Category Archives: hiring wedding entertainment

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!

4 Tips for Hiring the Right Wedding Reception Entertainers

bride and guests at wedding reception dancing to reception entertainerWhat do you remember from the last wedding you were at? Was it the favors, wine, or the fun time you had?  Chances are it was the latter, and that’s what your guests are going to remember from your wedding reception.  That’s why hiring wedding reception entertainment should be one of your top wedding planning priorities—and why we’ve put together tips that’ll help you hire the right entertainers for your big day.

Decide what kind of wedding entertainment is right for your big day.

Before you can decide who to contact, start by breaking down the most common wedding entertainment options: band, DJ, and do-it-yourself (we’ve gone into great depth on wedding entertainment options here).  What is your first choice?  Do you have a certain kind of music played by a band or would you rather have a variety of songs and a fun DJ?

Once you’ve decided what kind of entertainer you want, start contacting entertainers to find out what options fit in your wedding budget.  Ask each wedding reception entertainer these questions so you don’t get any unpleasant surprises later.

Don’t (entirely) base your selection on price.

When asking questions, remember there are a ton of amateur DJ’s and bands out there willing to offer their services for close to nothing.  When listening to their sales pitch, remember the old adage “you get what you pay for.”  While price is an important part of your decision, a low-cost wedding entertainer is probably going to deliver low-quality entertainment with subpar equipment (not to mention they probably don’t have a backup in case of emergencies, leaving you without entertainment).

Book early.

As tempting as it may be to procrastinate on hiring a wedding entertainer, the best DJs’ and bands’ fill up fast.  Twelve to eighteen months before your big day is optimal, but the reality of hiring wedding entertainers is the sooner the better.  If you wait too long, you are going to get a crummy wedding entertainer (here’s how to tell if you hired a low-quality DJ) and all your guests are going to remember is a boring ho-hum wedding reception.

Think about what happens ‘just in case.’

Musicians get sick. DJ’s get sidelined because of a family emergency.  Accidents happen, and the best bands and DJ’s have a back-up plan just in case; the amateurs don’t.  Remember when you decide on the high-quality entertainer (band or DJ), you are also paying for a contingency plan that won’t leave you—or your guests—bored.