Planning a wedding should be one of the most exciting parts of your engagement, not one of the most stressful. Unfortunately, when it comes time to choose your team of wedding vendors, the stress kicks in. There are so many vendors out there, how do you narrow down the list? More than that, how do you know the vendor that seemed so great online or on the phone will end up understanding you, your fiancé, and your vibe?
Being in events as long as we have, we have some thoughts on the matter.
Since our specialty is DJing, we thought we’d help guide you and your new fiancé through the world of wedding DJ booking (it always helps to ask an expert, right?). Within our guide, we’ll cover
- How to find wedding DJs
- What to ask your future wedding DJ
- What to look for in your potential DJ
Though there are many DJs out there, only one of them will be the voice on the mic at your wedding. So it’s important that you have one who gets you. Hopefully we can help you find the perfect fit.
Where to Find Wedding DJs
Something we’ve seen more than once is newly-engaged couples just not knowing where to start. When it comes to wedding entertainment, there are plenty of options. But sometimes that can be the problem. When there’s so many amazing bands and wedding DJs out there, how do you even begin narrowing down the list (other than eliminating all bands from it)?
Ask Your Friends and Family
One of the most practical first steps is to start by asking around. If you know any recently-wed couples, see what they thought about their wedding DJ. Were they easy to work with? Did they respond to calls or emails? Were they a mixture of professional and fun on the wedding day?
These are all questions worth asking about any potential wedding vendor, but with DJs the importance can’t be understated. They’re the voice on the other end of the microphone and the point of contact between you and your guests. They keep the schedule on track as well as get everyone onto the dance floor. A professional and experienced DJ can also divert attention away from any potential unpleasant surprises, stall the guests if something is running long, and will be announcing your grand entrance into the reception. That’s a lot of responsibility!
When asking for referrals, it’s important to try and get a holistic feel for the couple’s experience with the DJ. There are more factors than if they played the right music.
Ask Other Wedding Vendors
Inexplicably, DJs are not the first wedding vendor that most couples book. By the time you start seriously looking into DJs, you probably have at least some of your wedding dream team assembled. Asking them for recommendations can be another smart place to start.
Often the wedding community is a small one. Many vendors have worked with each other, and know which vendors to refer couples to (and which to avoid). Seeing how a vendor reacts when you ask for a recommendation or about a specific DJ can say a lot.
When the big day rolls around, it’s important that the entire wedding vendor team work together. We’re all working together to make sure you have the absolute best wedding day possible. So it’s important that all your wedding vendors not only respect you, but have good working relationships with each other.
There are easier ways than having to physically ask for recommendations. With all the review sites out there specific to the wedding industry, you can find almost everything you would want to know about virtually every wedding vendor all in one place.
While it’s definitely easier just to click one button, you still should at least talk to your potential future DJ. Take note of how you feel when you’re talking to them and on the first impression they make. That’s the same way your guests will feel when they’re interacting with them. If the DJ you’re talking to makes you feel awkward and uncomfortable, chances are that’s how your guests will feel too.
What to Ask a Wedding DJ
Now that you’ve compiled a list of potential wedding DJs, it’s time to narrow that list down to one. There are a few things you can ask your potential DJ to make sure the big day goes as smoothly as possible.
Are you a wedding DJ?
While this question may seem redundant, there are many types of DJs out there. From nightclub to underground techno, there’s a DJ for every kind of event. While you don’t necessarily have to book a DJ who exclusively caters to weddings, it’s smart to make sure they’re at least familiar with how a typical wedding goes.
Have you been to my venue before?
Familiarity with a venue translates to an easier time for the DJ overall. When they know where the dance floor will be, where dinner is being held, and where introductions will be announced, there’s a far higher chane things will go smoothly. However, not having been to the venue shouldn’t be a disqualifier. How do they handle working in a venue they’ve never been to before?
Do you take requests?
Hopefully the answer is somewhere in the realm of “it depends.” You’re the boss, so any requests from you or your new spouse should be taken. But a DJ who just plays every single request as soon as they get it is a recipe for disaster. They should be able to tactfully say no when that one relative starts demanding music that doesn’t fit with the vibe of the night.
Do you offer a contract?
This one is very important. If you ask about contracts and the potential DJ assures you that contracts aren’t necessary and everything will be fine, it’s time to run. Offering a contract is a sign of a verifiable, professional wedding DJ. You shouldn’t have to worry about your wedding entertainment not showing up. Or worse, them getting a better offer on your date and taking it.
What To Look For In a Wedding DJ (and What to Avoid)
Ultimately, choosing the right wedding DJ comes down to you. The DJ is responsible for setting the vibe of the day as a whole, so it’s important that their vibe matches yours. Making sure you and your DJ are on the same page is crucial to a smooth and fun wedding day.
A sign that a DJ gets you is asking for input on things like cocktail hour music and song requests. The ideal wedding DJ should want to know and understand your music tastes and your vision for how the day will sound and feel. While you don’t have to provide them with an exact playlist (though you could if you wanted), giving them an idea of the type of music you want is a good way to ensure you’re on the same page.
Though we’ve said it before, we can’t emphasize it enough: take note of how easy it is to get in touch with your DJ. If your initial calls or emails to set up a consultation go unanswered, it’s a safe bet that won’t change in the planning process. While many couples are content to give the DJ free reign, some are more particular about their music. If you’re in that latter category, then a responsive DJ is a must.
Final Thoughts on Wedding DJ Selection
Choosing and booking your wedding vendors doesn’t have to be an entirely stress-inducing experience. When you know what you’re looking for (and how to look for it), choosing vendors like your wedding DJ can be easy. So when you begin your search, keep in mind:
- Where to look for a wedding DJ
- Questions to ask your future DJ
- and some qualities to look for (and avoid)
Learn something useful about the impact the right DJ can have on your wedding? Please like and share! Or, leave your questions and comments below. And of course, if you’re in need of a DJ near Columbus, Ohio, we’d love to serve you.