You prepare questions for your doctor, your accountant and maybe even your car mechanic. Why not also your wedding DJ? Keep these questions handy, and be wary of a DJ who can’t answer them to your satisfaction.
- How long have you been in business?
A good DJ needs to have experience in the field and also know how to run a business. Five to seven years’ experience is minimal to ensure your entertainer has the knowledge and resources you need.
- Can you provide me with references?
Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Look at online reviews but also ask your DJ to connect you with other couples who have used his or her services.
- Have you performed at my venue?
It’s great if your DJ already knows the lay of the land, whether it’s the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo or the Ritz-Carlton. If not, ask if he or she is willing to conduct a site visit to review acoustics, access, power needs, etc. This also allows him or her to meet the staff and review any rules, needs or concerns prior to the event. If your DJ frequents your location, ask if there is an event coming up that you can peek in on. This lets you view how the venue works, including traffic patterns, set up, etc., as well as how the DJ operates.
- Do you provide any other services?
Many DJs offer these extras as part of a package, including videography, photo booths and lighting. It is typically cheaper, and easier, to obtain multiple services in one place.
- What is your cancellation policy?
Get this in writing and make sure you understand it before signing a contract. Most policies do not refund or transfer deposits, and final payment is typically due on the day of the event.
- Do you have liability insurance?
A professional DJ will have this insurance and be able to provide you and your reception location with a certificate (many locations require all vendors to have proof of insurance coverage). This includes general liability, property and equipment damage and employee crime.
- How do you get the crowd pumped?
A good DJ never just plays from a playlist. He or she uses experience to read the crowd and transitional music, like slow songs or line dances, to control it. Some companies also have teams of dancers or party motivators. The DJ should not steal the show or spotlight but simply motivate the crowd to have a great time. Once the dance floor is packed and the atmosphere is optimal, he or she should recede behind the scenes.
- Do you have backup equipment?
Your DJ should be practically obsessive about backup lights, speakers, cords, cables, etc. You can never have enough backup. He or she should prepare for the best but have plans for a worst-case scenario.
- Do you work with any other vendors or have recommendations?
Those who have been in the industry awhile typically have friendships and recommendations for photographers, videographers, florists and others in the industry. Some will even offer discounts from referrals. Also, a DJ who knows other wedding vendors can come through in a pinch, say, if a vendor cancels at the last minute.
- Why should I choose you as my DJ?
Any good DJ will have a ready and convincing answer to this question!