Finding the right wedding DJ is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your big day. The DJ sets the tone and flow for the entire reception, providing entertainment and ensuring your guests have an amazing time on the dance floor. With so many options to consider, hiring a wedding DJ can feel overwhelming. Follow this guide to make the wedding DJ hire process stress-free!
Start Your Search Early
As soon as you set your wedding date, begin researching potential wedding DJs. The best DJs book up quickly, especially during peak wedding season. Give yourself at least six months to find, vet, and book your perfect DJ. Reach out to DJs you’re interested in as early as possible to see if they’re available.
Ask for Referrals
Your vendors are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to referrals. Ask your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and venue for their recommendations. Chances are they’ve worked closely with several DJs and can provide insight into their personality, skills, and reliability. Tap into your social networks as well – your engaged or recently married friends likely have suggestions!
Meet with Candidates
Once you’ve compiled a shortlist of potential wedding DJs, set up in-person meetings. This gives you a chance to get a feel for their experience, style and personality. A great DJ will patiently answer all your questions and put you at ease. Be sure to ask about their usual wedding set up, equipment, and backup plan in case of technical issues. You want someone who is organized, professional and takes wedding DJ hire seriously.
Review their Music Library
Every DJ will have a large catalog of songs to draw from, but it’s still important to ensure they have the specific music you want played at your wedding. Provide them with a “must play” and “do not play” list to avoid any surprises. Also ask if they can obtain specific song requests that may not already be in their library. Great DJs will work with you ahead of time to create a personalized playlist that sets the perfect vibe.
Consider Your Wedding Style
Your DJ should complement the overall style and feel of your wedding. Elegant black tie weddings require a more sophisticated musical repertoire. Backyard boho weddings call for eclectic playlists with indie songs. Think about your guest demographics too – will you have younger guests who want top 40s hits? Or will classic Motown hits get the Great Aunts and Uncles grooving? Your DJ should cater their song selection and entertainment style to fit your unique wedding.
Check Pricing and Packages
Wedding DJ rates can vary widely depending on level of experience, services offered, and your geographic region. On average you can expect to budget $1,000 – $1,500 for a professional DJ, but be sure to check average costs in your area. Ask potential DJs how their pricing works – some charge hourly while others offer flat rate packages. Packages that include extra perks like uplighting and photobooths will be pricier. Make sure to get quotes from all your options to compare.
One of the best ways to evaluate potential wedding DJs is through reviews from past clients. Reputable DJs will have testimonials, reviews or past client references readily available. Pay attention to aspects like responsiveness, professionalism, mixing abilities and crowd reading skills. Look out for any recurring negative feedback as well. Checking reviews gives you insight into real experiences couples have had.
Trust Your Gut
Ultimately the DJ you choose should be someone you instantly like and connect with. This is a vendor you’ll be communicating and working closely with leading up to the wedding and on your big day. Make sure they “get” you, your partner and the wedding vibe you want. You should feel comfortable that they will help craft an amazing experience for you and your guests. An instant rapport is key when hiring your wedding DJ.
Once you’ve found your perfect DJ, book them ASAP with a signed contract and deposit. Don’t wait to pull the trigger thinking you’ll lose them – great DJs get snapped up quick! Booking early also ensures you get the specific DJ you want, rather than whoever is left available. Locking in your DJ early is one less wedding task to worry about!
Well before the wedding day, connect with your DJ to go over all reception details. Walk through the schedule, pronunciations, music requests and anything else that’s important to you. Share your wedding vision and priorities so your DJ understands how to make it come to life. Great DJs will also offer suggestions to make the night flow smoothly. Setting clear expectations upfront means your DJ can confidently execute on your wedding day.
Pick the Right Equipment
Most professional wedding DJs will have their own professional equipment and speakers suitable for any venue. Make sure to find out if your DJ provides their own sound system or if they expect the venue to provide equipment. You definitely want to avoid tinny built-in speakers! It’s also wise to confirm what will happen if any equipment fails – reputable DJs will have back-up equipment so the music never stops.
Keep Dancing All Night!
Your DJ isn’t just responsible for playing songs – they keep the energy up and get guests on the dance floor! Experienced DJs know how to read the room and adjust their playlist to keep people dancing. Great DJs will use their mic skills to facilitate events like the bouquet toss or invitations for speeches as well. Bottom line – your DJ takes your reception from ordinary to extraordinary!
When it comes to wedding DJ hire, take your time doing research to find the perfect fit. Prioritize reviews, referrals and an instant connection during your meeting. Once you book an experienced, pro DJ you click with, get ready for an epic dance party on your big day! With your DJ’s help, you and your guests will dance the night away celebrating your marriage.