Wedding DJ FAQ

1. What is your contract policy?

A written contract establishes the professionalism of any wedding DJ. The terms and obligations of your agreement will be outlined here, and it guarantees the quality and delivery of your DJ experience. The contract is an essential part of the service, and you should always use a DJ who offers one.

2. Who will be our wedding DJ?

You should always interview your DJ before committing to having them DJ your wedding. Ensure that their name is provided in the contract and their services are guaranteed.

3. Can we meet before signing a contract?

Meeting in person before signing a contract is essential to ensuring you get exactly the DJ you want for your wedding. Interviewing over the phone or via e-mail can be done, but this doesn’t give you the gut feeling of reassurance that you should always have. Meeting face-to-face lets you go over the details of your contract and make plans for the big day.

4. How long can a date be held before we sign on?

Many DJs will try to pressure you into committing as soon as you choose your date, saying they can’t hold the date for you ahead of other paying customers. This is a tactic that we don’t subscribe to – you should have enough time to make the decision, meet the DJ, speak to others, and finally commit to signing the contract. One to two weeks should suffice.

5. Are you a subcontractor or do you work exclusively for this company?

Large DJ agencies generally work with subcontractors who work for several organizations and for themselves. Because of this, it’s very important you finalize your dates and ensure your DJ’s availability. The contract should include clauses that cover damages for double booking or no-shows.

6. How much experience do you have as a wedding DJ?

DJ experience can vary widely depending on the agency and the person him or herself. Someone may have many years of experience DJing but have never worked a wedding before. Another DJ may only have two years under their belt, but if it’s all weddings, they’re going to know more. You should inquire with the individual detail to learn these specifics.

7. How many weddings per year do you work?

Being a wedding DJ requires your skills to be sharp and fresh. If a DJ only performs a few weddings a year, they may be rusty or out of practice by the time they perform at yours. Ask him or her what their average numbers are per year to get an idea of their experience and sharpness.

8. Do you do other events besides weddings? How many per year?

Professional wedding DJs usually work exclusively at wedding events. While many will advertise themselves as a “jack-of-all-trades,” they can often turn out to be more of a “master-of-none.” For a large-scale or high-end wedding, ensure that you are hiring a professional DJ who works exclusively at weddings.

9. Do you do multiple weddings per day?

While practice and sharpness are important, some DJs can take this too far, cramming as much work into as little time as possible. This prevents them from putting their full attention and focus on your event – ask your DJ whether they work multiple events in a day and consider whether this is the sort of person you are looking for.

10. How do you distinguish yourself among your competitors?

This is the kind of question any professional DJ should be able to answer clearly and confidently. Rather than taking the opportunity to speak ill of their competitors, a professional will simply outline what they offer and why they are the best one to offer it. Speaking poorly about others doesn’t reflect well on a DJ, so you should consider avoiding the ones who do this.

11. Have you ever performed at our reception venue?

If your DJ has experience at your reception, they will be able to set up faster and give an overall smoother performance. While this can’t always be the case, it’s worth asking, especially if your reception hall or venue is sought after and often booked.

12. Do you only play music, or do you emcee as make announcements as well?

A disc jockey often does more than simply spin music. For a wedding DJ, emceeing and making announcements is almost always part of the job. This is always worth asking to make sure, and if you don’t need this service that’s okay, too – but a DJ who doesn’t offer it may not be as professional as one who does.

13. Do you have a particular style when making emcee announcements?

This question is crucial for understanding whether the DJ you are interviewing is the right fit for your wedding. There are as many different DJ styles as there are styles of wedding – from elegant and classy to enthusiastic and party-oriented. Make sure you ask your DJ what events he or she is used to playing, then determine whether this is a match for the style of your wedding.

14. How do you encourage an unenthusiastic crowd?

This is a more specific question related to the style of DJing that your disc jockey may offer. Again, with the different sorts of weddings there are, there will be different ways to energize an unenthusiastic crowd. Do you want your guests dancing the night away on the dance floor all night? Or are you keeping things classier to begin with and doing pair dances? Either way, you should ensure that your DJ will have the right approach to encouraging this.

15. What if our DJ can’t make it to the wedding due to an emergency?

Although a professional will always show up when he or she is scheduled to, no one is immune to emergencies or injuries that can prevent them from performing their obligations. In such an event, there should be clauses in your contract to allow for reimbursements, replacements, or other resolutions to the unfortunate circumstances that have occurred.

16. Can we see our DJ again after the interview but before the wedding?

This will depend on the DJ – some DJs will be available for a final meeting before your event, while others may be too busy to make time for this. You will have to decide how important this is to you and select your DJ accordingly.

17. Can we view one of your performances before we decide?

Many DJs are faced with this question, but the answer should almost always be no. Would you want your DJ invited prospective clients to your wedding? Probably not.

18. Do you provide references?

Most DJs will have former clients who would be more than willing to give them glowing reviews. Several references, both character and professional, should be provided upon request by a DJ you’re interviewing to perform at your wedding.

19. How do you manage your music collection?

There are a number of professional services available to DJs that allow them to keep up to date with their music collections. New and radio edit music is provided to them often before it is even available to the public. This allows them to have the widest possible variety of music at their disposal so that they can tailor their sets to your specific preferences.

20. Do we have any say in the music selection for our wedding?

Many DJs will retain some creative control over the content of their performances, but they should be flexible when it comes to genres, specific songs you want to hear, and overall style of music being played. Make sure you inquire as to how much control you will have over this and select your DJ accordingly.

21. How long before we have to present our requests and details to our DJ?

In most cases you’ll be given an intake form or worksheet which allows you to communicate all of your song preferences and other details to your DJ. In any case, the DJ will request this information from you in some way, and this will allow you to make all of your requirements clear well before your wedding. If anything changes, or you need to update your details, make sure you do so as soon as possible so that the DJ can adequately prepare.

22. Do wedding DJs take requests during the event?

In most cases, yes. Of course, any DJ will reserve the right to work requests into their set as appropriate and deny anything that will be disliked by the other guests.

23. Do wedding DJs work with “Do Not Play” lists?

This is standard practice for wedding DJs. Any professional should be willing to honor such a request.

24. When will the DJ arrive to begin setting up?

Punctuality and timing are very important for wedding DJs. A professional will show up well ahead of guests and begin setting up so that music and emcee equipment is ready to go as soon as the event begins.

25. What do the DJs wear at weddings?

DJs are generally comfortable dressing and performing in whatever fits your occasion. Whether it’s a highly formal affair with tuxedos or a dressed down and comfortable event, a professional disc jockey can tailor his or her garb to the affair. Ask about the specifics of the style if you need a particular look.

26. What about during set-up and teardown?

During set-up and teardown, guests may still see the DJ at work. A professional will ensure he or she is dressed for the occasion even during the time before and after the event.

27. Will a deposit be required to confirm our event date?

Nearly every professional DJ will require a large retainer fee to ensure the booking and contract play out smoothly. This benefits both parties. Not only does a large deposit show that you’re serious about the booking, it also prevents the DJ from backing out without having to return a hefty fee. You should be skeptical of DJs who will book you with a low or no deposit.

28. What does this DJ booking include with the price?

There are many different ways that your DJ might price his or her performance. Hourly is the most common, with extra charges for additional features or equipment. However, flat rates are not unheard of, so you should verify which of these will be available to you.

29. What are your overtime rates?

If rates are hourly, make sure to specify an overtime amount in the contract – if the event is scheduled for 4 hours, what happens if it goes for 6? This is the kind of thing that should be worked out well before the wedding to ensure that your guests can keep on dancing if they want to.

30. What does a wedding DJ need from us?

From food, water, and cover for the DJ booth and equipment, there are a number of things that a wedding DJ will likely require for the event. A professional disc jockey will communicate his or her needs clearly to you long before it’s time to set up the venue.

31. Is a meal required?

This will depend completely on the DJ. Some will insist they be included in the catering, while others prefer to eat on their own before or after the event. Consult with your DJ during the interview to find out what works best.

32. What about insurance?

Liability insurance is absolutely crucial for any wedding DJ. An uninsured DJ is not to be trusted, as any issues that arise, from injury to venue damage, will default to you if your disc jockey isn’t insured.

33. Are there breaks during your performance?

If you don’t want there to be a break in the music during the reception, a DJ should certainly be able to provide this. Aside from the occasional quick meal or bathroom break (during which music can still be playing), a wedding DJ shouldn’t need much time away from the performance.

34. Smoking or non-smoking?

Professional DJs do not smoke or drink during the wedding. This is a simple standard of professionalism that anyone you are looking to hire should be able to meet.

35. What sort of DJ equipment gets used for a wedding?

A DJ’s sound system is the lifeblood of his or her performance. From Pioneer to Bose, JBL to Shure, there are a great deal of brands that may be found in a professional DJ’s kit. Beware of homemade setups which, while occasionally impressive, are more often riddled with faults and at risk of failure.

36. Is there backup equipment in case of emergency?

Emergencies happen to the best of us, no matter how well-maintained our equipment is. A backup sound system should be on-site during your wedding to ensure that in the event of a complete technical failure, everything can be replaced and your special day won’t suffer for the lack of music.

37. Are DJ microphones wireless?

Shure wireless microphones are now standard at all professionally DJed weddings. These allow guests of honor and family to speak from anywhere in the venue and all speeches can be made more easily and conveniently.

38. Does the performance include a light show?

Depending on the ambience you are looking for at your wedding, you may want to ask for a light show or other entertainment effects from your DJ. This is certainly possible, but will vary from DJ to DJ, so you should consult yours during the interview to ensure the performance will be exactly what you expect. You may not want lasers and smoke for an elegant ballroom affair, for instance.

39. Are there signs or banners included in your gig?

This sort of self-promotion is unprofessional and in poor taste at weddings. No matter how much exposure a DJ thinks he or she may get, the most important thing is the wedding guests’ experience, which shouldn’t be compromised for a shameless plug. Unless a banner or sign would somehow improve the experience or fit with the theme of the wedding, this shouldn’t be required by any professional DJ.

40. Are DJs part of any professional organizations or agencies?

There are many organizations for DJs to join at the local, regional, and national level. Most professionals will be associated in some way with one or more of these, as they provide DJs with equipment, tools of the trade, tips, referrals, and much more. It’s a good sign for a DJ to be a member of high-level organizations like these.