How to Choose a Wedding DJ - 7 Great Tips
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Are you getting married and need a DJ? If so, you probably have something in common with everyone else: You’ve never done this before and have no idea where to start! How do you choose a wedding DJ?
Pick one with an announcing style you like.
Find one that provides extras, like recording your reception.
Choose one that has a lot of experience.
Read their reviews, they are better than references.
Make your music questions as specific as possible.
Listen to their online playlists, but don't rule them out for one song.
Pick a DJ with price transparency.
Read on for a full explanation of...
How to Choose a Wedding DJ
Pick a wedding DJ with an announcing style you like
This is one of the most important things because there are so many different viewpoints on it. Some couples like minimal announcements and others like a more traditional and theatrical MC.
Ask your DJ what his or her style is. Ask them to do announcements at the meeting or over the phone. And if you tell them how you like it and they argue with you about it, look elsewhere. That is a big warning sign. Regardless of what they may say, you can have a great wedding with no announcements or with a lot.
Hire a wedding DJ who records your reception
Ask your DJ whether he/she will provide you with a recording of your speeches and dance set and if so, is there a charge for it. This is a great (complimentary) service I provide that my couples love. And it's great even if you are using a videographer because your video takes 2 to 3 months and your DJ can send you the recording in 2 to 3 days.
Choose a wedding DJ with a lot of experience We all think of details before the big picture, but let’s focus on the big picture for a second. While it’s nice if your DJ knows that Kygo remix you love, it’s more important that he or she doesn’t screw up your wedding ceremony (not all my couples would agree with me!). DJing weddings is different from DJing at a club or manning the playlist at the holiday party.
Choose a wedding DJ who did 20 weddings or more the previous year. But how do you know? If they have 5 to 10 recent reviews on wedding websites like WeddingWire or TheKnot then they probably did that many. Trust me, you can find someone who is experienced and will play the music you love.
Pick a wedding DJ with good, recent reviews Have you ever provided a reference for a job? Did you pick an objective person who would tell both sides of the story? “Sarah is a hard worker, but she’s always a half hour late whenever we meet up for dinner.” No way! You chose someone who was only going to say good things about you.
Reviews are different. Couples write them on their own, so you can trust the content more than a reference. And you can learn a lot about a DJ if you read several reviews. So get reading!
Ask specific music questions
I’m always surprised when I meet with a couple and they ask me 20 questions – none of them about music! And when they do ask, they’re very general questions like “what kind of music do you like” or “what songs do you play to make people dance?”
Here are some better questions: “What hip-hop and r&b songs from the early 2000’s would you play during our dance set,” or “what songs do you suggest for our guests who are between 60 & 70 years old.” Don’t only judge them on what they answer but also on how they answer. Do their eyes light up when they talk about different songs? Do they start telling funny stories of the last time they played a certain song? Asking specific questions can help you get to know your DJ.
Don’t rule out a DJ because of one song on a playlist This happened to me! I found out from a friend of mine that a couple decided not to hire me because they listened to one of my online mixtape/playlists and heard 1 song they didn’t like. That’s not how it works!
Regardless of what you hear in a playlist, choosing the music for your wedding is a collaborative process. You should have all the input you want in the music played at your wedding, and your DJ should go over your music with you beforehand. This way he or she will know what songs to avoid.
Choose a DJ who is transparent with their price
I always list my price on my website and on WeddingWire / The Knot. When your DJ does that you know you are going to get the same price as everyone else. If your DJ is doing the same service at a backyard wedding as he or she is doing at a fancy hotel, why should the price be different?
If you are interested in a DJ who doesn't list their price, ask for it. If they give you the runaround, or say they can't give it to you before meeting you, that's a warning sign.
So now you know how to choose a wedding DJ. But I left something out didn't I? Price! Price is the number one factor couples make when choosing wedding vendors, but on average couples spend almost twice more on their wedding than they thought they would (read this for a full breakdown of how much a wedding DJ costs in my area),
With my tips, you will choose a great DJ for your wedding. Have questions? I'm happy to help, just email me. Good luck!