10 Questions to Ask a Prospective Wedding DJ

Congratulations on your engagement!  Now you are on the hunt to secure a professional team of wedding vendors, including a wedding DJ.  Our recently published ebook, “The Bride’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ” provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to identify and interview a prospective wedding DJ.  The book contains a list of “10 Questions That You Really Need to Ask When Interviewing a Prospective Wedding DJ.”  These questions are excerpted below:

10 Questions That You Really Need to Ask a Prospective Wedding DJ

1. How did you get into DJing? – This is a great opening question, as it puts the DJ at ease and you will learn about his or her background as well as motivation for getting into the business. Find out where passions lie – whether with the music, the emcee aspect, or the prestige of performing at formal events. With a timeline, you can also learn how long this person has been performing as a DJ.

2. What is Your Style?– DJs run the gamut from extremely interactive to those who make sparse announcements and primarily mix the music. In recent years, there has been a trend towards “non-tacky” wedding receptions that eliminate “cheesy” features like the Electric Slide. Perhaps you want a high-energy emcee who really gets the crowd going. There is no right or wrong answer, but you need to align yourself with a DJ who is a good stylistic match for your vision. You should be proactive in asking this question, as some DJs might first ask you about your expectations, and then cater their answer to appease you.

3. How Many Weddings Did You Perform at Last Year? – This will give you a great idea on how experienced the DJ is in performing at weddings. An experienced wedding DJ is desirable as he or she will have the requisite experience to preside over a seamless evening of music and entertainment, also working well with the extended wedding team (i.e., wedding planner, banquet hall manager, photographer, videographer). Hiring an inexperienced wedding DJ exposes you to the risk of becoming the next YouTube sensation after a major mistake is made. While your DJ does not need to work as a DJ on a full-time basis, he or she should be performing regularly at weddings. For those wedding DJs who are extremely busy (say performing at over 60 weddings per year), be sure they have adequate time to give your wedding the special attention that it deserves.

4. What Would You Do If a Guest Spilled a Drink on Your Laptop Computer During Our Wedding? – This question indirectly asks about back-up equipment, which a professional wedding DJ should always bring to an event so your party isn’t halted by a technical glitch. It also gives you an idea on whether the DJ is a problem solver, or quick to blame others.

5. What is Your Approach to Musical Programming at a Wedding? – This question will reveal how flexible a DJ is in his musical programming as well as what types of music he favors. How much flexibility is there in the music programming? How many songs do you pick versus how many does the DJ pick? Try asking, “if we did not provide you with a strict playlist, what are some songs you might program for cocktail hour, dinner music and peak hour open dancing?” An experienced wedding DJ will have very well thought out answers. Programming at weddings can be tricky, given the wide range of guest ages and musical tastes. I have often said that the art of the wedding DJ is to make each and every guest feel as though they had the best time of their life! Keep in mind that inappropriate musical programming is one of the biggest complaints against wedding DJs. Inappropriate programming could mean playing modern club music all night long for a mixed crowd; or playing too many ballads for a younger crowd that wants to cut loose on the dance floor.

6. Are You Insured? – Talking about insurance can be a real mood killer, but in today’s litigious society, insurance may be a part of the wedding DJ hiring equation. If your banquet hall requires liability insurance (as many of the finer facilities do), an uninsured DJ company will not be allowed to perform at your event. There is no sense in spending any serious time interviewing a DJ company if they are unable to perform. Professional DJ companies carry liability insurance, while novice operations often don’t. Insurance_Canopy

SPONSORED LINK For those wedding DJ entertainers who do not carry liability insurance, the company Insurance Canopy provides event liability insurance for 1-3 days for disc jockeys starting at just $59. To learn more, visit www.insurancecanopy.com/dj-event-insurance.

7. Can You Provide References? – An experienced professional wedding DJ will have a thick stack of testimonials and be happy to provide references. These testimonials are probably already available on public review sites like WeddingWire.com. If possible, review the DJ’s online reviews prior to the consultation to get a sense of his or her style. If a DJ goes on the defensive from this question, it could be a red flag. Additionally, it is not recommended that you ask the DJ if you can drop in to observe one of their wedding performances. Would you want you DJ schmoozing with prospects at your wedding reception?

8. How Does Your Planning Process Work? Planning a wedding reception is a major endeavor. In plotting the music and entertainment for your celebration, how will the DJ assist you? Does the DJ meet with you in-person prior to the event? Is this planning session conducted in-person, via phone or video conference? Does the DJ have planning forms and other tools to assist you? Will you have access to the specific DJ who is performing at your event or will you be working with a support staff member? Professional, planning-oriented DJs reduce your stress levels in the weeks and months leading up to your wedding. It’s also a fact that the better the planning, the better the results.

9. Do You Have Contingency Plans in Place in Case You are Unable to Perform Due to Illness? Illness and injury are a fact of life, and there is a small chance that your wedding DJ could be physically unable to perform on your wedding date. Ask about what contingency plans are in place to ensure your show goes on. The fact that a DJ has taken the time to prepare a contingency plan is a testament to their professionalism.

10. Can You Tell Us About Your Packages and Pricing? – At a consultation, it is bad form to ask about price first, as it sets an awkward tone. Wedding industry consultant, Alan Berg, has astutely observed that consumers are quick to ask, “how much?” The question isn’t because they are price shoppers, but because they aren’t aware of the proper questions to ask. Of course, price is an important factor on everybody’s mind, but first take the time to learn about the service. Towards the end of your consultation with a prospective DJ, inquire about pricing. By then, you’ll have a good idea on the services and value the DJ can offer for your special day.

Ask these insightful questions, and you will be well on your way to picking the perfect wedding DJ to provide a magical evening of music and entertainment!

Brides_Guide_Perfect_Wedding_DJ_New_Cover_blog

Available as a hard copy or ebook on Amazon.com

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey. We enjoy collaborating with clients to create unforgettable family celebrations. For more info, visit us on the web at www.ambientdj.com

Advertisements

New Summer Mix 2017 by Ambient DJs

To celebrate the ongoing summer season, Ambient DJ Service has release a summer mixtape.  Titled “Hot Summer 2017” and compiled and mixed by DJ Gregg Ambient, the one hour mix is open format, fusing a range of musical genres.

The mix starts with stone cold classics by Kool & the Gang and Roy Ayers, before dropping a sultry bootleg rework of Sade’s “Love You More” from the Noc Boots record label run by DJ Cloak Dagger.  Then, onto the moody Lost Frequencies remix of Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu” and a recent electronic offering from Kaskade.  Calvin Harris’ tropical house/hip hop fusion offerings have been a huge innovation of 2017 – and we highlight two of his tracks “Rollin” and “Holiday.”

From here, Santana’s “Maria, Maria” gets mixed into DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts,” and from here the dance beats kicks in nicely, starting with DJ Cloak Dagger and his moombahton edit of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” followed by journeys into Latin music, reggae and pop. The set concludes with Luis Fonsi’s smash hit “Despacito.”

The mix can be enjoyed for free on Mixcloud via the player below.  Enjoy the rest of your summer party people!  To learn more about Ambient DJ Service, visit us online at www.ambientdj.com.

Songs for Space Travelers

In honor of the solar eclipse occurring on August 21, 2017, we’ve compiled a musical playlist for space travelers to capture the grandeur and mysticism of space.  The selections are skewed to the cinematic tracks from the electronic and classical genres, with a touch of singer-songwriters and psychedelic rock.

Immediately below the playlist is a Spotify playlist where you can listen to the music in its entirety.   To listen and acquire “Are You Sun” by upcoming Swedish producer Apel, visit http://apel.bandcamp.com/track/are-you-sun

The Songs for Space Travelers Playlist – Compiled by DJ Gregg Ambient

  1. Rachel’s Song (from Blade Runner) – Vangelis
  2. Moonbathing – Tom Middleton
  3. Are You Sun? – Apel
  4. Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) – Richard Strauss
  5. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity – Gustav Holst
  6. 12:18 – Global Communication
  7. Spacelab – Kraftwerk
  8. Everything in its Right Place – Radiohead
  9. The Scientist – Coldplay
  10. Space Oddity (Munk Machine Remix) – David Bowie
  11. Rocket Man – Elton John
  12. Walking on the Moon – The Police
  13. Under the Milky Way – The Church
  14. Echoes – Pink Floyd
  15. Future Takes Place Deep in Space – Korsakov
  16. Space Walk – Lemon Jelly
  17. Space Maker – Air
  18. Landing Boots – Shiftee
  19. Landing Dubby Style – Peter Munch
  20. Exploration of Space – Cosmic Gate
  21. Silence (Tiesto’s In Search of Sunrise Remix) – Delerium w/ Sarah McLachlan
  22. Last Night – Moby

Listen on Spotify

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central NJ.  Our music mixologists enjoy compiling playlists for all occasions!  To learn more about our services, visit www.ambientdj.com

The Retro Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

For the 89th installment of the Ambient DJ wedding cocktail hour playlist series, DJ Nick Kaminski submits a retro playlist that lingers primarily in the 70s and 80s.  In addition to being a talented wedding DJ, Nick is an exceptional musician as both a vocalist and pianist.  It’s no surprise that his picks include many great vocal performances by the likes of Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Barry White and the Carpenters.

To best enjoy the music, Nick recommends the Pear Barbotage (Champagne, Pear Brandy and St. Germain).   St. Germain is a liqueur created in the French artisinal manner that utilizes freshly picked elderflower blossoms.Pear_Barbotage

Immediately after the playlist, listen to Nick’s selected songs on a special Spotify playlist.

The Retro Wedding Cocktail Hour – Compiled by DJ Nick Kaminski

  1. True – Spandau Ballet
  2. Lady in Red – Chris de Burgh
  3. I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder
  4. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
  5. Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins
  6. Sacrifice – Elton John
  7. Head Over Heels – Tears for Fears
  8. Suddenly – Olivia Newton-John
  9. You are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
  10. Too Much Heaven – Bee Gees
  11. Just the Way You Are – Barry White
  12. (They Long to Be) Close to You – The Carpenters
  13. More than Words – Extreme
  14. Leave a Tender Moment Alone – Billy Joel

Listen on Spotify (Unmixed)

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company  specializing in weddings.   To book DJ Nick or one of our other DJ mixologists for your wedding or other celebration, connect with us online at www.ambientdj.com

To view our 2017 Wedding Music Master Class that contains links to our other 88 themed cocktail hour playlists, click here

masterclass_2017_final_image

The DJ’s Choice Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

For the 88th installment of the Ambient DJ wedding cocktail hour playlist series, we turn to one of our company’s star performers Mike Bacon, aka “DJ Iron Mike.”  Mike was recently married and for cocktail hour provided his DJ a melange of classic soul, 70s soft rock, 80s, 90s, R&B and contemporary selections.   Mike’s actual set list is shown below, and he clearly dug deeper musically than the average groom.Hazelnut_Brown_Nectar_Rogue

For an accompanying signature drink, Mike has selected his favorite craft beer, Hazelnut Brown Nectar by Oregon-based Rogue brewery.

Immediately after the playlist, listen to Mike’s selected songs on a special Spotify playlist.

The DJ’s Choice Wedding Cocktail Hour – Compiled by DJ Iron Mike

  1. Here I Am (Come and Take Me) – Al Green
  2. Just One Look – Doris Troy
  3. (You) Got What I Need – Freddie Scott
  4. Gimme Little Sign – Brenton Wood
  5. You Can Never Tell – Chuck Berry
  6. Head Over Heels – Tears for Fears
  7. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going – Billy Ocean
  8. Every Heartbeat – Amy Grant
  9. Lovefool – The Cardigans
  10. I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis
  11. The Longest Time – Billy Joel
  12. Every Little Thing I Do – Soul 4 Real
  13. Dreamlover – Mariah Carey
  14. Higher Love – Steve Winwood
  15. Borderline – Madonna
  16. The Game of Love – Santana f/ Michelle Branch
  17. I’d Really Love to See You Tonight – England Dan and John Ford Coley
  18. Send My Love / Send One Your Love – Born Jamericans
  19. Shy Guy – Diana King
  20. Hymn for the Weekend (Seeb Remix) – Coldplay
  21. All Day All Night – Moon Taxi
  22. Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub
  23. Walking on a Dream – Empire of the Sun
  24. Electric Feel – MGMT
  25. Show Me Love – Robyn
  26. Bring it All to Me – Blaque, ‘N Sync

Listen on Spotify (Unmixed)

dj_iron_mike_brant_beach

DJ Iron Mike

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company  specializing in weddings.   To book DJ Iron Mike or one of our other DJ mixologists for your wedding or other celebration, connect with us online at www.ambientdj.com

To view our 2017 Wedding Music Master Class that contains links to our other 86 themed cocktail hour playlists, click here

masterclass_2017_final_image