Questions to Ask When Hiring A DJ

Compiled By The American Disc Jockey Association

Well it’s twelve to eighteen months before your wedding and you’re in the market to find the best entertainment. Ah but it’s not that easy because you’ve never been married before. So what do you do?

The best way to find Quality entertainment is to look for a company with a great reputation, one that is stable. Most of the time a friend or family member will refer you to a company. That’s Great, but please remember musical taste varies from person to person and the music that they like may not be to your liking.

Brides & grooms of today have truly been educated when it comes to planning their wedding, There are so many options today to choose from and the brides know exactly what their looking for. They truly do their homework.

DJ’s came into the Wedding field in about 1978 not knowing exactly what to do and making sure everyone knew they didn’t. The music was very loud (most DJs were used to playing in clubs) and speakers were 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide and turntables and vinyl records were placed on rubber bands so the music wouldn’t skip when the people were dancing as the floors shook.

Most of the DJs were old band members or radio DJs who had not mastered the skill of mixing music (nor was the equipment available at the time) or keeping the volume at a considerable level.

The concept of Professional mobile entertainment has changed for the better in the past years. Sound systems are much more compact with high tech State of the Art components and trained Disc Jockey’s who truly understand the art of playing music and Emceeing.

It takes years to perfect the knack, as well as talent. We’ve set up a guideline to help you find a great Disc Jockey.

Call the establishment and ask these Questions:

1. How long have you been in Business?

2. How many people do you contract or employ?

3. Are we allowed to submit a music list of some type?

4. What is the attire suitable for your Wedding DJs? (Tuxedo a must)

5. How vast is your music collection? (Minimum 3,000 titles)

6. Do you have a rating card on your DJ or a client list to view?

7. How many functions have you performed at?

8. Do you require a deposit? How much? (50%)

9. Do you accept major credit cards for payment?

10. Is there someone to replace you in case of sickness?

11. What is the cost for entertainment?

12. Amount of hours for the price?

13. How much is it for an Extra Hour?

14. When does the DJ come to set up?

15. Does the entertainer require meals/parking?

16. Do you offer a free consult prior to function?

17. What type of music format does the DJ Use? (CD Format)

18. What type of sound system do you have? (Professional Mobile DJ Gear)

19. Is your equipment in good condition?

20. Do you have a video? (Not as important as meeting face to face)

The entertainer should cater the function to tailor your needs not theirs. If you don’t feel comfortable with a DJ or Agency don’t use them. Not every person is right for you, It takes a lot of work to find the right DJ

We suggest that you choose two companies you feel comfortable with. The reason is that a company may book the DJ you were interested in so you will need a back up. You should always meet the DJ for a consult prior to booking, (most consults are free of charge).

At the consult set up some type of sample music list and question the performer as to his ability. Make sure you have some sort of contract with the company to secure your date, time and fees. Check or credit card should place a deposit of-10% – 60% only. (A good second receipt)

Tipping is absolutely not necessary (Your Disc Jockey is a professional working for you and the reasonable and customary fee that he charges). Parking should be readily available to the DJ so they can get into the function room as soon as possible. A meal need not be supplied (This is a cost savings as you are paying a premium for the meal service and although we are a key part of the success at your event we are not a guest). No alcoholic beverage should be included or consumed during a wedding by the DJ (if he says he must have a few drinks look elsewhere!).

Some DJs have video’s of their past functions but this is not so important because you truly have no idea how they will perform at your function since every event is always different. It’s better to call some of their past clients and speak directly with them. We suggest that you DO NOT go to a function to see the DJ (You would not want someone to barge into your function unannounced) because it is against the rules of most function facilities. Bands and DJs of the past would allow most people to walk right into a function room and disrupt the event. This is not accepted (nor do you want uninvited guests at your event). All functions are closed to its attendees and are considered private affairs. It also breaks the entertainer’s concentration and he does not perform at his/her best. Quite simply it’s not professional.

Also keep in mind that if a company accepts credit cards, they tend to be more reputable (credit card companies perform an intensive background check on the company before allowing them to accept credit cards) because of the background research done by most banks.

A reputable company should be in business for at least five years and having performed at least 1000 or more functions. A DJ must wear a tuxedo at your event. We feel a DJ should have most of the music list that you submit four weeks prior to your function. Companies may have a video available for you to view or may offer rating cards of some type or a client list. This is all irrelevant as no function is exactly the same (nor would you want it to be). Make sure you can contact the company at any time in case of an emergency. Prices can range from $ 800.00 to $1200.00, with most rates based on five hours. Extra time should be an option in your contract and will vary depending on the situation. The Set up time should be no less than 30 minutes prior to a wedding.

Make sure to ask the event coordinator to set up tables with cloth and skirting prior to the DJs arrival to expedite set up. A DJ’s sound system should be in some kind of console or case to protect the equipment and give it a neat professional appearance (this say’s a lot about the company or DJ your dealing with). Most of all remember to have the best time with fantastic sounding music performed by the original artists. GOOD LUCK!