Most wedding DJs have a solid music library, know how to play good music that gets people on
their feet, and have powerful speakers, so how do you choose? Not all DJs can facilitate a unique
and memorable event with magical and romantic moments, a few real surprises and lots of
personal touches that reflect your unique personalities, passions, and style. If you want to create
a unique and personalized event that you and your guests will treasure forever, here are a few
questions that may help you find the perfect DJ for your special day.
1. Is the DJ simply a "music spinner" or a talented wedding entertainer?
Does the DJ have the warm personality and charisma you are looking for? Is there
personal chemistry? If you don't "feel the connection" before your wedding, your guests
won't feel it during the wedding.
Can the DJ help you distinguish your wedding from hundreds of others? Does he have
any unusual ideas for your Grand Entrance or other traditional events, like the cakecutting ceremony or spotlight dances? Can they suggest any special surprises that will
have your guests talking about your wedding for months and years to come?
Does the DJ know how to unleash your own imagination? Most couples have lots of
creative ideas, but sometimes it takes asking the right questions or active brainstorming to
pull them out. You want a DJ who will listen carefully; learn about your passions,
interests and personal style; and then help you weave these into your event so that it
reflects your unique "coupleness" and wows your guests with its authenticity.
2. Will the DJ go the "Extra Mile" to personalize your wedding?
Is the DJ willing to work with you beforehand to ensure the success of your affair?
Does the DJ include at least one face-to-face meeting as part of the service? Does he or
she offer unlimited telephone and e-mail follow-up? Is the DJ willing to meet with you a
second time to make list minute revisions to the plan if necessary?
Will your DJ get back to you immediately when you have questions or concerns?
You probably want someone who works full-time in the DJ business, rather than a parttime DJ with a regular 9 to 5 job. The last thing you want is someone who places you on
phone mail for hours when you have a quick question or someone who only checks their
e-mail once at the end of the day.
Does the DJ know how to personalize your wedding? Does the DJ ask good questions
that help you choose how you want your wedding to go? Is he or she willing to make the
event as high energy or low energy as you like or does he or she use a "cookie-cutter"
approach? Can the DJ give examples of different wedding scenarios that worked well?
Does the DJ have on-line planning tools that make the process of planning your
special day easy for you? Do these tools enable you to select special songs, artists,
decades, or genres; develop a detailed sequence of events; and include details such as the
names of the people in your wedding party, the order in which they should be introduced,
and the songs chosen for the first dance and other special moments?
3. How will the DJ make sure that your event runs smoothly, so that you can
relax and enjoy your wedding?
Does the DJ view himself as an event facilitator? Some DJs expect you or the wedding
planner to do all the work, even though it's your day. You want a DJ who knows the
schedule well and is willing to take responsibility for keeping the event on track.
How does the DJ coordinate with the caterer, the photographer, and other
professionals who are providing services at the event? The last thing you need is for
the DJ to start lively dance music just when the toasts are to begin or the main course is
being served. The DJ's job is to work with you, your wedding planner if you have one,
and all your other vendors so that everyone is on the same page throughout the event.
Is the DJ comfortable adjusting the timeline if the need arises? Unexpected things
happen at events—toasts run too long, the caterer needs a few extra minutes to set up, or
someone requests a special dance just as the wedding cake is being wheeled onto the
dance floor. Ask for a couple of examples showing how the DJ switched gears at a
wedding reception and how he or she eventually got get things back on track.
4. How can I ensure that the music will be great and that people will dance?
Does the DJ's musical library represent multiple decades, artists, and genres? Does
the library include both the oldies and the music of today? Does the DJ have the ability to
quickly sort through the library by artist, genre, and song title to make requests easy?
Does the DJ know the music well enough to choose the right music at the right time?
Having a great music library is not enough. The DJ needs to know how to choose the
right songs to play before, during, and after dinner.
Can the DJ read the crowd? Even if he says he has developed a "sure-fire" play list
designed to please everyone, does the DJ know how to adjust the music in response to the
tastes and wishes of the guests? No two crowds or events are ever the same. Do your
guests seem to favor up-beat music or slow tunes? The best DJs know how to ensure that
people are always on the dance floor, whatever type of music they prefer.
Is the DJ willing to adjust his playlist to your specific needs and requests? Is the DJ's
library available on-line so that you can choose the songs you like in advance? Many
couples have special songs that evoke fond memories for family and friends, including
Italian, Jewish, Irish, or other ethnic tunes. If the DJ doesn't already have them, is he
willing to get them or use your own CDs if you have them?
Can the DJ respond to additional requests outside his library by downloading tunes
on the spot? Often, guest requests can add that extra something to your affair. Wherever
possible, good DJs try to play those songs, especially when they seem to have special
meaning for the crowd. They also know how to handle requests that are problematic for
one reason or another without alienating the guest.
5. Is the DJ reliable? Can he or she ensure your peace of mind?
You want a reliable DJ whom you can trust, and one that has emergency back-up. Here are
several ways you can tell if the DJ is a trustworthy professional:
Does the DJ answer your phone calls and show up for appointments on time? If the
DJ is going to be late for some reason, does he or she call to let you know beforehand?
Does the DJ have liability insurance against accidents and personal injury? Will the
DJ provide a copy of that insurance upon request? (Some major hotels and other venues
now require this.)
If your DJ cannot perform on the day of your wedding due to a last-minute
emergency like illness or a death in the family, does the DJ company guarantee
another equally qualified replacement? This is a major advantage of a DJ company
over an individual DJ. The last thing you want to do on the day of your wedding is to
worry about finding a qualified substitute.
Does the DJ have a complete extra back-up system (equipment, music, microphone)
in case anything goes wrong at the last minute? Even five or ten minutes of silence at an
affair can feel like an eternity. How has the DJ coped with such emergencies in the past?
Is the DJ a member of the American Disc Jockey Association and does he/she adhere
to its professional standards?
References—Does the DJ have references? In addition to paper references, see if you
can call one or two prior clients and ask them some of the questions listed in this guide.
6. Is the DJ's contract detailed and inclusive, and why is that important?
You and your DJ need to be on the same page. There are a lot of details in planning your event.
That's why the more detailed the contract, the more you can be sure you are getting what you
desire for the agreed upon price. The last thing you want are surprises on the day of your
wedding or hidden extras that are not negotiated up front. So, here are some things to look for
when signing a contract with a DJ:
Does it cover all the basics, including the wedding date, the name of the venue (or
venues if more than one), the name of the DJ, the start and end time, and the
equipment and lighting to be used? (Note that most DJs spend at least two or three
hours traveling, setting up, and breaking down their equipment. This is usually
included in the price of a "4- or 5-hour" event.)
Does it cover special extras? If you request special equipment or lighting, does the
contract specify in advance the type of equipment and the cost for those extras? If you
have decided upon other extras such as instrumentalists for the wedding ceremony,
singers, or dance facilitators, are those specified as well?
Does the contract specify the financial arrangements in full? For example, the
amount of the deposit, whether it's refundable, and if so, under what conditions? Are
these conditions agreeable to you? Does the contract also specify what is covered by
the fees so that there are no hidden costs for travel, set-up, etc.?
Does it specify the amount of pre-planning—e.g., at least one face-to-face visit and
unlimited telephone and e-mail communication?
If overtime is requested, the contract should note the amount and how the payment
will be made. Generally, final payment should be due before the wedding date or at
the end of the event so that your good time is not interrupted with demands for cash.
Does it provide critical details about the event? Does the contract give you an
opportunity to specify the music to play or not play, a timeline for the event, etc.
(This may not need to be done at signing, but you should know that this is included
with the DJ's services at no extra charge.)
Does the contract specify the DJ's attire? For weddings, may people request a
tuxedo, but if your event is more casual, a dark suit or black on black with tie may be
acceptable to you.
In conclusion: You will find lots of DJs on Craig's list, in the Yellow Pages, or on-line. Some of
these DJs will offer low-cost packages that sound terrific. And, many of these DJs may actually
deliver what they promise. Yet, can you afford to take the chance? You want that special DJ who
will make sure that your wedding is unusual, runs smoothly, and creates lasting memories. After
all, you've been looking forward to this day for your entire life. Don't you deserve the very best?
For a free consultation please call Premier DJs US at 888 653 4372, or check us out at