10 Questions You Should Ask Your DJ
1. Do you have DJ insurance?
The answer to this question must be YES. The financial investments made to make a wedding a great success are massive. You will want to protect your investment by making sure that ALL of your wedding vendors have insurance.
2. How many of you are going to be there on the day?
Always clarify the number of employees the DJ company will have present as you may provide them with food and split tips at the end of the evening.
3. How long is the set-up and break-down time?
This is important if you need to provide the DJ with earlier or later access to the reception venue.
4. What will you be wearing to our wedding?
You should be big on professional appearance. With all of the weddings I have DJ’d over the years, surprisingly I have only been asked this question once. I must admit it was so refreshing to hear this question. It is never to be assumed that your wedding DJ will dress in formal clothing for your wedding. I have seen DJs wearing a T-shirt, tennis shoes and jeans at a wedding. I suppose everybody has a right to their own style, but most importantly I want to make sure that you ask this question just in case you have a preference for what your DJ wears. On that note. The standard Wedding DJ attire should consist of dress shoes, dress pants, a vest or suit jacket and tie (unless you’re getting married on a beach of course).
5. Will you drink alcohol while you DJ our wedding?
The answer to this must be NO. The reasons as you can already imagine are countless, so I will just make this one short and sweet. If the wedding DJ you are considering says anything other than NO politely say “Thanks you for your time, have a great day and goodbye.”
6. What’s your style?
Some like to fade into the background and simply press play on your favorite songs, while others prefer to get on the mic occasionally. Before your initial meeting, ask yourself what you want in a DJ: Do I want someone who interacts with the guests between every song? Someone who encourages people to get on the dance floor? Or someone who announces key things like toasts and cake cuttings, and keeps quiet the rest of the time? Then, ask the DJ what his style is, and how it fits in with your goals.
7. Can we provide “must-play” and “never play” song lists?
Any wedding DJ will have an extensive music repertoire or library to tap into for your reception. Ask how you can go about requesting specific songs (is there an online system? Do you just send an email list?), and how many of those songs he can guarantee to play? Ask about providing a blacklist of songs you absolutely don’t want played. Overwhelmed? Your DJ may have sample lists or suggestions for good and bad songs to play, based on actual wedding experience.
8. How do you handle requests from guests?
Let’s be honest….after a few glasses of champagne, your guests are going to get loose and they just might think they’re dancing at a club rather than your wedding. Which means, they’ll beeline for the music source whenever they can, requesting everything from “Shout” to “Don’t Kill My Vibe.” This can be a very tricky situation. Your DJ has limited time to play all the songs you previously requested, so adding in extras could get in the way. Not to mention, you don’t want inappropriate or terrible songs being played at your wedding just because a drunk guest requested them. Then again, saying no to said drunk guest could result in some attitude, so it takes a professional to do so properly.
9. How much space do you need?
DJs need room for equipment; each individual DJ has a different set-up. Most systems require at least an 8 by 8 area for comfortable setup. It would really stink for you to hire a DJ only to find out at the last minute that they can’t properly set up at your venue; you should probably ask in advance.
10. What’s your back-up plan?
Chances are, a back-up plan won’t be necessary; but you never know what could happen to prevent your DJ from showing up on your wedding day. So, to put your mind at ease, find out what they’d do if that’s the case. Is there a backup within the same company? A friend who can step in? Whatever it is, make sure it’s a plan everyone is comfortable with.