Updated: Feb 4
What Makes a Good Wedding DJ?
Being a DJ is about more than pushing “play” on an iPad playlist. Here are three qualities that set a good Wedding DJ apart from the crowd.
If we could only give you one tip, it would be this!
Your DJ is going to be responsible for setting the tone of the evening. If you have a boring DJ…that means a boring wedding.
A DJ’s personality is the most important clue you’re going to get. Instead of relying on emails and texts, meet with your DJ in person to talk about your vibe, needs, and favorite music. This will help you decide whether they can create the party atmosphere you’re looking for.
You’ve probably been hearing how important communication is during all those premarital classes. Well, working with a DJ is no different.
Playing music is only part of what a DJ does. The other half is talking. From making sure you’re on the same page regarding the “do not play” list to making sure the photographer captures the cake cutting, wedding DJs need to communicate and they need to do it well.
This is why it’s so crucial to hire a wedding DJ who can also MC. Other than your wedding planner, your DJ is the one person keeping everything together!
Any DJ who specializes in weddings will end up working a lot of them, so they need to be organized. But when those plans go awry, they also need to be flexible.
An organized DJ has a copy of the evening’s timeline so they can keep events on track. But if the bride and groom are an hour late, they should be able to adapt on the fly so that you and your guests are able to enjoy the evening without feeling rushed (with plenty of time for dancing).
How to Choose a Wedding DJ!
If you’re meeting with multiple wedding DJs, it can be hard to choose just one. Here are 13 questions you can ask to help you choose the perfect DJ.
1. Do you DJ full-time?
It’s not always easy to tell from a website whether a DJ is working weddings on the side or as a full-time gig. All things being equal, you want someone who’s fully dedicated to making your day amazing.
2. Are you insured?
DJ-ing doesn’t sound like a terribly risky job, but accidents can happen anywhere. Make sure your wedding DJ is licensed and insured.
3. How many DJs do you have?
If a DJ company has a team of DJs, find out which one will be working your wedding. You don’t want to do all of your meetings with the company owner or one of their planners only to find out that you don’t vibe with the person actually at your wedding.
4. What other services do you offer?
Many DJ companies now offer uplighting, photo booths, and other add-ons to make your reception extra special. Many even offer packages that make these extras a little more affordable.
5. Do you specialize in weddings?
Corporate events, nightclubs, and weddings might all have DJs in common, but the experiences are completely different. Make sure you find a wedding DJ, not just a DJ who’s willing to do weddings.
6. Do you have a preferred style?
If possible, look for a wedding DJ who’s music style closely matches your own. If you love hip hop and he listens to Garth Brooks, you probably won’t be able to rely on him for song suggestions.
7. What do you typically wear?
It’s not something most couples think of, but having a wedding DJ in the wrong attire can make for an awkward event. You wouldn’t want someone to show up at your casual beach wedding in a full tux. Or show up at a ballroom wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
8. How will you build our playlist?
Ask your wedding DJ how they learn about your likes/dislikes and build a playlist for you. Will it happen in one meeting? Will they submit a song list via email for your approval? Do they have an online hub where you can submit suggestions? (We do!)
9. How do you keep the dance floor packed?
They don’t need to provide you with their trade secrets, but a good wedding DJ should have an answer for how they keep people on the dance floor. At the very least, they should be able to read a room to see which songs are hitting and which are falling flat.
10. How do you handle song requests?
If you’d like guests to make song requests, ask the DJ what their method is. (And if they say they never take requests, RUN!)
11. Do you have back-up equipment/DJ?
Anything can go wrong. Yes, even with a professional DJ! We’ve personally been at weddings where the power has gone out and we had to come up with a solution on the fly. DJs get sick, equipment suddenly breaks, the venue’s sound system isn’t compatible with the audio set-up…you name it, it can happen.
But a professional wedding DJ will have a Plan B (and C) in case something goes wrong.
12. Are you familiar with our venue?
If a wedding DJ has worked at your chosen venue before, even better! Every wedding venue has different quirks and layouts that can take some getting used to. But if your DJ has dealt with them before (and already knows the staff), that’s one less thing to worry about.
13. Can I see a video of your work?
Remember how we said DJs needed to be good communicators? Well, you want to find one who can do more than just talk a good talk. Ask if they have video clips of other weddings they’ve worked so you can get a feel of what they’re like “on stage.”