The Interview process prior to hiring any vendor is of the highest importance. Therefore, it is always prudent to write down a few questions to ask the wedding DJ. You always want to make sure the choice you make is one based on research and lots of confidence. Let’s dive in and analyze the key questions to ask the wedding DJ.
Have you DJ’ed weddings before?
Do not fight shy to ask this question! Weddings are a completely different animal when it comes to DJ’ing. Most DJ’s are used to playing at Bar’s, Clubs, parties and events. The success in this field doesn’t make for a great Wedding DJ. When DJ’ing a wedding it is very important to understand that you no longer play music based on a genre or vibe set by the establishment hiring you, but a wide range of guests and the couple of hiring you. As opposed to a bar/club you aren’t playing to small age group anymore and usually cater to kids all the way to grandparents sometime. So understanding this and having the ability to switch between genres and music choices are of the utmost importance.
What experience do you have with DJ’ing weddings?
Now that the DJ has passed the first question you want to see if he understands the intricate details that go into executing a wedding program and timeline. A wedding DJ’s job is not just to make guests dance during the last 3-4 hours of the evening. Their job includes MC’ing, Playing the right songs for the ceremony, having a cocktail hour system in place, introductions, cake cutting, introducing the key individuals who would be giving speeches or toasts, first dances, announcements and also making sure the other vendors are aware of everything going on so they can do their job too. If a wedding planner or coordinator hasn’t been hired by the couple it is the wedding DJs duty to “always” take the lead. Without the wedding DJ initiating an event nothing happens. So make sure the DJ you interview understands the huge responsibility that he/she is about to take over.
How early will you arrive to set up? Will the set up time eat into the allotted hours of service on my contract?
This is a very important question. If a DJ says he will arrive 2 hours prior to the start of the event that should usually be enough of time to have everything in place. Make sure that sound checks and any type of preparation is completed prior to the first guest walking in. Make sure the set up time doesn’t eat into the number of hours stipulated on the Wedding DJ contract. Many DJ’s use this as a method to inform the couple that in order to keep performing they will now need to charge an over time fee. Ask them if they will clearly state the start time and the end time on the contract and if overtime fees were to be applied after what time that would come in to play.
Does your wedding DJ have event liability insurance?
Any professional wedding DJ service should at least have a $ 1,000,000 insurance policy. What would you do to protect yourself if one of the speakers collapses off it’s stand or a lighting fixture comes lose and crashes on one of your guests? Many venues require an insurance policy before the DJ enters the space but in many cases some can overlook this. Therefore, make sure your DJ is able to provide you with a policy.
What equipment will you be using and do you have back up equipment on hand?
Ask your DJ some of the model numbers of key equipment that will be used at your wedding. Take that information and Google it. Is the gear being used of good quality or is it at the bottom in a list of price and dependability? You can utilize websites like Amazon or Musicians Friend to quickly see where this equipment stands against the rest. Do your due diligence and you can easily see if the DJ service is charging you premium prices for low quality equipment. Makes sure in cases of an emergency if back up equipment in available on site and how they the service would handle a break down.
How do you obtain the music you play?
The right answer here is always legally purchased music. iTunes, Amazon, Music subscription tools are the only way to go. If the DJ is stupid enough to say YouTube rips, then you are in trouble. Most amateur DJs use YouTube rips which are low in quality and in some cases can have hidden disastrous surprises if not checked. Stay away from anyone running torrents or downloading illegal music. Also, through the years I’ve heard horror stories around the industry of DJ’s that came to work not prepared with key songs like the first dance, father daughter dance, mother son dance and introduction songs. Make sure they will definitely play the songs you select for these key occasions and if they will be accountable for missing songs.
What will you wear at my wedding?
A suit, any type of black uniform and slacks worn with a dress shirt and vest are all acceptable attire. If a DJ informs you that he/she comes in jeans or street clothes you aren’t hiring a professional service. The attire adorned by the DJ service might directly reflect in their professionalism and music choices. Make sure you establish a dress code for your vendors. Through the years I’ve heard horror stories around the industry of DJ’s that came to work not prepared with key songs like the first dance, father daughter dance, mother son dance and introduction songs. Make sure they will definitely play the songs you select for these key occasions and how they will be accountable.
What is my final cost?
When you have discussed a price and agreed on it make sure to take it a step further and ask if there are any hidden costs associated with the quoted price. DJ’s will charge you extra for downtown locations, venues with no elevators, locations with no free parking, venues that are more than a few miles out of the DJ’s service area and so on. Make sure you understand if the tax is included in the price and if you use a credit/debit card if a processing fee is due. Always get the clear picture and avoid an expensive surprise at the end.In case of an emergency will you be able to send a replacement DJ?
In the case of an emergency will you be able to send a replacement DJ?
Let’s face it real emergencies cannot be avoided. God forbid, if a DJ is seriously ill, a death in his/her family or an accident happens this is very tragic. However, this isn’t going to stop you from celebrating your big day. So ask your service if they have a contingency plan in place if the contracted DJ can’t show up for any reason.
There are many questions out there that might affect each couple individually. The above mentioned are the key questions that need to be presented to the wedding DJ service. Do not be afraid to ask any question and bring any concern you have to light. Plan ahead and be 100% confident before you hire your DJ. We wish you all the best!
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