Category Archives: wedding DJ tips

bride tossing bouquet after choosing best wedding DJ and asking wedding DJ questions

10 Questions You Should Hear from Your Wedding DJ

This list of wedding DJ questions tells you when you’ve found the “one.” Hiring a wedding DJ in Chicago is a bit like dating, with both parties asking key questions that make sure it’s a good fit. Plus, if your wedding DJ asks you these questions, you know they’re a high-quality DJ who actually customizes their playlist to you.

Questions Your DJ Should Ask

This list of wedding DJ questions is not all-inclusive! An experienced wedding DJ wants to know about you—everything!—so they can craft a playlist that fits your tastes and coordinates seamlessly with other wedding details. Be cautious if a wedding DJ doesn’t ask these questions; many sub-par DJs use the take a “one size fits all” approach to their weddings. (In addition to not asking these questions, always be alert for these other signs of a low-quality wedding DJ.)

  • What type of music do you like? Do you have any songs that are special to you as a couple? (Good wedding DJs love to know little details about you as a couple.)
  • What songs do you want played? Do you have any favorite songs do you want played during your dances (i.e. entrance, first dance, mother/son dance, father/daughter dance, etc.)?
  • What songs don’t you want played? (Get the perfect ‘do not play’ list with these wedding songs tips.)
  • What kind of cocktail music would you like played?
  • Where is the wedding? (This is more than a logistical detail. An experienced DJ has probably been there before, and has a relationship with the staff! This will be helpful for coordinating set-up and other details.)
  • Do you have a theme or style you are incorporating into your wedding?
  • Who is your videographer and photographer? (A good wedding DJ coordinates special moments with your videographer and photographer so you get the best shots.)
  • Do you have any special announcements I need to make? (Like a surprise!)

What to Ask Potential Wedding DJs

It’s just as important for you to get to know your wedding DJ, as for them to get to know you! Use these wedding DJ questions to weed out sub-par DJs and find the DJ that offers the best services, plus has other “musts” like a back-up DJ and equipment for emergencies.

  • Are you available on my wedding date?
  • Have you DJ’ed weddings before? Do you have proof of insurance?
  • Can you provide testimonials from couples you have DJ’ed for?
  • Do you have back-up equipment in case of a breakdown? Do you have another wedding DJ that can fill in in case of emergency?
  • What is the cost of your services? What does it include? Is dinner music part of the total cost? Do you charge overtime fees?
  • What is the amount of the deposit? When does it need to be paid? What is the payment arrangement?
  • Do you offer any other services (lighting, photo booth, etc.)?
  • How should we contact you? How will you contact us? When will we hear from you?
  • What information do you need from us? How should we get it to you? When is the deadline for information?
  • When do we need to sign a contract and return it to you?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Have you DJ’ed at my venue before? Is there a travel fee charged?
  • When do you typically arrive at the venue? Do you dress in formal attire?
  • What songs do you typically include in your wedding DJ playlist?

While asking about the cost is an important item on your list of wedding DJ questions, remember that it shouldn’t be the only question. The cheapest DJ isn’t always the right wedding DJ; in some cases, the cheapest DJ is the cheapest because they offer the same playlist with no customization. Unfortunately, these DJs often come with dated equipment and no back-ups in case of emergency.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting with your wedding DJ, either in-person or virtual. A meeting is your chance to see your DJ’s equipment and find out if they are the “one” that can make your wedding reception unforgettable.

beautiful summer wedding with lighting and beautiful dance floor

Your Fool-Proof Formula for Planning the Best Wedding Reception

If only planning a rocking wedding reception was as easy as basic math! Fortunately, it can be—if you use these tips for planning a wedding dance your guests’ll be talking about long after the honeymoon is over.

Spend your budget on things your guests care about.

Setting a wedding budget should be one of your first steps of planning a wedding reception—and an incredibly important one. Your wedding budget is your chance to allocate your dollars for items that play the biggest role in making the wedding reception incredible for you and your guests. These big-ticket items include: venue, food, and entertainment.

Research your vendors.

Once you’ve allocated your funds, it’s time to hire the professionals that can turn your vision into reality. While it may be tempting to just hire the first caterer or wedding DJ you find online, it’s incredibly prudent to research potential vendors before you hire them.

There are a few ways to research vendors: in-person (at a friend or family member’s wedding), online, or from recommendations. Obviously, the first method is the most reliable; if they did awesome at another event, you know they are high-quality. However, don’t forget to ask the couple that hired them about their experience with the vendor. You don’t want to hire someone that doesn’t return your calls or is difficult to deal with.

If you research venues online, always check third-party websites for reviews from other couples. There are a quite reputable sites for wedding vendors, such as Wedding Wire, the Knot, and Yelp.

The last way to get names of wedding vendors is to ask friends or family. If you ask friends or family for recommendations, be careful about “my brother…” or “my friend’s cousin has a DJ service.” While it might be appealing to hire a low-cost wedding DJ, the hire also comes with a risk. Unfortunately, many one-man DJ services offer a one-size-fits-all playlist with no chance for customization. They typically don’t have back-up DJ in case of an emergency or back-up equipment after a breakdown.

Interview, interview, interview.

Before signing on the dotted line, you should always interview each and every wedding vendor. Ask every wedding vendor about their availability, liability insurance (incredibly important), cancellation policy, costs (including the number of hours and services), additional fees (i.e. overtime fees, travel fees), plus a few other important questions. (Here are some specific questions for a wedding caterer and wedding DJ.) If you’re serious about hiring them, always ask about any deadlines so you can stay on schedule with your wedding planning.

Trust the pros.

You’ve hired your wedding vendors because you trust them. Now it’s time to enjoy the wedding planning process, take a few de-stressing breaks, and look forward to your special day!

Tips for Getting the Most out of Your DJ

wedding DJ equipment at wedding receptionWedding planning can be exciting, overwhelming, exhilarating and, at times, fun. It can also feel a little crazy at times when you’re trying to get more…more atmosphere, more wedding planning tasks checked off, more for your money. That’s why we’ve put together tips that can help you accomplish all three of these “mores”—at least where your DJ is concerned.

Be aware of the ‘give and take’ when hiring a DJ.

If you want to take advantage of all the perks of hiring a DJ, you need to give to make the most of their services. Give your wedding DJ information such as the numbers of other vendors (so they can coordinate on the day of), name pronunciations, any sound volume restrictions, songs you want and don’t want played. Be careful if your DJ doesn’t ask for this information or do anything with it.

Look for a package deal.

Packaging wedding services more can be helpful in two ways: financially and task organization. It’s more for less financially, as they say. Getting more from your DJ, such as lighting and other entertainment, in a package deal can save you time searching for other vendors that can provide the same services. Don’t be shy to ask about any extras that can be included, or search for companies that offer services that you want packaged.

Choose a DJ that goes the extra mile.

If you want to get the most out of your wedding DJ, search for a DJ that does more than just play music. Ask your wedding DJ about their experience coordinating with other vendors. Quality DJs can coordinate their services with your venue, photographer, videographer, and any other wedding vendors so you can get the most out of your wedding DJ service.

Don’t just hire a wedding DJ.

When emergencies happen, you don’t want to have to search for another DJ or equipment—and you certainly don’t want to pay for more. To get the most out of your DJ, look for a wedding DJ with a back-up plan: another experienced wedding DJ and equipment plan for those ‘just in case’ situations. Hiring a professional with a professional back-up gives you peace of mind—and two wedding DJs for the price of one.