Getting Married? Questions to ask Before Hiring a Wedding DJ.
Your wedding DJ can make or break your reception. Before you sign a contract, make sure you are 100% comfortable with your choice! Here's a list of questions you should ask any potential DJ you interview.
Do you have a contact? Any reputable DJ will have a contact which clearly outlines all details of your agreement. This document protects your interests and the DJ's as well. I would strongly recommend avoiding any DJ which does not offer a contract.
Can I come watch you perform at another wedding before hiring you? The answer to this question should be no. If they answer "sure", beware. Would you want a strange couple showing up at your reception to audition the DJ?
Do you have backup equipment? Hopefully their answer will be yes. Equipment can and does fail. It's important your DJ has backups available to get the show going again as quickly as possible.
Where do you get your music? Many DJ's will cringe when you ask them this question because many of them download their songs illegally from file sharing services. A respectable DJ will subscribe to a music service to get their new music. I would also caution against DJ's claiming to have 80 bajillion songs in their library. Many times, these huge libraries have been obtained illegally and the music is low quality. If a DJ won't spend the money to purchase their music legally (the single biggest expense most DJ's have), what else are they skimping on?
Have you played at our reception site before? This isn't necessarily a make or break question, because there's always a first time to play a venue, but it is important to know whether they are familiar with the venue or not.
How long can you hold the date for us while we decide? A reputable DJ will allow you at least a week to check references, talk to other DJ's, etc before you sign the contract. If they're trying to pressure you into signing a contract immediately, this is a big red flag. Beware!
If you are talking to a multi-op company, then be sure you ask them who your DJ will be and whether you can talk to your DJ before your wedding day. It's important that you discuss details with the person who will actually be at your wedding performing for your guests.
A few other tips...
Always ask the venue who they prefer. Don't be shy about asking the venue if they receive a fee for referring certain DJ's. If they don't, then trust them. They have your best interests in mind and are referring who they feel is best suited to handle your wedding. If they do receive a referral fee for referring particular DJ's, shame on them. This is a shameful practice that doesn't happen much in our area, but one that reputable DJ's and venues will stay clear of.
Ask your DJ upfront about playlists. Don't just assume a DJ will play every song you want them to play. While reputable DJ's will do their best to play the music you want during your reception, if a couples playlist is a major fail (ie. they love it, but their guests don't and nobody dances), they cannot (and should not be expected to) explain to your guests that they had nothing to do with what music is played. Your DJ should know which songs will work for what crowds. Hire a professional who knows their music and how to read a crowd and let them do their job.
Don't forget, the 2013 Bridal Fair is this Saturday at the Four States Entertainment Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you're planning a wedding, you don't want to miss it!