How to choose a good wedding DJ requires time speaking with various DJs over the phone. This is the best way to gauge the right DJ company for your wedding. But you must ask the right questions…..
Questions answered in this article.
- How interested are they about your taste in music?
- How dose each DJ select the music they play?
- Do they accommodate request lists?
- Do they use professional equipment?
- Why you shouldn’t book a hotel package DJ.
Are they interested in your music taste?
During your conversation drop a few comments about the music genre’s you would like played at your wedding. Their answers should reflect a genuine knowledge of the music on their part. You may find some DJs are out of their depth or confort zone already!
How do they organise and select the music they play?
This is important, because poor music flow can easily kill the dance floor atmosphere.
Ask how they would include verbal requests given on the night with those from your playlists. Their answer should make sense.
Ask about various music genres. Perhaps name 4 or 5 song titles, then ask the order in which they would be played to maintain a full dance floor.
A good DJ would not go from a Ballad to Rock & Roll, or likewise from Indie Rock to Folk music.
Do they accommodate request lists?
There are no set rules to when playlists are taken, but there are drawbacks, therefore it is well worth checking.
- Playlists Given On The Night – This is a poor idea, because if your DJ does not have the songs on your playlist, they may start constantly searching the internet which takes away the ability to engage and maintain the dance floor atmosphere.
- Prior E-mail Playlists – While many DJ do this, there is no real way to check. I had a client do this recently, and part of their email was missing, subsequently about 15 songs were not played.
- On-line Planning Tools – Many professional DJs opt for this method. This type of service requires time and maintenence which full-time profesional DJ’s have.
It allows you to quickly make bespoke playlists, and you know instantly if your tunes are available, and if not, you add them to a custom area.
Then save your work for continuted progress later.
Do they use professional equipment?
Ask about their equipment, and always ask to see photos.
Cheap DJ equipment is designed for home use, and not for playing long periods of time in different locations and environments.
Jot the equipment down and check it for quality.
Quality names include Allen & heath, Traktor, Denon, EV, Nexo, Chauvet, ADJ, Equinox, FBT, and Pioneer.
Can I see you in action?
It is a good idea to see the DJ in action before you book. Look for the visual wow factor, clarity of their speech/microphone, and music quality, (Does the bass suffer at higher volumes? Does the treble sound harsh to listen to?)
Some DJs may make excuses not to see them in action. Do not accept this, I have had clients stand at function room doors quietly listening for 15 to 20 minutes without issue.
Also notice if the DJ is drinking. A professional DJ will never drink alcohol while working. There are also legal implications if they are driving.
A Couple Of Tips
- NEVER book a DJ on the advice of a hotel wedding coordinator. In most cases they finish work well before the entertainment arrives, and some coordinators never see DJs in action.
- Sould I book a hotel package Disco because its easy?
Many venues rely on agencies to supply their DJs, this can result in getting a very poor DJ who may have little or no experience in wedding protocols.
The result is poor sound quality, with very few disco lights, and a sub-standard DJ who doesn’t have your music and simply doesn’t know how to fill the dance floor.
- Other venues will chose their DJ by reliability and the cheapest price. DJ experience or equipment quality doesn’t enter their equastion.
- I have been a DJ for 30+ years, and I can honestly tell you it’s worth booking and consulting with a wedding DJ specialist.
Before you book a package deal with a hotel:
- Find out what is and isn’t included.
- Ask for a breakdown of all costs.
- Ask if you can have your own DJ and deduct the fee. And if not, why not?
- Ask who the DJ is, and go and see them. (Ask lots of questions.)
- Ask to see photos or video of them in action.
After all your evening reception and DJ will be a major part of your day, with your family and friends attending.