SCOUTING FOR DJS
The first place to start is through word-of-mouth referrals. Good DJs get spoken about. Find out how many weddings they have done, what folk remember about the night. There are also some good review sites and wedding chatboards with comments from previous customers. A professional wedding DJ will have a website; if they don’t, they are not really a professional and they are not interested in customer feedback. Vendors of other wedding services often have a lot to say about DJs which can be useful in your initial research; take on board what they say.
INTERVIEW THEM FACE-TO-FACE
Do meet your potential DJ face-to-face. A phone conversation or emails may secure some information but they will not allow you to share your personality or to check out theirs! A DJ’s sensitivity and charisma is an essential part of their success in raising the mood of a crowd - it is not all about downloading a stack of tunes; you need personality to start a party.
ASK DETAILED QUESTIONS AND GET ANSWERS!
Is my wedding date available? DJs book months, sometimes a year, in advance. Find out how long they have been in business, how many weddings they have done, what is included in their price. You also need to find out if they bring their own PA system, does it fit with the power system and acoustics of the venue, do they have speakers or cordless microphones (MAckie SRM450 or an RCF TT22A)?
Do give them your ultimate music playlist and explain why you want these songs played. Ensure they know what your First Dance or song is; if they haven’t got it or won’t play or get it, don’t book them.Also give them your Do-Not-Play-Ever list and let them know that, under no circumstances should these songs or similar be played! Some guests can be very persuasive and some DJs can read the vibe of the crowd rather than follow the wishes of the hiring bride and groom.
Do have a contract written up stipulating what you expect for your money. The contract should state what time the DJ should be there, how long for and any overtime. You should make sure he has previously been to the venue, soundchecked and set up as rehearsal. You should also provide some food and drink for him/her, ask about the refund/cancellation policy and the back-up plan if they suddenly come down with food-poisoning the night before.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Do you want your DJ to also announce the First Dance, Cutting of the cake and other ceremonial events? If so, make sure he is cued up and has a reliable communication person so that he/she is not always having to refer to you.
When it comes to the day itself, there is no time to discuss and you should be too busy partying anyway! So go through the music carefully beforehand. You could also ask for their advice or help in choosing music for the father-daughter dance or how to accommodate the older generation and the children if you have invited them as guests.