Most couples hire a wedding DJ to play music on their special day. This might be for the whole reception or just the evening period but no matter how long they play picking the right DJ will have a big impact on your guests’ enjoyment and the general tone of the reception. Here are 5 tips for picking the right DJ.
Is their music selection right for you?
Ask to see their music collection. Most DJs have an extensive stock of music which they keep up to date but they also gravitate to a certain genre or stay fairly middle-of-the-road in their choices. If you and your partner are Drum and Bass fans you may find a whole night of love songs or pop music a little irksome. Supplying a few of your favourite tracks is fine but if you need to supplement the entire music selection there seems little point in hiring that particular wedding DJ.
Find out the general process for picking music i.e. do they tailor the playlist to each couple and how much can you and your partner get involved in the music selection?
Have you heard their set before?
If you’ve never heard the DJ before, which is highly likely, then I recommend making the effort to go to one of their gigs. Most wedding DJs also play other events including some public venues. Find out when you can go along and see them in action. Bear in mind the style of music played on the night might be different to your tastes but you should be able to tell if they’re good at their job.
At this point you’ll also get an impression of their style of DJing. DJing can mean something entirely different in differing circumstances. In some cases it’s a matter of seamlessly queuing up tracks to play one after the other, often interspersed with MCing i.e. shout outs to the crowd and general hyping up. However it can also mean mixing multiple tracks to create a new sound. You should be very clear about what you’re looking for as you may find you don’t get what you want. The usual wedding DJ will be of the former type so if you want mixing and scratching you need to look to non-typical wedding DJs.
If you have friends who have married recently in the same or a nearby location to you e.g. in Manchester or Sale then ask them for advice on a wedding DJ in Manchester. The ability to trust that the reference will match your tastes is important. Your friends have gone through a similar planning process and have similar tastes to you. If you’ve found a DJ without a prior referral he or she should always be able to supply a list of previous clients. Most couples are more than happy to be contacted as a reference if they were happy with the DJ.
Discuss fees and breaks.
Of course you’d expect to find out the DJ’s hourly rate but make sure you are clear about any hidden extras such as overtime fees, billing for equipment hire and their break times. It is courteous to ensure that the DJ gets some food and drink though it is wise to ask that they don’t drink alcohol. Depending on the time period that you will be using a DJ for you may want to save them a portion of your wedding breakfast or just some of the snack food from later in the night. In the UK any working period of 6 hours or more should include a 20 minute break period. However as DJs are generally self employed they may set their own breaks which you should be made aware of.
Set up requirements.
Once you have decided on the perfect DJ you need to discuss particulars. Make sure you speak about even the smallest details as if you take a laissez faire approach it is more than likely something will be overlooked. Will the DJ arrive early to set up or will the venue staff be required to set up anything? You may also want to specify a dress code for your DJ. As they won’t have received the same invitation as your guests it stands to reason they may not naturally match the dress code. If this is a concern of yours address it head on by frankly specifying a dress code for the DJ too. Lastly, what are the backup arrangements; i.e. is there another DJ available in an emergency? Any service, including DJing, should offer a contingency plan so you’re not left high and dry.