Category Archives: hire a wedding DJ

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).

Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Your Wedding DJ

wedding DJ equipment at wedding receptionYou’ve decided to hire a DJ for your wedding reception. Good choice! The next step is to sift through your options and choose the right DJ for your big day. As you sift through your options, make sure you avoid the pitfalls of hiring a sub-par DJ that doesn’t fit with your budget or your expectations.

Being fooled an amateur

There are a lot of self-professed DJs out there with old-fashioned equipment and a play list. Don’t be fooled by their cheap price tag; it comes laden with risks. These amateur DJs don’t have back-up equipment in case their less-than-stellar equipment gives out. They usually don’t have another professional DJ in case they can’t attend (and a close buddy who doesn’t have a lot of experience doesn’t count). Typically, they don’t have a huge playlist of songs or the experience to adapt their song list to the crowd.

How to avoid this mistake: Look for the red flags of an amateur, such as a reluctance to meet at a place of business or unwillingness to show you their equipment. When talking to prospective DJs, ask them if they have back-ups available in case of an emergency (along with these other questions). Be wary of any DJs that don’t answer your phone calls or contact you several times before your big day.

Waiting too long

As much as you want to enjoy your engagement, the best wedding venues and vendors (including DJs) get booked quickly. Many a couple has experienced disappointment because their favorite DJ is already booked on their wedding date.

How to avoid this mistake: Contact an experienced wedding DJ as soon in the planning process as possible. Make sure you’re clear about deadlines, such as when they need the contract and down payment, so you can make sure you have an excellent DJ booked and confirmed for your wedding day.

Not asking the right questions

The only surprise you want on your wedding day is how much fun it is, not hidden fees or an absentee DJ. Not asking the right questions or reading through the fine print can leave you with an unpleasant surprise after your wedding reception.

How to avoid this mistake: Make sure you ask your DJ a full list of questions when you interview them so there aren’t any surprises later. Use this list of questions so you can find out all the important details, such as a full list of fees (and how long the costs cover) and what the back-up plan is in case of emergency (i.e. broken equipment, sick DJ, etc.)

Not getting asked the right questions

Don’t get so caught up in making sure you ask the right questions that you overlook what you’re not getting back from your DJ. It’s easy to be so charmed by your DJ that you don’t notice that they have a one-size-fits-all play list they use at all their weddings.

How to avoid this mistake: Be vigilant about what your DJ tells and asks you. Your DJ should ask you for key information, such as what songs you want played and never want played at your wedding (here’s how to draft the right ‘do not play’ list).

Red Flags to Watch Out For When Booking Your DJ

bride and guests at wedding reception dancing to reception entertainerIt seems like almost every month there’s another headline about a couple who received substandard services from a wedding vendor: a photographer, videographer, or DJ. That’s why it pays to do your due diligence when hiring your wedding DJ. As a reputable wedding DJ who’s provided quality service to hundreds of clients, we’ve put together a list of red flags that should deter you from hiring a disreputable DJ.

No business address

As tempting as it may be to hire an amateur, that decision can make your wedding another headline. If the DJ you are screening does not have a business address, proceed with caution. Not every amateur DJ has back-up equipment or another DJ to fill in if there is a breakdown or emergency. Additionally, an amateur DJ may not be able to keep their business going for long—possibly not long enough for your big day.

Reluctance to showcase equipment

If your DJ is reluctant to show you the equipment they are using at your big day, that DJ may not be the right DJ for your night. A reputable DJ should be able to show you the high-quality equipment they are using and give you a back-up plan for what happens if that equipment breaks down.

No calls

A good DJ should contact you several times before your big day. Your DJ should want to know what songs you want played and don’t want played at your wedding (more tips on how to craft a ‘do not play’ list here). If they don’t ask, the DJ may bring a ‘one size fits all’ play list to your wedding that doesn’t fit you or your guests’ taste.

Additional fees

When you’re overwhelmed by wedding planning paperwork, it can be easy to sign on the dotted line without reading the fine print. Make sure you read the fine print of the contract—all of it. If you don’t, you could be subject to additional fees or a cancellation policy that holds you responsible for finding another DJ if they cancel.