How to Choose Your Wedding DJ
Before hiring a vendor, do some leg work to find a few DJs to interview individually. Here are a couple of ways to narrow your choices:
Have any of your friends celebrated a wedding recently? Ask around for referrals, or if you had a blast at a friend's reception, don't hesitate to ask for the DJ's information. The more first-hand information you know going into an interview, the better.
Your reception venue might also recommend a number DJs on a preferred vendor list. This is a great lead to follow as your venue can vouch for the vendor's services and the DJ will already have an idea of how to work at the site.
Entertainment Company Searches
An online search of local entertainment companies will surely offer a number of DJs in your area. This method offers a chance to read reviews, check out a company's website and find local venues where your prospective DJ performs.
I also highly recommend utilizing wedding-specific websites for vendor referrals, such as WeddingWire or TheKnot. This will narrow your searches down to DJs who are well-versed in wedding reception entertainment.
Visit a Bridal Show or Wedding Expo
Bridal shows and expos typically showcase many local DJs, some of whom emcee fashion shows or other entertainment at the event. This is a great way to see your potential vendor in action entertaining the crowd. You can get a feel for a DJ's personality and command of the crowd in addition to having the opportunity to meet and greet in person at a booth.
Once you choose a few candidates, request an in-person meeting to interview the DJs individually. Arrive at your meeting prepared with a list of pertinent questions to help make your decision. Here are some examples:
• Are you available on my wedding date? How do I secure it?
• Have you done any events at my venue?
• Do you book multiple events on one day?
• When can you furnish a contract detailing specifics for my event?
• Do you require any additional equipment from the venue?
• How do you manage/create our event song lists? Can we give you requests?
• Explain how you read the crowd, and what do you do to keep a good vibe going?
• If a large entertainment company: will you be the DJ at my wedding/how do I ensure you will be the DJ?
• Is this your primary occupation? How many weddings have you done?
• Can you offer a list of references?
• What do you wear to events?
• Do you advertise/display a banner at events?
• How do you handle song requests from guests?
• Are you insured?
• Will you have an assistant?
• Do you require breaks or meals during an event?
• Do you emcee during the event (make announcements for cake-cutting, garter toss, etc.)? Will you follow/manage timeline for the reception?
• Do you bring back up equipment
• How do you prepare for an event?
• What is your rate? (Note: DJ rates can range anywhere from $400-$4,000 and higher. Less experienced, part-time DJs typically charge less, while professional, crowd-pleasing DJs charge higher rates. Great DJs can be found at any price range, but as with most things, you do get what you pay for.)
Your DJ is an important feature of a successful wedding reception, and as with all aspects of your wedding, putting forth the effort while planning will ensure the perfect choice for your special day.
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