How to hire the best DJ for your wedding reception

Imagine:

You’ve just had an incredible wedding ceremony and now you’re officially married to the love of your life - it’s now time to party!

After a little downtime away from the crowds and spending much needed 1-1 time with your partner, it’s time for your grand entrance into the reception.

It’s also time for your DJ, who is also serving as your emcee, to get the crowd hype and get the party started. He should be cued up and ready to go!

But he’s not.

He’s struggling.

He has no idea what song he’s supposed to play, his equipment is skipping and bustin’ up and he’s sweating bullets like a guilty person testifying on the stand. He’s supposed to introduce you as the hottest new couple in town and he has no idea what you or your partner’s name is (like what?!). He can’t find an alternate song to play and is scrolling through “Top 40 wedding songs” for ideas. ALL BAD.

Sounds like an ideal wedding scenario, right?

Absolutely, NAH.

But this can happen - and will happen - if you don’t ask your potential DJ all the right questions.

Your DJ has the power to make or break your wedding so you have all the right in the world to grill them and make sure they know how to work a room and make your reception vision come to life!

Ask ask ask away!

Ask about their experience

You’re having a wedding of 325 people, you’ve signed your DJ contract, and then he tells you he’s so excited to have booked such a large wedding for his first wedding.

And this is you:

 
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This, my friend, can be prevented.

A few simple questions can tell you if this is the DJ for your particular wedding:

  • IS THIS YOUR FIRST WEDDING? (Shoot, straight up ask them if this is their first event, like ever).

  • How long have you been a DJ? Do you have formal training?

  • How many weddings did you do last year? How many weddings have you done in general? (If they haven’t done many weddings, ask them if they mainly do other events and which types)

  • Can we speak to a couple of your former clients so we can get a feel for what it’s like to work with you? (If they have none, run. And run fast 🏃🏾‍♀️💨 ).

Ask about their equipment

Venues these days are blank slates. They are literally just a room for you to fill with all the elements that you feel will make your wedding day all that you desire! The biggest problem with locations like this is that they are also not equipped to handle the tech aspects for your DJ. They may not have speakers, microphones, extension cords, and all the other things that you’ll need to play sounds throughout the day. So what do you need to do? ASK YOUR DJ. 🎶“Hey Mr. DJ…”🎶

  • Do you own your equipment or do you rent/borrow for events?

  • If you own, do you have enough equipment to ensure sound during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception? (Wireless and wired microphones, lavalier mics, speakers, extension cords). Can we see an example of your wedding reception setup?

  • If you own, what is the quality and condition of your equipment? Could you tell me what brands you use? (See if they say something like Bose, JBL, Mackie, QSC, or Electro-Voice)

  • What is your plan for handling technical things that go wrong during a wedding? Do you have backup equipment?

  • Do you use a laptop during events? If so, do you have an external drive or traditional DJ system in case of technical difficulties?

  • What type of lighting or video effects do you provide?

Ask if they are comfortable on the mic

Once the reception starts, the DJ, especially if they are also serving as the MC, really matter to the guest experience. They need to be able to read the crowd and know what to say and how to say things at all times. No shy people need apply for the position of wedding DJ! So, use these questions to weed out people who won’t be comfortable on the mic:

  • Have you ever served as an emcee?

  • Are you comfortable also serving as the emcee, making both introductions and announcements? If not, will you have a partner with you who is the emcee?

  • What would you say to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?

  • What’s your style on the mic? Are you hype, chill, or in between?

Ask about their musical taste

You want to like the music your DJ plays. Here you are expecting your DJ to know all the latest Afrobeat & Hip Hop hits and he sends you a link to his most popular playlists and it’s filled with all the best hits from the 90s and 2000’s boybands!! Can we say, problem?

The DJ you’re looking to hire should have musical tastes that align with you and your guests. They need to fit your vibe and the vibe of what you’re going for during the reception. Determine that by asking:

  • What are some of your favorite songs and artists right now? (If they state NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” or B2K’s “Bump Bump Bump” you need to say bye bye and bump bump them all the way back to where they came from).

  • Can you send me a couple sample playlists you’ve put together?

  • How do you keep your music collection up to date?

Friends, do your research on potential DJ’s. Yes, it’s a lot but why skimp on quality on one of the biggest nights of your life?? If you ask these questions, you’ll be sure to pick the right DJ for your celebration and ensure you and your guests have an incredible and memorable night!

If you have any friends getting married, please share this post with them!