Top Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding DJ (Before & After Signing Contract)
By: Robert Kermidas (DJ Midas)
The Absolute Basic Questions To Start With (Before Signing Contract)
We will begin with the most basic Questions & Answers you should expect to Ask while searching for a quality Wedding DJ.
1. Is my wedding date available?
- I know it seems like a given, but you would be surprised how many requests I receive about my services without knowing If I can actually help the couple out. It is always best to lead into your inquiry by letting the DJ/MC know your wedding date to see if they are available before enquiring about other questions.
2. Do you perform more than one event per day?
There are DJs who will book multiple events in the same day, others do no more than one gig a week. I would recommend picking someone that is only worried about your big day so all the attention can be focused on your wedding.
3. Are you a “single-op” or a “multi-op”?
Time for some industry jargon. Some businesses have decided on the strategy of having multiple DJs in their business operations to be able to accommodate large influxes of bookings served on the same day, hence (multi-op). There are some business owners that go on their own and run the event themselves (single-op).
In some cases with a multi-op you may talk to someone about your booking, then someone different for your planning, and then having a separate DJ. In other cases with a multi-op, you may get someone that you work with from beginning to end. Being as I am a bit biased being a single-op, it’s hard for me not to mention that with a single-op you would always get the same person from the very first conversation to the last song of the night.
4. How long have you been a wedding DJ?
- It is good to know if someone is new in the business or has been around for a while. Someone new may still be a great wedding DJ, but it would be wise to vet their capabilities a bit more to see if they’re up to the task. Naturally, those with deep experience will likely give you the best results, so be mindful of your choices.
5. What happens if you become unavailable?
- This is one of those critical questions to ask a wedding DJ, and they really should have a solid answer to this. If they become unavailable (sick, injured, etc.), how are you going to cover my event? I have a lot of quality DJs I have great relationships within the area and I happen to take meticulous notes. So if the need ever arises the bases are covered. Knock on wood, I have never missed an event. As for a multi-op, they tend to have enough DJs available to be able to cover an event in case their assigned DJ becomes unavailable.
6. Have you performed at my venue?
- It’s nice to have a DJ that has experience with members of that venue and knows the lay of the land. That being said, a quality DJ will perform some kind of reconnaissance with the venue prior to your wedding. So don’t automatically discredit a DJ that has not been there before, just ensure they know what they are doing. Personally, a good 30-40% of my events per year are at venues I have not performed for in the past.
7. What are your personal musical tastes?
- First, be sure to do write down or recollect some of the artists, genres, and periods of music that you like. There are times I have couples that want great music, but can’t remember any of the specific music they like. And While quality DJs will cover all the major genres, it’s still nice to know if that DJ has the same affinity for the music you personally like. You can always see what music largely influenced my formidable years.
8. What is your personality?
- Now we are getting into some questions to ask a wedding DJ that people never think about. Some people want a hype DJ to get everyone going, some want games, some want lots of interactive elements. some a laid-back style. Be sure to pick one that matches what you are looking for. Also, take into account that a true professional should be able to provide a handful of different styles for your celebration. Just be sure to let them know what style you prefer and if they can provide it. Be sure to check my article on this.
9. Do I get a contract?
- If you don’t, RUN, but all kidding aside, look elsewhere. Seriously. This is the most important day of your life. Don’t chance it.
10. What services do you provide other than music?
- Music is obviously the most important skill set a DJ possesses. However, some DJs also include excellent value-added services that pair very well with large-scale celebrations, like uplighting, dance-floor and bistro lighting services, interactive photo booths, and many others. So make sure to check with your DJ to see if they can bundle these extra services into a package and save you money and time. It’s always easier to deal with 1 vendor who can provide multiple quality options.
11. Do you offer Ceremony Services?
- Ah, one of those questions to ask a wedding DJ that people forget until they start to think more about their day. If you are having a ceremony for really more than say 75 people, or even more so if you are outdoors, it’s the best bet to have at least the officiant mic’d up and amplified. Remember the wedding DJ is more than just playing music! If you have a videographer you need to ensure that both the DJ and the videographer are in sync to capture your special moment. Ceremonies can get quite complicated and it’s best to have someone with the proper experience managing it all.
12. Are You Insured?
Most venues make it a requirement for their vendors to have insurance. Ensure that your DJ is insured.
The Absolute Basic Questions To Start With (After Signing Contract)
Now let’s talk about the essential questions to ask your DJ after you sign your contract and are ready to being the actual planning phase of your wedding (It is recommended you do this planning phase with your DJ 1-2 months prior to your wedding date. To early and details can be forgotten and change, to late……well we know how those things generally go)
1.Do you MC and DJ the event by yourself?
There are some DJs that put the mic work on a separate MC. Be sure if they do that you get to know both individuals. Midas Entertainment DJs are also the MCs.
2.How do you help me plan the wedding?
Some wedding DJs, like myself, will have a pretty thorough set of forms to cover all the major pieces of your special day and will meet with you via face to face, Skype, or phone to ensure everything entertainment is hashed out. If they lack this kind of planning capability then the responsibility really needs to be covered by a wedding planner or even yourself (and you don’t want that). Now, not every wedding DJ does this, but it’s certainly one of those questions to ask a wedding DJ to at least know if some kind of planning is offered.
3. Can you help us pick our songs?
Of course I can. We have an extensive list of music that is tested and true for Weddings (Always brings the right feeling and upbeat feeling). But I also prefer our couples to come to us with some thoughts about “what they really want to listen to” at their wedding. The genres, the vibe, and the overall feeling for different types of music can make a surprisingly large difference in the ambiance of your big day. So put some quality time into considering how you want that to be….(A nice melodic ceremony, followed by a jazzy cocktail and funky reception?) (Acoustic ceremony, accompanied with a fun 70s-80s yacht rock cocktail, and greatest hits reception?) The options and fun that can be had are endless.
I encourage my couples to add a fair amount of songs for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dance segments (usually around 25 in total) so that way I can determine the general direction that the event should go. But I also make a point that the DJ should also have the flexibility to read the crowd and to be able to change up the direction as it seems fit to ensure that everyone has a good time. There is nothing worse than having a rigid playlist and a crowd who is not enjoying themselves.
But what should be, and shouldn’t be on the lists?
4. The MUST PLAY list
- Some people wield this list with fine precision, others handle it with a battle-ax. The thing that one should remember about this that the very special songs should be listed (the Bride and Groom’s first dance, the Sweet 16’s intro) but not every song should be listed as must play. This makes it more difficult for the DJ to tend to the desires of the client while also trying to pay attention to the crowd on what is drawing them in to dance.
5.The MUSIC preference form
If you have signed up with Midas Entertainment, you’ll see I’ve put together a rating system so people can select the type of genres and decades of music they really refer to. This helps set the tempo throughout the night. If you rather 80s Pop or 90s R&B, or really do not want to hear Jazz, just rate it on the 1-5 star scale system.
6. How can we incorporate everything we want to do into the reception?
- This is a great opportunity to talk with your DJ/MC about the flow of the evening and how you want your event to play out. When do you want your dinner to take place? MOH & BM speeches? Cake cutting? Games & Activities? These are all things you will want to completely iron out with your DJ about 1 month prior to the event so that the DJ/MC can have the MASTER copy of your Itinerary for the day. Allowing us to seamlessly flow through the day with proper announcements and music placement.
7. How much time will you need for setup, soundcheck, and breakdown on the day of the event?
- Traditionally setup always takes longer than breakdown. But on average expect the DJ to be onsite about 2-4hours prior to the event depending on the size of the footprint they are setting up for you.
8. What will you wear to our wedding?
- Let us know your dress type and we will match the style.
9. Do you (and team) require a meal?
- No, we never expect and traditionally do not accept eating on the job.
10. What kind of space or stage do you require for the DJ or band? If my site doesn’t provide what you need, will you make arrangements for the stage or am I responsible for renting it?
- The space required for our wedding setups is dependent on the package chosen. We will always work with your venue prior to the wedding date to ensure our footprint fits safely and securely in your reception area. Midas Entertainment does not handle staging or flooring for the celebrations.
Rob Kermidas (DJ Midas)
Biography: Robert Kermidas has been DJing since 2008 and has a deep passion for music of all styles and genres and became a wedding DJ in 2016. Coincidentally, Rob is also a successful 10+ year Digital Marketing Director and professional Event Manager. Merging quality events with competent technology concepts to ensure a successful night of entertainment. Click here to learn more about Rob’s background.