Key Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding DJ from an Insider (video below)

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So you need to hire a DJ for your wedding, but you’ve never hired one before and you don’t even know what questions to ask them.  Everyone knows to ask about price.  Here are the other key questions to ask your potential DJ.  (The last one could save you money!)

Will we sign a contract?

Your wedding is a big event and you don’t want to leave anything to chance! A contract will state exactly what the DJ will provide, when and the costs.  The contract should protect both your interests and those of the DJ. For important events, a DJ who will agree to the event without a contract is a red flag.  What is to protect you if they DJ doesn’t show or provide the services they promised.

Will you be my DJ?

You could talk to someone from a DJ company you love, but they might not be the DJ for your event.  Nightmare scenario is you think you’re hired James Bond, but Dumb and Dumber show up to DJ your once in a lifetime event.  It is a good idea to talk to the person who will be your DJ before you sign a contract.   If the person you speak with will not be your DJ, your next question should be: When can I speak to my potential DJ?   Then you can ask them the rest of these questions….

How many weddings have your DJed?

This is an important question because weddings are a specific kind of event and some DJs fake it until they make it.  There are DJs who can rock a club, but aren’t comfortable on the microphone or may not have a clue how to facilitate a wedding.  An experienced DJ will be better prepared an able to anticipate and deal with any problems that could arise.

Can you mix music?

Have you ever been on the dancing and the music is great?  Then the next song comes in, blending perfectly with the previous one and it gets even better!  Mixing music or beat matching is tool DJs use to keep the dance floor live! Not every song can mix with another, but it he good to have a DJ who he skilled with transitioning between songs.

Have you DJed at my venue before?

Although it is not a requirement that your DJ has worked at your venue before, it helps.  Some venues are easy/straightforward for setup and others are not! If your potential DJ has not DJed at your venue before, ask them how they will prepare for that venue?  At the very least, the DJ should plan to reach out with the venue’s events person to find out details about uploading, parking, power and layout.  Often the right course of action is for the DJ to do a site visit ahead of your wedding so they truly know that lay of the land before your big day!

DJ controller at wedding venue
What if your speaker, microphone, or other equipment won’t work at my wedding?

Less experienced DJs might have only one option for their sound system.  An experienced DJ will have reliable equipment with a back up under the DJ table in their car.

speakers
What is your DJ Style at Weddings? 

You want to find out what the disc jockeys level of interaction is.  Some DJs don’t like to talk at all.  Some are moderate interaction, going on the microphone to keep everyone informed and announce certain people, toasts and events.  Other DJs are highly interactive, cracking jokes, facilitating games throughout the reception and getting on the mic regularly to hype the crowd.  You have to think what level of interaction you are comfortable with at your wedding?

Do you DJ full time? 

A “weekend warrior” certainly be a good DJ.  However, if you have a full time DJ, they may be more likely to be attentive to you if they aren’t spending 40+ hours a week working for someone else.

Are you insured?

Having DJ insurance is something that separates the professionals from the hobbyists.  Some venues require DJs working there to be insured.  Further, they may insist on being having a copy of the DJ’s Certificate of Liability Insurance (aka COI) and be asked to be listed as additionally insured.

Can you make a schedule for my wedding? 

If you don’t have may have a planner or someone else making a schedule, an experienced wedding DJ can take the events you want to have at your wedding and put them into a timeline.  Then they can execute that timeline at your reception.

wedding timeline
Do you offer any additional services? 

Many DJ companies offer lighting, photobooths or additional services you might be interested in.

What happens if something terrible happens and the DJ can’t perform at my wedding?

Your DJ probably has every intention on being at your event.  However, life happens and no one can anticipate an terrible accident or serious illness.  A quality company will have a system for a backup DJ so that you aren’t scrambling to find one last minute!

Do you offer any deals or discounts?

A DJ company may run a temporary promotion that you don’t know about.  Also, many companies will offer discounts for certain professions like teachers, nurses or first responders.  It never hurts to ask!

Those are key questions to ask your potential wedding DJ.  If I missed any or if you have an questions, leave them in the comments below.

– This article is by Cleveland area DJ Ivan Moore.  His company, Synapse Entertainment, specializes in weddings.

33 replies
  1. Eli Richardson
    Eli Richardson says:

    I’m glad you talked about how it’s important to have a contract when hiring a DJ. Next year, my fiance and I will get married, and we’re starting to plan the wedding. My fiance asked me to check entertainment options for the party, and I thought a DJ could be a good option, so we’ll be sure to follow your tips to find the one for us. Thanks for helping us learn what to consider when hiring a DJ for our wedding.

    Reply
    • DJ Ivan
      DJ Ivan says:

      Glad you found it helpful. It may be boring to do, but read the contract to make sure it protects both you all as well as the DJ. You can always ask for a change if something doesn’t seem right.

      Reply
    • Ivan Moore
      Ivan Moore says:

      Hi, I’m glad you like it! For my website inspiration, I checked out a lot of YouTube videos from Wes McDowell and had an online consultation with him: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheDeepEndChicago. Then Mike, my web designer from Spot Creations, put it all together: https://www.spotcreations.com/

      For my website content, a guiding force for me was the book They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. It inspired me so much for how to communicate my message as a business. I just listened to the audio book again last week! Lastly, I listened to and read books from Alan Berg, who is one of the leaders in the wedding industry at helping wedding businesses succeed.

      Reply
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  6. Kate Hansen
    Kate Hansen says:

    It’s good to know that you should find one that will agree to sign a contract. My sister was at my house for dinner last night, and she was telling me about how she and her fiance need to find a DJ for their wedding. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to them as they search for a DJ to hire.

    Reply
  7. Bandwidth Entertainment
    Bandwidth Entertainment says:

    Excellent article. Thank you for sharing this and the video. It’s definitely very important to book a wedding entertainment that you have met in person. This is to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for. Also, what do you think is the price difference between a DJ and a wedding band?

    Reply
    • DJ Ivan
      DJ Ivan says:

      Of course, prices can vary for both DJs and bands. According to Wedding Wire, the average band will cost $4500 and a wedding DJ averages around $1000. A band usually has 4 or more members and more equipment, all of which increase the price.

      I usually charge between $1100-$2050 to DJ a wedding depending on the wants and needs of my clients. Will they need DJ service at the ceremony? Do they want uplights or dance lights too?

      Reply

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