Category Archives: hiring a wedding deejay

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.

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.