So, you’ve decided to give you and your guests the party everyone deserves. You’ve realized that hiring a DJ to provide music and entertainment for your big day is paramount. Great decision! Now comes the task of finding the perfect DJ.
There are no redos for your perfect day. This is why it’s crucial for you to know exactly what to look for when choosing the DJ that’s right for you.
Here is an easy to follow guide that I’m confident will provide you with the knowledge you’ll need to find your perfect DJ. I’ve also included a bonus tip at the end that can fast-track the DJ selection process.
Let’s see how EZ it can be...
Step 1. Find out what your wedding style is going to be
Weddings come in all different sizes and styles. Sometimes they’re set under towering skyscrapers on a beautiful sunny day. Other times they’re set in lush, green pastures with stunning mountain views. Of course, there are also those weddings that have a little bit of everything.
You’ll want to pinpoint what your vision is for your wedding and make sure that it aligns with the DJ you choose.
Setting - Will your wedding have a rustic vibe be set in the country? Will it be more urban? Or will it be more formal and held in a church? Will it be indoor or outdoor?
Vibe - What will the energy level be? Will it be an elegant wedding? Or will it be more laid back and casual? Will there be alcohol available? (this can change the energy level real quick)
Feel - What kind of music do you want to hear throughout the wedding? Do you want a club style feel on the dance floor? Or do you want a more family focused feel on the dance floor?
Audience - What’s the average age of the guests and what type of music do they like? Does the DJ need to consider that the father of the bride loves his funk and blues classics? Is the groom a die-hard jazz lover?
If you’re having a hard time envisioning the overall theme of your big day, check out this article from The Knot to help guide you. (https://bit.ly/howtoweddingstyle)
Step 2. Find out exactly what services and equipment you’ll need from your DJ
Once I got into the wedding entertainment business I quickly realized that the DJ is responsible for so much more than mixing music at the end of the night. Professional DJs can be in charge of event planning, coordination, effects and more.
The question you’ll want to ask yourself is what services and equipment will your DJ need to provide?
Equipment - Will there need to be mics and speakers for a ceremony? Will there need to be dance floor lighting? Will there need to be up lighting? Are mic stands needed?
Coordination/ Planning - Will the DJ also be the master of ceremonies (Emcee)? Will DJ have a role in planning the wedding? Does the DJ need to have a certain setup to match your style?
Location/Venue(s) - Will the wedding be held at a distant location? Will there be multiple locations in which guests will occupy? Will the DJ need to be able to perform duties on a beach or other obscure location?
Write down your answers and use them to help narrow down your DJ search.
Step 3. Get a realistic idea of what your budget will be for the DJ
There are no hard and fast rules about what you’ll get for a low budget vs high budget DJ. I’ve seen DJs who charged below the industry standard that did an absolutely wonderful job. Conversely, I’ve seen expensive DJs completely fall flat during a wedding. Generally, you will get what you pay for when it comes to sound, lights, and professionalism. The standard wedding DJ in the US costs between $780-$1495 (https://bit.ly/weddingdjcostguide).
Be sure to ask yourself these questions when determining what the budget will be for the DJ
Expectations - Where on the spectrum between $700-$1500 can you realistically be? Will the budget cover all the services and equipment needed from the DJ? What components of your wedding do you want to prioritize financially?
Misc Expenses - Will travel pay need to be considered if the wedding is held at a distant location? Will the DJ need to provide other services including effect lighting, photo booth, karaoke, etc?
Budget Options - Are you willing to trust your gut and invest in a DJ that costs under $700? (Be prepared to interview like a boss!)
Remember, this is one of the biggest celebrations of your life. Make sure to do a fair assessment of what is important to you and don’t compromise. A DJ should be an extension of your vision and the right one will be worth your investment.
Now that you know what you’ll need from your DJ and what your budget is, it’s time to do some searching.
Step 4. Pick a handful of DJs and schedule interviews
This step in choosing the right DJ can be time consuming and frustrating, especially if you end up speaking with a pushy sales DJ. The best way to get the most out of your interviews is to learn what you can accomplish online first. Utilize the information you gathered through steps 1-3 to help guide you through this process. Try to match your style, DJ needs, and budget to what you find on the DJ’s website.
Theme - Does the design of the website look professional? Do the images match the theme you have envisioned for your wedding? Do they mention the type of styles they specialize in? What kind of events have they performed in the past
Services - What’s included in the packages they offer? Are they in your local area? Will they be willing to travel?
Budget - Does the pricing listed line up with your budget? Are there any specials running?
Pick 3-5 DJs to contact and schedule interviews.
See it’s a lot easier than you thought.
As you’ve learned, finding the perfect DJ doesn't have to be the hardest part of planning your big day. Your main objective is to make sure your vision and style are in line with the DJ you choose. The last thing people want when looking back on their wedding is to feel regret. Your experience should be pleasant from the time of your interview to the time you're surrounded by all of your friends and family on the dance floor. Follow these steps and I’m sure you will find the perfect DJ for your wedding.
(Bonus Tip) Referrals
We expect our friends and family to steer us in the right direction and trust their opinions. Referrals from those in our inner circle are a great way to fast track the process of finding the perfect DJ.
Ask friends and family these questions about their DJ experience
Search - What were some of the obstacles they had to endure before they found their ideal DJ? What was the style of their wedding? Where did they find their recommendation? What was the vibe like when they had their interview?
Performance - How did the DJ perform during the wedding? What was the energy level like? Was there any hiccups? Did the day go exactly as planned? Did the DJ instill confidence in you or were you anxious about how the event would flow?
Feeling - How do they feel about the performance today? Do they feel like they got their money's worth? Do they feel like everything happened smoothly from the first interview to the last time they communicated?
The goal is to find out how the DJ made the couple feel from beginning to end. Use this assessment and decide if you want to schedule an interview.