Pro Wedding Tips
If you’re struggling with what to ask your potential wedding DJ, read this and you should have a great concept of where to start!
Photo by Cheyenne Lee
1. Will they help guide me through planning?
Truth be told, you’ve likely never planned a wedding before, so you’re going to need someone who doesn’t mind guiding you through an organized and sensible planning process. This should include you and your DJ discussing the timeline and expectations for the day, including specific song choices and logistics. You’ll want a DJ who sends you planning forms. This will prevent your DJ from approaching you repeatedly the day of your wedding with a million questions, meaning you can simply enjoy and experience your day. Typically, it can take several planning calls to make sure both you and your DJ are on the same page.
2. Will we get to choose our music?
Is your DJ willing to have conversations about which music will be played during specific portions of the night? If you’re looking to make your wedding unique to you and your music taste while still catering to your guests, then you’ll want to have a DJ who is going to ask the right questions about music. This is key to maintaining the proper vibe throughout the night as well as maximizing dance time. Otherwise you may end up with a generic sounding wedding that you don’t necessarily love. The question to ask yourself here is, how do I want my guests to remember my wedding?
3. How do they deal with requests the night of our wedding?
Have you ever approached a deejay to request a song and ended up leaving the interaction feeling terrible about yourself? You’re not alone. It’s okay not to take requests, I guess, but it’s really unsettling to make people feel bad about making them. Going back to how your guests will remember your wedding, you’ll want them to have enjoyed your DJ. That means having a DJ that can handle requests in a respectful and endearing way. A great DJ will ask both of you how you feel regarding accepting requests at your wedding celebration. Requests can often give your DJ a great idea of what your guests would enjoy dancing too, and should be considered often. However, too many requests can interfere with a deejay’s workflow and hinder their creativity. So be mindful not to overwhelm them.
4. Do they have enough equipment to do my ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception if they are all in different spaces?
How many speakers do they bring? If the answer is less than four, that means they will have to break down gear and move it around the wedding venue throughout the day. A high end wedding entertainment company will come early, have the entire property set up with speakers, microphones, music sources, etc well before the first guest arrives. This format allows for seamless transitions from each portion of your wedding without having to wait for your DJ to break down gear and go set it up in the next space.
5. Do they bring backup gear?
What happens if one of their speakers breaks, or their laptop crashes? Is your party over? We sure hope not. Every DJ will bring a different level of backup equipment. Personally I want the paranoid DJ, a DJ that’s going to have my ceremony music saved on two different USB sticks, the cloud, their phone and their computer, but that’s just me. I want the DJ that’s going to have more than enough equipment on hand to get the job done. Asking your DJ what type of backup plans they have is a super important question in planning your wedding.
6. How do you plan to pack my dancefloor?
Some may find this a bit forward an approach but a true professional ought to be able to explain how they plan to make your party fun. You can even go so far as to ask, what would you do if nobody is dancing? Note that an experienced DJ has likely seen dancefloors both packed and empty frequently. Experienced DJs may have tricks up their sleeve to encourage more guests to dance. This could include playing a song that’s super popular within your family, a line dance, calling everyone to the dancefloor for a group photo, etc. Getting them there isn’t enough, you want your guests dancing all night right? A great DJ will be able to read your crowd, see what they are responding well to and give them more of that!
7. What type of lighting do they use?
The best way to judge lighting options for your wedding is to see pictures/videos. Lighting comes in many shapes and sizes. Not all lighting is the same, and the terms DJ’s use to describe lighting can be vague. So bottom line you’ll want to see pictures and videos. Lighting can really take your event to the next level so having someone who knows what they’re doing is really going to leave your guests impressed. The flip side to this coin is that lighting, when used distastefully can really diminish the quality of the event as well as annoy guests/vendors. A wedding is a once in a lifetime celebration that you’ll want to look back at the content of. Will you want a bunch of green laser dots and random blobs of color thrown on you and your crowd? Are you looking for a more appropriate, professional lightshow?
8. Do they have mixes you can listen to? Videos you can watch?
In this day and age, content is king. If you’re thinking about your wedding, do you want a DJ with little to no content? Would you prefer to see dance floors they have packed in the past? I think the majority prefer the latter. If a DJ says they can mix, they should have great mixes readily available for you to listen too. Specific mixes that give you a gauge for what they will be playing during different portions of the wedding. Stalk and I mean STALK their Instagrams, Facebooks, SoundClouds, Mixcloud accounts, etc. These will likely be the best places for you to see what they are all about, and more importantly, if they would be a good fit to provide DJ/MC services for your wedding.
9. Are vendor meals required?
This can be a slippery slope if you don’t plan ahead of time. Ask all of your vendors about whether they require a vendor meal the day of your wedding. This will save you awkward conversations at the wedding that you weren’t expecting. Wedding food is expensive and vendors are there to provide a service so it’s up to you whether or not you’re comfortable paying for your vendor’s meal and giving them time to eat. Something to keep in mind is how long of a day your DJ really has ahead of them to ensure the best wedding. On average it’s a 10-15 hour day by the time they get home late that night. Are you willing to give your DJ & vendors a 20-30 minute break during the dinner portion to eat? Lastly, you’ll want to confirm how many vendor meals. Some higher-end entertainment companies bring a team of 2-3 people to make events great.
10. Are they insured and if so, who is their insurance company?
Many venues require insurance, and for good reason. The honest truth is that most DJ’s do NOT carry insurance. The best way, and I mean truly, the absolute best method of finding out if a DJ has insurance….is asking them during a real conversation on the phone. Not via text or email when they have the chance to google or ask around “what’s the name of a real insurance company?”. I mean seriously ask them on the phone, put them on the spot and say “Who is your insurance policy through and how much liability insurance do you have?” You’re looking for them to be able to rattle the answer off to you quite quickly. If they can’t answer it off the top of their head, they don’t have an insurance policy. Now you have the information you need to figure out if you’re comfortable booking a DJ with or without insurance.
If you’d like to book an organized company who has a passion for throwing the best and most memorable weddings in the Capital Region or further, contact us here.
We provide the highest possible quality and total peace of mind to our clients/couples on their biggest days. We primarily serve the Albany and surrounding areas of the Empire State but also travel for destination weddings.