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.
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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!
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