Interviewing potential wedding suppliers similar as an awkward first date just hope there’s chemistry if not just move on to the next!
The wedding date is set and the venue is booked… Yet, one of the most overlooked and misrepresented parts of planning a wedding is selecting a good DJ or entertainment company. When you are selecting a DJ you are handpicking an individual who will basically in control of your wedding, everything from the music, staying on schedule once you arrive at the reception, and controlling the overall mood of your guest. How do you choose such a person and is every DJ out there qualified or even capable of running a wedding?
Here’s TEN questions to ask when you consider a proper DJ that can add that special touch to your wedding festivities. Always remember you need ensure you have the best sound, lighting and then the DJ that has to keep things going at your pre-wedding events and as well as your big day!
1. Is this your full-time business? Are weddings your primary focus? What clubs, lounges, and corporate clients have you performed for in addition to weddings?
You will always need a DJ that can identify as an entertainer with a skill to be versatile. Asking the above questions will help you find the right person for your wedding activities. Always watch for a personality where the DJ has a bad habit of badmouthing past events and clients.
Who’s not to say you will be called bridezilla!?
2. How do you customize the music experience for each couple? Can you help with song lists and providing suggestions?
Find a DJ who will create a soundtrack for your wedding that is based on your style, taste, and vision for that day. One size does not fit all
A skilled DJ will gladly accept your must-play and do-not-play lists, no matter how short or long. Its your day and you are still in control of what gets played and not. Always remember that.
As a wedding planner or the bridal couple ensure you think with the mind of a producer of a show, think of what you want played when you cut the cake, as you step to the dance floor for the first dance, do you want a shimmering light to spotlight you, think about what kind of special lighting you wish to accentuate your best assets.
All these items you must consider as part of the script and you need to work closely with your sound and lighting experts along with the DJ to ensure 100% showflow.
3. How do you get the crowd pumped?
There are all kinds of incentives that DJs use to encourage guests to storm the dance floor, whether it’s asking couples to join the newlyweds for a good-luck dance or playing a meaningful throwback song from the bridesmaids’ varsity days.
Ask them how to get the crowd pumped, but, more importantly, listen to their music demos or watch wedding performances to get a sense of how they will interact with your guests in person. Interviewing prospective DJs is certainly helpful, but hearing them in action will really seal the deal.
4. How do you handle song requests?
There could be instances where the client directives are diametrically opposed to the guest requests. How a DJ strikes a balance to deliver on the couple’s desires—while still satisfying the guests’ requests—determines the skill and experience of the DJ.
Some DJs (with the permission of the newlyweds) may tell partygoers that they need to stick to their playlist, but they’ll do their best to fit in their song, while others will appoint a bridesmaid or relative to screen particular requests (so that the DJ doesn’t need to interrupt the new Mr. and Mrs. mid-dance).
5. Can I hear some examples of mixing and blending different tracks?
When mixing is done correctly, you probably aren’t even aware of it. The DJ should be able to blend between songs seamlessly; you don’t want guests to become bored by a ten-minute long extended remix rendition!
However, when this technique is performed incorrectly, you’ll be able to discern it instantly: When there is no mixing or blending, there is awkward silence between songs (it’s the same thing as your iPod),
6. What sound equipment do you utilize? Do you have back-up equipment?
DJ equipment is just as important as musical instruments. Turntables allow the DJ to have hands-on control of the music and the ability to manipulate it instantly. A simple touch can change the sound, speed, and tone.
Ask if your DJ is certified and knows all of the ins and outs of connecting a system. “We allow our equipment to operate without overdriving it, which is when guests start to complain about it being too loud (sometimes referred to as ‘muffled’ sound).
Backup equipment is also essential: DJs should always have the equivalent of a “flat spare” on hand, whether it be a microphone, computer, mixer, etc. Don’t forget to ask how soon before the reception they plan to arrive and how long it will take for them to set up.
7. Have you played at our chosen wedding venue before? If not, can you make a site visit beforehand?
The sound varies drastically depending on the room where your reception will be held. Don’t underestimate the importance of a site visit: The lighting technician at my wedding reception told me that they’ve had crises with brides who chose DJs that didn’t know how to work the room’s acoustics. The sound on the microphones was so poor that the tech couldn’t understand the garbled instructions through his earpiece!
It is recommended that bridal couples or planners ask prospective DJs if they can set up appointments to visit such locations. This allows us to become acquainted with new staff members, learn their rules for vendors, and plan correctly for providing the correct equipment for acoustics and lighting design. At the same time, we offer to provide these establishments with insurance certificates and updated company information. With these steps, they know we mean business..
8. Do we have our choice of DJs to select from, or is one automatically assigned to us depending on date availability? What happens in case of an emergency?
We believe choice is important: No two weddings are alike! You should have a choice of top DJs that fit your style and personality, and have the proper experience and skill for your wedding.
9. What other services do you offer (e.g. lighting, HD video screens)?
Some DJ packages come with extra services such as intelligent lighting and video screens. Next to lighting, video screens are our most requested option. Imagine watching memories roll by on the screens while you’re sharing that first dance. Then, you can add a few photos to enhance the parent dances as well.
Remember to get any details clearly outlined in your contract. Also don’t feel pressured into signing up for extra amenities if you don’t need them.
10. Why should I choose you as my wedding DJ?
Throw in a curveball to see what they consider to be their best attribute: Is it their amazing sound equipment? Their can-do-anything personality? Or is it their professionalism and dedication towards making your wedding a success? Hopefully, all of the above!