Hiring a DJ for the first time? If you’ve never worked with wedding vendors before, you don’t know what you don’t know!
We want you to feel educated and empowered when DJ-shopping, so we’ve put together a list of 10 questions to ask when you’re vetting your options. Plus, we’re giving you an idea of the answers you should expect from a top-notch DJ service.
- How many weddings have you or your team worked at?
This is your wedding we’re talking about. It’s kind of a big deal. You don’t want some wet-behind-the-ears amateur in charge of the entertainment! Ask any potential wedding DJ how many weddings they’ve worked to make sure they have the experience to wow the crowd.
At Maryland’s DJ, our crew has to have major experience before they’re allowed anywhere near a DJ booth.
Find someone who loves DJ-ing as much as Jordan. Brett and Maggie’s wedding, photo by Dani Leigh Photography
- What’s included in your base rate?
Different DJ contracts will have different terms. Some will be for three hours, others may be for five hours. Some may include travel within a certain radius, and others may require an additional fee for an out-of-town wedding.
When assessing pricing, make sure you’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison by digging into the details and understanding exactly what you’re getting for your money.
- What kind of add-ons do you offer?
Some DJs offer extra services that can really spruce things up at your wedding. A photo booth lets your guests create a digital keepsake from the night, and lighting packages can completely transform the vibe of a space.
If you’re interested in these services, look for a DJ that can provide them so you don’t need to hunt for another vendor.
Hannah & Chris’s wedding with uplighting by Maryland’s DJ — photo by Whole Heart Studios
- Can you provide music for our ceremony, too?
Putting the DJ in charge of ceremony music will give you extra peace of mind on your wedding day. Instead of relying on your coordinator or a member of the venue staff to get things started, you’ll have a music pro handling cues and fading the song out at the right moment. Most DJs can do this, but make sure before you sign that contract.
Jake & Stephanie’s wedding, photo by Pearly Kate Photography
- Can you help us choose songs for the ceremony or reception?
A true professional will always be happy to help! Experienced DJs have been to more weddings than nearly anyone else, and they can make suggestions you might not have thought of. Instrumental covers, unique pop songs, movie soundtracks...even video games can be a great source of wedding music.
At Maryland’s DJ, you’ll get unlimited planning sessions with your DJ so you can nail down the details.
- How long do you need to set up/tear down?
Your wedding venue contract lets your team into the space at a specific time, and they’ll have to be out at a certain time as well. Ask your DJ how much time they need for set up and breakdown to make sure there’s enough padding built into the event schedule. If vendors leave late, you may have to pay a fee!
Christine & Jordan’s wedding, photo by Lovefusion Photography
- What happens if my DJ has an emergency?
Wedding vendors take their commitments to couples very seriously. But unfortunately, emergencies do sometimes happen. What is the backup plan if the DJ can’t make it for some reason?
Make sure your DJ has someone lined up to step in if something goes wrong.
- Will you take requests?
Wedding song requests can be tricky! A great DJ has to balance three things:
- The couple’s wishes
- The party vibe
- The happiness of the guests
What will the DJ do if a guest requests a very cool song from Hamilton — that’s impossible to dance to? What if your cheeky teen cousin asks for a song that will send poor Nana into apoplexy?
If the DJ’s approach is “anything goes,” that might not be one you want to trust with your party. At Maryland’s DJ, we’ll always take wedding song requests into account, but we’ll never sacrifice your vibe for a song.
Jen & Joe’s wedding, photos by Dani Leigh Photography
- Can I blacklist certain songs?
Along the same lines, make sure your DJ lets you create a “Do not play” list. This will let you blacklist songs you don’t want to hear, whether they’re inappropriate, cheesy, or you just don’t like them.
- What’s your cancellation policy?
As we all saw in March of 2020...nothing is certain. Sometimes, things beyond our control can put a wrench in our plans. Illnesses, venue closures, unexpected moves — these things can all change your wedding plans.
Thomas & Stephanie’s wedding, photo by Hamilton Photography
Make sure you know about any fines for cancellations or date changes, so you’re not caught off guard.
Start the dialogue with a potential DJ with these 10 questions, and feel confident that you’re finding the right vendor. And to ask us these questions (plus any others you may have), contact us today!
Header photo by Dani Leigh Photography
Friday, April 2, 2021