Selecting Your Wedding DJ

As a wedding planner, all too often when it comes to selecting a DJ for the wedding reception, the bride already has someone in mind.  Someone that she knows personally knows , suggestions from friends, or referrals from someone that she knows.  Rarerly does that referral come from a wedding professional.

Many DJ’s know how to DJ and throw a party.  However, those same DJ’s forget that a wedding is a party of a different nature and that the music has to change tempo from time to time, not to mention specific songs that need to be played during key moments of the event.  Guests have to eat, which require softer music to be played, you have the first dance, the father-daughter dance, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, and the like, which all require specific songs that the bride and groom have chosen.  Sometimes the DJ is even required to be the emcee during the reception and introduce the bridal party, announce the cake cutting and bouquet toss.  All of these things need to be considered when selecting the DJ for your wedding so I’ve put together a few tips to help in your selection:


§  Interview more than one DJ.  Ask how many weddings he/she have done.  Knowing that they have wedding experience is a plus.  Ask for references from previously married couples and find out what their experience was like.
§  Plan a meeting with the DJ so that you have a better understanding of how you’d like your reception to flow.  Make sure that you’re on the same page and that you’re completely comfortable with the arrangements that are made.  Also make sure that the person you’re interviewing is the person that will be DJing at your wedding.  Have these things clearly spelled out in the contract.
§  What happens in the event of an emergency?  Is it in the contract that a member of the staff or a backup will stand in if such an unfortunate even shall arise?  Anything can happen and you need to know and be prepared.
§  Know your budget!  As with any wedding vendor, you have to budget for this one too.  Some DJ’s charge by the hour and others have packages that include lighting and other amenities.  If you go by the hour, make sure you know what happens if the reception runs over.  If you choose a package, will the extra amenities really be necessary?  Be smart and stick to your budget, but don’t skimp on the entertainment either.
§  Does the DJ have an online catalog?  Your DJ should know what types of songs you like and also know what NOT to play.  The DJ should have a great selections of music and be able to read the crowd and know what songs will likely keep them on the dance floor.  A great mixture is always good.
§  The DJ should also have an itinerary of the wedding so that he/she can follow along and know what’s happening and when.  There’s nothing worse than having the DJ fumbling through the music looking for the right song while the bride and her father are on the dance floor waiting when he should have had the right song ready!
§  Will the DJ be dressed appropriately?  Remember, a wedding is a different type of party.  A tuxedo or black suit is quite appropriate!  If he objects, then you probably don’t want to select this DJ.