You’ve already made the decision to book a dis jockey for your wedding reception over a band, but what on earth do you look for in a quality DJ? Today I’m sharing another run down of questions that it is helpful to have on hand when chatting with potential wedding vendors and the focus is on music.
1. What style of music do couples typically request you play for different sections of the evening? Are there specific songs you find are crowd favorites?
A quality DJ is going to be all over musical trends. They should be able to recommend specific songs that work well for different elements of your wedding and also be able to accommodate using your favorite songs in new and interesting ways.
2. Can I create a “Do Not Play List"?
Any DJ worth their salt will allow you to create a 'do not play list' and then actually honor your wishes. At my own wedding our 'do not play list' read something like this; Anything by Ke$ha, except Timber which must be played (my husband makes no secret of this being his favorite song EVER!).
3. To what level will you emcee the evening? How would you describe your emcee style?
I'll admit that I am no fan of an boisterous emcee- I just don't love the announcer voice. If big, stadium style introductions are your thing, and its totally cool if they are, make sure you choose a DJ/emcee that will deliver. If you are more like me and don't love to be the center of attention every second then choose someone with a bit more demure personality.
4. Do You require a vendor meal?
A typical DJ will be at your wedding a good portion of the day, It's always a nice gesture to feed these hardworking folks. Often this will be a stipulation in their contracts already, but asking and being willing to server your vendors in this way can certainly make a good impression.
5. What other services can you provided beyond music?
Many DJ companies offer a whole lot more than just music services. Some have everything from photo booth rental to lighting to videography services. See what else this one vendor can provide you that might save time and headache later.
6. Do you have the ability to download music on the spot to accommodate any guest request?
Want to make sure that the hottest new songs will be featured at your wedding? Ask if your DJ will have the ability to download or stream any musical requests that your guest might dream up.
7. What type of equipment do you bring with you?
In general DJ's will bring with them all of the sound mixing and amplification equipment that they need. If you are a audio buff though you may want to dig a bit deeper on this questions and get the exact details on their equipment set up to make sure your reception will sound top-notch.
8. What equipment/ space do I need to provide for you at the reception? Electricity?
Typically you are responsible for providing a table and the table linens for your DJ to set up his equipment on. A standard 6 foot banquet table normally will do the trick. Ask your DJ though if there is any other space or rental equipment that they will need. If your venue is not one that typically hosts wedding receptions be sure to ask what the electrical needs are to power the equipment he or she will be bringing.
9. Have you played an event at my venue before? If so what can you tell me about the acoustics of the space?
Each and every reception space is different and will react to amplified music uniquely. If your favorite DJ hasn't played that space before no need to worry, likely they will just want a little extra set up time to check their levels and make sure that everything sounds great before the start of the party.
10. Will you be the DJ at my wedding specifically or will you assign someone from your team? If it is a team member will I have the opportunity to speak to them directly before my event?
Many disk jockey companies have several different technicians in their employ. Get clear before booking on which DJ will be assigned to your event and ask if you will be able to speak to them and get a feel for their style before you sign.
11. What type of music do you provided during your breaks?
Needing a quick restroom or meal break is completely understandable, ask up front though how your DJ will handle his time away from the table. It would be horrid to have a full dance floor only to be followed by a crummy song because the DJ needed to step away for a moment.
12. What do you do if the dance floor is empty?
Crickets on the dance floor can happen even at the best of events, ask what tactics your DJ will employ to keep guests on their feet the whole night.
13. What is included in the cost of my selected package? Are there any hidden costs like travel fees I should know about?
Your DJ's skill and equipment are typically the bare minimum that will be included in a package. Ask about additional fees and travel costs that may be applicable depending on the location of your event.
14. When do I need to submit my music requests to you?
A week or two in advance of your big day is typically the answer to this question. Make sure to give you DJ time to assemble a music collection that fits your style and will make for a rocking playlist.
15. Are you able to provided music or amplification for my ceremony?
Many people just think of their DJ for cocktail hour and reception needs but these vendors can often provided microphones and amplification equipment for your ceremony too. Ask and see how they would be able to serve you in this additional capacity.
Photo: Drew Patrick Miller