Knowing what to ask or look for when shopping for a DJ can be a difficult undertaking. Below are some dos and don'ts right from the professional DJs themselves. This is just a small piece of the process in searching for the right fit, but hopefully it will help you to start your journey.
Patrick Nolan Owner of Dj Thump Entertainment in Washington:
- Don't assume the DJ is a mind reader - although your DJ is generally skilled at reading crowds, your input on music likes (or dislikes) for you and your guests before your event is highly appreciated.
Dj-James Jacobs owner of Mobile Soundz Entertainment in North Carolina:
- Do: Ask your DJ for his/her input on the schedule of events. Most of the time he/she has performed many weddings and has the experience to offer suggestions to your itinerary.
- Do: If the above question has been asked and your DJ does not know how to begin to answer it, Look for another DJ.
Seth Michael Miller owner of MixMaster Entertainment Services in Pennsylvania:
- Do: Look around and compare services. Schedule meetings and give ideas on your dream night even if it’s off the wall crazy.
- Don't assume that you’re getting a good deal when you see a DJ for $350. Most likely they are inexperienced and have not worked a lot of weddings.
Brent McDougal owner of Brickhouse Entertainment in Connecticut:
- Do: Ask for pictures of the DJ’s setup. This will give you an idea of what you will see at your event. If the wires are a mess in the pictures, they will be a mess at your venue. If they can’t provide photos, consider talking to someone who can.
- Do: Make sure your expectations are heard and agreed to, then get a guarantee that your wishes are granted and your expectations are met.
- Don’t assume just because the DJ is older and has 40 years of experience, that he doesn't know what he's doing.
DJ Paul Young from Minnesota
- Do: If you will be having a gap in the action between toasts and the first dance, ask the DJ for "low lighting" ideas such as a few up lights, and if children will be present -they will gather onto the dance floor at that time- ask the DJ if he could do some children's action songs at low volume level for photo ops for the parents and entertainment for the kids while adults have cake and coffee.
Overall suggestions for guests:
- Please do not place drinks, purses, coats, sunglasses or any other item on the DJ table or speakers. The equipment a DJ uses is extremely expensive and sensitive to things like liquids and being bumped or kicked. Most DJs will have a damage clause stating that if the equipment is damaged by a guest’s negligence, then the person that hired the DJ will be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.
- It can not be stressed enough, shop around. Do your research and find the right fit for your event.
- Do not settle for what they offer, get someone that will give you your dream event. This is a once in a lifetime day and the memories will last forever.