedding he or she might have played for.

What about music that represents my nationality?

If you come from a big Italian family, those family members are going to expect plenty of Italian music, like mine. Make sure the DJ is comfortable playing diverse music before assuming. If possible, arrange a list of songs that you and your family know and love to make it easier for him/her.

Will you take breaks?

If yes, find out when and what music will be played during these breaks. The DJ will more than likely take breaks during dinner and dessert times.

Will you act as the emcee and announce specific events?

For the most part, the answer is yes. In this case, you should ask whether or not they would like a schedule prepared. Some DJs will arrive with a printed sheet so they know what order to announce the bridal party, when to announce the father-daughter dance, the bouquet toss, and so on. Trust me, this is more important than you think. If the order is messed up, guests will notice and be confused.

How do you draw people to the dance floor?

Nothing is worse than an empty dance floor with the select few people who are struggling to drag people there by the arm. You don’t want your dance floor empty in the first place, but should it become that way, your DJ needs a back up plan.

Will you take requests from us/our guests?

It is common to hear that couples provide their DJ with a list of songs they would like to be played at the wedding, but it is better to ask than to assume. However, your DJ should be open to taking requests from guests the night of in order to ensure that the dance floor will remain filled all night.

What about a “do not play” list?

While the request list is necessary, the do not play list is equally as important. As the couple, you know what both your families will and will not like. The last thing you want to see is your grandmother gasping at inappropriate music being played.

Have you worked with my venue before?

The more familiar they are with your location, the better. This means they know where all the electrical access is, and can get things set up much quicker.

When will you arrive at my venue? How long will it take to set up and break down everything?

The DJ needs to arrive at your venue as early as possible to have everything set up by reception time. On the other hand, they need to leave in a timely manner, because you probably have only allocated a certain amount of time at the reception hall.

What does your rate include?

You don’t want to come to a deal, then be charged hidden fees that weren’t brought to your attention. If set-up isn’t included, you may be charged a hefty amount on top of their services. Go over every single cost that may or may not be included.

Do you offer payment plans?

Let’s be real. When the “W” word is mentioned, everyone shoots up their prices, because they know you’re willing to pay. Not many of us can drop $8,000 dollars on the spot. See if they require an initial deposit, and separate payments to make the paying process easier on you.

Will you be in contact with my venue?

With the ever growing list of things you have to do for your wedding, you probably can’t afford to play messenger between your venue and DJ. Should they have any questions about electrical equipment or other subjects, they can call the venue to find out.

Do you have back-up equipment?

You never know what could go wrong, and you definitely don’t want to be stuck without music.

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

Again, in case of emergency, the deposit you made months ago may no longer be entitled to you, so be wary of their policies.

What is your typical wedding attire?

If their response doesn’t coincide with your wedding dress code, politely ask if they would be willing to comply with it.

When should I submit my requests and event schedule?

Although you have so much on your plate, they need enough time to prepare, too. Remember, the sooner you get it to them, the more accustomed they will be, which makes everything go smoother!

Is there anything we haven’t gone over?

There may be a few details you forget to cover, or even some suggestions they might make. Give them a chance to speak their mind. You might find some interesting qualities while hearing them out!

Do you have any questions for us?

If the DJ bombards you with questions, it’s a sign that they care. This means they want to get to know you as much as possible to make sure they provide you with the best musical services on your wedding night. At this point, you should know every single detail about them just as they should know everything about you!

What is the best way to keep in contact?

Exchange phone numbers, emails, etc. Things change, especially when wedding planning, so it’s dire to keep them updated as much as possible. And they should do the same!

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