Wedding Planning - Guide To Hiring A DJ
Many brides and grooms opt in the way of hiring a disc jockey for their reception events, as DJ's usually charge a fraction of the price that a live band might charge. The DJ's ability to provide the event with a wide variety of music-- all performed by the original artists-- is also certainly a plus. If you and your groom have decided that a DJ would be best for your reception event as well, be sure to give this decision a high level of importance-- just as you did when you both chose your other wedding professionals. After all, your reception will be one grand celebration, and a good DJ will be essential to keeping the occasion exciting, fun and rolling along. Not only will the DJ keep the reception abounding with tunes, they may also act as the Master of Ceremonies for the event, if you so wish. Their expertise in this area is known to be especially helpful for keeping the events flowing smoothly and in a timely manner-- such as your first dance, the cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.
To get started, begin searching for prospective DJ's by either skimming through your local phone book, attending a bridal show in your area or searching through a local wedding guide. It's a wise idea to ask around with your family, friends and co-workers for their recommendations as well. Yet another great source for recommendations would be your other wedding professionals. Their jobs revolve around weddings on a day-to-day basis-- their relationships with other professionals in the wedding service industry could be of great benefit to you.
Once you've gathered contact information for a few DJ's you can begin calling around to check their availability on your wedding date, inquire about their prices and set up an interview with them.
When you meet with each DJ, be sure to discuss these important details:
- Does their experience include wedding receptions?
- At how many wedding receptions have they performed?
- Do they offer a broad range of music? Do they have a listing you could view?
- Will they give you the opportunity to listen to their system and sound quality?
- What kinds of equipment do they use, and how much space will be needed at the reception location?
- Do they have a demo videotape of a recent reception? (Ask to borrow/view it if they do.)
- How will they be attired? (Make sure they'll be donning the appropriate apparel that matches the tone and formality of your reception.)
- Will they take requests from your guests?
- How many breaks will be taken, and how long are the breaks?
- With exception to an emergency, is it guaranteed that they will be the one at your reception?
- Is there an extra charge for travel time?
- Overtime charges?
- How much is required to reserve your wedding date?
- When is the balance due?
- What is their cancellation policy?
Always ask the DJ's for references, and call the references when you get home. When you've made your final decision, it will be time to book your date with them. There will probably be a deposit required in order to book his or her services and you'll also be meeting with them to discuss further reception details. Make certain that you receive all agreements, details and guarantees in writing. You and your DJ will both sign the contract-- be sure to get a copy for your own records as well.
During any follow-up visits with your newly booked DJ, you should plan to discuss, in further detail, the tone and formality of your celebration. You'll want to ensure that your DJ will play music selections in keeping with the rest of your event's atmosphere. Give the DJ an idea of the kinds of music you like, as well as anything you dislike. This is your wedding after all. If the limbo and chicken dance are going to be out of the question, be sure to convey this during your meeting.
Inquire about any obscure songs you may want played at your reception. You'll most likely be able to offer up a CD of your own if they don't have it available within their own collection. Bring up any other specifics you had in mind, such as ethnic music, etc.
If you've decided to have your DJ act as the Master of Ceremonies, be sure to make a detailed reception time line of events for them to follow. Go over each event on your list and inquire about the times they will be taking breaks, as well as the music selections that will be played during those breaks. Be sure to also address the meal issue and whether or not you will be providing them with one. Serving your DJ with some sort of refreshments is always a wise and thoughtful thing to do, as it will provide them with the nourishment and energy they'll need to keep all of your reception guests happy with nonstop music.
With the right tunes, and a good DJ, you're sure to have your guests up on the dance floor having a good time, and celebrating right along with you.