How To Hire a Wedding D.J.
The music you play (and the D.J. you hire to play it) will make all the difference at your wedding reception, so it’s important to know what to look for. There are many different types of wedding disc jockeys, and you want to pick the right one for your reception.
When to Book a DJ and What it Costs
You should book your wedding D.J. 6 months in advance of the wedding. Most event D.J.s will offer itemized wedding “packages” that list exactly what is included and the number of hours of music provided.
Searching the Internet for a Wedding DJ
Any good professional D.J. will have an online presence, so start your search on the Internet. A professional looking, well-maintained website is what you’re looking for. Also check the company with the Better Business Bureau and do a Google search for “[D.J. name] reviews” to see what people have to say about them.
Meeting the Wedding Reception DJ
Though your search can start online, it shouldn’t end there. It’s important to meet a D.J. in person to get a feel for their fit with your wedding reception. Just make sure the disc jockey you meet with will be the one ultimately handling your wedding – some companies have multiple D.J.s and send whichever one is free to an event. If possible, it’s a good idea to go to an event where your prospective DJ is playing to see his/her work live.
It’s best to choose a D.J. who specializes in weddings, or has at least had plenty of experience handling weddings in the past. They will be doing lots of wedding-specific tasks such as announcing the entrance of the bride and groom, telling guests it’s time for the cake cutting, leading participation songs and special dances, gathering people for the bouquet toss, and so on.
During your interview, try to gauge the D.J.’s level of crowd interaction. After all, their job is not just playing the music. They’ll be responsible for making announcements, warming up the crowd, and getting people on the dance floor by playing the right songs at the right time. And even if you’re not an expert when it comes to sound systems, a visit gives you the chance to peruse their equipment and ask questions about it.
Of course, these are just a few things to assess when you meet a prospective wedding reception D.J. Other important questions to ask include:
• Are you available on my wedding day?
• Can you provide three references with contact information?
• Are you a full-time D.J. or is this a part-time job for you?
• How many years of experience as a D.J. do you have?
• Have you ever done an LDS wedding reception?
• What kind of equipment do you use? Is it capable of transmitting sound for our venue (indoor/outdoor, number of guests?)
• How do we choose the playlist? Can we specify “must play” and “do not play” songs? Do you take guest requests at the reception?
• What do your wedding packages cost?
• Do you charge for travel time or setting up/taking down the equipment?
• How much is the deposit? When is the balance due?
• What is your cancellation policy?
• Do you include lighting or other extras in your pricing?
• What will you wear to my wedding reception?
• Do you have a written contract?
Ask questions, questions, and more questions until you feel you have a firm grasp on how the D.J. would handle your wedding reception. Bring a notebook and a pencil along to take notes and record their answers to your most important questions.
The D.J. at your wedding reception will interact with the crowd, make announcements, and get people out of their seats and onto the dance floor. A good D.J. ensures that your guests will have a great time – and after all, isn’t that the reason you’re hosting a wedding reception in the first place?
♥ Jenny Evans
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