Selecting a DJ

Hiring a DJ for your wedding is one of the tasks you need to do early on in your wedding planning. It takes some time to find the perfect DJ and you are going to need to do a little research before writing that deposit check.

The following are a few key things you need to look for when choosing the person who will be in charge of playing the music at your reception. This is important because the right music is important to ensuring everybody has a fabulous time and will be able to dance the night away.

Let’s get started!

1. Beware of hiring your best friend’s cousin’s friend who is a DJ. While it is great to find a really good deal and to give a struggling DJ a chance, this is your wedding and it is not the best time to take a risk on an unknown person. Unless the person is a DJ with some experience and good references under his belt, do not feel as if you have to give the guy a job at YOUR wedding.

2. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for referrals. Chances are you know somebody who recently used the services of a DJ. Word of mouth is always an excellent way to really learn about a person’s skills.

3. Once you have a pool of DJs, start doing some research on them by using good ol’ Google. Reviews from various sources give you a better picture of the DJs ability to work with others and the actual skills of the DJ.

4. Schedule a meeting with the DJs you are considering. It needs to be in person. This will help you get a good “feel” for the DJ to make sure you are comfortable. You will see how he interacts with others and if he is personable and a good fit for your reception.

5. Ask about rates. Most of the time the rates are going to be pretty comparable. Do not jump at the least expensive rate. Cheaper is not always a good thing. On that same note, the most expensive is not always better either.

6. Ask about the equipment the DJ would be bringing to your event. You want professional equipment. It doesn’t have to be top of the line, but you don’t want a boombox wired up to a big speaker. The DJ should have a microphone as well to make announcements. Ask to see the equipment. Unfortunately, you cannot always believe everything you hear.

7. Review song lists with the DJ to see what kind of music will be played. It is YOUR wedding and you can decide what songs make the cut and which don’t. If you have a song that you loathe, it needs to be written down in the contract that it is not to be played even if it is requested. Take the time to comb through the lists (all DJs have playlists) to mark off any songs that you don’t want played.

8-Write down the songs you want played for specific occasions i.e. father/daughter dance, first dance for the married couple and so on. Make sure you list the song and the performer so the DJ can get the right track.

9. Review the contract with the DJ making sure every point is covered. If a DJ does not have a contract, walk away. You need everything in writing. Some things that should be covered in the contract are as follows:

When the DJ will arrive

How long the DJ will play

What the DJ will wear

Equipment that will be used at your event

Agreed upon payment along with charges for overtime if needed

Backup equipment plan (technology is not perfect)

Song lists

How many breaks the DJ will get and whether he is allowed to eat food at the reception

10. Pay the DJ the agreed upon deposit and ensure your date is confirmed. It is a good idea to follow-up with the DJ 2 weeks before the wedding and again the day before. Clarify the location and what time the DJ will be there to setup.

Your reception is the place for you to celebrate one of the biggest days of your life. Having the perfect music is essential and not something you want to leave up to just anybody. Good luck and have fun!

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