All of the wedding DJ’s you interview may not have the same standards of professionalism. A written, legal contract is one of the first indicators of whether a DJ is professional and reliable. Furthermore, a contract establishes the DJ’s obligation to the client and usually outlines the DJ’s setup requirements and other factors related to his performance. A written contract is absolutely essential, just as you would expect with any transacted professional service. It makes sure everyone is on the same page.
We recommend it.
Many wedding DJs try to conduct their interviews over the telephone and through email instead of meeting face-to-face with prospective clients. In our experience, there are two reasons a disc jockey would do this – either they don’t feel you are worth their time, or they have something to hide.
Some DJ’s are very different in person than on the phone or email, or even what is presented on their website, and you should insist on meeting face-to-face, so you can judge for yourself whether they are a good fit for you. After all, you’re hiring your DJ to perform a huge service for the duration of your event; you want your DJ to be the right personality, which is usually best determined by meeting in person.
Almost every DJ will require some sort of deposit or retainer in order to secure your date. This is for their protection and yours. The industry standard for deposits is 50%. Some DJs require far less, but this is not always a good idea. If the contract language doesn’t stipulate a specific guarantee of services and clearly outline a cancellation policy, the DJ may only legally be responsible for returning your deposit (sometimes as little as $25) in order to back out of a contract. While it would certainly be considered unprofessional, there really isn’t any financial incentive for the DJ if he’s only forced to pay a small fee for backing out on you.
We don’t charge for setup and teardown time. There may be a nominal cost included in your quote if the venue is located outside our radius by more than 60min.
We offer a variety of music and lighting packages. Once you’ve selected the options that will best fit your needs, we will provide a quote that wont change unless you decide on-site to extend the duration of the services. We are flexible in extending mixing times (which happens often because we’re just that good:) for additional cost of $75 per 1/2hr.
Our main goal is to make sure everyone has a good time; we’re more interested in that, than in nickel & diming our clients. It’s always good to have options though, so be assured: we’re not going to shut down at the end of a set if our dancefloor is packed, without giving you the option to seamlessly extend the duration in 1/2 increments.
Any professional wedding disc jockey should be comfortable with making announcements and serving as the emcee for the wedding, it is a standard part of the job. Some DJs however, are not comfortable with this and prefer to pass these duties on to someone else, such as a banquet coordinator, wedding planner or site manager, who may not have any experience handling this type of responsibility.
We do offer to provide a microphone to anyone you would like to assign to this function if you feel that they would be perfect for the announcements and helping to direct the ‘flow’ of things throughout the evening; but we happily fill this assignment ourselves otherwise.
It is recommended to find out how much talking and additional commenting your DJ plans to incorporate throughout the event. We have seen many DJ’s who lean more toward being radio DJ’s who love to hear themselves talk. We feel this type of MC style only detracts from the service that we’re really there to provide: music. We prefer to let the music/mixing do the talking where possible and balance the talking only where appropriate.
We appreciate the idea behind this question, however, hopefully the answer to this question is “no.” We’re sure that you wouldn’t appreciate the DJ inviting prospective clients to your wedding to see him in action. A professional DJ should be willing to take a stand for his clients’ privacy and not offer this as a possibility. Professional wedding DJs never allow this.
This is an important question to ask, because some DJs prefer to control the majority of the playlist and supplement their choices with a small handful of your specific requests. Other disc jockeys prefer to let the client choose the majority of the music, and then use their expertise to make it all work. The DJ should be accommodating of your music tastes, and you should feel comfortable with the DJ’s approach and the amount of involvement you’ll be able to have in choosing the music.
We’ve developed a simple method that easily allows our clients to outline the basic ‘feel’ that they want for their event; from there we can comprehensively build a setlist that’s tailored to each of our clients style and flavor. We encourage as much feedback as possible when it comes to music selection, but we are just as comfortable with minimal input. Our specialty is the ability to read our crowd and very specifically pinpoint what to play to ensure everyone has a great time.
The short answer is – it’s up to you.
We like to confirm that option with our clients in advance. In some cases, there may be good reason for your DJ not to take requests (possibly even just from specific guests). We are sensitive to the nature of each event and have high regard for our responsibility to ensure that every song is appropriate for the occasion. Ultimately your DJ is responsible for what is played through his speakers, so ideally your DJ will take that responsibility seriously.
We do love on-site requests where appropriate because those requests reflect the direct pulse of your guests. We sometimes also recommend that our clients poll some of their valued guests ahead of time, to help build your setlist in advance. By ensuring we have those special request, we’re helping to ensure that your guests feel special. It’s a win/win.
Sometimes these ‘Do Not Play’ lists tell us even more than the ‘Request’ lists. We appreciate any and all feedback in advance of your event and will be sure to honor your preferences regarding any songs you would rather pass on. We know certain songs may be requested ‘not played’ just as a matter of preference or in some cases for very serious and specific reasons.
Don’t hesitate to communicate any song preferences to us…we’re listening.
When dealing with non professional DJs, there are often issues with being punctual and set up well in advance of your guests’ arrival. Professional DJs will always arrive at least a full hour before their scheduled start time in order to have adequate time to set up and get organized before the event.
Our standard practice is to arrive 1 1/2hrs early. Depending on the music (and lighting) packages selected, we may determine to arrive even earlier.
Nope, never have, never will.
Shameless self-promotion looks tacky and is unprofessional. Some DJ’s attach signs or banners to their setup which will end up in your pictures and videos and detract from what should be an elegant and professional atmosphere. We feel strongly about contributing to the beauty and elegance of your venue.
Our performance and referrals are enough advertisement for us. We’ve DJ’d in the Central Valley for over 15 years without any of that stuff stuck to our gear. We trust that our clients and guests know how to find us. We discreetly do offer business cards if requested and also utilize a super easy QR code that is easily scanned with any smartphone so that interested persons can save our contact info without having to plaster our phone number with a cheesy logo all over your wedding.