What to Ask a DJ Before Booking Them for Your Wedding

A black record with a bunch of pink hearts on it.

So, you and your future spouse are on the hunt for the perfect wedding DJ. You’ve looked through Yelp pages, watched one YouTube video after another, and you think you’ve found your guy. But how can you be sure? The trick is asking the right questions. Here are a few things you can ask your DJ to put your mind at ease before you sign any contracts.

How Extensive Is Your Song List?

Your wedding reception is all about entertaining your guests, and that can often mean different musical genres. You’ll want something romantic for the first dance, some easy listening during the dinner, and something upbeat once it’s time to cut a rug. Make sure your prospective DJ has everything you’re looking for in their library so you can have the wedding reception of your dreams.

Do You Have a Go-To List of Wedding Songs?

A DJ playing music at a wedding reception with people dancing in the background.

Sometimes, a couple’s musical tastes aren’t wedding appropriate (I love ’80s rock n’ roll and my husband loves death metal—not exactly romantic genres). If you’re not sure which songs to play at your reception, it can be helpful to have an expert on hand. After all, your DJ’s worked many weddings before; they should know which songs will get people out on the dance floor.

Will You Take Requests?

This may or may not be a deal-breaker for you. Some DJs simply don’t want to take requests. They carefully read the room and choose their songs accordingly, and requests can interrupt the flow they’ve created! You can decide whether requests are a big deal for your big day, but it’s always nice to know the DJ’s policy either way.

Do You Provide any Other Services?

Some DJs bundle their services with other popular wedding extras, such as event lighting or a photo booth. Again, this may not be a deal-breaker for you, but it’s nice to know all your options when you’re talking to a vendor. If they offer something else you’re interested in, you might book two services in one meeting—or even get a discount by bundling services.

Does Your Equipment Require Special Electrical Outlets?

On your wedding day, you are the go-between for your vendors and your venue. In many instances, the vendors and venue won’t speak with each other until the big day! If your DJ needs special outlets for their equipment, your venue needs to know this well in advance (or, if your venue won’t accommodate the special equipment, you need to find a new DJ). Otherwise, you may end up with a powerless DJ—literally!

Does Your Rate Include Setup and Breakdown? What About Overtime?

Obviously, one of the first questions you’ll ask any wedding vendor is, “What’s your rate?” But if that’s where that question ends, you may find yourself facing hidden fees you were not prepared for! Make sure you know exactly what’s included in your DJ’s rate—and what they will charge if you ask them to keep the party going longer than you’d originally planned.

Do You Have a Backup Plan for Sickness/Injury?

Look, accidents happen. People get sick, their cars break down, and any number of issues can put a snag in their plans. But if your DJ suddenly must fly to Florida to care for a sick relative, you can’t be left without any wedding entertainment! Find out if they have associates in the industry who are willing and able to step in at the last minute.

How Many Weddings Do You Do Each Weekend?

Your wedding reception lives and dies by the energy of your DJ. If they’re running on empty from playing three weddings a weekend for the past two months, you’re going to get a lackluster performance. Of course, different DJs can handle different levels of exhaustion (and sometimes they have to pack that schedule—DJs have to eat, too), but this question will give you a good idea of how busy they may be.

How Will You Amp Up Our Guests?

A DJ playing music at a wedding reception with people dancing in the background.

Being a good DJ isn’t just about having an excellent music library. It’s also about energizing a crowd, getting them on their feet and dancing the night away. Ask your DJ about their personal style, how much they engage with your guests throughout the evening, and decide whether their vibe works for you. Better yet, ask your DJ if you can come to an event and watch them in action—that’s the best way to see if they’re right for your wedding.

Can We Talk with Other Couples Who’ve Hired You?

Like I mentioned earlier, DJs have bills to pay and groceries to buy. So, they are inevitably going to talk themselves up whenever they’re meeting with potential clients. If you really want to know how well they perform, you should talk to other couples who’ve hired the DJ for their special day. These references can really help shape your decision and find the best, most professional DJ for your wedding reception.

Of course, these aren’t the only questions you can ask a prospective DJ. But they will give you a better idea of how the DJ will handle your special day—and that will help you decide whether they’re the right DJ for you.

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