Choosing the best wedding DJ for your big day is vital in ensuring you have a night you and your guests will remember forever. I am going to break down how to not only pick the right DJ, but also have fun in the process. But first...
Where NOT to Start
If your first google search for wedding entertainment was, lets say, "cheapest wedding DJ in Albany", smash the backspace key and start over. Staying on this path will result in disappointing and embarrassing moments throughout your wedding day and possibly ruin your life. Well maybe not ruin your life, but still!
Maybe you already started going down that road. Did it go something like this?
1. You set up a meeting with someone offering the BEST prices for a wedding DJ
2. They show up to the meeting 20 minutes late with their entire family in tow
3. During your meeting you can't stop wondering what that smell is
4. You shake hands, leave, and immediately search for the hand sanitizer in your car
Unfortunately this was based on a true story...
Now that you learned your lesson it's time to find the best DJ for you!
Where to Start
You should start by browsing the online wedding directories and read the reviews.
Here's what to look for:
In general, businesses don't care what the reviews say as long as they have a ton of them and they get rated five stars. Having a significant amount of reviews is important but not very helpful to potential clients.
In the longer reviews look for the specific details as to how the DJ did such a good job. Here you'll learn more about the style of the particular DJ. Maybe you are looking for someone who will make a custom first dance mix or perhaps you're looking for a DJ who is responsive to e-mails. You will find that information here.
This is a good indication that you want to stay away from this company. Typically its the result of larger companies overbooking and sending out under skilled DJ's.
Once you have a better understanding of who is out there, narrow it down to 2-3 of your favorite DJ's
Once you have your favorites you should set up a phone call or meeting so you can get a feel for whether or not you would work well with them. While there are the standard questions you can and should ask, here are a list of topics or questions that I recommend:
1. Strike up a conversation about some of your favorite artists or genres. If they are familiar with the music, amazing! Dig a little deeper and you may find you have a lot in common. If they aren't familiar with your personal tastes try and get a feeling as to whether they are interested in learning more about them. Recently I was having a great conversation with a couple who has a large contingent of family coming from Ghana. I was upfront that my knowledge in the Afro Beats genre is limited, but explained I was honestly excited to learn more about it and really would try and embrace the music. If the DJ you're speaking with starts to change the subject and insinuates that they know what's best, that is a RED FLAG.
2. Ask them if they accept do not playlists. If they say no, move on. You don't have time for DJ's with Ego's that big.
3. Ask them how they feel about working with the playlist you give them. A good DJ will gladly work with you and discuss your playlist, hopefully being knowledgeable enough to make suggestions based on what they've picked up on.
The first two questions answer obvious deciding factors, but the third is my favorite. Your wedding vendors will be part of your wedding story forever. You wouldn't willingly invite someone you didn't get along with to your wedding, so you should hold your photographers, videographers and DJ's to the same standard.
At this point you have a pretty good idea of who you want. Maybe they are a little more expensive then you had originally budgeted for, but there's incredible value in picking a DJ who matches your style and vibe.
Have someone in mind? (wink, wink)
Go with you gut and lock them down ASAP. Top DJ talent books 18-24 months in advance for prime dates and 8-12 months for off season dates.
Ready to set up a meeting? Fill out this form below or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started!