Music is an important part of your wedding reception, so you need to know the top questions to ask your wedding DJ. We turned to our friends at Total DJ for their expert advice. Read on so you’ll know the right questions to ask!
Don’t assume that the person you’re meeting with will be your DJ. It’s fairly common, especially for larger agencies, to “bait and switch” their clients and provide a different DJ than the one they originally met. It is absolutely paramount that you have an opportunity to interview, in person, the specific DJ that you will be working with and determine whether you feel comfortable with them. You should also expect that the individual DJ’s name is specified on your contract – it is the only way you can be guaranteed his or her services at your wedding.
If a DJ refuses to meet with you in person, it’s typically a bad sign. Some deejays are very different in person than on the telephone and what is presented on their website, and you should insist on meeting in face-to-face so you can judge for yourself whether they are a good match for you and your wedding. Your “gut” feeling is very important in selecting the right disc jockey, and it’s practically impossible to make this evaluation unless you are together in person.
Most professional DJs will give you a reasonable amount of time after your meeting to complete your other DJ interviews and make a decision. If a DJ tries to pressure you into signing with them immediately, it’s usually a sign that they have something to hide or are being dishonest, and fear being exposed if you continue interviewing other disc jockeys. One week is a reasonable amount of time to hold a date after an initial meeting; at Total DJ, we give two weeks. See The DJ Shopping Guide™ on our website for the more examples of this.
Any professional DJ will be able to answer this question in a positive way about what they offer and how they are different, without “bashing” other DJs. If you meet with a DJ and they have negative things to say about another DJ or company, you should seek out and meet with that company as well. Typically, DJs will “talk trash” about the companies they think you’ll book instead of them – and they’re probably right!
This is an extremely important question to ask because it will tell you whether or not the DJ is the right match for your guests and the atmosphere you’re trying to create. A “high-energy emcee” or “entertainer” will behave a lot differently than someone “low-key.” Also, be sure to ask what they will do to “motivate” your guests if nobody is dancing – DJs often handle this in very different ways.
Despite meticulous planning and preparation, accidents do happen. If the DJ is unable to perform on your wedding day, what is the backup plan? While most DJs have “friends” that can help with advance notice, what happens if the DJ has an emergency on your wedding day? Do they have someone on standby? Is that person a DJ of comparable quality? You should feel totally confident from their answer that you will have a high-quality, prepared DJ at your wedding, even in the case of a true emergency.
Hopefully the answer to this question is “no.” We’re sure that you wouldn’t appreciate the DJ inviting prospective clients to your wedding to see him in action. A professional DJ should be willing to take a stand for their clients’ privacy and not offer this as a possibility.
There are a handful of websites that offer online reviews of wedding vendors, reading the scores and comments of other couples who have previously used them.
If a DJ spends all of their time telling you what they will do at your wedding and not asking what you want, it’s a fairly safe bet that they aren’t interested in your opinion. Good wedding DJs understand that it’s your wedding, and they are being hired to listen to your vision and make sure that your wishes are executed on your wedding day.
Some DJ companies will try to lure prospective customers by advertising a low initial price, only to offer essential equipment and additional time as an “add-on” to their services. Wireless microphones and a subwoofer are not, in our opinion, optional equipment – every wedding needs them.
Double dipping occurs when a DJ charges you for additional equipment and additional time, even though they already own the equipment and it costs them nothing to bring it with them. For instance, if your cocktail hour is in another area, some DJs will charge you for an extra hour of performance time, plus charge you for a second sound system or additional speaker.
If the couple would like to have a few Indian, Russian, Nigerian, etc… songs mixed into their set the DJ should comfortable accommodating this.
Experience is always great, but experience DJing in nightclubs is different than wedding experience. Make sure the DJ has some wedding experience.
The DJ should be able to accommodate this and work with the couple to get the exact music that the couple used when they learned the choreography.
Timelines vary but a DJ telling you what order they like to do things can tell you lots about the DJ and may give you some insight into how you would like your wedding to progress.
So there you have it; the top questions to ask your wedding DJ! We hope you found these questions helpful. If you’re planning a San Francisco wedding, be sure to check out Total DJ. Be sure to download our guide to take with you when you’re ready to meet and interview DJs.
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