How to Find a DJ and Hire One: The Top Questions to Ask

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61% of DJ's say they perform for ceremonies and weddings.

That's a lot of beats to choose from! When you are hosting the event of a lifetime, it can be difficult to narrow down your options.

What is the best way to find a DJ? Should you be looking for style, showmanship, or dazzling light displays?

A lot will depend upon you and the type of wedding you dream of. Here are some questions to ask before making your choice.


1. Do You Have References?

Experienced DJ's will be able to provide you with a list of satisfied customers who can vouch for their experience.

Call up former clients and ask about the DJ's timeliness and professionalism. Were all phone calls and emails returned promptly? Did the couple feel that the DJ listened to them and respected their requests?

Online reviews are another great way to get a feel for the way a DJ operates. If you see similar comments being made by different clients, you will get a good idea of what your experience will be like.

Be wary of a DJ who badmouths former clients. You don't want them to do the same for you!


2. Will We Get A Contract?

You do not want to go with a DJ who will not supply you with a detailed report of what they will supply. Your contract should include the number of hours they will work, including setup time.

There should also be detailed information about the pay, deposits, and light equipment provided. The average couple spends anywhere from $780 to $1,495 for a DJ. You may also want to include a list of songs and any planned breaks or special dances.

Your DJ should provide proof of insurance before you sign a contract. This proves that they are authorized to practice and registered in the state. Insurance will cover the artist, the venue, and you as a client in the event of an emergency.


3. How Do You Encourage A Crowd?

Experienced DJ's have worked with all kinds of audiences and know how to get a shy crowd out on the dance floor. They may have folks join the couple for their first dance, or play a popular song from their college years.

A professional DJ will know how to keep a crowd on the floor once they have gathered. They will be able to blend all kinds of genres to accommodate all generations at your wedding.


4. Can You Show Me Some Examples?

You can only learn so much about a DJ through an interview. Ask for videos, mixtapes, or sample playlists so you can see your party person in action.

Some DJ's will even invite you to a "mini-concert" where you can see them working and get a good feel for their style. You will get confidence that you are hiring someone whose vision suits your own.


5. What Equipment Do You Use?

Some DJ's use turntables, which allow them to manipulate sound instantly. Your DJ may also have a microphone, a computer, a mixer, or a fog machine. Some DJ's may include video screens that feature pictures of the happy couple, or dancers while they enjoy themselves.

Experienced DJ's will have backup equipment with them in case something goes wrong. You do not want to get stuck with a silent wedding!

While beginner DJ's may have the lowest prices, they may also have the lowest-quality equipment. Look for a corporate dj who has performed in many venues.


6. Have You Played The Venue Before? Will You Visit It Beforehand?

The sound production will vary depending upon the room. The right DJ will know how to work a room's acoustics to produce a sound that is loud enough for dancers to hear every word of the lyrics, yet not so overwhelming that folks sitting at tables can't hear one another talk.

If your DJ has never played in your venue before, they can make a trip over before your wedding This way, they can meet the staff and learn the rules for vendors. They can also plan appropriately for lighting and acoustics.

Your DJ may need an extension cord or a backup generator. A trip to the site will give them information they will be glad they have at your wedding.


7. How Do You Customize A Wedding For Each Couple?

A good DJ will be able to accommodate your style and needs. They should have different songs available for different ethnic or national tastes. 

Your DJ should be willing to honor your must-play and do-not-play lists. If you want them to act as an MC, announcing different speeches and dances, ask them if they will. 


8. What Do You Do When You Get A Song Request?

The right DJ will strike a balance between the couple's desires and guest song requests. This requires skill and experience.

Some DJ's will tell guests that they will do their best to honor requests, but they have to stick to the playlist. Others will appoint a bridesmaid or groomsman to field song requests so the couple doesn't have to be interrupted.


9. Can I Meet My DJ?

With a bigger company, you may have your choice of DJ. Make sure you meet with them beforehand and get an idea of their personality and style.

Ask questions and ask to see portfolios of past events. Stop in on a performance and find out if they work with a partner.


The Best Way To Find a DJ

If you are ready to find a DJ, be sure to check out references, portfolios, and past events. If the DJ has great equipment and loads of experience, your day will be full of fun and lasting memories.

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