The music entertainment can make or break a party, which means the DJ or Band is one of the most important factors of your reception. And you definitely don't want to hire someone without thoroughly vetting them first. Ask the below questions when you meet with any potential musicians to find the right fit for your entertainment.
Wedding/event date available?
DJ’s book 12 to 18 months out for many dates. If you have a certain DJ in mind, may want to check what dates their available first before setting a date.
Have to performed at the venue before?
It’s nice to have a DJ that has experience with members of that venue and knows the lay of the land. That being said, a quality DJ will perform some kind of reconnaissance with the venue prior to your wedding. So don’t automatically discredit a DJ that has not been there before, just ensure they know what they are doing.
Do you have liability insurance?
You need to be sure you, your venue and guests are protected in case of an accident. A true pro will offer to show you their certificate.
What’s your cancellation policy?
If you change your date or change your mind on your music (it happens), what are the repercussions?
Do I get a contract?
If you don’t, RUN! Seriously. This is the most important day of your life. Don’t chance it.
How many weddings/events do you typically do in a year?
You’re trying to determine how experienced they are—not only how long they’ve been doing weddings/functions, but also how often. Both are important to understanding how well they can handle your dance floor. Online reviews tell the story and give you a clearer picture of what they’re like to work with.
What happens if you or other DJ becomes unavailable?
If they become unavailable (sick, etc.), how are you going to cover the event?
What time do you setup?
The day of the event, DJ needs to set up the sound system. Best is to get the DJ in first thing in the morning. This way if there is a issue with their equipment, they have time to fix/replace and not rushing.
Sometimes if the DJ doesn’t have a function the day before you’re event, they can setup the afternoon/evening before. Just need to ask your DJ and coordinate.
Do you take song requests?
Check what the protocol will be for making sure your guests hear their favorite tunes—if you even want them to have that creative control.
Can you help out with making speeches?
It isn’t guaranteed that your DJ will introduce the speech givers, announce your first dance or tell people when dinner is served. Sometimes, a planner will do that or even the bestman or maid of honor. Clarify this before you hire them.
What do you wear?
DJ will usually have several professional choices to pick from such as a suit or dress pants/shirt with a tie. No DJ should be showing up in a pair of jeans, hoodie or hat (unless they been told to).
What’s the backup plan if there is a equipment malfunction?
Most DJs will prepare for an unexpected event.It’s best to check they have a back up plan.
What does all this cost?
Honestly, when it comes down to this, the price should be almost secondary. Sure everyone has budgets, but if you find the right DJ aren’t they worth the piece of mind that they will provide you on your special day? The reality is that if the DJ has explained themselves well, they will present to you the value that they will add to your special day. Their professionalism, their expertise, their ability to earn your trust that your wedding will be in great hands.