1) How long have you been DJ’ing?
Experience is critical when choosing your DJ. Some companies charge less because their DJ’s have less experience. The less experience a DJ has, the more vulnerable you are to having a botched event. The best night of your life should be just that. Leave it to the professionals and you have nothing to worry about.
2) Is your DJ business full-time or part time? Do you DJ weddings, clubs lounges and corporate events? If so how many and what clients have you worked for?
It is important to have a DJ that is well rounded and can bring a level of expertise and versatility to your event. You want to hire a DJ that is multi-faceted, a “true” performer that is varied and has extensive experience performing in front of different (and tough) audiences.
Hiring a DJ that is part-time and one dimensional probably won’t fair well for you on your most important date. There isn’t any rule or law against it but you don’t want to hire your family members or friends to play music from their home stereo sound system.
When you hire a DJ company, they will bring professional equipment, high end mixer, amplifiers, wireless microphone, speakers and lighting. The lack of professional equipment will most likely end badly for your special night.
The best equipment typically runs anywhere from $5,000 and up. If your DJ is a professional, then they should have invested the money into their equipment.
3) Do you have a “one size fits all” wedding reception playlist or is it customizable?
It is best to find a DJ that will create the soundtrack to your wedding that reflects your vision, taste and style. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to wedding receptions. No two weddings are alike and neither should the music. The variety of music the DJ has is most important because the music creates the mood.
And the mood determines how successful or how lame your reception will be. Make sure the DJ knows the songs to play and what not to play. You should discuss this upfront with the DJ in a consultation that you have 2-3 months prior to your wedding reception. The last thing you want is the song you absolutely hate, playing on the most important day of your life.
4) How do you get the crowd moving?
This is critical when hiring a DJ. Knowing how to read the crowd is a must. The DJ should have a little bag of tricks they use to get the party started. Some of the more common tricks are different slide dances like the Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle and Wabble. Another trick is to get the bride and groom to compete for the longest conga line. But understanding how to read a crowd, build up the energy and keep that energy at its highest level is essential.
5) Do you take song request from guest?
This is totally up to the client. They may or may not want their guest to request songs. Sometimes people want their guest to be active participants in selecting music that will make them groove, other times the bride and or groom may want complete control over ever song played. This should be discussed up front when you have your consultation 2-3 months before your reception.
6) Do you offer any additional services to enhance the mood?
DJ’s may or may not offer extra services like up-lights, monograms, special effects lighting, photo booths, and/or video monitors. These services create an atmosphere that is unparalleled to any other wedding reception you have ever been to. One or a few of these can truly make your most important night, a night your guest will never forget. People always remember the extras because they have not seen them before.
7) What sets you apart from your competition?
This question should be the easiest question for your DJ to answer. This is what makes the DJ unique. However, some DJ’s will use this opportunity to speak negatively about their competition. This type of behavior is very unprofessional and reflects very badly on that DJ. If this were to happen then you would probably want to meet the DJ’s they are speaking so badly about.
They may do this in fear that you would hire the competition versus them. Do it. That way you know what type of person you are dealing with.
8) What is all included with your package?
Knowing what you are getting for your money is important in any situation. Always ask the DJ what will I be getting by picking your services.
9) How much are your services?
Please do not base your decision on how much a DJ charges for their services. The term you get what you pay for could not be any truer. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be upset about your DJ because you picked one solely on how much they cost. Price is important but the VALUE of what you are getting for your money is way more important. The DJ can either make or break your reception. Make sure your “frugalness” is not the reason in this case.
10) Do you do overtime?
Sometimes the party gets going and you don’t want it to end. Ask the DJ if they do overtime and how much it is? It is best to ask this during the consultation so there are no surprises the day of the event. If you do decide to go into overtime then you already know how much it is going to cost you.