Rates in the DJ industry can range greatly. The best price is not always the best deal. Prices
are based on talent, experience, services offered, job
requirements, equipment and supply & demand.
Surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more on
entertainment in hindsight and made it their #1 priority. DJs with rock
bottom prices do so by cutting corners which translates to more stress
and less dancing. The last thing you
want on the most important day of your life is an empty dance floor!
A full-service DJ company will invest anywhere from 12 to
into your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for 4
hours. Consultations, building playlists, preparation, set-up
and tear-down, correspondence and paperwork all add up to
the overall success of your event. Being that the music is consistently the
remembered thing about a party, you should take the time to make
sure your DJ meets your standards. Below is a list of questions to
keep in mind when interviewing a potential DJ.
<Written by DJ Rob Salvati>
Will you act as MC and make all of the announcements?
Any professional disc jockey should be more than willing to act as your
Master of Ceremonies and be comfortable speaking on the microphone. They should be willing to coordinate your event timeline as well as go over
any difficult name pronunciations in advance if they will be making
Do you offer a written contract?
Every professional DJ needs to have a contract. If a D.J. does not offer a
contract, that is a huge red flag and it would be wise to avoid that DJ.
Without a contract, you have no guarantee that the DJ will show up to
your event even if you pay him ahead of time. It also suggests that the
DJ is not organized or professional.
How involved can we be in selecting
This is a good question to ask because some DJs prefer to select most of
the music while incorporating a small playlist from the client while
others prefer to let the clients select the majority of the music while
using their expertise to incorporate the songs together. Make sure you
are comfortable with the level of involvement the DJ wishes for you to
What is your
policy on drinking or smoking at events?Any
professional mobile DJ company should make it clear that they will not
be smoking or drinking alcohol while they are performing at any event. The last
thing a couple would want at their wedding would be to have an
intoxicated disc jockey!
What kind of equipment do you use?
A professional DJ company should use name brand
professional audio equipment and be able to tell you what brand he uses. DJ's should have minimum
speaker wattage of 400 watts per speaker for a large event. If the DJ doesn't know what system he runs off of, this is a red flag.
Do you take requests from guests?A DJ company should be willing
to take requests from guests at the party as well as from the bride and groom in advance. He should also be
willing to follow a do-not-play list if there is a type of music you
absolutely don't want to hear. At family events like weddings, the DJ should have a
policy of not playing vulgar music and the DJ should have clean radio
edits of any possible vulgar music that could be requested.
Have you played at our venue before?It is good to know
that the DJ is familiar with the location of your wedding or special
event. There may be specific rules or differences in power requirements,
parking reservations, challenges with where to position equipment or
even loading requirements or policies that the DJ can already be
Can we visit the DJ at a performance?Any professional DJ should respect the privacy of his clients and not
have potential future clients stopping by at weddings or private parties
to watch him perform. Professional DJ companies however should be more
than willing to allow potential clients to watch them perform at any
public events if they have any upcoming public parties.
Do you work exclusively for this company?Hiring a DJ that works
for multiple companies could be a red flag to avoid. Double bookings can
easily occur if multiple companies book the DJ for the same day. Also,
there is always the chance that a DJ leaves a certain company. Make sure
you know the company's policy in this situation. Usually there is
nothing more than a verbal agreement between a DJ company and an
independent DJ which is a frequent cause of problems.
did you start & how many events have you done?Experience can make all the difference between a great night to remember
and a disaster. Crowds of mixed ages can be difficult to accommodate
with such different music tastes and it takes an experienced DJ to know
how to handle different situations. Newer DJ's may be cheaper but it
may not be worth it to you if the DJ doesn't have the experience to
know how to keep the dance floor full. Be sure
to hire a DJ who has done at least 100 weddings but 500 to 1000 events means they are more experienced.
Do you have a wireless microphone?Some halls will provide you with a corded microphone while others
will not or may not have a good-quality speaker system. It is a good idea to make sure your DJ has a professional grade wireless microphone system that you can use if the
hall doesn't provide an adequate system. Shure is one of the best
brand names when it comes to wireless microphones. Brand names are much
more important when it comes to microphones than any other piece of DJ
equipment because you can tell the difference very much so when using
them. A poor brand name wireless microphone can give static, feedback,
cross-talk with other wireless devices, weak distance travel and may not
be heard in a wedding hall with 200 guests whereas a good microphone
will work without flaw.
Do you have a light show?Many DJ's provide some sort of light
show option. Find out what kind of light show is included and if this
suits your needs. Regularly, prices for light shows
can range from $50 to $300 while some DJs may include a basic light show for free.
What types of events do you
DJ for?It is good to
have a D.J. who is versatile and well-rounded in different types of
events to ensure an even more successful night. At the same time, make
sure that your d.j. is not new to your type of event you are booking him
for. For example, a club DJ may be good at keeping the bridal party and
your friend dancing to the hottest new music but may unintentionally
exclude or embarrass your grandparents and younger guests.
Does the DJ have a searchable music database?
A music database can help customer with song selection and also make planning more convenient. Ask the DJ if you are able to
see his database anywhere online.
What if there is an emergency and you have to cancel?Every professional DJ should have a backup plan if something were to
happen to them on the night of the event. Make sure they have another DJ available in case there
is some sort of emergency and your DJ cannot be at your event. You need
to feel comfortable that you will have a qualified DJ on the date of
your wedding if an accident were to occur.
you engage the crowd if people aren't dancing?A
professional DJ is trained to know how to handle the situation of a dead
dance floor. A dj is usually a skilled MC as well. Some disc jockeys
prefer to energize the crowd to get them dancing while others prefer to
use careful song selection. You need to know your DJ's style and make
sure that it suits what you are looking for.
How willing is the DJ to respect your wishes?
This should give you an idea of how easy
the DJ will be to work with you and accommodate your needs the way you
want to customize your wedding. If the DJ seems to be skeptical or
hesitant of your ideas, you should strongly consider looking elsewhere.
How promptly does the DJ return phone calls or Emails?
The speed at which a DJ replies to you may strongly indicate their
commitment to your wedding and their profession. This also shows a
DJ's organizational skills as well as their punctuality.
What will you wear to our wedding?
Make sure you know what your DJ will be wearing to your event so that he is dressed accordingly with the proper attire.
His style should meet your expectations as well as the dress code.
When do you arrive to set up for our wedding?
Setup for a wedding takes at least an hour
for most dj companies. A professional company will be setup well before
any guests walk through the door. Make sure you know your dj's policy
on when and how long it takes him to setup.
What planning tools do
you use to coordinate my event?A disc
jockey should have some sort of
event planner as well as
a contract to show that they are prepared for the event.
Anything less than this can suggest that you are not hiring a
Do you take any breaks?
One benefit of hiring a disc jockey over a band is that DJ's do not require breaks. It is rare to come across a
DJ company that does take breaks during
an event. Always ask questions to know what to expect ahead of time.