15 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Wedding DJ
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Wedding day entertainment is a VERY important part of your special day. This decision can really make or break your day. I have compiled a list of questions my clients have asked of me and I share my answers in hopes of helping you make a more informed decision.
How long have you been in business?
Simple yet important question. The length of time a wedding DJ has been in business can be key in determining whether or not this company knows how to run your wedding and make it as fun as possible.
For me, I have been in business since 2012.
How many weddings have you performed?
Experience is key in many facets of life. I, personally, have performed in over 350 weddings. Each wedding brings about its own personality and sets of challenges. While many weddings last 4-6 hours, the amount of preparation that is required ranges from 10-30 hours depending on the package selected and what my clients have asked of me.
What happens if you cannot make it to my wedding?
As many of you know, I work as a solo operator meaning in my company I am the only employee. I do not have a pool of employees to use in case I am unable to make it to a wedding. I do, however, have a large network of equally sized and larger DJ companies that are more than willing to step in and help me out in the unlikely event I am unable to make it to your wedding.
Do you have insurance?
As with any business, DJ companies should carry insurance. I am no different. I carry a $1,000,000 policy in the unlikely event something were to go horrible wrong at an event I am working. If the DJ company you are considering cannot provide you verifiable proof of insurance, move on to the next option. It is very irresponsible for any DJ to operate with insurance. What other corners are they willing to cut?
How do you obtain your music? Is your music clean?
I obtain my music from three sources. The first two are Promo Only and Direct Music Service. These two music services are specifically for DJs and DJs must verify their businesses with each of these companies in order to do business with them. Additionally each of these services work with music labels to ensure the artists are being compensated for their work. Lastly each of these services provide clean versions of new songs that eliminate language and other questionable content.
The third source I use is Amazon Music. This source is used if there is a unique, older song request that the client has asked and that song not already in my library of music.
I never use Youtube to steal music from artists and I certainly do not trust streaming music when most venues in Oklahoma are not in heavily populated areas with stable internet connections.
Do you mix?
I do mix. One song seamlessly blending into another song and into another makes dancing easier and eliminates dead air that occurs from playing a playlist and playing the entire song. Now to be fair some guests/clients do not care if the music is mixed. If you care, ask this question.
Do you take requests during a wedding?
ABSOLUTELY! The better question is do I play all songs that are guest requests? No. I believe a DJ should have a wide range of music knowledge and when a request doesn't fit in with the vibe, or with the crowd, I do not play it.
Once I had a full dance floor and everyone was having a great time dancing, when a guest came up and asked for a obscure song from the 70's because it was his favorite song. I was polite and shared with him that while that is a good song it was not a good fit for the moment with what the crowd was responding to.
Can you play music and sound system for my ceremony?
Wedding DJs have evolved into more and more roles within a wedding. Providing the soundtrack for the wedding ceremony is something I do provide and I take this very seriously. Recently I upgraded my wedding ceremony microphones and sound system to concert quality equipment. Additionally I have added long range antennas to ensure non-stop reception of the audio feed.
Will you emcee my wedding?
I certainly emcee and make all announcements throughout the evening. It is my role to convey excitement and pertinent information to your guests to ensure everyone knows what is coming up next and to minimize uncertainty.
How do I plan my wedding with you?
I provide a personalized web portal that allows you and your fiance' to plan your wedding day from anywhere. This portal includes ceremony, reception as well as a link for your guests that you can share via social media or email. Additionally I will setup a meeting or call with you to walk through the portal and take care of as many of the items as you are ready to when we meet. My goal is to make your planning as easy as it can be.
What happens if a guest requests a song from my Do Not Play list?
Ultimately my job is to ensure that my clients' wedding day meets their expectations. When I am asked to play a song that is on the Do Not Play list I smile and tell the guest I will do my best to fit that song in that night...and then I forget it was requested. :)
How early will you arrive to my wedding?
My arrival time depends on packages selected and how the venue is designed logistically. On average I arrive onsite, 2.5 to 3 hours before the ceremony begins. This allows me to setup, test and troubleshoot should any potential issues arise.
On the other side of the night, I take about 1 hour to tear down at the end of the evening.
Do you provide a contract?
It is imperative that you and all of your wedding vendors have a contract in place to protect you and them. When you decide that you would like to book me, or if you would like to review my contract prior to booking, I send a 4 page contract that includes all items that are included and as well as my role and responsibilities for the evening.
My videographer has asked if he can plug in to your sound system. Is that a problem?
Not a problem at all. Providing sound for videographers is a simple and easy step for me. This does not add any additional time or work on my part and this ensures that your video will have crisp, clean sound for the evening.
What can you do to ensure my wedding isn't boring?
Weddings are a celebration and should be treated as a BIG EVENT. Prior to my couples arriving to the reception, I have been spending time "warming up" your guests sharing the excitement of the night and the expectation that they are here to take part in a celebration. That requires involvement and engaging in all things that are going on. I will also sprinkle in some fun, activities that you and your guests can take part in