Top Questions to Ask a Wedding DJ
We believe that you should be at ease and confident if your decision in a DJ/MC for your big day. It's a big deal! Below are some of the most important questions to ask any professional disc jockey as consider to to hire for your wedding. These questions will help you accurately gauge the professionalism, reliability, and honesty of any wedding DJ you are considering. This list of questions will help you once you reach the DJ interview process!
Here are out Top 40 Most Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Do you offer a written contract?
We do! It's important to us that you know exactly what to expect. We work with our clients to make their day special and unique. The nitty-gritty details are laid out in the contract so that you have our word on what we will provide. It's all online and password protected for your convenance and safety, hosted by WeddingWire.
2. Will you be the DJ at our wedding?
Great question. It's so frustrating to be working with someone and then a random DJ shows up to work your event. (This happens more that you know.) At Excellence Entertainment, you will be introduced to, and work with, your DJ. Though you may be in touch with another employee who handles bookings and payments, you will meet face-to-face with your DJ to plan your big day!
3. May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract?
Of course! Your decision in a DJ/MC is a big one. And we want you to feel comfortable and compatible. Let's meet up!
4. How long will you hold our date for us?
Upon contacting us with your interest, we pencil in your date. Upon receiving a signed contract and down payment, we lock in that date.
5. Do you work exclusively for this company?
Many DJ companies in St. Louis hire sub-contracted DJ's to work their events. This means they do all the ground work and then pass your information off to someone who can can pay a fee to work the event. Our DJ's work exclusively for and are trained by Excellence Entertainment. This is important to us. Not only do we want the best for your big day, we want to keep the integrity of our name.
6. How long have you been a DJ and how many weddings have you done?
A wedding is such an important occasion, and you don’t want your DJ’s first wedding to be your own. Excellence Entertainment was founded in 2005 and has worked hundreds of weddings and other keynote events.
7. How many weddings do you do each year?
Our approach to wedding season is different from other wedding DJ companies. Many work to book as many as they can, often times doing hundreds of events throughout the year. We do things a little differently. We work with each and every client to make their big day a special one. We often only do one event per day to ensure all out energy isn't stretched thin. That being said, we aim for 30-75 events a year. That's it. And we hope we can add your's to that exclusive list.
8. How many other types of events do you do per year?
In addition to doing weddings, we specialize in other live events such as keynotes, concerts, and corporate parties. This is good news for you. Why? Because we often work in professional settings we use top of the line, professional gear for all our events. Including weddings.
9. Do you perform for more than one event in a day?
Our focus is you on your big day. We put all our eggs in your basket the day of your event to ensure it's perfection.
10. What makes you different from your competitors?
Honesty, enthusiasm, experience, and care. We know that there are other DJ companies in St. Louis fighting for your attention. They may captivate you with lower prices and more reviews. Though we may have fewer reviews, we encourage you to take a look at what others have to say about their experience. We often hear from couples who went with another company to save a couple hundred dollars but regretted their decisions when their DJ was unprofessional, their equipment didn't sound good, and the DJ didn't work the room well.
11. Have you played at our reception site before?
Wedding experience is important, and so is familiarity with your reception site. Every site poses different challenges – different load-in and security procedures, different room sizes and configurations, different acoustics, even antiquated electrical outlets that need to be grounded manually. Hiring a DJ that is familiar with your site will give you peace of mind that you won’t have any surprises on your wedding day. Obviously, even the best DJs can’t have performed at every site in the area (since there are hundreds available in any area), but if he hasn’t been to yours, he should be willing to adequately prepare himself prior to your event by visiting the venue and/or speaking with the site contact and studying a floor plan.
12. Do you act as the “emcee” and make all of the announcements?
Any professional wedding disc jockey should be comfortable with making announcements and serving as the emcee for the wedding, it is a standard part of the job. Some DJs, however, are not comfortable with this and prefer to pass these duties on to someone else, such as a site manager, who may not have a professional voice or experience speaking on a microphone.
13. How would you define your “style” when making announcements?
This is an extremely important question to ask because it will tell you whether or not the DJ is the right match for your guests and the atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you are planning an elegant, understated wedding, then utilizing the services of a “party motivator” or “entertainer DJ” may not be what you are looking for. If you know your guests will need a lot of encouragement to dance, then hiring someone who flatly refuses to make announcements probably isn’t the best idea either.
14. What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
Different wedding disc jockeys handle this situation in very different ways – some opt to use the microphone to try to “energize” your guests and motivate them to dance. Others would never do something like this and prefer to use careful song selection to ensure dance floor success. You need to know what the DJ would do in this situation, and determine if that is the way you would like the situation handled.
15. What if something happens to you and you can’t make it to the wedding?
Despite meticulous planning and preparation, accidents do happen. If the DJ is injured or otherwise unable to perform on your wedding day, what is the backup plan? Most responsible professionals have some sort of backup strategy should this situation ever arise, but others do not. Often, DJs will be members of a local DJ association, and network with other DJs who could possibly provide backup services for them in the event of an emergency. Others take this planning more seriously and reserve a specific DJ for every date, ensuring that backup is both available and prepared in case of an emergency. You need to feel comfortable that you will still have a qualified, prepared DJ on your wedding day, regardless of the circumstances, so the answer to this question is very important.
16. Will we meet again before the wedding?
Just as some deejays will prefer not to meet you when you book them, others will prefer to conduct a “final meeting” in the weeks before your wedding over the telephone instead of in person. While having a face-to-face meeting for the final meeting is arguably less important than meeting personally for an initial interview, we look forward to meeting with you to go over all the final details.
17. Can we visit you at a performance?
Hopefully the answer to this question is “no.” We’re sure that you wouldn’t appreciate the DJ inviting prospective clients to your wedding to see him in action. A professional DJ should be willing to take a stand for his clients’ privacy and not offer this as a possibility.
18. May we speak to your references?
Speaking to a wedding DJ’s former clients is a great way to get a feel for what it is like to work with them, and any DJ should be ready and willing to allow you to speak with their references. If our reviews don't suffice for you, let us know and we'll put you in touch with a recent client, provided they approve.
19. How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?
The majority of professional DJs subscribe to at least one of the major music update services in order to keep their collections up-to-date. These services provide the DJ with new, radio edited music, often before it is even playing on the radio. We buy all our music. No "buffer" issue in the middle of your first dance becuase we thought we'd save a buck by using Spotify.
20. How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
This is an important question to ask. It's your wedding and you deserve to be the hero and hear what you want. When we meet with you, we'll talk over you "do" and "do not" play lists.
21. When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
Most professional DJs will give you a printed song list and planning worksheet with which to communicate the details of your event; others will give you access to an online planning system that will guide you throughout the entire process. You should be given ample time to make decisions regarding your music choices and event timeline, but the DJ should also require this information far enough in advance so that he can adequately prepare for your event. A DJ who doesn’t ask for your requests at least a couple of weeks before your wedding may not be able to fulfill them. In addition, the DJ should be willing to accommodate any later changes or additions whenever possible, rather than locking you into a first dance song that you later regret or refusing to alter the order of your toasts.
22. Do you take requests from our guests?
Most DJs are happy to do so, but you should also feel reasonably assured that any request they chose to play would not be something you didn’t like.
23. Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list?
Any professional DJ should be willing to honor your requests, including your request for certain songs and genres to not be used. Submitting a “Do Not Play” list will give a DJ a clear idea of your limits and your expectations for their song selection at your wedding. See #21.
24. When do you arrive to set up for our wedding?
When dealing with sub-standard DJs, there are often issues with them being punctual and set up well in advance of your guests’ arrival. Professional DJs will always arrive at least a full hour, sometimes two, before their scheduled start time in order to have adequate time to set up and get organized before the wedding. Excellence Entertainment's policy is to arrive at least an hour and a half before our scheduled start time.
25. What will you wear to our wedding?
Most wedding DJs own, and are comfortable wearing, a suit when they perform. If the groom will not be wearing a suit, then it is inappropriate for the DJ to wear a suit. You should also ask what type of suit the DJ wears. Some DJs prefer a classic, understated look and others wear flashy, shimmering or patterned vests and matching bowties. It is important that the DJ’s “look” meets your expectations.
26. What will you wear when you set up and break down your equipment?
This is something that is often overlooked, but can make a big difference. If your guests arrive early for the reception or stay afterward, will they see the DJ in a sweaty undershirt and gym shorts? Professional disc jockeys maintain acceptable appearance standards regardless of the situation, including setting up and breaking down their equipment.
27. How much of a deposit is required to secure our date?
Almost every DJ will require some sort of deposit or retainer in order to secure your date. This is for their protection and yours. The industry standard for deposits is 50%. We only require a $250 deposit!
28. What is included in the cost of my event?
DJs use vastly different systems when pricing their services. Most DJs price their services a la carte, charging an hourly rate and adding charges for any additional equipment needed. Others choose to use a flat-rate pricing system and make their packages all-inclusive. Our packages are laid out in our Pricing Page so you can see what all is included in each package.
29. How much would you charge for overtime?
Hopefully your DJ will do such a wonderful job at your wedding that you’d like to keep dancing! Be sure that the DJ’s contract outlines a specific rate for additional time at the end of the night, whether it is a set price or a pro-rated amount based on the original price. Our rate is $120/per hour added.
30. What do you require from us?
Every DJ will require a few things that you’ll need to provide them in order to be successful. The most common are adequate shelter, electricity, and a table for their equipment. Make sure that you understand exactly what the DJ needs from you so you can communicate those needs to your reception site and caterer.
31. Do you require a meal?
We do ask that you inform your caterer that you'll have a DJ but that is completely up to you.
32. Are you insured?
Simply, yes. You and your venue can rest assured. If your venue needs a copy, we can handle that for you.
33. Do you take any breaks?
Breaks? No. From when the doors open till your finial dance / send-off, we're on the clock!
34. What kind of equipment do you use?
Any DJ you consider should be proud of his sound system, and should be using professional-grade equipment. Most DJs understand that you are very unlikely to have a working knowledge ofprofessional DJ equipment, but he should be able to describe his sound system to you. You should not hear very many “home audio” brands in what he describes – the top brands for DJ equipment are Pioneer, Denon, PCDJ, Traktor, Serato, Electro-Voice (EV), JBL, Bose, Mackie, RANE, QSC, and Shure.
35. Do you bring backup equipment with you to the wedding?
Even the very best and most well-maintained equipment will malfunction at some point. To answer your question, yes. We have multiple sound systems and one dedicated for just that purpose. If there is an issue that arrises, you can rest assured you won't hear about it from us. We'll fix it without make a scene.
36. Do you have a wireless microphone?
The industry standard for wireless microphones is Shure or Sennheiser. That's what we use. Cables are tacky.
37. Do you have a “light show”?
Our different packages come with different lighting set ups. The minimum we'll bring are overhead dance floor lights. The maximum, well... You tell us!
38. Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
Shameless self-promotion sometimes rears its ugly head at wedding receptions in the form of a sign or banner advertising the DJ’s company name and contact information. These items inevitably find their way into your wedding pictures and video, and ruin what is an otherwise commercial-free event. The short answer, no. Your wedding isn't about us, it's about you.
39. Do you drink while working?
We advise our DJ's to abstain from drinking on the job so they can fully focus on making sure all the details of making it the perfect evening are taken care of.
40. Where can we sign?!
Thank you for your consideration of Excellence Entertainment for your big day! Now that you're ready, let's get you locked in!http://stlouisweddingdjs.com/availability
*most of these questions and answers were taken from MyDeejay, but we share what they have to say.