Perhaps one of the most important vendors that you will hire for your wedding or event will be your DJ. They are the person responsible for keeping your guests dancing and having a memorable night. For people who aren’t using a coordinator and have to hire the DJ themselves, it might be tricky figuring out which entertainer would work best for you. While this list is not exhaustive, here are ten important questions to ask your DJ before making your decision.
1. Do you have a video of a prior event where you performed?
A professional DJ will proudly provide you with video links or DVDs to showcase their previous work. This will give you a good example of the types of events they have worked and their abilities with mixing and being on the microphone.
2. Have you worked at my venue before?
While this isn’t imperative, it is useful if your DJ has worked at the venue before. They will be familiar with the acoustics, floor plan, traffic patterns, and they may have a working relationship with the venue already.
3. Do you offer any extra services?
It is common for DJs to offer services such as lighting, event assistant, another DJ, prizes (if applicable), and extra sound equipment. If your DJ does not provide these, then you may have to go through another vendor. Sourcing all of your equipment from one vendor is generally less stressful and more economical.
4. How do you pump up the crowd?
Some DJs will teach the latest dance or verbally encourage guests to step onto the dance floor, while others will just select songs that will naturally get people moving. Choose someone who uses a technique that you like.
5. How do you handle requests?
If you want guests to be able to make song requests, make sure to find out what the protocol for that will be. Some DJs may prefer to receive requests in certain ways (i.e. not being shouted at while they work).
6. How would you describe your style?
Make sure that the entertainer’s style will go with the vibe of your event. If you want an elegant, lounge feel to your event, then a DJ who plays club music or lots of rock would be a music mismatch.
7. Do you have backup equipment?
Backup equipment is very important. While it doesn’t happen often, sometimes electronics can fail and without a replacement, there will be a lot of silence at your event.
8. What do you typically wear?
A professional DJ will have access to formal wear, and most importantly will dress how you want them to. It is your responsibility to communicate with them about how you expect them to be dressed: tuxedo, three piece suit, or simple coordinated outfits.
9. Do you offer planning?
There should be at least one, if not more, planning meetings well before the wedding. If needed, the entertainer should also be available via phone and email should you have any other planning requests. Many companies now offer an online planning platform which allows you to input important information about your event.
10. Why should you be my DJ?
Give them the opportunity to tell you how they could offer their services and make your event special. This also gives them a time to address something that they may think is important about them that you didn’t ask in your questions.