10 Questions you should be asking a DJ before booking them
1. Is this your full-time business? Are weddings your primary focus? What clubs, lounges, and corporate clients have you performed for in addition to weddings?
Determine whether they are a well-rounded, successful entertainer who can bring a level of expertise and versatility to your event. You want to ensure that your DJ isn’t a one-dimensional part-timer, but a true performer whose had varied and extensive experience performing in front of different (and tough) audiences
2. How do you customize the music experience for each couple? Can you help with song lists and providing suggestions?
Find a DJ who will create a soundtrack for your wedding that is based on your style, taste, and vision for that day. “One size does not fit all—if your desire is to have a mosh pit at your wedding, then you will need to deliver that and anything else you want, for that matter,” said Sakoda.
3. How do you get the crowd pumped?
Ask them how to get the crowd pumped, but, more importantly, listen to their music demos or watch wedding performances to get a sense of how they will interact with your guests in person. Interviewing prospective DJs is certainly helpful, but hearing them in action will really seal the deal.
4. How do you handle song requests?
There could be instances where the client directives are diametrically opposed to the guest requests. How a DJ strikes a balance to deliver on the couple’s desires—while still satisfying the guests’ requests—determines the skill and experience of the DJ.
5. Can I hear some examples of mixing and blending different tracks?
When mixing is done correctly, you probably aren’t even aware of it. The DJ should be able to blend between songs seamlessly; you don’t want guests to become bored by a ten-minute long Queen rendition! However, when this technique is performed incorrectly, you’ll be able to discern it instantly: “When there is no mixing or blending, there is awkward silence between songs (it’s the same thing as your iPod),” said Sakoda.
6. What sound equipment do you utilize? Do you have back-up equipment?
Ask if your DJ is certified and knows all of the ins and outs of connecting a system.
Backup equipment is also essential: DJs should always have the equivalent of a “flat spare” on hand, whether it be a microphone, computer, mixer, etc. Don’t forget to ask how soon before the reception they plan to arrive and how long it will take for them to set up.
7. Have you played at our chosen wedding venue before? If not, can you make a site visit beforehand?
The sound varies drastically depending on the room where your reception will be held. Don’t underestimate the importance of a site visit: The lighting technician at my wedding reception told me that they’ve had crises with brides who chose DJs that didn’t know how to work the room’s acoustics. The sound on the microphones was so poor that the tech couldn’t understand the garbled instructions through his earpiece!
8. Do we have our choice of DJs to select from, or is one automatically assigned to us depending on date availability? What happens in case of an emergency?
We believe choice is important: No two weddings are alike! You should have a choice of top DJs that fit your style and personality, and have the proper experience and skill for your wedding.
9. What other services do you offer (e.g. lighting, HD video screens)?
Some DJ packages come with extra services such as intelligent lighting and video screens. Next to lighting, video screens are our most requested option. I like to explain it as personalizing your day: Imagine watching memories roll by on the screens while you’re sharing that first dance. Then, you can add a few photos to enhance the parent dances as well.
10. Why should I choose you as my wedding DJ?
Is it their amazing sound equipment? Their can-do-anything personality? Or is it their professionalism and dedication towards making your wedding a success? Hopefully, all of the above!