There certainly is no shortage of “DJs” on the market these days. Its appears anyone with a laptop and a couple of speakers can claim to be one now and it is becoming increasingly difficult for couples to discern between someone after an “easy buck” and an experienced professional capable of executing a flawless event. These are some points to consider while making your DJ choice which can help to ensure your big day is everything you dreamed.
1. Does the DJ offer a written contract?
If a DJ offers any services without a contract stay away! A written legal contract, at the least, indicates professionalism and a accountability. Your DJs contract should clearly outline the services provided and any additional items promised or included. The contract should establish all aspects of the performance from power requirements to backup plans. The details of a contract should answer a good amount if not all of the “what ifs” that come to mind. Any DJ who does not offer a contract for services should not be considered for such an important event as your wedding.
2. What about backup plans and equipment?
Despite anyone’s best efforts and planning, accidents still do happen. Due to injury or some other circumstance if your DJ is unable to perform as expected what is the backup plan? A reliable professional DJ will have a strategy in place if worse comes to worse and a situation were to arise. DJs should have a good network of other DJs to reach out to in an emergency to provide backup services. No matter the quality and without operator error, eventually, a piece of equipment will fail. Prepared DJs can mitigate the disturbance, if any, this failure would cause with backup equipment on-hand. DJ companies with multiple DJs, such as Absolute Best, are well suited to execute backup plans with both staff and equipment.
3. Who will be my DJ? Can we meet with our DJ before signing?
On such an important and special occasion you would want a DJ who fits your personality at the helm as emcee for your wedding. A meeting with the one you will be working with should not be a problem for a professional DJ service. When first reaching out to a service with multiple DJs you will typically be corresponding with the owner at first to go over initial pricing and procedure questions. Depending on availability you can request a specific DJ or meet with the performer assigned to your event. In our case we get a large amount of destination weddings who are unable to meet prior to their wedding and typically are not specific about any particular DJ as well as they are skilled in their craft. In this case as we gather more information on your musical tastes and wedding style we assign the DJ we feel is best suited to your style.
4. How many years have you been a DJ? How many weddings have you done?
You don’t want it to be your DJs first wedding gig! Even a veteran DJ can be unfamiliar with the pace and nuances of a wedding. A DJ with numerous weddings under their belt will have dealt with many situations both planned and unexpected giving them the experience to confidently host the event and let you simply enjoy yourself. Absolute Best DJs are recruited for their talent and skills in all event DJ scenarios and then trained to provide our level of service quality standards.
5. Are Weddings your main focus? What other events have you performed?
A well rounded and versatile DJ will ensure your wedding is a huge success. A true performer will be experienced working with groups of all types which is a skill that translates into the wedding performance in keeping all of your guests entertained. While it is fine for a potential DJ to focus mainly on weddings it is always great when they are able to fit other event types into their repertoires.
6. Does your DJ carry liability insurance?
Any professional DJ service worth considering should absolutely carry and be able to provide a statement of full liability insurance upon request. Many wedding venues require participating vendors and DJs to provide proof of insurance as well to work on their property. The last thing you would want to deal with is your DJ not being allowed to perform by the venue for lack of insurance. Liability insurance protect you and the wedding venue in the event, unlikely as it is, your DJ were to injure a guest or damage the venue.
7. What kind of equipment do you use?
A DJ who is heavily invested in the quality of their equipment will usually be as invested in providing the quality service to go with it. Without getting overly technical your DJ should be able to tell you what equipment they use in their performance, if they use wireless mics and what their lighting packages look like. Top brand names in DJ equipment are JBL, Pioneer, Denon, Rane, Technics, QSC and Bose to name a few.
8. Is setup and breakdown time included?
A quality DJ should have setup time factored into their service price and be able to tell you how long setting up and breaking down would take. In some situations a setup charge could be added when there are circumstances effecting the typical setup time or effort but this should be conveyed during booking and included in the contract. The time you book should represent the amount of DJ performance time received.
9. Have you performed at our wedding venue? Do you do a site visit?
Being familiar with your reception site is very important. Every site is unique in its challenges, power options, accessibility and other factors. This familiarity ensures a smooth setup and that your DJ will be ready for show time. With new venues popping up all the time its not always possible for your DJ to have visited every one. If this is the case your DJ should certainly be able to preview the site beforehand to be prepared when it comes time to setup on the big day with no surprises.
10. What is your DJ style?
The style of your DJ is very important. You want a DJ that will match the energy and feel you are trying to create at your wedding. A laid back family affair would not want a hype club-style DJ and and a high energy group ready to jam on the dance floor would probably not be interested in the quiet type. Absolute Best DJs all have their strengths but are also all skilled enough to turn up or tone down their energy level to match the feel of your wedding.
11. How do you customize our experience? Does our DJ assist with planning and song suggestions?
A DJ should be able to work with you to craft a playlist reflecting your personal tastes, style and overall vision for your big day. A skilled DJ can work with your Must Play and Do-Not-Play lists no matter how long or short. As client you should be in control of the music that will be played and your DJ should work with you to arrange that music into the best possible moments.
12. How do you motivate the crowd?
DJs use all kinds of tricks to encourage guests to fill the dance floor, whether inviting couples to join the newlyweds for a good-luck dance or playing the wedding parties “jam” from their college days. Ask potential DJs the methods they use to energize the crowd to get a sense of how they will interact with your guests.A DJ should understand how to read a crowd, build the energy and keep the momentum.. Make sure your DJ is skilled at blending all sorts of genres to accommodate everyone and keep the guests dancing.
13. How are music requests handled?
A skilled DJ can strike a balance to deliver the couples musical tastes while still satisfying the guests requests. Some DJs, at the request of the newlyweds, may tell guests they need to stick to the specified playlist or they may do their best to fit the request in.
14. What other services do you offer?
Often DJs services are packaged with other popular features such as up-lighting and video screens. Remember to get any details clearly outlined in your contract. Also do not feel under pressure to book additional features you do not need.
14. Once we book your services, what then?
After booking there should be a plan for relaying your DJ specific wedding information to your DJ. This could come as a printed worksheet or online forms. Your DJ should be able to schedule to meet with you in order to go over your wedding vision and the role music plays in your life and how it fits into your wedding story. Throughout the planning your DJ should be staying in touch and responding in reasonable time to your questions. Closer to your wedding day a last meeting should be arranged to go over your final info such as wedding party pronunciations and order of events.