According to reliable statistics, your DJ is responsible for 75%-80% of the success of your wedding reception. Make the right choice and you are virtually guaranteeing a great wedding ceremony and reception.
The most important items when considering wedding DJs:
1. Get the name of your DJ on the contract.
Make sure you meet with your perspective DJ (in-person or on the phone). When you find one that you like and are ready to book, get their name on the contract. You need this to guarantee that the DJ you met with, and liked is going to be the same person at your wedding. This is a must!
2. Make sure the DJ you are considering understands how important his role is in the success of your wedding.
The following are the bare minimums:
Your DJ MUST have back-up equipment on-site, not on-call. If the music stops and your DJ has to call for back-up, your wedding reception is over. In the 45-90 minutes it takes for the back-up to arrive, you’ve lost your momentum and many of the guests will already have left.
Your DJ MUST have a plan for a qualified back-up DJ. Just having someone on-call doesn’t cut it. It needs to be the right someone. Your DJ should have a thought-out and discussed plan for a well-qualified replacement.
Your DJ MUST use a professional contract. Professionals use a contract so there is no confusion about the date and time of your event. The name of your DJ must be on the contract.
Your DJ MUST have liability insurance (ask to see a copy). If something happens at a wedding before yours (someone trips on a speaker cord), you need to know that your DJ will still be in business when it’s time for your wedding.
Your DJ MUST use very detailed planning papers. (More on this below)
Your DJ MUST have an appropriate music library, a wedding music library.
3. The best wedding DJs are booked early.
There are not that many really good wedding DJs in any given area. Get recommendations from people you trust. Start contacting wedding DJs before, during, or immediately after booking your venue. It’s not completely unheard of for a couple to change their wedding date based on their DJ’s availability.
4. Check at least two professional references.
(preferably from your venue or catering sales manager)
Speak with someone that knows your DJ and has seen them handle weddings in-person. If two venue or catering sales managers from different venues have seen your DJ many times and they both think that your DJ does a great job, book him!
5. How detailed is your DJ’s planning paperwork?
Weddings are all about the details. There are a thousand of them. Good planning paperwork should be many pages long and filled with items you may have never heard of or even thought about before.
6. What is included in the quoted price?
All DJ equipment and services should be included in the quote. Is a wireless microphone for the toasts included? Is there an extra charge for back-up equipment? Is mileage extra? Do you have to pay for a hotel room for your DJ that night? Is early set up included? You want your DJ set up before your first guests arrive, even if the DJ is not playing at the beginning of your event.
7. Don’t use price as your number one consideration.
You can easily find a low cost DJ. That DJ will be not be able to deliver the service that is necessary for a successful reception. Don’t let the difference in price be the deciding factor when choosing the most influential member of your wedding team.