Category Archives: chicago il wedding dj

guests dancing to chicago wedding dj

6 BIG Mistakes Couples Make When Choosing a Chicago Wedding DJ

Choosing a wedding DJ in Chicago may seem like just another overwhelming task on your wedding planning checklist, but it’s definitely not one that you should try to shortcut. A wedding DJ can keep guests on the dance floor or send them heading for the exits.

So how do you choose the best Chicago wedding DJ? We’ve outlined the process for hiring the best wedding DJ in the past. Now we wanted to delve into common mistakes couples make when choosing the right wedding DJ, so you don’t make the same mistake.

Automatically choosing the cheapest Chicago wedding DJ

Managing a wedding budget can be incredibly tricky, especially when there are so many line items and when funds are tight. That’s why it’s important for couples to embrace one of the most important wedding planning lessons: prioritize and allocate funds for the vendors that make the biggest impact on your big day. While wedding favors may be really fun to shop for, your guests are going to care a lot more about a wedding venue with quality amenities, food, and fun.  

Once you’ve allocated most of your funds (approximately 40-50%) for these items, it’s time to choose the wedding vendors (including wedding DJs) that can deliver a quality service. While that quality service does come with a price, it’s typically worth it when you get everything you wanted plus a bit of peace of mind. Basically, a wedding DJ service may cost more than a one-person service, but professionals typically come with quality equipment, quality back-up equipment, an experienced wedding DJ, and an experienced back-up DJ. The result is well worth it, especially when your dance floor is packed and you and your guests are having an awesome time.

“My friend does this on the side…”

It can be incredibly tempting to hire a friend or family member (or a friend or family member of a friend) because it’s so terribly easy, but beware of amateur Chicago wedding DJs. Many amateur services have dated equipment that delivers a terrible sound or don’t let you customize your playlist.

In addition, a one-person wedding DJ service often doesn’t have the back-up equipment or staffing when equipment breaks down or there is a health or family emergency. Sometimes, it might be challenging to contact them because you aren’t their primary focus. You can quickly find out if a DJ is professional or amateur by asking them these wedding DJ questions before you hire them.

No research

When you are looking for a Chicago wedding DJ online, inevitably sites like The Knot or the Wedding Wire is in the top results. Don’t scroll past these results. It is incredibly important to research any wedding vendor before hiring them—including your wedding DJ.

Fortunately, there are more sites than ever before that can make the process incredibly easy. Even social media sites can be filled with a ton of reviews about how the wedding DJ acted, whether they kept guests on the dance floor, if they were prompt, and how interactions with the staff went. While this step in hiring a Chicago wedding DJ doesn’t take long, it’s incredibly worth it!

Waiting, waiting, waiting…gone!

While you should always do your due diligence when choosing a wedding DJ, don’t let the process get so lengthy that you miss out on the chance to hire the best Chicago wedding DJs. These best DJs in the Windy City are in demand, and their calendars fill up quickly.

While hiring a wedding DJ may not be the first item on your wedding planning checklist, it shouldn’t be the last either. Typically, you should start contacting wedding DJs any time between nine months and a year before your big day. When contacting DJs, you should have key details set, such as your wedding venue, date, and even an estimate wedding reception timeline.

Not meeting with your wedding DJ (in-person or virtually!)

While this may sound contradictory, reviews shouldn’t be the only interaction you have with your wedding DJ before your big day. When choosing a Chicago wedding DJ, always try to meet the professional who is going to be in charge of your wedding reception before signing on the dotted line.

Your meeting is your chance to determine if the wedding DJ fits your wedding style, and to see their equipment (be wary if they won’t show it to you). It’s also an opportunity to find out key deadlines that ensure that you get a customized wedding experience that fits who you are as a couple.

Not giving input

Your wedding day should be all about you, including the wedding play list. When choosing a wedding DJ, be wary about hiring a wedding DJ that doesn’t ask about your preferences for music (including what you want played and don’t want played). Unfortunately, many amateur wedding DJs offer a one-size-fits-all play list that usually keeps guests on the dance floor (but may include songs you hate!)

As an added bonus, making a list of must-play and don’t-play songs can be fun! It’s a great way for you and your fiancé to de-stress before your wedding day—while still getting another item checked off your wedding planning checklist.

newlyweds celebrating and getting the perfect wedding memory

6 Ways to Make Your Chicago Wedding Reception Unforgettable

An awesome Chicago wedding reception is the goal, and these wedding planning hacks can get you there! We’ve been part of some fantastic Windy City wedding receptions, and every one was memorable in its own way; here’s how to use

Select the perfect Chicago wedding venue.

A breath-taking Chicago wedding venue or your own backyard—whatever wedding venue you choose, make sure it is (or can be) the perfect backdrop for a wedding reception that is completely you. Think of it as your chance to make a breath-taking first impression.

If you don’t have a favorite Chicago wedding venue, start the process by setting a budget and thinking about your style as a couple. Are you drawn to an elegant wedding venue? Would you prefer a venue with history and a story? Could you picture yourselves in a more natural outdoor setting? Or is a rustic venue more your style? Would you prefer a more casual setting that your guests can relax and enjoy? Whatever your style, Chicago is full of beautiful wedding venues perfect for your special day.

Plan a surprise—and keep it a secret!

A wedding reception surprise is a fun way to jazz up the reception—and another way to add a custom touch to your special day. This is your chance to add a special moment to all your other special moments. Plus, there are so many options: a surprise visit by a mascot or special family member of friend, an unexpected wedding first dance, a balloon or confetti drop, fireworks…the list of wedding surprise ideas are endless. Don’t forget to bring your wedding DJ, venue staff, or band in on the surprise so you can seamlessly build it into the reception order of events.

Have fun with the details.

There are no small details in a wedding reception (though there are low-priority items that shouldn’t require the majority of your budget.) Have fun with your wedding décor. This is your chance to coordinate all the details into a beautiful wedding atmosphere, with awesome signs and tons of opportunities for entertainment.

In addition to dancing, look for ways to entertain guests of all ages. Kids love bubbles, magicians, face painters and these other children wedding entertainment ideas. Your more experienced guests can enjoy tasting stations, local brews and wine samplers, photo booths, table games, and other ways to have fun off the dance floor.

Customize the wedding reception playlist.

One of the ways to make a wedding reception feel personal is to customize the play list. This can only be done with a band or wedding DJ that personalizes the play list, so make sure that question is on your list of questions to ask prospective Chicago wedding DJs.

In addition to a customized wedding play list, look for a wedding entertainment pro with experience that makes the night enjoyable for everyone. The best Chicago wedding DJs and bands have quality equipment, both primary and back-up, that ensures a smooth performance regardless of breakdowns.

Set a smooth wedding reception schedule (with minimal down time).

While we can’t promise that your wedding day goes off without any issues, the best Chicago DJs and bands make the wedding reception a smooth experience with minimal interruptions. This is especially true for wedding receptions where the ceremony and reception are in the same area. When planning the wedding day, try to make sure the transitions are smooth and seamless—without any interruptions in entertainment.

Find cool ways to capture the memories.

Every newlywed couple can attest to the fact that the wedding day goes by way too fast. As you plan, try to find ways to capture the memories. You can do this with social media hash tags, photo booths, and by hiring the best videographer and photographer (this guide to hiring wedding vendors can help). Be creative with your ideas, and prepare to enjoy the results!

collage of pictures from epic wedding dance

How long should I book a wedding DJ?

Hiring a wedding DJ (or “booking a wedding DJ”) for your Chicago wedding revolves around two big questions. When should I book a wedding DJ? How long should I book the wedding DJ for?

When to Book a Wedding DJ

Typically, the wedding planning checklist put hiring a wedding DJ at about 9-12 months before the wedding date. Hiring a wedding DJ is multi-step process which starts with finding the best wedding DJ. This can be done online on third-party websites or by asking a friend or family for a recommendation.

When getting recommendations, always be careful about contacting “a friend of my friend…” or “my cousin…” Though your friend or family may have good intentions, it’s always best to contact someone that your friend or family has personally experienced (and enjoyed!)

As you search, be careful about hiring amateurs who only DJ on a part-time basis. Unfortunately, these services often don’t have back-up DJs or equipment that’s essential during an emergency. Plus, many of these operations have outdated equipment and have one playlist (meaning no customized playlist or requests!)

Once you have a list of awesome Chicago wedding DJs, it’s time to narrow down your list of vendors with online research, an interview, and meeting. Fortunately, it’s easy to visit third-party websites (i.e. Wedding Wire, the Knot, etc.) and social media for reviews and feedback from past customers.

You should be wary of any wedding DJ that doesn’t have a place to meet or another way to get (easily) in touch with them. Whatever way you contact them, always ask the wedding DJ these questions, such as about availability, insurance, and prices (and fees for overtime and travel).

How Long to Book a Wedding DJ

A wedding reception usually lasts approximately 4-6 hours and follows this timeline:

  • Cocktail hour
  • Dinner (Requires serving and background music)
  • Wedding Cake and Cutting
  • Reception Dance
    • Bridal party announcement
    • First dance
    • Bouquet and garter toss
    • Mother-son dance
    • Father-daughter dance

As you plan around the timeline (or create your own custom timeline), always ask your wedding DJ if they offer dinner music during your meal. This time is typically included in the wedding DJ time on the contract (though feel free to ask the wedding DJ if you are unclear).

For couples who don’t want to worry about overtime fees, there are Chicago wedding DJs who offer unlimited packages with no time limit. This is a huge benefit for couples who want a never-ending dance party—or just don’t want to push their guests out the door.

wedding dance floor with deejay

28 “Must Ask” Questions for Every Wedding DJ

A list of questions for a wedding DJ is more than just another to-do on your wedding planning checklist. It’s a way to ensure that you are hiring the best wedding DJ for your big night—and a reputable entertainer that’ll deliver exactly what you want: a personalized, incredible wedding reception.

When hiring a wedding DJ, it’s important to make sure both items are checked off on the list. Unfortunately, the news is full of couples who have been left high-and-dry by a sub-par wedding vendor. This checklist of questions for a wedding DJ ensures that you get a personalized wedding reception music play list, a high-quality (and high energy) DJ, and the reliable service that guarantees and unforgettable wedding reception.

  • “Are you available on my wedding date?”
  • “How many years of experience do you have? What year did you start your business?”
  • “Do you have any references?”
  • “Do you offer any other services (lighting, photo booth, etc.)?”
  • “Can you do….” (Ask this question if you have a really special request)
  • “How much is the cost?”
  • “What does the cost cover? Is there an overtime fee?”
  • “Do you offer dinner music as part of the total cost?”
  • “What is your final total cost?”
  • “How much of a deposit is required and when will the balance be due?”
  • “My wedding is at…. Do you charge a travel fee?”
  • “What is your cancellation policy?”
  • “Do you carry Insurance?”
  • “Can you provide proof of Insurance?”
  • “When do we meet with you to discuss details of the wedding?”
  • “Do you have back up DJs and equipment available in case of emergency?”
  • “Typically, what time do you arrive at the wedding venue?”
  • “What kind of electrical needs does your equipment require?” (for an outdoor wedding)
  • “What songs are included in your wedding DJ playlist?”
  • “When do you need information from me?”
  • “Do you have a wedding DJ checklist that I can write my favorite songs and songs I do not want played at my reception?”
  • “Will the DJ be in formal attire?”
  • “Will the DJ act as Master of Ceremonies (MC)?”
  • “How many years wedding experience does my DJ have?”
  • “How do we contact you?”
  • “Is it possible to meet over the phone or internet instead of in person?”

As you ask these questions, look for red flags that may indicate you are hiring an unreliable or amateur wedding DJ:

  • No business address
  • Does not return phone calls or communications
  • Is unwilling to show equipment (and back up equipment)
  • Does not have back up equipment (and staffing-in case of illness or breakdown)
  • Few reviews or negative reviews on social media and wedding websites

Instead, look for signs of a quality, reliable wedding DJ:

  • Business location
  • Prompt communications
  • Easy answers to questions
  • Back-up staffing and equipment
  • Positive reviews and industry awards on social media and wedding websites
  • Willingness to customize their play list to your specific wants and needs
  • Lots of experience!
wedding dance floor with guests dancing to wedding theme songs

How to Choose the Best Chicago Wedding DJ

Chicago is a big city with a host of wedding DJs to choose from, but not just any DJ is right for your big day! This step-by-step guide helps you narrow down your list of wedding DJs and choose the “one” that’ll keep your guests on the dance floor and create a custom wedding playlist that feels incredibly you.

Ask friends and family for recommendations for an awesome wedding DJ.

One of the easiest ways to find and choose a wedding DJ is to ask friends and family for a recommendation. It’s a bonus if you were at the wedding where the DJ played, because then you have first-hand knowledge if the DJ was any good.

There is one note of caution that comes with the ask. Every couple should be very careful about choosing wedding DJs that are a “friend of a friend…” or “my cousin…” Though the person recommending that acquaintance may be well-meaning, never hire a friend or family member without some knowledge of what you’re getting (either through online reviews or from another customer). Unfortunately, this approach can lead to hiring an amateur DJ with a one-size-fits-all playlist and amateur equipment. Or worse, a DJ with no back-up equipment or DJ that can leave you without any reception music.

Do your research.

If you don’t have a friend who can provide a wedding DJ recommendation, let Google do the search for you. Once you have a short list of the best DJs in Chicago (either from an online search or from friends), research every one of those DJs online. You can check review sites for testimonials from other couples and social media sites for videos and reviews.

As you research DJs, make sure you look for common wedding vendor red flags. Couples should always be wary of DJs that don’t have a business address for a meeting, are unwilling to show you their equipment, or can’t give you a set price for the evening. Some DJs charge on set price for a certain amount of time and charge overtime fees for any reception that runs over.

Find a DJ that checks off many boxes.

Many wedding DJs in Chicago offer services that go beyond music; if you’re looking for those extras, such as lighting or off-dance floor entertainment, you should look for a wedding DJ that can offer those services as part of a package. In addition to saving you time during wedding planning, this approach can also save you funds when you get all those services in one package (as opposed to renting them individually).

You can find out if a wedding DJ offers any other services by asking them the question (either via message or phone) as part of your initial interview:

  • “Are you available on [insert wedding date]?”
  • “How long you have been a wedding DJ?”
  • “Do you provide other services, such as…?”
  • “How much do you charge? Does the charge cover the full reception or just a set amount of hours? Is there a travel fee?”
  • “Do you offer cocktail hour or dinner music as part of your fee?”
  • “Do you carry Insurance and can you provide proof of Insurance?”
  • “How often do you contact clients?”
  • “If there is a problem, do you offer back-up equipment and DJs?”
  • “What time will you be at the wedding venue? Have you ever worked at our wedding venue before?”
  • “Do I have a say in the playlist?”
  • “What do your wedding DJs usually wear?”
  • “When can we meet?”
disco balls from a wedding dance

Wedding DJ Checklist

There’s one thing that’s remained true in all the years we’ve been wedding DJs in the Chicago area: every couple is incredibly different. Some couples come to us with absolutely no ideas for wedding reception songs and others have definite ideas for their wedding playlist.

If you’re one of the latter, this checklist is the perfect way to get all those wedding music ideas down on paper. Once you’ve chosen the perfect wedding DJ, give them this list and prepare yourself for a night of fun!

Must-Play List

These are the songs you absolutely have to hear. Use these wedding playlist tips to come up with the right combination of tunes!

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Must-Not Play List

Make sure you don’t take your guests’ favorites off the list. These tips for crafting a must-not play list can be incredibly helpful.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Cocktail Music Ideas

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Wedding Party Entrance Music Ideas

Don’t hesitate to ask your bridal party and DJ for suggestions!

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

First Dance Ideas

If you don’t have a clear favorite, use these tips to narrow down your options to the perfect tune that fits you as a couple.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Father & Daughter Dance

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Mother & Son Dance

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Bouquet & Garter Toss Songs

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Surprise Dance Song

Want to surprise your guests? Use this list of wedding reception surprises for inspiration and don’t forget to include your DJ in on the fun!

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________



Wedding Dance Games

Use these ideas for wedding dance games that give your guests more than dancing to spice up the fun!

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________



shot of people dancing at epic wedding reception

Wedding Playlist: 5 Ways to Choose the Perfect Wedding Reception Songs

The perfect wedding playlist should more about quality instead of quantity. Instead of asking, “how many songs do DJs play at weddings?” (the answer is typically 15 per hour), think more about the wedding reception songs you want included in your playlist.

Make a list of “special” wedding songs.

The most logical place to start crafting a wedding playlist is by choosing the wedding reception songs that are played during those special moments. After all, these are the memorable moments that you can look back on for years:

  • Wedding party entrance
  • Father and daughter dance
  • Mother and son dance
  • First dance
  • Bouquet toss
  • Garter toss

As you select these songs and the right wedding DJ to play them, be careful about hiring a DJ that doesn’t give you the option to customize your wedding playlist. You don’t want to get stuck with a wedding DJ who uses the same list over and over and doesn’t give you the chance to hear your favorite tunes.

Start listening to songs.

Some couples have a million songs they want played. Others have no clue! It’s okay to fall into either category. If you fall into the latter, the best way to decide on first dance songs and choose a few favorites is to start listening to songs. (If you’re planning a throwback wedding, make sure your ‘must play’ songs are from the right time period.)

Make a short list of favorite and not-so-favorite songs.

The best wedding DJs customize the wedding reception playlist to your special night. (If they don’t, be worried!) You should always choose your wedding DJ carefully (with this list of wedding DJ questions); the best DJs are the source of many memories and are well worth the funds.

Mix it up.

As you make a list of favorites, don’t forget that the wrong song at the wrong moment can really kill the mood—and clear the dance floor! A good wedding DJ can help with selecting the right song at the right time, but you can help them by not overloading your playlist with slow songs.

Don’t nix all your guests’ favorites.

Everyone has a few songs that sound like nails on a chalkboard. However, you should make sure your list of “most hated” songs doesn’t coincide with your guests’ favorites.

Lean on your DJ’s experience and expertise.

Remember that you hired your DJ for a reason. An experienced wedding DJ comes with a whole list of perks. At the top of that list is expertise! A good wedding DJ knows what songs to play at the right time. It’s okay to leave the wedding reception playlist up to them and enjoy an awesome night of wedding songs.

wedding party celebrating at wedding reception

(Fun!) Bridal Party Entrance Ideas

The bridal party entrance is another opportunity to take your wedding dance to the next level. If you’re planning a wedding dance that’s over-the-top, these tips and ideas are a ‘must’ for an incredibly memorable bridal party entrance.  

Bridal Party Entrance Tips

Bridal Party Entrance Ideas

Plan a dance that gets everyone in on the fun.

If you have a bridal party full of dancers, ask them (don’t assume!) if they want to plan a fun bridal party entrance dance. Have each attendant pair choose their favorite dance song, then turn the songs over to the DJ to take the medley to the next level. For a bridal party that doesn’t want to stand out, ask your DJ how to create a “flash mob” effect with everyone dancing together. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you plan times when your attendants can practice so you look coordinated and polished.

Make your entrance pap-worthy.

For couples who want to make your bridal party entrance feel like a walk on the red carpet, plan an entrance flanked by the paparazzi. You can make this fun by asking friends to fill the roll (make sure you fully outfit them for full effect) or hiring entertainers for the occasion. Complete the bridal party entrance with a real red carpet and a song that would be fitting of any Hollywood style entrance.

Prop it up!

Props can be a fun addition to any bridal party entrance WITH a few caveats. Remember the non-tacky tip above. Choose props that are fun or fit with your wedding theme AND make sure your bridal party has an easy way to get rid of them. Don’t leave your DJ out of the fun. Ask the pros for song ideas that fit with bridal party entrance ideas and the props.

Make the entrance a trivia contest.

If you are a couple who loves trivia contests, make the bridal party entrance a trivia contest. Have fun with this bridal party entrance idea; choose an awesome DJ who can serve as the perfect trivia contest host and give him or her the information that makes this an unforgettable game show.

Plan the ultimate race.

Make your bridal party entrance feel like the end of a fantastic race. Have your bridal party attendants cross the finish line—and cheer you on as finish your first race as newlyweds. Get out the checkered flags and lights…this is sure to be a race that everyone’ll cheer for!

How long do DJs play at weddings?

shot of people dancing at epic wedding receptionSetting a timeline for your wedding reception may not be the most glamorous part of wedding planning, but it’s necessary—and incredibly common. The internet is full of engaged couples grappling with the common question, “How long do I need to hire my wedding DJ?”

How long do wedding DJs play?

The primary reason behind the question pertains to budget. Many wedding DJs charge by the hour, leaving budget-conscious couples looking for ways to cut costs. That cut often means cutting the hours of the wedding DJ; usually, DJs play for 5-6 hours at a typical wedding reception.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to hiring a DJ for a set amount of time. Some DJs charge overtime fees if the reception runs long or if they have to stay longer than the contracted amount of time. This leaves couples asking, “What if my wedding reception runs long? How do I avoid a big bill or surprise charges?” Obviously, no one wants to kick their guests out and shut down an epic wedding dance.

There is another solution: find a wedding DJ who offers an all-inclusive package with no limit on time and no overtime fees.

Where can I find a wedding DJ?

Chicago is full of wedding DJs. The path to the right DJ is different for every couple. Here’s where to start:

  • Chicago Wedding Shows. Visit a wedding show near you in Chicagoland. Make sure you come equipped with a list of questions to ask your wedding DJ.
  • Social Media. Let the search engines find wedding DJs for you. Browse through the websites and social media sites for reviews and testimonials. E-mail and message every wedding DJ with a list of questions. This approach comes with a caveat: never hire a DJ without a face-to-face meeting.
  • Wedding Sites. Wedding websites like the Knot and Wedding Wire provide lists of Chicago-area DJs. These websites come with reviews from newlyweds and an easy contact button for contacting local DJs.
  • Recommendations. Finding a wedding DJ may be as easy as asking friends and family, but use some caution to this approach. Be careful about recommendations that come with “my friend has a DJ service,” “my brother is awesome,” or any endorsement that was given without any personal experience.
  • Review Sites. Similar to wedding websites, review sites are useful for couples looking for neutral reviews. These sites are helpful for finding and researching wedding DJs; the next step is to set up a meeting with the wedding DJs and decide which service is right for your big night.

Ways to Find (and Hire) a GOOD Wedding DJ

wedding dance floor with deejayA fantastic night of dancing at your wedding reception is about more than music. Planning an epic wedding reception is not difficult, but it does require hiring a few quality vendors. An excellent photographer, a great videographer, an awesome wedding venue for pictures, an over-the-top wedding bar—they all play a part in creating the perfect setting and capturing memories from an unforgettable night of dancing and fun.

The main factor in a really awesome wedding dance is undeniably the main entertainer: the band or wedding DJ (weigh options for wedding reception entertainment here). If the latter is the “one,” use these ways to find and hire a local wedding DJ that fits the occasion (and those high expectations!)

Chicago Wedding Shows

The easiest way to find a DJ is to head out to one of the many wedding shows held throughout Chicagoland; this is also a time-saving way to compile a list of potential wedding vendors because they are all together in one location. Bring your wedding checklist (or binder) so you can kickstart your wedding planning off on an organized foot.

Social Media

Social media can serve a dual purpose when finding and choosing a wedding DJ. Depending on the social media channel, the site can be a useful source of testimonials (are other clients satisfied with their service?) and examples of service. If the potential wedding DJ is a serious prospect, don’t hesitate to contact the DJ through social media (a good DJ promptly responds).

Wedding Sites

Wedding websites like the Knot or Wedding Wire can be a useful first step in wedding planning. These sites are full of potential local wedding vendors, along with information and reviews. As an added bonus, these sites can be a valuable asset when vetting wedding venues that require couples to choose from a list of wedding vendors.

Recommendations

Friends and family can be an excellent source of wedding DJ recommendations. Think, “I used this wedding DJ and he was awesome!” or “Don’t use the wedding DJ that was at my cousin’s wedding because…” Be extra careful about recommendations that are not based off of personal experience, such as “My brother…” or “My friend’s friend does it on the side.” These recommendations can lead to amateur DJs who don’t have quality equipment or a back-up in case of emergencies.

Review Sites

Online review sites can be an easy way to compile a list of potential wedding DJs. When sifting through comments, understand that some internet trolls leave false negative reviews. However, if the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, proceed on to the next step: interviewing potential wedding DJs.

Interview

Don’t hire a wedding DJ without a thorough interview. An interview can help cross wedding DJs off the list because their prices exceed the wedding budget, they aren’t available, or for a variety of other reasons. The interview can be done via phone, in-person (schedule an appointment), e-mail, or social media. Ask these questions:

  • “Are you available on my wedding date (or these dates)?”
  • “How long have you been in business?”
  • “Do you have any references?”
  • “Do you offer any other services (lighting, photo booth, etc.)?”
  • “Can you do….[insert a special request]?
  • “What is the final total cost of your services?”
  • “How long is covered by the quoted cost? Are there overtime fees?”
  • “How much of a deposit is required and when will the balance be due?”
  • “Is there a travel fee to come to my venue?”
  • “What is the cancellation policy?”
  • “Can you provide proof of insurance?”
  • “When can we schedule a meeting? How often would we meet to discuss details?”
  • “Does your company have back-up DJ and equipment?”
  • “How soon would you arrive before the wedding?”
  • “What kind of electrical needs does your equipment require?” (for an outdoor wedding)
  • “What services are included in your wedding package?”
  • “Can your DJ offer dinner music? Can I tell you what songs I want and don’t want?”
  • “Will the wedding DJ be in formal attire?”
  • “How many years wedding experience does my DJ have?”
  • “What is the best way to contact you?”
  • For busy couples: “can we meet via the internet or over the phone instead of in person?”