How To Hire A Disc Jockey
When you start thinking about entertainment for your
wedding, Remember there is more to it than just
hiring someone to play music.
First you need to get some referrals. Some great
resources to start with are friends, family,
parents, photographers, caterers and hotels.
You can also use major search engines such as Yahoo,
Google, Sound Stage Entertainment, Ltd. or others. There are also Bridal
Magazines and the Yellow pages.
Next, make a chart out of the names and numbers you
get so you can keep notes as you talk to each one
that you call.
One of the most puzzling things you will notice is
the great disparity of pricing from one DJ service
to the next. However, we suggest that you leave the
question about price for last. First you need to
find out what makes the DJ worth their fee and there
are many differences in what they provide. Remember,
your entertainment can make or break a reception.
While it may be attractive to shop for a DJ by
price, just as with every other wedding service
vendor, price alone is not the definitive factor in
this decision. All DJ services are not equal. Ask
these questions in order...(bolded questions are
|Are you available for my date?
Do you provide a written contract?
How many playing hours are included?
Is set up time and travel included?
How early do you arrive to set up?
Do you charge by the hour or do you have a package?
Is there an extra charge for additional hours?
Can you explain how you conduct the evening?
Do you provide a wedding reception planner? Is it
What do you wear?
Do you do the announcements? Are you the Emcee?
Are you open to requests? From us? From the guests?
How large is your music collection and is it varied.
How do we pick our music for the event?
Is a wireless mic for speeches included?
Is basic dance lighting included in the price?
How long have you been in business?
How many WEDDINGS have you done?
Are you the DJ who will be at the reception?
What type of equipment do you have? (Discuss with
them if it's professional equipment)
Do you bring back up equipment?
How much is your deposit/retainer?
What is the total price for the package?
Are there any additional charges?
How is payment arranged?
Remember, there is a lot of prep work that should be
done prior to the wedding by the DJ. He/she should
be able to explain what they will do for you in
advance to ensure the success of the event. This
includes providing a planner, sample format of how
the evening will go, a tentative timeline, making
sure they have the music you want and more. Advance
preparation is what a professional DJ does as part
of their service.
A true professional will spend a minimum of 10-20
hours preparing for your reception. This includes
going over your plans (consultations), music
purchasing and editing, setting up and tearing down
equipment, working with other vendors, etc. In other
words, what you are paying for is more than just a
body playing music!
Music however, is a very important element at your
wedding reception. You have thought about the music
you would like and probably imagined the evening as
you would like it to be. If the DJ does not have a
sufficient music library, you may find your guests
won't be on the dance floor as much as you would
like. A budget DJ simply has not invested the amount
of money necessary to provide you with a first class
selection of music. At a minimum, 5,000 songs is a
necessity today for a professional, and 10,000 or
more songs is a very good music library. Therefore,
it is important for you to select a DJ who has
invested in an extensive music library. However,
along with having the song titles, your DJ should
also have a variety of music genres AND the know how
to blend them into a pleasing mix. Also, find out if
the DJ encourages requests from the guests or does
he/she have a set music program. Decide in advance
which you prefer.
As the guests begin to arrive and enjoy cocktails
and as they enjoy their meals it is nice to have
quiet background music playing. At some point after
the arrival of the Bridal Party, it is customary for
a toast(s) to be made to the new couple. For this, a
wireless microphone is a necessity. A wireless
microphone allows each speaker to be more relaxed
and comfortable and make their speech where they are
and a wireless microphone reaches places a standard
microphone cannot. A professional DJ should never
charge extra to bring or use a wireless mic. Today,
it should be a standard part of his equipment setup.
After you book a DJ, you will need to reach them.
Knowing they are available full-time without
additional costs to you is comforting. Also, having
a toll-free telephone number could save you quite a
bit of money. A well designed website may provide
extra benefits such as the newest included perk, an
on-line planner and even their music library.
Finally, Listen to the DJ as they speak. Does he/she
have a pleasing voice and personality? Remember,
what you hear on the phone will be twice as good or
bad when amplified on a sound system. Make sure the
person you are talking to is the one that will do
the wedding reception. If they try to pawn you off
on one of their employees, ask to speak to the DJ
who will be doing the reception. Never, ever accept
someone you have never talked to. Remember, having
confidence in WHO you hire is of prime importance in
all your planning. As with all things in life,
quality and professionalism is priceless.
Our Thanks to Dave Garrett of Record-Go-Round
Digital DJs for this article.
Record-Go-Round has been serving the Western
Pennsylvania area for over 24 years.
Dave was a Radio DJ for over 20 years and is a
Wedding DJ specialist.
Article Courtesy of