How to Choose a Wedding DJ
You’ve already decided on a DJ over a band. The question is how to choose a wedding DJ that will enhance your event (not his own image).
For most engaged couples, entertainment is the #1 factor in determining the success of their event, so this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. And choosing the right DJ for your wedding is about far more than price.
When it comes to wedding DJs, you’ll always be able to find someone who’s willing to do the job for pennies. But what kind of quality are you going to get? This is your wedding! You only have one chance to do it right.
At Our DJ Rocks, we’ve built our whole company on the amazing feedback from our clients (namely, that we rock!). We want every couple to have a beautiful wedding experience that they can look back on with fondness and excitement. So here’s our top tips for choosing a wedding DJ.
What Makes a Good Wedding DJ?
Being a DJ is about way more than pushing “play” on an iPad playlist. Here are three qualities that set a good wedding DJ apart from the crowd.
If we could only give you one tip, it would be this!
Your DJ is going to be responsible for setting the tone of the evening. If you have a boring DJ…that means a boring wedding. And considering the cost of the wedding, you can’t afford to get this one wrong.
A DJ’s personality is the most important clue you’re going to get. Instead of relying on emails and texts, meet with your DJ in person to talk about your vibe, needs, and favorite music. This will help you decide whether they can create the party atmosphere you’re looking for.
You’ve probably been hearing how important communication is during all those premarital classes. Well, working with a DJ is no different.
Playing music is only part of what a DJ does. The other half is talking. From making sure you’re on the same page regarding the “do not play” list to making sure the photographer captures the cake cutting, wedding DJs need to communicate and they need to do it well.
This is why it’s so crucial to hire a wedding DJ that can also MC. Other than your wedding planner, your DJ is the one person keeping everything together!
Any DJ who specializes in weddings will end up working a lot of them, so they need to be organized. But when those plans go awry, they also need to be flexible.
An organized DJ has a copy of the wedding reception timeline so they can keep events on track. But if the bride and groom are an hour late, they should be able to adapt on the fly so that you and your guests are able to enjoy the evening.
How to Choose a Wedding DJ
If you’re meeting with multiple wedding DJs, it can be hard to choose just one. Here are 13 questions you can ask to help you choose the perfect DJ.
1. Do you DJ full-time?
It’s not always easy to tell from a website whether a DJ is working weddings on the side or as a full-time gig. All things being equal, you want someone who’s fully dedicated to making your day amazing.
2. Are you insured?
DJ-ing doesn’t sound like a terribly risky job, but accidents and emergencies can happen anywhere. Make sure your wedding DJ is licensed and insured and ask them what is their back up plan is an emergency happens.
3. How many DJs do you have?
If a DJ company has a team of DJs, find out which one will be working your wedding. You don’t want to do all of your meetings with the company owner, only to find out that you don’t vibe with the person actually at your wedding.
4. What other services do you offer?
In addition to spinning the tunes, many DJ services have expanded to include things like uplighting, photo booths, and other add-ons to make your reception extra special. Many even offer packages that make these extras a little more affordable. To make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, ask about the specific equipment they have. Some may only offer the most basic options, while others have things like a rotating photo booth.
5. How much do you charge?
Price shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor when hiring any wedding vendor, but it’s still important to get some idea of what your wedding DJ will cost. If they can’t give you an exact number, ask for the approximate price range for the services and upgrades you’re considering.
6. Do you specialize in weddings?
Corporate events, nightclubs, and weddings might all have DJs in common, but the experiences are completely different. For example, will they know to put together a playlist for cocktail hour? Do they know how to announce the cake cutting?
Make sure you find a wedding DJ, not just a DJ who’s willing to do weddings.
7. Are you available on my wedding date?
Trust us when we say that wedding vendors book up fast! Ask them upfront whether they’re actually free on your big day to avoid wasting anyone’s time.
8. Do you have a preferred style?
If possible, look for a DJ whose music style closely matches your own and has experience in mixing the genres of music you want at your event. If you love hip hop and he listens to Garth Brooks, you probably won’t be able to rely on him for song suggestions.
9. What do you typically wear?
It’s not something most couples think of, but hiring a DJ with the wrong attire can make for an awkward event. You wouldn’t want someone to show up at your casual beach wedding in a full tux. Or show up at a ballroom wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
10. How will you build our playlist?
Ask your wedding DJ how they learn about your likes/dislikes and build a playlist for you. Will it happen in one meeting? Will they submit a song list via email for your approval? Do they have an online hub where you can submit suggestions? (We do!)
11. How do you keep the dance floor packed?
They don’t need to provide you with their trade secrets, but a good wedding DJ should have an answer for how they keep people on the dance floor. At the very least, they should be able to read a room to see which songs are hitting and which are falling flat.
12. How do you handle song requests?
If you’d like guests to make song requests, ask the DJ what their method is. (And if they say they never take requests, RUN!)
13. Do you have back-up equipment/DJ?
Anything can go wrong. Yes, even with a professional DJ! We’ve personally been at weddings where the power has gone out and we had to come up with a solution on the fly. DJs get sick, equipment suddenly breaks, the venue’s sound system isn’t compatible with the audio set-up…you name it, it can happen.
But a professional wedding DJ will have a Plan B (and C) in case something goes wrong.
14. Are you familiar with our venue?
If a DJ has worked at your chosen venue before, even better! Every wedding venue has different quirks and layouts that can take some getting used to. But if your DJ has dealt with them before (and already knows the staff), that’s one less thing to worry about.
15. Can I see a video of your work?
Remember how we said DJs needed to be good communicators? Well, you want to find one who can do more than just talk a good talk. Ask if they have video clips of other weddings they’ve worked so you can get a feel of what they’re like “on stage.”
How To Decide on a DJ
Hiring a wedding DJ is one decision that makes a huge impact on your big day.
So much of your wedding day—from the ceremony to the reception—hinges on having the perfect atmosphere to set the mood. The wrong DJ can easily kill that vibe with the wrong song selection, a misspoken word, or a missed opportunity.
Hire a cheap wedding DJ and you’ll find it to be the worst money you’ve ever saved. A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Make sure you do it up right.
Looking for an awesome wedding DJ? We’d love to meet you! Our DJ Rocks is a DJ team like none other (and you’ll see the difference right from the start). Let’s meet up and see how we can rock your wedding!