Hiring a DJ is one of the most important vendors you can hire for your wedding because not only do they just hit play on their system and play music, but they build a customer playlist specific to your taste, build your timeline, coordinate and MC for you. So, you need to make sure that you hire someone fun, focused, level headed, knows what they are doing and organized, and they must have properly maintained/working equipment. Here are some things to watch out for when hiring a DJ.
Most people are always looking to save money and do everything either budget, or DIY. One warning sign of a bad DJ is price. If you hire someone who only charges a few hundred bucks, most likely their equipment doesn't work well, they use pirated music, they may not be organized or spend the time making sure that you hear your music, etc. I'm not saying that every cheap DJs are bad, but to be honest, you get what you pay for.
How do the present themselves when you first meet them? How do they talk to you on the phone? How do they communicate to you through email? Do they have a cheesy DJ name? How is their website? What about customer reviews? How do they dress? All these things will give you an idea of professionalism. Beware of people who don't use proper grammar, proper spelling, or speak clearly.
3. Drinking on the Job
One of the biggest complaints I hear about other DJs is that they will drink on the job. My philosophy is that if you're hired to do a job, you shouldn't be drinking on the job either. A great question to ask a potential DJ is if they drink on the job, if they say yes, you may want to move on.
If you're DJ is late, so is you whole entire wedding. DJs need at least 2 hours to set up before your wedding even starts. So, if they show up late, you better believe that your wedding will run late too and you and your guests will not be happy.
5. Neatness of Setup
A lot of budget DJs don't spend time making sure that their setup is clean. Are there cables everywhere? What about a nice DJ table or a tablecloth? It's your wedding and all your decorations are set up very nice and if your DJ haphazardly sets up their gear, it's going to look like an eye sore. When looking at a potential DJ, try and find pictures of their setup. Cables should be tucked in, all going in the same direction, wrapped around the speaker poles, and hidden as much as possible. Are their speakers beat up? These are things to watch out for.
I know I touched on this a little bit, but a DJs job is to make sure that they play your music choice. The biggest complaint I hear is that the DJ didn't play the right music. It's your wedding and your music needs to be played. Especially for things like First Dance, Cutting of the Cake, Father/Daughter Dance, etc.
It's essential to have a DJ that is organized because they are coordinated your wedding and making announcements along the way. They need to be able to keep track of time and be in charge of the overall flow of the event. If you hire someone, find out what they do to make sure that they are organized.
Beware of DJs that will have attitudes with your guests. Flexibility is key to a successful wedding. If your DJ is not flexible or doesn't appear to be flexible, then don't hire them. Weddings don't always go exactly the way it's planned and the DJ needs to be able to go with the flow...without attitudes. It's your wedding day, the DJ should be making you happy. To help with keeping people on the dance floor, DJs need to be able to take requests. A lot of DJs do not like doing this because they'd rather play the music they pre planned. Make sure they are open to the idea of requests.
Carefully review a DJ contract, make sure that all the information about the event is on there, price, music, power, equipment, and signatures are all on there. We create all of our booking forms(aka contracts)online through Google Drive and send it via Docusign for our customers to sign online. That way, meetings are about them, not the contract. Make sure that the DJ sticks to their contract and that you get a copy of it as well.
This is a small detail, but if your DJ is not outgoing, then that's a red flag. Your DJ is responsible for speaking in the mic, motivating a crowd, and talking in front of a large amount of people. DJs shouldn't be shy, they need to be outgoing. It's their job!
In conclusion, these are all signs of a potential bad DJ. We have done hundreds of weddings and have nailed down the science of having a successful event. We spend a lot of time prepping for your event, meeting with you, maintaining equipment, and listening to our customers. Make sure that when you're hiring a DJ, that it's a quality DJ. Again, you get what you pay for.
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