A wedding DJ is probably the one vendor who can truly make or break your reception. If they’re great, the dance floor will be packed and your wedding will be remembered as the most awesome party. But a terrible wedding DJ can not only bore your guests to tears, but also shock and offend. So before you sign that contract, make sure you’ve asked these important questions:
- Do you have a written contract?
As with the rest of your wedding vendors, do NOT proceed without a written contract. If they won’t provide one, it’s time to look elsewhere.
- Can we meet the person who will be actually working my event before we sign a contract? You definitely want to make sure you're comfortable with the actual person who'll be at your reception. Do they seem cool, fun, and also respectful? Are they listening to the questions you're asking, and giving you thoughtful responses? Do they seem like someone you could have a fun time with?
- Will you work with my playlist AND my do not play list?
Wedding DJs love to have autonomy and play whatever they want to. But since it’s your wedding, you should get to have input about what gets played and on what doesn’t.
- 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 rather than just using an iPod 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?
Again, unlike a band or an iPod, a DJ should be able to have a seamless flow of music with no breaks.
- Will you take requests during the wedding?
Some wedding DJs love requests, while others don't like having to hunt for an obscure song or interrupting their playlist.
- Will you act as emcee and announce the cake cutting, first dance, toasts, etc? Can someone else act as emcee?
Most DJs are used to making these types of announcements, but if you want a more personal touch you may want to ask your father or another charismatic person to act as emcee.
- Can you give us an example of how you will make these announcements?
Wedding DJs usually use a big Vegas-style voice, but you might want something more refined or elegant.
- How many weddings do you DJ each year? Will you have another event on the same day?
Since DJs work corporate events, bars, bar mitzvahs and birthday parties, you want to make sure he or she is comfortable with weddings and the higher level of sophistication they require.
- Have you worked at our reception site before?
If he or she already knows the setup and staff there, it can make things more seamless on the actual day. It's not necessary, but it's nice to have.
- Do your prices include the sound system, speakers, wireless microphone for the toasts, etc?
Each of these extras can add up quickly. Your event space may already have them available, but it's good to have backups in case of equipment failure.
- What do you do if nobody is dancing?
- How current is your music collection?
- What if we really want to hear songs that aren’t in your music collection?
- Will you advertise your services to our guests? Will you be discrete?
- What do you wear as a wedding DJ?
- Can I see a video of you playing at a wedding?