Many couples mistakenly think that hiring a DJ is as simple as asking the DJ at their favorite club if they “do weddings.” In many cases that DJ will gladly get a substitute in order to take your “better-paying gig.” This sounds like a great score for the couple who enjoys the DJ’s music selections each weekend. BE WARNED…There is a big difference between an experienced wedding DJ and an experienced club DJ. The requirements for the night at these two venues are very different. At a club, the DJ is hired to get people on the dance floor so they get thirsty and buy more drinks. At a wedding, the DJ is largely expected act as emcee and assist in executing the timeline for the evening.
The timeline of a reception is extremely vital to the success of the event and the budget of the couple. For instance, if the DJ does not make the announcements at the proper time, things can fall behind quickly. If this happens, couples may have to pay photographers, caterers, and even the hall for extra time. In most cases, the negotiated time for each vendor is accounted for to ensure efficient use of time. A DJ who cannot get the crowd moving through a buffet line, or forgets to break up a full dance floor for a bouquet toss could throw a wrench in the night. If the couple needs to add extra time during the night to get all their moments captured, the vendor will often charge for an extra hour (the normal minimum time increment.)
This does not mean that a club DJ is a bad wedding DJ, but it does mean that not all DJ’s specialize in weddings. If there is a DJ that a couple really loves, find out if they specialize in weddings. Make an appointment to sit down and ask some questions to gauge how much experience they have with weddings. Meeting in person away from a job site is important to get a feel for the person with whom you will be doing business. The persona a DJ takes on during his performing time is not always the same as who they truly are. Sometimes a couple’s “gut” feeling is very important in selecting the right DJ (Don’t forget to ask for references from former wedding clients as well.)
Below are a few questions that can help you decide if that favorite weekend DJ is right for your big day.
1. How many weddings do they do each year? Asking how many weddings they do per year will give an indication of their comfort level and commitment to this type of event. Remember, a DJ who has more experience with weddings is going to be able to smooth out any bumps that might occur during an event.
2. Do they offer a written contract? A written, legal contract is one of the first indicators of whether a DJ is professional and reliable. A contract establishes the DJ’s obligation to the client and outlines setup requirements and other factors related to their performance. The wedding contracts should include additional elements not necessarily found in general DJ contracts. The contract should discuss things like a description of the type of attire they wear, the setup time and deadlines for song lists, timeline copies, and wedding program to practice names. If these items are missing from the contract, ask the DJ to add them.
3. How would they define their DJ “style” for weddings? This is an extremely important question to ask because it will tell couples whether or not the DJ can adjust to different settings, guests and the atmosphere you’re trying to create. If the DJ does not ask what style of wedding the couple is having, be weary. A great wedding DJ will want to adapt to the style of the event so as not to clash with or offend the guests.
4. Do they act as the “emcee” for the event and make all of the announcements? Any professional wedding disc jockey should be comfortable with making announcements and serving as the emcee for the wedding, it is a standard part of the job as a wedding DJ. Additionally, making sure the DJ has a wireless mic is also another clue if they are set-up for weddings. The wedding party will want to make toasts from their seats and still be able to be heard.
5. What music selections do they offer? Unlike a nightclub, a wedding DJ will need to cater to the tastes of a very diverse mix of guests. Their library should be versatile enough to fulfill music genre requests from guests of all ages and backgrounds. Do be warned that as the night goes on and people drink, a guest might request a song that is inappropriate for a mixed crowd. The DJ should be experienced enough and familiar with the style of event to know which should be avoided. Furthermore, the couple should be concerned if the DJ seems restrictive to how many songs can be suggested. An experienced wedding DJ understands that this day is all about the couple, and not their personal artistic masterpiece.
6. Do they provide any lighting for the dance floor? It seems obvious, but folks tend to assume that all DJ's provide this and don't find out otherwise until they are standing on a dark dance floor. DJ's who only do club gigs often don't need lights because the club already has their own. Even if couples don’t need lighting for their wedding, the question still speaks to the resources that the DJ has available.
St. Louis provides is a diverse pool of very talented DJs to choose from. With some basic research, couples can pick the right person for their unforgettable day. For a list of DJ interview questionhttp://weebly-file/2/9/0/0/29007471/wedding_dj_interview_questions.pdf to print, visit the Inspired Design Weddings & Events website.