Hiring a Wedding DJ? What to Look for in the Contract

busy woman reading through wedding paperworkIn your rush to cross off boxes on your wedding checklist, it can be tempting to buzz through the paperwork without a second thought. Who wants to sift through all the fine print on the paperwork? Who has the time?

A better question to ask might be: who doesn’t have the time when your wedding budget is at stake? Put another way, ignoring the fine print on all those wedding vendor contracts can leave you with an unpleasant surprise after your special day—a bill full of surprise charges. Unfortunately, wedding entertainment vendors aren’t immune from those kind of surprises—surprises you can avoid if you read the fine print in your wedding DJ contract.

Length of time covered

One of your first questions to a wedding DJ is “what is the cost?” The answer is usually a number; what is not always mentioned is that the number covers only a certain amount of time. If your wedding reception lasts longer than that amount of time, the DJ company charges a set overtime fee or an hourly charge.

To avoid a huge wedding DJ bill, follow up your cost question with another: how long does that cost cover? If you want to completely avoid the additional costs, cross DJs off the list that charge by the hour. Contact DJs who charge a set fee no matter how long your wedding dance lasts.

Contingency language

Noone wants to be left out in the cold—especially on their wedding day! Ask your wedding DJ about their policy in case the DJ assigned to your special day can’t attend (i.e. from a family emergency, sickness, personal issue) or if any of the equipment fails.

Don’t just take their word for it. When you are ready to book the wedding DJ, make sure all those promises are guaranteed in writing. Review the wedding DJ contract for specific language that promises a contingency plan for instances where the DJ is not available or the equipment breaks down (and be prepared to walk away if there is no contingency plan included).

Payment terms & Cancellation policy

You are responsible for meeting timely payment deadlines, so review the payment terms in the contract closely. Look over the details closely; if any of the fine print makes you nervous, contact the wedding DJ about any points of concern.

A cancellation policy is in place for both you and your wedding DJ; be concerned if the DJ’s cancellation policy covers them and not you. If your DJ has to cancel (a pretty rare occurrence), make sure you won’t be left without the payments you made (it is common practice for the deposit to be non-refundable).

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