Questions to ask your Wedding DJ
Take a moment to think about your upcoming wedding date. Close your eyes and imagine it. Imagine your dress, the cake, and your guest. Now look over to the dance floor.
Is it empty or full? What music is playing? Are your guest enjoying the music? Whoever you choose to be your DJ for that night will have a direct effect on your big day. Thats why we don't recommend making this decision hastily. Let's go over a few questions that you should ask any possible DJ's to ensure you find the right one for you.
How long have you been a DJ? (Follow up - How many weddings have you DJed?)
So here is a tricky question and you will want to make sure you ask the right follow up questions. Years of experience is definitely important but what is of most importance is what has the potential DJ done in that time? Specifically Weddings. Let me tell you why. Let's say you are comparing 2 different DJs for your Wedding. One has 20 years experience while the other 8 years. First instincts might tell us to go with the 20 year vet right? But what has he done in those 20 years? How many weddings has he done? If he is including the time he spent DJing family BBQs and only DJ'ed a handful of weddings during that time, meanwhile the 8 year DJ has been DJ'ing full-time and has performed at 1 to 2 Weddings weekly ...... We would want to make sure that we make a thorough investigation of the overall experience the DJ has, not just time. Looking at a DJs reviews is a great way to learn about their overall customer service.
Will YOU be the DJ at my Wedding?
So amongst many DJ companies there is the common practice to outsource events to other DJs or swap at the last minute. Why would this matter and how does the affect your special day? You want to make sure that you are 100% comfortable with your DJ before your wedding day. As you plan and are in communication with your DJ you get to know them and them you. We're a big believer in getting to know our clients personally so we can deliver on their wishes. With LoSo Sound, except for the most extreme of circumstances, who you plan your wedding with is the DJ that will be personally taking care of your event. We make sure to provide their personal names on the contract to guarantee their services with you.
How would you describe your style?
This is a really important question. There are so many DJs out there and each one has a unique style. It's important to find the right one for you and your wedding vision. At the beginning of this post we asked you to imagine your wedding day. Some DJ's are more involved in their crowd interaction while others focus on their great mixing. Do you feel that this DJ and their style will help you turn your dream wedding into reality? One way to learn more about their style is to ask to see videos of their work or hear a recording of an event. Most professional DJ companies will have one or both of these resources available for clients to check out on their website. LoSo Sound has live recorded audio of our weddings on our website as well as many Videos of our weddings on our website and Youtube channel.
What kind of equipment do you use? (Follow up - Can we see pictures of your set up?)
The reason we suggest asking this question is not to get into the specifics of the gear that your DJ uses but you would want to ensure that they have top of the line equipment. Any Wedding DJ company that cares for their clients big day will ensure that they are using the best reliable equipment. A great follow up question would be to ask to see pictures of their set-ups. Be on the look out for a clean and neat set up. Are cables hanging down and running across the floor or are they taped down and organized?
The last thing you would want are a guest tripping over loose cables or a spaghetti of cables in the background of your first dance photos. As a rule of thumb, a DJ that cares about the appearance of their set up also care about the condition of their equipment.
Have you played at our venue before?
This is always a plus although not a deal breaker. If a DJ has played at your venue, he will be familiar with the layout and can give great suggestions on the best placement for acoustics and set up. If they're not familiar with it , ask if they will do a site visit before hand.
Will you serve as our MC (Master of Ceremonies) as well?
Not all DJs are Master of Ceremonies. It's good to ask if your DJ will fill that role and be able to direct your guest by making announcements, your introductions, and announcing formalities such as the first dance, cutting of the cake, etc.
How do you handle request?
DJ's get a bad rep for dreading a request from the crowd. Every once in a while we hear of the horror story of the DJ that will refuse to play a request even from the Bride and Groom. Clarify with your DJ beforehand on how you feel about request and how he or she will respond to guest making them. We personally don't mind them and any request from the Bride and Groom will definitely get played. That being said, we do ask for the creative control to filter out request that our gut tells us wont go well with the crowd or the Bride and Groom have asked us not to play. One bad song has the power to clear a hyped up dance floor and we're about filling them not clearing them. We have planning forms in which we ask for your must plays as well as any songs that you do NOT want played.
What will happen to my event in the case of an emergency?
This is definitely a must ask question. If a worst case scenario became reality and your DJ was unable to perform for your wedding, will you be covered? Make sure that the contract the DJ provides has a clause to protect you in case of an emergency. Professional DJ companies should ensure a reputable replacement for your wedding something was to happen.
What back up plan do you have in case there is a gear malfunction?
Here is another one of those situations that are"worst case" but always better safe to ask and clarify beforehand. If an essential piece of gear stops working, let's say laptop, mixer, or even speaker, What back up plan does your DJ have? Making sure they have one in place will avoid a very awkward and silent situation.
Do you mix your music live?
Mixing music is when a DJ can transition between songs seamlessly. Any great DJ will be able to do this. So why is this important? Think about when you listen to music as you drive, You have a playlist on Spotify and maybe listen to a couple minutes of a song then move to the next, and the process repeats. Our attention spans are shorter and nobody wants to listen to a 6 minute version of Rapper's Delight.
A DJ that mixes live will be able to transition to another song and then another, all while keeping the dance-floor full and everyone can listen to more of your favorite songs. A DJ that doesn't mix and lets a song play out and can only squeeze 15-18 songs an hour (Not to mention the awkward silence between tracks). By mixing music, we can play 25-30 songs in an hour while going from genre to genre and keeping all your guest happy and dancing. Ask you DJ for a sample of their mixes from a Wedding. If he doesn't know how, then you will be able to tell instantly and you might as well have hired an I-pod to DJ for you.
Weddings are very important to us and a great vendor team is essential for a successful wedding. These are just a few questions that will hopefully help any Brides and Grooms out there to really get to know their DJs. If you enjoyed this article or would like to suggest additional questions please comment below. We want to hear from you!