How to Book the Best Wedding DJ
Updated: May 26, 2019
Unless you plan on plugging in your smartphone to the venue PA and having your guests listen to your Spotify playlist, you will be in the market for a wedding DJ. It may look like an simple job but there are very good reasons why some are well-reviewed and others aren’t. Dave Mancini MC/DJ gave us the 411 when it comes to choosing the right DJ for you.
1. Make sure you are hiring a wedding professional
Technically everyone who gets paid is a pro, but a wedding professional is someone who does this as a legitimate business and not just a side-hustle. You can spot a true professional if they can check off several of the following items:
· Carry $1M liability insurance
· Provide legal contracts
· Belong to professional organizations (like the ADJA, NACE, ABC, MPI, etc.)
· Bring back-up equipment (this is SO important we could write an extra blog on this!)
· Pay workman’s comp if they have employees
· Are well reviewed online and by word of mouth
2. Hire a Wedding DJ, not just a DJ
The term DJ gets thrown around a lot. EVERYONE knows a DJ, but not all of them are wedding DJs. DJs can work at bars, clubs, house-parties, lounges, on the radio…but that doesn’t mean they have the experience and skill-set to work a wedding. Many will gladly take a bride & groom’s money and say they can do a wedding even though they have little to no experience in that field!
3. Understand the difference between an MC and a DJ
A DJ plays music and makes basic announcements during the event. An MC (also known as the Master of Ceremonies) will run and facilitate a wedding and its formalities including introducing the Grand Entrance, setting up the first dance, cake cutting, bouquet/garter, etc. Many MCs will also meet with you ahead of time to plan out and discuss your timeline. The great ones even act as wedding coordinators when one is not hired! Make sure it is clear exactly what you are paying for, a DJ or an MC or both.
4. Budget appropriately
A general rule of thumb for DJ’s is professionals charge over $1000, amateurs charge under. Like anything else, you WILL get what you pay for. Do not underestimate the importance that entertainment will play in keeping your guests interested, entertained, and present till the end of the night. Then, ask yourself what that is worth in comparison to the other big-ticket items of the day.
5. Meet with your DJ
Never hire a DJ over the phone. You will not be able to truly determine if this person is the right fit for you and your anticipated crowd unless you meet with them (whether in person, or via Skype) and get to know them. You are entrusting this person with the microphone and he or she will be speaking on your behalf all evening. Do you really want to only spend 5 minutes chatting on the phone before signing a contract? We won’t go into all the horror stories we have seen and heard from those who did not meet beforehand…
6. Ask Around
Look up reviews, ask friends & family, and check with your venue and other vendors before hiring someone. Anyone can whip together a fancy website, but no one knows the truth like venues and vendors who work with DJs every weekend. They will likely be very candid with you about the vendors who have made their couples happy and those who have fallen short. Great testimonials from happy brides & grooms are always the best place to start.
With a little bit of effort in your research you can be more confident in pairing yourself with a stellar professional wedding DJ that will help the day run smoothly, allow the audience to hear your vows, pronounce your parent’s names right, in addition to pumping the crowd and keeping the party going!
Have further questions about DJ and MC vendors? We are in the business of helping couples make good vendor decisions whether they are our clients or not. Ask away!
Dave Mancini MC/DJ