Tips for hiring a professional DJ

Written on 05/30/2016
Justin Smale

Next to the wedding ceremony, your wedding reception is the biggest part of your wedding day and aside from the food and drink, the most important part of your wedding reception is the music.  Finding a DJ for your reception is probably going to be a bit more complicated but a lot more important decision than you may think.

All of the  disc jockeys you interview may not have the same standards of professionalism.  A written, legal contract is one of the first indicators of whether a DJ is professional and reliable. Furthermore, a contract establishes the DJ’s obligation to the client and outlines what is included in the DJ’s fee with no nasty add ons. For this reason, a written contract is absolutely essential. You need to be clear about what a DJ is offering for the price they’ve quoted you.

  The DJ industry is not one that is very well regulated, which means that anyone can buy equipment and call themselves a DJ, without any real experience.  Make sure your DJ has plenty of experience and especially with weddings – A great nightclub DJ may not have the right skills to DJ at a wedding.

Any professional wedding disc jockey should be comfortable with making announcements and serving as the emcee for the wedding, it is a standard part of the job.  Some DJs, however, are not comfortable with this and prefer to pass these duties on to someone else, such as a family friend, who may not have experience speaking on a microphone.

Be careful of the DJ/Emcee that thinks the function is all about him/her and spends half the night on the microphone playing games and trivia contests, the spotlight should always remain on the bride/groom not the DJ.

Check out the client testimonials of every DJ, or DJ company. Any reputable DJ business will have a good selection of testimonials from previous clients or venues. If this is not the case you need to ask yourself why.

Make sure you actually meet with the DJ prior to booking. You want to make sure the DJ’s personality matches the style of your event/wedding. You also want to make sure that person will actually be your DJ. Sometimes larger entertainment companies have several DJ’s and end up switching DJ’s before your event.

Any professional DJ should be willing to honor your requests, including your request for certain songs and genres not to be used. Submitting a “Do Not Play” list will give a DJ a clear idea of your limits and your expectations for their song selection at your wedding.

Your DJ must hold a License to Play Music issued by the PPCA, you can even ask for their license number

Although it can be difficult to find exactly what you want that encompasses all of these characteristics, you now know where to begin and what questions to ask.  So good luck, and accept nothing less than exactly what you expect.