So you’ve booked your beautiful venue, arranged a catering company, and worked closely with your wedding planner to iron out all of the details for your big day. You’ve reached one of the final steps to making your wedding a success, booking the DJ! Your wedding music, whether you decide to book a DJ or band, will be a major component to your reception. Not only will the music set the right tone and create the atmosphere you're going for, but they will also help to gracefully keep the evening's events flowing smoothly from one moment to the next. The best DJs and bands are booked well in advance, so be sure to act quickly.
To get you started, we've put together this list of questions and tips that will help you determine if the DJ is going to be the right fit for your wedding and what you should be aware of before booking.
1) Establish up front that you are the CLIENT and you are in charge. Let them know if you don't like a talker. Let them know in advance if you don’t want to hear a single song that isn't on your personal playlist. Lay out the ground rules and don't be afraid to be a little bit aggressive and put it writing, asking them to acknowledge your requests. Many DJs prefer you be upfront and direct, just don't be rude about it. This is your night, and most professional DJ’s are more than happy to cater exactly to your needs.
2) Ask what the DJ’s style is, or even better, if they have some preview mixes on hand, something like this: https://soundcloud.com/extremedj/wedding-promo-mix-2014. This will give you some useful insight as to whether the DJ you decide to book with if the right fit for your night. If you meet with a DJ that only know’s how to cater to night clubs and bars and your wedding is going to be a traditional Arabic wedding, you may want to consider someone else. Ideally you want someone that loves to DJ the same styles you enjoy but also recognizes that being versatile is a key aspect of any good wedding entertainer.
3) Be very specific about your playlist. Many professional companies will have an online form that you can fill out once you have booked with them but put special thought into the following categories:
• Prelude music
• Music for seating the mothers
• Music for the bridesmaids' processional
• Music for the bride's processional
• Signing of the registry
• Recessional music
• Cocktail music pre-entrance
• Entrance song
• First dance song
• Father/daughter dance song
• Mother/son dance song
• Dinner music
• Cake cutting song
• Bouquet/garter toss songs
• Last dance
Also, dedication songs, do not play (this ones important), and any song that you would just love to hear on your wedding night is something any experienced DJ will expect.
The earlier you can do this the better, some DJ’s may need time to acquire any special requests if they are not as common songs, so keep this in mind when creating your playlist.
4) Equipment. The gear that your DJ comes with is something you’ll want to know in advance. Most DJ companies price their packages according to the equipment that is going to be used but don’t usually explain WHY they need what they will bring. Typically, for any event that is 80 people or less the company or DJ will suggest:
• 2 speakers
• A wireless microphone
• Some dance lighting
• Your DJ
This is a basic starting point, but additional speakers, subwoofers, lighting and more can be added depending on crowd and room size, as well as just generally how far you want to go to make your day unforgettable. Check out some of these amazing wedding set ups and added features!
5) You need to ask their experience, not just with DJing, but with weddings. This is very important for you to not only ask the company, but also directly to the DJ. The company you are booking with may have 25 years of experience operating, but what about the actual DJ that will be there on your wedding night? Is this their first wedding, or are they a seasoned vet? The more experience a DJ has playing weddings the better, as weddings are one of the most versatile crowds any DJ will ever play for as you must cater to children, all the way up to great grandparents. Many times they must also handle MC duties, are they nervous with public speaking? These are important issues that you should address.
6) Finally, logistics. Make sure to cover all of the points mentioned bellow, as these are the fine details of the night that may not cross your mind at first thought.
• Do you bring backup equipment?
• What kind of space or stage do you require for the DJ?
• How much time will you need for setup, sound check and breakdown on the day of the event?
• What time will you arrive at the site?
• Will we meet again before the wedding?
• What will you wear to our wedding?
DJ’s, with their music selection and announcements, truly set the tone for your wedding reception. Listen and watch how your prospective DJ responds to the questions you ask, then ask yourself if this person is a good fit. You’ll know whether or not he/she sits well with you. Go with your gut. It’s better to do lots of interviews and find someone who you know will represent you well than to hire someone who you’re not completely comfortable with. Following these tips will help you in choosing the right person for your special evening making sure it is perfect!