"Looking for a DJ is no easy task. From Craigslist to a family friend...a referral from a colleague or a typical web search, your search for a DJ will yield plenty of results. And quite often, too many choices can be overwhelming. After sifting through the available choices, there are must-haves and red flags that must be looked at before choosing "the one." So let's get right to them!" (Kurtis Cross, Professional Wedding DJ)
I've asked for some help from Kurtis Cross, Professional Wedding DJ, to take a trip through the planning process when it comes to choosing your perfect (and reliable) DJ. So over the next four weeks, we will be taking a deep look into the role of your DJ and how you can find one that is perfect for your wedding day!
Questions To Ask
Besides the usual "Do you have my date available?" and "What is your cost?", there are some very important questions that are definite musts when interviewing a potential DJ.
1. What services do you provide? It may seem silly, but really, it's not! A DJ doesn't just play music, they provide the entertainment for the night. Packaging their additional services, such as dance floor lighting or up-lighting, will not only save you some bucks, but will save you hours and hours of searching for additional vendors for these other services!
2. Will you be my DJ? Another seemingly silly question, but you definitely want to know that you get along with your vendors. And if he or she will be running the show on your wedding night, you definitely want to ensure the personality you are meeting and love, is the personality that will be there the night of your wedding! Remember, there may be multiple DJ's that work within the same company, so make sure you meet YOUR DJ before booking!
3. Are you a full-time professional wedding DJ? You know, there is nothing wrong with a DJ who has another job on the side. But hiring a professional WEDDING DJ is a must! There is a difference between DJing at a club and DJing at a wedding, and the person you hire needs to be able to run your evening smoothly from beginning to end.
4. What is your backup plan in case your equipment fails that night? Every professional DJ is going to have fantastic equipment. So here, you don't need to know the names and versions of their equipment, because it will all be the same to you anyhow. What I would recommend looking for here, is their professionalism. If a DJ draws a complete blank when this question is asked, there may be some red flags. They may suggest bringing backup equipment or have backup easily accessible but in any case, the answer to this question needs to come out of his or her mouth with no thought attached.
1. Public Reputation - What are people saying on wedding chat boards and reviews? Don't look for just a few glowing reviews. A professional & reputable DJ will have 10, 15, 20+ positive reviews.
2. Experience - Although every DJ has to get his/her start somewhere, your wedding day is not where a DJ should gain this experience.
3. Flexibility - As this is your wedding day, you'll want to work with someone who is in tune with your needs and is willing to be flexible and/or adjust to accommodate you.
4. Responsiveness - A professional will be attentive and responsive to your needs. Responses to e-mails and phone calls should be efficient and thorough.
5. Personality - You may find someone with experience, great equipment and the right price... however, if their personality does not match with yours or their style is not in tune with what you are looking for, then (sorry!) you do not have the right match. The personality of your DJ is a key ingredient to the success of your wedding celebration.
The RED FLAGS
1. No Website - Any professional vendor, will have a website. If they don't... RUN!
2. No Insurance - A comprehensive liability insurance policy is a must. Not only do many hotels, banquet halls and venues require this but a DJ who has not invested in this essential business policy is rolling the dice.
3. Lots Of Nightclub Experience - A great nightclub DJ does not make a great wedding DJ. I've been on both sides of this. I started as a nightclub DJ 28 years ago. I had a blast and was a part of many successful nightclub ventures from NYC to Miami, FL. When I got into performing for weddings, it was a humbling experience. Weddings require more polish, experience, professionalism and attention to detail. While you may hear a great DJ at a nightclub, this seldom transfers into a great wedding DJ.
4. Lack Of Willingness To Meet - You should always meet your DJ in person or (at the very least) via Skype. You'll want to get a feel for their personality, their appearance and how they will interact with you and your guests. A phone call or an e-mail exchange cannot accomplish this.
5. Negative Reviews Or Very Few Reviews - Again, every DJ has to get his/her start somewhere, right? Your wedding, however, is too important for a DJ to use this day as practice. A DJ with negative or very few reviews likely lacks the experience and quality needed to successfully perform at your wedding celebration.
6. Bargain Basement Pricing - Quite simply put, a DJ for less is probably less of a DJ.
7. No Contract - Enough said! No written contract? Walk away.
So how do you know when you've found "the one"?
"The right DJ for you will be a professional. Your personalities will mesh well. He/she will be responsive to your needs and will go the extra mile for you from your first phone call or e-mail through your final dance. Not only can you see this DJ as your M.C. but you'll feel a sense of relief when hiring them. You'll be able to trust that your needs will be covered and then some. You won't second guess their ideology because you are confident in your choice. They'll have a variety of music, a great reputation and they will be willing to exercise flexibility to accomplish your dream wedding day. You'll feel comfortable enough to call or e-mail them with questions and ideas, and you should also feel that during the planning stages, they are on your side. Last but not least, you'll know that their primary goal is to HELP you achieve your dream wedding celebration!" (Kurtis Cross)
And I couldn't have said it better myself!
Wedding DJ Blog Series...featuring Kurtis Cross, Professional Wedding DJ
Follow us over the next four weeks as we take a deeper look into the life of a professional wedding DJ, with the help of professional wedding DJ, Kurtis Cross. We will start with what you need to look for and avoid as a bride, as you begin your search for the perfect DJ, head through the planning process and what a DJ does to prepare for your wedding. Finally, we will end with the wedding day and all that he or she does on your big day in order to ensure your day is even more spectacular than imagined!