Tips for hiring and working with a professional wedding dj!

As I talk to brides and grooms, it's clear that often they don’t know what to ask when shopping for a DJ. Chances are they have never done this before. I have put together a list of tips and frequently asked questions to help future brides and grooms shop for, hire, and work with their DJ to plan their perfect event. Of course, I would love to work with you and be that DJ, but even if I am not, I want your reception to go off perfectly! Hopefully, these tips can help you do that.

How do I know if I am talking to a professional DJ?

Do I get to meet my DJ before the wedding day?

Can I come see you at a wedding before I book your services?

How early do I need to book my DJ?

What questions should I ask my DJ before I book?

What should my DJ ask me to provide for him during the planning stage of the event?

What should I expect from my DJ the night of the event?

Should I tip my DJ?

I have a question that is not listed here.

How do I know if I am talking to a professional DJ?
In today’s digital music age, anyone can slap some simple sound equipment together and call themselves a DJ. So, how do you separate the amateurs from the professionals? The answer is that you must do your homework. First, do they have a professional web site? Do they have references? Are they willing to meet you in person before you book? If you do meet, are you meeting in an office or are you meeting in a coffee shop? Do they participate in any bridal shows? If you book, who do you make the check out to (a company name or their personal name)? Do they have a contract? These are all ways you can tell that a company is professional. Keep in mind, this doesn't ensure they are good at what they do, but it’s probably a good start.

Do I get to meet my DJ before the wedding day?
To me, this is a silly question. Why? There are a lot of companies out there who hire part time DJ’s. The full-time staff of these companies do all the work planning the event and then turn the paperwork over to the DJ who is scheduled for your event the night of your wedding. This would scare me as a groom spending a lot of money on a wedding. I would want to know who my DJ is going to be before I book the service, not meet them an hour before they are supposed to start. That is why I have kept my company small and intimate. I DJ every wedding myself so you always know who you are getting. You book with me, you plan with me, and I show up at your reception. That’s peace of mind you can’t get with the big companies.

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Can I come see you at a wedding before I book your services?
The answer is simply no. Why? Every wedding I do is a private event customized to that bride and groom’s taste. Your best bet is to ask for referrals. This will give you real words from past clients. I will provide you with email address and phone numbers of past clients upon request so you can talk to them directly. And if you choose to work with me, it will give you peace of mind to know that I won’t invite strangers to your reception.

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How early do I need to book my DJ?
If you know the DJ you want, book them as soon as you lock down your reception hall and date. I regularly book up to two years in advance. The sooner you book, the longer you have to plan and work with your DJ to make your event perfect. If you don’t have a specific DJ in mind ahead of time, a good rule of thumb is select one six to eight months out. Keep in mind that popular months (spring, summer and fall) often book up long before that. The last thing you want is to be stuck with lesser-quality DJ because you waited too long to book.  

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What questions should I ask my DJ before I book?
Do you have experience with weddings?
Do you have back-up equipment?
Do you use professional equipment?
Are you insured?
What is included for the price?
Are there any hidden or surprise costs?
What if we want to go past our end time?
What kind of deposit do you require?
When is the balance due?
Have you played this reception hall before?
When do you set up your equipment?
Do we pay for the set-up and tear down time?
Do you have references?

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What should my DJ ask me to provide for him during the planning stage of the event?
Your DJ should ask you for the basic information, like start time, end time, location, etc. In addition, your DJ should want to know important names of bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and the approximate number of guests you are expecting. Your DJ will also need to know what special dances you will want . At “Now That’s Entertainment”, I provide either a paper copy of a wedding planner or a convenient online version that is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once you’ve filled it out, we go through it to fill in any blanks you may need help with and to ensure I have a good understanding of what you are looking for. This is a VERY important step and one that you should ensure your DJ is willing to take with you.

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What should I expect from my DJ the night of the event?
You should expect your DJ to be on time.
You should expect your DJ to set up the system as it was promised to you.
You should expect your DJ system to look clean and professional.
You should expect your DJ to follow the plan you worked out with them.
You should expect your DJ to work with your other vendors as a team to make the night go as smooth as possible.
You should expect your DJ to be professionally dressed.
You should expect your DJ to M/C your event.
You should expect your DC to help coordinate all your events from the cake cutting, toasts, special dances, and other things as needed.
Your DJ should also help get people out on the dance floor.
This last part seems simple, but it takes a true professional to ‘break the ice’ of a formal event.
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Should I tip my DJ?
A tip should never be considered mandatory. Do you feel the DJ went above and beyond in his/her service to you? If you feel that the DJ earned a tip, then it is a great compliment to that DJ to receive one. It tells the DJ that you recognize that they did an excellent job for you and you want to reward them for that. When I receive a tip, it’s validation for all of the work I put into each event. I know my clients expect nothing but the best from me. Going above and beyond is something I try to do for each and every client. It is my norm, not my exception.

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I have a question that is not listed here.

Please feel free to give me a call or follow this link to Contact Me. I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have. I am always happy to answer questions for potential brides and grooms, even if they are not my clients.