The Team at Addison Woods
10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding DJ
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
Are you looking for a wedding DJ? If so, you're in the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss the hiring process and provide you with 10 questions to ask your potential wedding DJ. By asking these questions, you will be able to get a feel for whether or not they are the right fit for your wedding. Keep in mind that every wedding is different, so it's important to find a DJ who can adapt to your specific needs.
Aaron Morales is an award-winning Houston Wedding DJ, Entrepreneur, and leader in music and media. He is the founder of A.M. Productions, a DJ & Entertainment company that specializes in high-energy entertainment with a boutique-style approach.
A.M. Productions is also one of the preferred vendors at Addison Woods and has many years of experience delivering successful weddings in the Houston and Texas market.
In order to make this process as seamless as possible for you, Aaron has put together a list of questions that you should be asking your wedding DJ when you are going through the hiring process. Enjoy!
As much as I’d love to dive deep into it and with our first question to ask your potential DJ, let’s start with YOU.
What do YOU want? Where do you prioritize the DJ on your list of vendors? How was the DJ at the last wedding you went to? Did it make or break your experience as a guest? What is most important to you and your fiance? I would recommend jotting down at least 3 things that you are looking for in a DJ or even things you are not looking for to help you create criteria to help you when choosing your wedding DJ. It’s OK to not know where to start but just write what comes to mind.
Here’s some examples:
Fun, outgoing DJ - MUST
At the last wedding, I went to the DJ and did not play any of the bride’s requests - I do not want that to happen to me.
I really like dancing on the clouds for the first dance, it would be nice to get it bundled.
My family and friends have different tastes in music so I’d need someone to play a variety of genres.
Now that we have some ideas noted, this will give us a small checklist and even some things to ask when reviewing DJs.
Question #1 - How Long Have You Been DJing?
We know when it comes to choosing your wedding DJ as a couple you may have many options. This can range from your bridesmaid using her iphone via spotify, your cousin Bill who just started DJing as a hobby, all the way to a veteran DJ who does this every weekend.
When it comes to choosing your wedding DJ, you want to make sure they have the skillset for DJing but more importantly have lots of experience with weddings, understand what it takes to run a wedding smoothly and know how to cater your exact needs.
The first question you should be asking is, “How long have you been DJ’ing?” You want to make sure they have plenty of experience and more importantly, experience with weddings. There is a big difference between being a club DJ and a wedding DJ. As someone who is a hybrid of the two but who mainly specializes in weddings, I know some killer club DJs that don’t have the experience for weddings or even the equipment necessary for weddings. This is by no means knocking what they do but the reality is, that to pull off a successful wedding without a hitch requires a specific set of skills and equipment that only a true wedding expert has.
You also want to get a good feel for how many weddings they have done to gauge their experience. I've met tons of DJ's who have been "doing weddings for 20 years" but only average about 5 weddings per year.
Question #2 - Are You Insured?
The quickest way to figure out if someone is a true wedding professional is to ask them if they are insured. Any reputable wedding vendor should have liability insurance to protect themselves and more importantly, you the client. Addison Woods requires that all vendors, including your DJ, carry general liability insurnace; if they don’t have it, a possible red flag. They could be someone either just starting out or someone who doesn’t do it full time.
Question #3 - Do You Have Any Videos Of You Live Mixing?
In the world of Instagram and fake it to you make it DJs, it's really important to know if your DJ can live mix.
I’ve heard tons of horror stories about couples getting DJs who don’t mix or don’t know how to mix but they’ll post one fire pic on Instagram and look like a rockstar.
So be sure to ask your potential DJ if they have any videos of them mixing live. You want to see the proof in the pudding and there's no better way to do that than seeing a video of them live mixing as that's what you're gonna get on your wedding day. You want to see if they have skill, command attention, keep people engaged, and more importantly: play what you like.
Question #4 - What Do Your Back Up Plans Look Like ?
What happens if their equipment fails? Do they have a backup plan? If so, what does that look like in detail? I get it, everyone has the latest equipment and doesn’t have issues BUT I’m a strong believer in Murphy’s Law - what can go wrong will go wrong - so it’s important to have backups in place for every aspect of the wedding DJ. I’ve personally had one or two incidents where my backups saved the night or have even helped other DJs at events where we were hired for different roles. We literally have a backup for everything.
At the end of the day, we’re dealing with computers, electronics, and stuff that is out of our control, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially for your big day.
Question #5 - Will It Be You Personally At My Wedding Or Someone Else?
It's important to know who will actually be there on your big day. Lots of companies have salespeople do the booking process so if there's someone in mind that you've seen on their page or on reviews, be sure to request that person. Companies may also have rosters with many different DJs based on their availability. When you find out who will actually be performing, request more information, videos or reviews on that specific DJ to make sure they’re a good fit for you. You can even request a meeting so you can have a conversation with them and make sure you vibe together before booking.
This is super important because you don’t want to be baited and switched. This happens a lot where you think you’re getting a certain caliber of DJ, get charged the amount for a veteran, but then get someone who’s just starting out. Make sure they’re legit and request more information. DON’T get pressured into a complimentary photo booth or “special deal” to book on the spot. This is a tactic I’ve heard where couples get a rookie DJ and pay top dollar.
Question #6 - Can We Make Requests
This is your big day, so you want to make sure those important songs that are near and dear to your heart are played. You also want to make sure that the DJ is on board with a Do Not Playlist so you can put down the songs you are not fond of or deem inappropriate.
The last thing you want is for the DJ to play whatever they feel like playing and not what you or your guests want to hear. A good wedding DJ will always be receptive to taking requests from you and your guests because at the end of the day, it's all about making sure everyone has a great time. Be sure to clarify the vibe you're looking for, the amount of control you'd like to have on the music, and what you're comfortable with as far as requests go during the reception.
Question #7- What Is Included In Your Wedding Package?
Be sure to ask what all is included in their wedding packages. Do you need ceremony coverage with audio and microphones? Do you need an additional speaker because cocktail hour is in a different area or outside? Do you want extra add ons?
Some DJs only provide the music while others may include lighting, photo booth and other fun wedding add ons. You want to understand clearly what they're providing so you aren't stressed out on the day of if you're missing something.
Another thing to keep in mind is the MC’ing portion. Will the DJ make all the important announcements? How interactive is this DJ? Will they fit the vision you're looking for? Are they bilingual? Do you even need a bilingual DJ?
Be sure to ask about this so you can budget and plan accordingly.
Question #8 - Have you done a wedding at our venue before?
Not really necessary but it's extremely helpful if they have.
They'll be more familiar with the layout, where to set up, how the sound will travel in certain areas and know what to expect.
If they haven't done a wedding at your venue before, no biggie. Just see if they're willing to scout it out beforehand.
Question #9 - Will you meet with us after booking? If so, what does that look like?
This will give you an idea of their process and if they have one in place. Ideally you'd want a DJ to meet with you to discuss your schedule, important songs and selection for music.
This is also a great opportunity to get to know them better and ensure you're both on the same page.
A professional DJ will always want to meet with you after booking so they can understand your vision for the wedding day, what's important to you and gain an understanding of what kind of crowd they'll be playing for.
Question #10 - What are your terms for booking?
This is important to know so you can understand their cancellation policy, if they require a deposit, and get a sense for how they do business.
Most Houston wedding vendors would take a retainer fee, generally around 50%, to secure your date and also provide a contract with everything agreed upon.
If they don't take a deposit or provide an agreement, this could be a possible red flag as you don't want to get flaked at the last minute.
BONUS Question - How many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
This is important to know as you want to make sure they have enough staff to help with set up, break down and be attentive throughout the wedding. You want to be sure they can complete their job during your venue rental timeframe and have peace of mind that everything is handled.
This depends on your specific details and what they're providing but most wedding pros bring at-least one assistant to help facilitate set up and break down or help during the reception.
Asking your wedding DJ the right questions is important to ensure you're making the best decision for your wedding day.
You want to be sure they're a good fit, have experience and understand your vision to make sure your wedding runs smoothly.
By asking these 10 essential questions, you'll be well on your way to hiring THE perfect DJ. If you're getting married in the Houston area or at Addison Woods, we'd love the opportunity to earn your business. Visit our website for more information!