Hiring the wrong wedding DJ has probably led to more hilarious and horrific stories told around dinner tables than perhaps any other subject. You could say that the wedding DJ has become overly stigmatized in the last decade or two, no thanks to the very unprofessional ones who’ve had meltdowns right on the stage. Before the age of the Internet, hiring one was sometimes a risk in not knowing what the DJ’s background truly was. Now you can go and find their experience through various means to decide whether you really want one to perform at your first or next wedding.
Ask the Wedding Venue for Recommendations
One way to find a truly experienced wedding DJ is to ask the wedding venue if they know one who’s worked the same placed before. The venue will most likely give you some names to call. These DJ’s will know the staff there and have knowledge of the facilities so it isn’t a first-time job. Even an experienced DJ who hasn’t played a particular venue before can end up having problems dealing with the setup and staff.
Also, ask others who work in the wedding industry if they know any wedding DJ’s with superior reputations. It doesn’t necessarily matter if it’s a local freelancer, because they can be just as good as a professional DJ who’s been working the industry for years. Reputation through word of mouth will be everything.
Watch or Ask for Videos of the DJ’s Prior Performances
A truly professional wedding DJ will have a website with a video or videos of their prior performances. If they don’t, you should meet face to face with that DJ to see what they look like and perhaps ask them to perform something for you. As an alternative, ask them to send a promotional video if they have one so you can see what they’ve done. Make sure it’s a video from a recent date.
Ask About Their Fees
Some DJ’s will charge unexpected fees for overtime or extra equipment. Make sure you see what that DJ normally charges and find out from outsiders what they experienced with the DJ’s fees. The best way to avoid any issues is to have everything in writing weeks before the event so there isn’t any last-second negotiating on overtime. Never go by just a verbal agreement.
What Kind of Music Are They Willing to Play?
This may be the most important part of your search for a DJ and to avoid those wedding horror stories told around dinner tables. One of the biggest complaints in weddings is a DJ who plays overly loud music and inappropriate styles to the average age range. Find out if the DJ is willing to play the kind of music you want, be it retro or something cutting edge.
You should also find out through those earlier videos how he reads a crowd so the songs he chooses are appropriate for the moment. A truly professional DJ will be able to sense what the people want so they’ll congregate out on the dance floor.
Most of all, you shouldn’t force the DJ to play your own set list. You have to let the DJ do his job and use his own music compilations for the most part. Just make sure that all the demographics at the wedding will be happy with the song choices and not force half the age groups to go hide in the restrooms.