What should you ask for a wedding DJ?

Dj playing music

The choice of entertainment is typically left to the very end of the "Wedding To-Do List," despite the fact that it is a crucial aspect of the event. A good Emcee will set the tone with appropriate music and expertly lead guests from one highlight to the next. As an added bonus, popular performers are often booked months in advance, so brush up on your dance skills now to avoid embarrassing yourself by having to do the chicken dance with your uncle at the reception.

A skilled wedding DJ/MC will organise their time and resources in advance to provide you a memorable party. An online wedding planner is used to gather the basics, and then a series of in-person meetings are held to fill in the details. If they're any good, your DJ will ask you the following questions to help ensure you have the service you paid for.

Table of Contents

How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?

The question "how much is your service?" is often the only one asked. Maybe it's more about the standard of service that's offered. Getting a professional DJ to play at a wedding could become more expensive. Although some may be considerably more expensive than others, you shouldn't make your choice based entirely on cost.

Hiring a DJ can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on factors such as the quality of the DJ's equipment and the DJ's level of expertise. A cheap DJ usually doesn't come cheap for no reason. Don't be shocked if the same Disc jockey charges more for weddings compared to a family reunion because there is so much more preparation and execution required for a wedding.

Dj playing music

What Will Be Your First Dance?

You two might have found something special here. The DJ you hire should be able to help you out without trying to control the event. This is a source of anxiety for many couples, but it shouldn't be a major concern. It's great if you were born graceful, but if you weren't, practise makes perfect. Maintain your composure and a pleasant expression if everything else fails. You're among friends who value you as a person and not just as a dance partner.

Are There Any Contracts to Sign?

This time it's boring, but it's also really important. Having a written agreement between you and your spouse is a must. It should give you some comfort, at the very least.

Since these days anyone can buy some used schlock off eBay and call themselves a DJ, it's more important than ever to meet people.

Think about the enquiry concerning previous wedding attendance. It's possible that a DJ's performance would be better suited for a night out on the town than for your wedding. Determine whether the DJ is a full-time musician or if they have other employment in addition to being a DJ. However, the quality of some amateur DJs' work may really exceed that of some professionals. Your wedding is your special day, and only you know what's appropriate.

Mixed Crowd Favorite

When a good DJ is spinning, the dancefloor will be packed, but not everyone will be there at once. Perhaps some of the attendees are meeting up again after a long time apart. If some guests choose to sit down, but everyone seems to be having a great time regardless, don't feel awful.

A good DJ can read the room and switch things up to suit the audience. Never undervalue the benefits of sharing your musical preferences with others. A DJ that plays nothing but the latest "banging tunes" may win over the young, but could drive away the retirees. A DJ's mixing skills can be gauged by listening to a demo mix of their work.

If you have attended prior family weddings, you may wish to supply the DJ with some suggestions or a list of 15 or 20 songs that were very well received. When couples attempt to design a playlist for the entire night, the DJ often finds it difficult to take requests or play songs that the DJ knows would get people on the dancefloor.

Are You Able to Handle a Variety of Genres?

What you need to know: Before meeting with a DJ or bandleader, discuss the desired mood for the reception with your fiancé. The next step is to make sure they are compatible by finding out what kind of music the DJ or bandleader prefers. For example, if you were going for a glamorous, Old Hollywood–style atmosphere, hiring an indie-folk band would be a bad idea. Although most DJs have a huge music library at their disposal, it's still a good idea to find out if they have any specific genre or artist preferences.

How Do Couples Create a Playlist?

The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you and your future spouse want to have a significant hand in assembling your wedding music. Or, are you content to merely outline your preferences and allow the wedding planner take it from there? Once you've settled on your desired level of participation, you may use this question to gauge whether or not you and a potential music professional would get along. If you want to get a feel for someone's taste in music, you can ask them to name some of their favourite songs by having them play you some of their favourite dinner/background music, pump-up jams, and slow tunes.

How Do You Motivate Guests?

Things to remember: you don't want the vibe of the party to fizzle out as people slowly leave the dance floor. In order to keep the dance floor packed, some DJs may get on the mic to motivate the crowd to keep moving, while others may just play a song that always gets a good response. Simply hire a wedding expert whose approach you appreciate. For instance, if you're hoping for low-key interaction between the DJ or conductor and the crowd, a person who frequently uses the mic to incite dance-offs is probably not the best choice.

Can You Make Announcements and Emcee?

What you need to know: You'll probably want someone to serve as the master of ceremonies and help guide guests through the different phases of the reception, from announcing the newlyweds' entrance and letting them know when dinner is served to introducing the wedding toast-givers and announcing when it's time for the last dance. While some couples choose to have a friend or family member narrate the festivities, others delegate this duty to the wedding's DJ or bandleader. If you want your wedding planner to act as the evening's emcee, make sure you ask them about it.

Power and Amplification Needs

Your wedding band will most likely bring their own sound and lighting equipment, so make sure they have easy access to an electrical outlet. Discover what they need and how much room they want for their machinery. The same is true of a DJ. They will need a place to plug in their equipment and a surface to set it on, so you will probably need to hire a table and some table linens for the DJ. Before you add any tables to your rental order, make sure you ask what size they like.

Break Music

What you need to know is that all performers, especially those who will be singing or playing an instrument, will need to take pauses during the reception. If you want to make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands what to anticipate, it's a good idea to ask your wedding DJ what kind of music they often play throughout the transitions.

Provide Video Projection, Lighting, Picture Booth, Etc.

What you need to realise is that some suppliers may offer more than just music when it comes to entertainment, including special lighting and effects, fog machines, dancefloor and wall projection (if you wanted to have your monogram projected on the dance floor or plan to show a special wedding video during dinner). Inquire about any other entertainment options, like as photo booth rentals, that may be available to enhance your package.

Check out our ultimate list of Melbourne Wedding DJs.

Questions Your Wedding DJ Should Ask You

What Kind of Music Do You Like?

The music played at your event will have a significant impact on the mood that is established by your DJ. No two people have exactly the same musical preferences, therefore it's important to have a DJ who can cater to your preferences. The DJ should ask for good examples of your favourite artists and genres, and you should be able to add as many of your favourite songs as you like to the event playlist at no extra cost. If you're not familiar with the music and would rather for the DJ to take charge, that's fine, too; just make sure they know exactly what you're looking for.

What Kind of Music Do You Not Like?

The music you despise is just as vital as the music you adore. You should inform your DJ of any specific songs or genres of music that you do not want played at your event. As any competent DJ will tell you, one person's favourite song can be another's most loathed, so it's always a good idea to find out.

Your DJ should also enquire as to the types of songs that your invited visitors and family members prefer or dislike.

What Is the Tone of Your Event?

A professional DJ/MC will tailor the tone of the event's announcements and music to fit the specific atmosphere you've envisioned. Where do you see your wedding falling on the spectrum: formal and elegant, casual and backyard barbeque, or somewhere in the middle? The DJ will be able to tailor his level of involvement to your needs if you provide him with some context about the event's tone by asking pertinent questions about the kinds of structured events you'd like to have at the party (such as formal introductions, meal blessings/toasts, and special dances). No of the mood, your MC's job is to keep the party moving along and the attendees engaged so that they may feel a part of your joyous celebration.

Keep in mind that weddings can take many forms. Several are formal, while others are casual. For their nuptials, some couples want everything to be completely out of the ordinary, while others would rather stick to more time-honored customs. Your wedding DJ will ask you a series of questions to get a sense of the dynamic between you and your partner before deciding how active or passive to be at your reception.

What Is Your Event Venue?

Having insider knowledge of the event location is much more valuable than simple navigational skills. A DJ needs to know the ins and outs of the venue's sound system and setup requirements in order to prepare properly. A DJ will need to know where the ceremony and reception will take place, how many speakers, microphones, etc., and how they will be wired. Poor preparation can lead to inaudible mics, silence throughout crucial parts of the evening, and a DJ who is constantly scrambling to catch up instead of effectively directing the proceedings.

Okay, we get it, some of these are serious technical issues that nobody wants to answer. Have faith that the DJ has good intentions when asking specific questions about the location and setup.

What Are the Names of Your Family and Bridal Party?

Your DJ's first order of business was to learn more about you. Your DJ needs to know not only the names of everyone in your family and wedding party, but also how to properly pronounce them. These introductions, albeit quick, are crucial to the success of the event. Be sure to tell the DJ if the best man goes by a nickname or if the mother of the bride will not tolerate any mispronunciations of her name. The DJ can use this information to get to know the guests, better coordinate grand introductions and activities like the money dance and the anniversary dance, and generally build a rapport with the attendees. You'll feel the difference towards the end of the night when the DJ is someone the crowd knows and loves.

What Style of Dinner Service Will You Be Having?

It's common for the reception's meal to serve as the event's starting point. When hosting a large number of guests, the DJ can be an invaluable resource for making the meal run smoothly. In order to avoid long lines at the buffet, a skilled DJ will ask for table numbers or names, discuss the sequence in which guests should be released, and arrive on the day of the event prepared to manage the flow of attendees. The DJ at a plated meal needs to know when toasts should be given to prevent interrupting the service. The DJ and the food service personnel need to coordinate their efforts, so be sure they are communicating. The DJ should be informed of the schedule from both the caterers and the wedding coordinator.

Is There Anything Noteworthy That Needs to Be Announced?

Ask your DJ to announce to visitors any extra touches, such as a guest book, picture booth, gift bags, or sparkler send-off. When combined with the other organised event announcements, this will give off an air of professionalism and ease, boosting participation and cutting down on transition/organization time.

What Are Your Special Songs?

You should be able to put your stamp on the big day and express yourself through the music you play at special moments like the first dance, the father-daughter dance, the mother-son dance, the bouquet and garter toss, and so on. The DJ at your party should enquire if there are any specific music you like to hear, and should offer choices and maybe play some sample tracks if asked. If you're going to trust their taste, at least find out what kind of music they typically choose so you know it will fit with your expectations.

Who Is Your Photographer, and Will You Have a Videographer?

Your DJ should be well-versed in all of the event crew, but the photographer in particular should be someone they've worked with before. Without prior coordination between the DJ and the photographer or cameraman, important moments may be missed, leading to both frustration and wasted time.

Check out our post on What should I expect from a wedding DJ?

Conclusion

To hire a DJ for a wedding might cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. A competent Emcee will play the right music at the right times and guide the audience from one highlight to the next. It's not uncommon for popular bands to be booked months in advance, so start practising your dance moves immediately. Find out if the DJ is a full-time musician or if they work another job in addition to being a DJ. A skilled DJ knows how to adapt the set to the crowd.

Always remember how much your friends will appreciate hearing your taste in music. It's up to you and your fiancé to decide how involved you want to be in selecting the music for your wedding. Having a DJ that constantly uses the mic to encourage dance-offs isn't the ideal choice if you're seeking for subtle crowd engagement. Inquire about the DJ's musical tastes and the sound system they'll be using for the event. So that the DJ can set up their gear, you should rent a table and some tablecloths.

Even though they are brief, these introductions are essential to the event's success. This is useful knowledge for a DJ to have when planning big events like the money dance or the anniversary dance. Be sure there is open communication between the DJ and the catering staff. The DJ needs to know and be comfortable with everyone working the event, but especially the photographer. Without communication and planning in advance, the DJ and the photographer or filmmaker may miss some crucial moments.

FAQs About Wedding DJ

Most DJs will provide a high-quality sound system along with a DJ booth and a small lighting rig. As a guide, we advise allowing approximately 2 x 2 meters of space for the DJ to set up in.

The most ideal location for the DJ setup is right next to the dance floor, bonus points if the dance floor is in the middle of the room! If you can, arrange tables in a “U” around the dance floor, with the head table opposite the dance floor from the DJ.

So's your wedding. It takes more customization and more specialized skills than almost any other party you can hire for. Vendors ought to put the extra time and training in to get your party right.

A DJ tool is exactly what its name implies, a tool DJs use. As has been said already, it can be used to transition between genres or BPMs, or in other cases, it can be used to transition between tracks that have no real intro/outro (or intros/outros that aren't very DJ friendly).

All DJs purchase music and have accounting expenses. Let's not forget the time they take in-between your wedding and the next event working on their advertising, administrative duties, music discovery, and hopefully PRACTICE!. Part-time or full-time there is a substantial amount of time spent in-between events.

CONTENT SUMMARY

  • A skilled wedding DJ/MC will organise their time and resources in advance to provide you a memorable party.
  • Getting a professional DJ to play at a wedding could become more expensive.
  • The next step is to make sure they are compatible by finding out what kind of music the DJ or bandleader prefers.
  • The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you and your future spouse want to have a significant hand in assembling your wedding music.
  • If you want your wedding planner to act as the evening's emcee, make sure you ask them about it.
  • Discover what they need and how much room they want for their machinery.
  • They will need a place to plug in their equipment and a surface to set it on, so you will probably need to hire a table and some table linens for the DJ.
  • If you're not familiar with the music and would rather for the DJ to take charge, that's fine, too; just make sure they know exactly what you're looking for.
  • The music you despise is just as vital as the music you adore.
  • You should inform your DJ of any specific songs or genres of music that you do not want played at your event.
  • Have faith that the DJ has good intentions when asking specific questions about the location and setup.
  • Your DJ needs to know not only the names of everyone in your family and wedding party, but also how to properly pronounce them.
  • The DJ can use this information to get to know the guests, better coordinate grand introductions and activities like the money dance and the anniversary dance, and generally build a rapport with the attendees.
  • The DJ should be informed of the schedule from both the caterers and the wedding coordinator.
  • Without prior coordination between the DJ and the photographer or cameraman, important moments may be missed, leading to both frustration and wasted time.

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