A 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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?”