Are you looking to book a DJ for your wedding, but unsure how to decide which company is right for you?
It can be hard to know where to start your search, especially if this is the first time you have ever planned a big function, or the first time you have needed to hire a DJ for their services.
We reached out to a handful of our favourite Toronto wedding planners (those who regularly recommend us to their clients) to find out what questions they encourage them to ask us in advance of booking.
After tallying their responses, 10 questions emerged as the most important. Here they are in order of most to least important, along with comments from the pros themselves.
- Find a good match by making a personal connection. “It’s all about chemistry. I suggest to the client that the call is a time to get to know the DJ’s musical preferences, style, and personality. Less logistical, more personality matching,” says Shealyn Angus. “I also always advise my clients that finding that personal connection with the DJ is very important, as that person is in control of how the party will turn out,” says Tamara Niyazov.
- Do you act as the MC and make all of the announcements? “We want to work with a DJ who is comfortable on the mic, and can guide the night along as needed. The couple has to pick a DJ that has the right level of interaction required for their tastes. No cheesy radio voice, no unsolicited jokes, but also enough personality to find that balance so bridal party intros don’t sound like airport announcements,” says Melissa Lukan.
- How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover? “I think the most important thing is to ensure that there is chemistry and our clients are happy with the style of music, mixing and the overall vibe of that DJ,” says Ellie Martires.
- What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing? “I want my clients to get a DJ who knows how to throw a party, and how to adjust if the music isn’t pushing people’s buttons. They need to know how the DJ will engage a crowd to get dancing,” says Rebecca Chan.
- Do you take requests from our guests? “Most of our clients actually do not want the DJ to take guest requests. We work hard to narrow in on a vibe and what the couple wants to hear. It’s common that our clients know they have some cousins, aunts, or college friends who are going to request something outside of their vision, and having comfort the DJ knows how to politely decline is important to them,” Melissa Lukan.
- How long have you been doing this professionally and how many weddings have you played? “Experience is key. The DJ needs to be able to read the couple and the wedding crowd properly to ensure a successful party,” says Tamara Niyazov.
- Do you have a sample of your music or a video from a prior wedding where you performed to hear song selection and transitions?
- Do you bring backup equipment?
- What sets you apart from your competition?
- Do you have a go-to list of wedding songs you play or perform for weddings? “We challenge our clients in setting a specific vibe instead of just relying on standard classics and Top 40 for dancing. We love when a couple is open minded to allowing us to work with their DJ to create a very tailored ambiance outside of the expected genres most people lean towards,” says Melissa Lukan.
These questions were submitted only by one planner, but all still worth considering to ask:
- Will you be the DJ personally playing at our wedding?
- Are there any other services that you provide, such as lighting design or a photo booth?
- Can you help me choose the music for my processional, recessional, father-daughter dance, etc.?
- Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list?
- Are you insured?
- Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
- Will we meet again before the wedding?
- When is our deadline for submitting our music requests and event details?
- What will you wear to our wedding?
- What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?
- What is the highlight gig of your career?
Thank you to our contributors:
Shealyn Angus, Shealyn Angus Weddings & Events
Rebecca Chan, Rebecca Chan Weddings & Events
Ellie Martires, MUSE event Co.
Tamara Niyazov & Melanie Ravka-Barth, Fab Fete Events
Alexandra McNamara & Amanda Morris, Blush + Bowties
Morgan & Melissa Lukan, Lustre Events
Are you a planner, with relevant questions you don’t see here? Contact us to work your contribution in.