Things to Think About When Choosing a DJ
What to think about when booking your wedding DJ probably isn’t the first task you want to conquer for your special day, but it should definitely not be the last! Naturally, you spend countless hours picking out the flowers, table decor, food, and little party favors, but everyone knows that the energy and the power of the music are what motivates and get your guests moving, and what’s going to be remembered most from this special night. So we’d like to share some ideas to keep in mind before choosing your match made in heaven DJ!
First, make sure to ask if they are in business full-time or just part-time! You definitely want to work with a skilled professional who will make your wedding the primary focus. Since your DJ will be doing a lot more than playing music, look for a dynamic, well-rounded, captivating personality who will not just involve, but energize your guests from beginning to end and get them up on that dance floor regardless of their ages.
You should absolutely look for a DJ who will create a soundtrack playlist for your wedding based on your style, taste, and vision for that day. A skilled DJ will gladly accept your must-play and do-not-play lists, no matter how short or long. Just make sure you are both on the same page for your big day!
Why not use your research skills and dig deeper into that picture you have in your mind of the perfect DJ? Nothing is wrong with letting Google do a little wedding planning
Experience is HUGE!! No matter how much a company boasts of their accomplishments and how good they are, experienced DJs will always pull it off. They will have a better concept of timelines and the ability to “read” the guests on the dance floor to improvise and adapt new song selections that are a hit with the crowd.
Things Wedding DJs Wish They Could Tell You
For DJs, there’s a lot more to their job than just pressing start and stop on your wedding playlist. We asked Nguyen, owner of wedding DJ booking agency, Blackbook Social Club, and Dan Rosenbach, owner of wedding DJ company, Love in the Mix, to share their secret pet peeves and best advice for couples getting married.
Keep the photo booth and bar in the same area as the dance floor
A separate bar and dance floor means the crowd gets spread out and less people are having fun on the dance floor.
Try not to overload the DJ with song requests
Of course your wedding DJ will play your favorite songs, but don’t go overboard on the requests.
Don’t plan too many events during the reception
Cramming in the entrance, first dance, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and garter dance distracts guests from the dance floor.
Give your DJ phonetic spellings of names that will be announced
Nothing is more cringe-worthy than a DJ messing up your name at your own wedding.
Worst Things You Can Say to a DJ at a Bar
Most DJs at bars don’t mind a compliment or some quick small talk, but odds are that when someone approaches the DJ booth, they’re planning to unleash a self-centered demand that has something to do
“Do you have an iPhone 5 charger?”
Contrary to popular belief, a DJ booth is not an Apple Store that stocks a full inventory of vintage charging cables.
“Can I get on the mic and make a general fool of myself?”
“Can I put my drink down next to all your expensive equipment?”
Sure, I’d love vodka spilled all over my mixer.
“Can I put my purse back here?”
No, someone will probably spill vodka on it.
“No one is dancing.”
Thanks for the update!
“I want to dance. Why is no one dancing?”
You don’t need personal permission from the DJ to dance. There’s a million reasons why people might not be dancing, but that isn’t one of them.
“Can you play Katy Perry/Justin Bieber?”
I could. But no.
Things DJ’s Overcharge For
This is a biggie. Many high-end production companies will bring extra vans of backup equipment for large galas, but this isn’t a given with your normal mobile DJ. Some DJ’s really like to push this, and usually at really high cost. What’s tough is that sometimes this can be a justified expense, but nearly always clients pay a lot for nothing. Any truly professional DJ knows their equipment well, knows what it can handle, and is using it every week so it’s constantly being tested. If you’re going with a rookie, it might be actually worth having them bring extra equipment since they’re most likely to be using rookie-grade equipment.
Charging for setup time makes sense…sometimes. If your DJ needs to set up far in advance of starting or your event requires an extensive setup, that’s about the only time it’s an allowable charge. Industry standard is to charge either for performance time or a flat gig rate. If your DJ presents a bill with setup time, definitely inquire about that charge.
Assistants can be great, but usually they’re unnecessary. Extra help can be nice for your DJ with moving equipment and making announcements, but most DJ’s should be able to do all of that by themselves. All that said, mitzvahs and weddings tend to be best types of events to hire an assistant for, as they tend to have the most moving parts. If your DJ is offering an assistant, it could be a good thing, but make sure you need one before signing the contract.
This is a touchy subject among DJ’s. Typically, everything can be worked out in one meeting, but sometimes when planning a large event, it’s necessary to hold several meetings in person. Meeting fees makes this list because even though charging for excessive meetings makes sense, it’s nearly always an unnecessary expense that can be resolved just as easily with a quick call or email.
Some DJs like to bill for everything! At Disc Jockey, we like to keep charging as a last resort. Many events call for customized songs and cueing. At some vendors, this is one of those pesky add-on costs that can run up the bill
“Things NOT to say to a DJ when he’s working”
Some people think of us a jukeboxes, here is an introduction for the typical Clubber, Bar drunk, or any girl who thinks she’s hot and everyone will stop what there doing to give them attention. All the hard working DJ’s present this just for you
I want to hear “——-“
Hold on! U are not the only person in this club or party! Everybody in here wants to hear something different…. furthermore you are not the person who is writing my check for the night.
“I’ll pay you to play it”
Contradictary to what u think…. a respected and professional dj doesnt get paid peanuts. The more valued djs who get booked on damn near every event u hear of make your paycheck that u worked all week to get in one night.
“I dont know who sings it and I dont know the name of the song but it goes like this…
Please don’t sing for the dj! The dj has to put up with enough **** all night… between a hundred people just like you who think that you are the only person out of the whole hundred that he has to cater to…. and a bunch of drunk ass people with stankin ass breath all up in his face.
“Play this song and watch what happens”
Why are u not the dj if u know exactly what to do? Why did the promoter hire me & not you then?