How Do You Choose a Wedding DJ?
It is only to be expected that you will be looking for the best DJ available to fit your style and budget. This is a non-exhaustive list of questions you should be asking yourself, and any DJ, you are thinking of hiring.
There are many different kinds of DJ’s, some with preferences for specific music types.
Some will be a fantastic club or kids party DJ but you need to make sure they are right for your wedding.
A great wedding DJ will have extensive experience in the wedding sector.
Will be playing typical wedding party tunes and any others you may like to hear.
Will be able to include specific genres to your preferences.
Will be able to adapt to suit your requirements.
Will be very confident using a microphone for the formal part of your wedding day but also be able to use it to best effect when the dancing begins.
Will dress and behave in a way best suited for your wedding.
Will not be a distracting feature at any time.
It is easy to book a DJ but you have to understand what your DJ will provide and what you need to bring if anything. What sound and lighting equipment and is it suitable for the venue? Make sure there are no hidden costs and that he/she brings the right experience.
Most DJ’s own a very large collection of music. You still need to make sure they have the music you would like and that they are comfortable playing it. If the DJ has no experience of the particular type of music you want, they should speak up early and recommend another DJ who does.
DJ’s streaming music has become much more common in the past few years. This will allow them full access to almost anything you want but is totally dependant on the internet. If the wifi fails then you have no music. Make sure your DJ owns their music and is not renting it from some streaming service. Streaming is handy in an environment where there is great wifi for sourcing the odd track they do not have but do not rely on wifi for any reason.
Some DJ’s will not accept playlists. They say you hire them for their skills and their selection of music. Never accept this or you will be left with very unhappy guests.
A good DJ will acquire a list from you in advance to make sure they have everything you need. They will also take requests on the night from you or your guests.
It is important to select music to be played at your wedding reception. It is just important to advise on songs you do not want to be played. There are many reasons you may want specific tracks not to be played, make sure your DJ is fully aware.
The music and presentation are all important but don’t underestimate the impact of good lighting. Ask if this is included in the cost.
Typically you will have a contract with your venue. Your DJ will have a contract with you. If, for any reason, something goes wrong and the venue need to recoup some money for damages or other reason, they will claim against you. If your DJ does not have insurance in place you would need to pay the venue.
DJ Public Liability Insurance (PLI) is an absolute must to protect your venue, you, and your guests.
Simply DO NOT HIRE A DJ WITHOUT PLI.
Properly tested and certified equipment helps to prevent any safety or electrical issues. This goes hand in hand with PLI. A reduced risk of issues reduces the risk of having a claim.
If something fails during your event, does your DJ have a suitable back up system so the reception can continue? The very last thing you want to hear is that your party is ending early because an amplifier or other piece of equipment has failed.
Good maintenance and PAT certification help to prevent these occurrences, but things break down. Even brand new equipment or cars can have faults so make sure there is a back up plan.
Always have a written contract. It is true that a verbal contract is just as binding but without a written contract you will have no evidence of your agreement.
There are many direct and indirect ways to hire a DJ. It is often said that using an agency is best. This is not the case.
An agency will have various DJ’s on their books and will say they guarantee a replacement if your DJ is ill before your wedding day. This is true but is also true for any reputable DJ. A good DJ always has back up processes in place just in case. An agency will charge you a large commission (about 25%) for this but will pass the responsibility onto the DJ they have hired. It is most often part of the DJ contract with an agency that the DJ is responsible to provide a replacement if they cannot perform.
Hire a DJ direct but have the contract reflect that they have provisions in place.