Select a DJ that has some personality
Your DJ will be in charge of making announcements that you want to sound lively. They will also be reading the crowd to determine when to change songs or tempo, etc.You will want an excited DJ at dance time and a calmer one during a special moment.
Your DJ should know the typical order of a wedding
Your DJ should have a list of popular moments where music is played. Things like the wedding party walking in, the first dance, mom/son, dad/daughter dance, etc. Knowing what these moments are demonstrates that this vendor does weddings regularly and understands the flow of a wedding. The list of special moments should also be flexible. Any request to customize your special day by adding to the list of expected moments, altering them, or removing moments you don’t want should be honored.
Your DJ should be asking questions about your venue
You DJ asking about the place of your wedding and or reception means they are planning for the amount of audio equipment they will need and how to place them for proper acoustics. If they are not concerned about where you are having your event, that is a red flag.
Your DJ should allow you to set a base playlist
Your DJ should allow you to provide a list with songs you want to hear and and DO NOT want to hear. This way you ensure the songs you love are played and the songs you hate are not.
Your DJ should know how to set certain moods
Much of having a good time is having music that matches the mood. When you want people dancing you want fast tempo songs. If you ask your DJ how to get people dancing they should have several suggestions. If you want to get people to watch a short video they should have good music suggestions to go with it, etc
Ask your DJ what type of Equipment they will be using. They should be able to confidently speak about their sound system and supporting equipment. You may not know all the components but they should be able to explain it to you. If they are using 5 CD disc changers and cassette decks you know to run the other direction.
Last but not least your DJ should have a contract that details the price, time they will be at your venue and services they’ll provide you. If your DJ does not have a contract readily available to review, that is a red flag.
Now that you have found your DJ with personality, they know your music, have state of the art equipment and a solid contract, it helps to address these topics before the Big Day.
If you are serving food at your wedding reception, inform your vendors if you plan to feed them or not. Your Dee Jay is usually at your event longer than you are. It is good etiquette to let your contractors know if they will be able to eat. Otherwise many professionals will assume they cannot eat until offered. Knowing ahead of time allows for your DJ to pack a snack if no food is provided. Most of us perform better when we are not hungry. Keep that in mind.
How Many People
It may seem like an odd question but a DJ has a lot of expensive, heavy and sensitive equipment. It is not odd to bring along people to carry, setup, maintain or watch this valuable equipment. Being a DJ is a live performance, so there are little to no breaks, having a relieve person to allow for a restroom break, or help with carrying and securing equipment is often needed. Having 1-3 helpers may be needed depending on the size of your venue and setup. More than 3 helpers may be excessive. Having an agreement on the maximum number of people with each vendor can avoid surprises at your event.