Music is a fundamental component of any big event, and that rule is very true when it comes to the wedding reception and party.
You want a DJ that will get your friends and family on the dance floor - one that will get your loved ones to have fun and enjoy this very exciting day with you!
What you don't want is a DJ who isn't paying attention to the mood of a party and plays the cheesy Electric Slide when you're about to head down for a father-daughter dance. So when it comes to hiring a DJ for your reception, DON'T just hire the first person or company on Google, and DO ask the following questions to potential hires:
Question #1: How Do You Describe Your Style?
Music is personal and different music styles create and enhance different atmospheres; likewise, picking the wrong style can really take away from the experience. For example, if you're having an outdoor wedding at your parents' farm and want to embrace that country theme, then a DJ with a strong repertoire of country and folk music is likely a better pick then one specializing in pop party tunes.
Question #2: Can We View Your Music Library and Playlists?
A good follow-up to the first question is to ask prospective DJs for a sampling of what they generally play at a wedding like yours. This is also a good time to ensure all of your must-have songs are included in the wedding playlist.
Question #3: What Type of Equipment is Used and How is it Set Up and Broken Down?
Depending upon the DJ or sound company you use, they may bring just the sound equipment or they may include staging, lighting, and amplified sound tools for a more immersive experience. Ask about different packages and determine what the equipment looks like, how much space it takes up, and -- very important! -- how many electrical outlets they will need. Make sure you know before you hire when, who will be involved with, and how long equipment set-up and breakdown will entail. Experienced DJs will also bring back-up equipment because you never know when something might go wrong!
Question #4: Have you ever played at "X" wedding venue? Would they be willing to visit the site beforehand?
While not a deal breaker, it can be a lot less stressful if you know that your DJ of choice has played at a given venue before and has experience working with the staff and location's features. If your DJ hasn't performed at the venue of your choice (or if your venue is a private place like the parents' farm example), then ask if they would be open for a reconnaissance. While a DJ may charge you an hourly rate for this, it can be helpful for both parties to know exactly where they can and should set-up.
Question #5: How Do You Handle Song Requests?
The mark of a great DJ is the ability to deliver on their clients' (which in this case are the soon-to-be-newlyweds) musical preferences and desires while still satisfying guests' request. Talk to DJs to learn how they strike the balance. Do they prefer to stick to a master playlist or have a list where guests can submit written requests and a designated person to screen those requests? There are plenty of brides and grooms who have songs they absolutely do not want to be played at their reception, a good DJ respects this and knows how to turn down undesired songs.
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