Let’s just say it: your DJ can make or break your wedding reception. That’s why it’s SO important to take steps to carefully choose your wedding DJ long before your big night. Start by contacting potential wedding DJs with a list of questions, and don’t just hire a DJ based on price. This is one of the most special days of your life, and you don’t want a reception gone sour because of a cheap DJ.
To start “weeding out” bad wedding DJs , narrow your pool of prospects by requesting a meeting. Eliminate the DJs from your list that don’t have a set business address (they probably don’t have back up equipment or DJs just in case of emergency either—just one sign of an amateur DJ). Once you’ve set up a meeting with your potential DJs, look for “red flags”—signs of a BAD wedding DJ—when you meet:
- No customized play list. Everyone’s version of “good” songs is different, but it’s up to the DJ to ask about the songs you want—and don’t want—at your wedding reception (more information on how to craft your wedding playlist here). Avoid DJs who don’t ask about your preferences. There’s a good chance they use the same play list for every wedding (definitely a sign of a bad DJ!).
- No “extras.” What separates a good wedding reception from a great wedding reception is the atmosphere. Select a DJ that can set the atmosphere with stellar equipment (and back up equipment) and extras that send your night over the top, such as lighting, sound, and fun entertainment options (like a photo booth).
- No questions. The right DJ for your wedding reception asks questions and plans accordingly, such as questions that can help coordinate with other vendors and influence your reception schedule. If your prospective DJ is not asking questions, that DJ is not the right wedding DJ for your special day.
- No reviews or references. Don’t hire a wedding DJ that doesn’t have experience, or has a bad history at wedding receptions. If your wedding DJ can’t provide references from couples happy with their services, or their online reviews don’t wow you, cross their name off the list. You don’t want to experiment with a rookie, mediocre DJ on your big night.
- No dancing. If the DJ can’t get the guests dancing at another wedding, what makes you think your reception is going to be different? Ask friends and family for recommendations for a DJ that did an excellent job of entertaining and keeping the guests dancing. Ask them about what they’ve witnessed at weddings where the DJ was at. Then, book early. Don’t wait to get on the calendar of a good, experienced DJ. The best DJ’s calendars fill up quickly, and you don’t want to be stuck with a DJ that shows all the signs of a bad wedding DJ.