So you have decided on having a DJ instead of a band at your wedding. Great! Now what?
Choosing your DJ should involve more than price-checking local vendors. The DJ can have a huge impact on your guest's experience. Not only are they playing the music for your big day, but their personality and emceeing style set the tone for every major event of your reception. From your first introduction as a married couple, to special dances, cake cutting, and beyond, your DJ is the narrator for your wedding day story and their personality and style set the tone for each occasion. An unprofessional DJ, or one who doesn't pay attention to details can kill the vibe of your once-in-a-lifetime event really fast (think playing the wrong first dance song, or forgetting to announce a bridesmaid). We recommend doing your research and investing in a professional DJ so you wont have to worry!
Considerations for selecting a DJ that "fits"
When reviewing potential DJ's website and social profiles, keep these questions in mind.
What is their Emcee style? Are they high energy, or low key? Are they funny, or more polished? What style would make you most comfortable? You want to look for someone with a balanced personality. A boring DJ isn't good, but you also don't want them trying to steal the show.
What is their Music Style? Most DJs offer very similar and well-rounded selections of music. However, during the reception, they can have a very different styles of mixing the songs and interacting with the crowd. Do you want to feel like you are at a club with lots of high energy songs to keep everyone on the dance floor? Or do you want your DJ to play a mix of upbeat, middle range, and slow songs so you guests have an opportunity to chat in between songs? Do you want a very interactive DJ, or one that lets the music be the star of the dance party? These are things a DJ can flex on if you ask. So don't think of this as a deal-breaker, but more as a starting point to see if their style feels comfortable to you.
What is your guest's music style? What kind of music experience would your guests feel most comfortable with? Are they the party-all-night type? Or would they appreciate something a little more low key?
Keep all of this in mind as you review each of your potential vendors. Once you are able to narrow your selection down to a couple of options, set up a meeting with each of your top choices so you have a chance to talk to them in person! This meeting helps ensure that you are comfortable with them and their style.
Here are some questions to ask your DJ when you meet them:
What services do you offer?
Many DJs also offer add-on services like lighting and photobooths. If those were services you were planning to have for your wedding, you may be able to save some money booking those through your DJ instead of a separate company. You also want to confirm how many hours the services are for. Some packages are for 4-5 hours, while others are a more extended package with 8+ hours for long receptions.
Do you have a preferred music style?
Just like every vendor, DJs each have their own style. While most can create a well-rounded playlist, if your DJ is really into country music, but you are looking for more hip-hop music, it may be more difficult collaborating on a playlist for your big day.
How will you build our playlist?
Will this happen via email? An in-person meeting? Do they have an online hub for managing your playlist? Also keep in mind how you are going to communicate your "do not play" list to them as well. Easy communication is vital to every vendor relationship, so you want to know how you will be interacting with them in the weeks leading up to your big day!
Do you have back-up equipment? What about a back-up DJ?
No one wants to think about the worst happening. But it could. A speaker could blow. A mic could stop working during a speech. A mixer could stop working. What then? A professional DJ will have backup equipment with them in case of an emergency. This is the same with their staff. If your DJ is unable to attend due to an illness, they should have a backup DJ in mind to cover your big day.
Do you have any videos of your work?
Seeing a DJ in action is the best way to determine if their style is a good fit for the feel you want to create for your wedding. Check their Instagram and Facebook for videos of them live, "on stage" at a wedding.
What do you typically wear to a wedding?
This question may seem odd, but you want to make sure that your DJ is not going to arrive in sneakers and jeans to your black tie wedding. Most DJs can adjust their dress to best fit with the feel of your big day.