4 Steps to Choosing & Hiring Your Wedding DJ

wedding dance floor with deejayOnce you’ve decided that a DJ is your best bet for wedding entertainment, it’s time to do the tough work: finding and choosing the right wedding DJ that keeps your guests on the floor all night.  The good news is that the process is easier—and harder—than you think.  That’s why we’ve compiled this simple list of steps that connect you with the right DJ for your wedding reception.

Do your research.

It’s time to let your fingers do the work: use the internet to make a list of DJs near you.  Browse through their website and social media sites to determine if they have any experience as wedding DJs (there is a difference between a wedding and corporate event DJ!).

You can also ask friends that have been married recently, or have attended a lot of weddings, for recommendations.  A frequent wedding guest can let you know what DJs they enjoyed dancing to—and what DJs gave a lackluster performance.

Ask questions in your first email or call.

Use your time efficiently; get your list of DJs narrowed down to the few that it makes sense to actually meet with.  Ask each DJ if they are available on your wedding day and, if so, if they have any references you can contact and their fees.  Add the information to your list, but don’t use price as the most important deciding factor.  As much as you want to save money and stay within your wedding budget, low-priced DJs are usually too good to be true.  Make sure your wedding night is a memorable night that your friends are talking about for years; hire a quality DJ who customizes their play list to who you are a couple and has the equipment to back it up. (Look out for these signs of a subpar DJ as you screen DJs.)

Meet them.

The best way to get your list from many to one is by setting up a meeting.  When you go, be prepared. Ask these questions to determine if this DJ is right for you (as a bonus, ask if you can see the equipment!).

  • “Do you have a lot of experience as a wedding DJ?”
  • “Do you offer any services, such as lighting, photo booth or any other entertainment options?” (Helpful if you want to get a package deal and don’t have to make too many calls for each aspect of entertainment!)
  • “Can you do….(Insert special request here)?”
  • “If our reception runs late, are there any overtime fees?”
  • “When is the deposit due? How much?”
  • “Is there a travel fees for getting to my venue?”
  • “Do you have insurance? Can I get proof?”
  • “What if there is an emergency? What if I need to cancel?”
  • “How often should we plan on meeting with you?”
  • “Do you offer phone or web meetings in case we can’t come in person?”
  • “What happens if your equipment breaks down or your DJ is unable to come?”
  • “What time to do you arrive at the reception?”
  • “Do you provide dinner music as part of the cost?”
  • “What information do you need from me? When do you need it?”
  • “What will the DJ be wearing?”
  • “Does your DJ make announcements as an emcee at the reception?”
  • “What is the best way to contact you as we plan our wedding?”

Review their terms.

Go with your first instinct, but make sure you understand any papers before you sign them.  There may be cancellation policies, fees, or unpleasant surprises you don’t want to find out about later.  It’s all part of making the wedding planning process—and your wedding reception—the best experience possible.

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