Hello all! Today, we have a Guest Blogger,Wedding Professional Jacob Smeaton who is a Disc Jockey. He owns On the Move Productions DJs, Lighting, Draping, and More out of Tampa, FL. We wanted him to answer some questions about hiring a DJ for your wedding. Check out the Q & A's below.
Hire a Professional Wedding DJ/MC-11 Questions to ask when hiring a Professional Wedding Disc Jockey
1) How Many Years Have You Been In Business?
- Usually you want someone with at least 5 or more years of experience. You don’t want someone who is new and who is still learning. Just be careful, having more than 5 years experience does not guarantee the talent or professionalism of a disc jockey.
2) Is This Your Full Time Job Or Part Time Job?
- Unfortunately, over 90% of the DJ’s that you will encounter, only do this as a part time job. Most full time DJ’s are able to put you first, are easy to get a hold of, and they are able to put the time, money, and energy into their training, equipment, music, etc…that a part time DJ won’t or can’t. Make sure you hire a Full Time DJ/MC!!
3) Are You Licensed & Insured?
- Insurance is part of any legitimate business. Many DJ’s (especially part time DJ’s) don’t carry liability insurance. So what happens if one of your guests trip over a speaker stand and hurts them self? You want a DJ who carries at least a $1,000,000 in Liability Insurance! Just ask for proof of insurance.
4) Do You Use All Newer High Grade Professional Gear?
- Using high grade professional equipment helps ensure reliable service and a quality presentation. Unfortunately, just about every DJ will answer this question with a “Yes”; even when it isn’t so. Ask for a picture of their set up and see if it looks like new high quality equipment vs. large, bulky, and ugly equipment from the 1980’s. A professional DJ understands that you want the best performance for your money.
5) Do You Bring Back Up Equipment?
- Most DJ’s (especially part time DJ’s) don’t bring back up equipment. So, if their Mixer, CD Player, Computer, Microphone, or Wiring Fail; this means your event is Finished. A back up system/equipment protects your investment. You absolutely want a DJ who brings all the key back up to ensure your event continues after a malfunction!
6) Will You Be Suitably Dressed For The occasion?
- Proper attire reflects a positive image to your guests. Specify the type of apparel that your DJ is expected to wear for your occasion. For the most part, the DJ should be in a nice suit or tuxedo. However, you may want the DJ in less formal wear if playing a beach wedding. If you are planning a “themed” event, make sure your entertainer is informed and able to comply.
7) Do You Provide A Written Contract?
- It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement; especially if you are paying an initial retainer. The standard initial payment for entertainment services is 50%. If you are expecting a specific entertainer, make sure you get it in writing as well.
8) Do You Have More Than One DJ With Your Company? If So, What Kind Of Experience/Training Do They Have? Can I Choose Who I Want?
- A lot of multi DJ operations subcontract out to the lowest bidding DJ without notice to experience, training, MC Skills, music selection, & professional equipment. Also, if they are the only DJ with their company, what happens if they get sick or something happens? Are they able to have your event covered in case of an emergency?
9) How Many Properties Refer You?
- This is a big one, because hotels, country clubs, and other venues see all kinds of DJ’s and will only refer those that do a good/consistent job. You want someone who can ramble off a dozen or more properties. Also, the more prestigious properties will refer the better DJ’s. You can even call the venue’s Catering Sales Manager and ask about that DJ service.
10) Do You Have Any References That We Can Call?
- References are a major part of the wedding industry. It is a good idea to get a few references from past clients, vendors, & venues. Also, check out the vendor’s online reviews and ratings.
11) Do You Have Any Awards Or Have Been Recognized For Your Talents In The Wedding Industry?
- This is another great question that only a small percentage will be able to answer positively. Most wedding vendors, including DJ’s, get these awards from reputable wedding sites where past brides leave reviews of their vendors. If that vendor gets all great reviews, they will get an award for that year. If a DJ or other vendor hasn’t been getting good reviews, then they won’t get an award.
I hope these questions help you make a more informed decision with choosing the right DJ for your special day. Make sure to do your research, check out online reviews, and ask for references. Don’t let the cheapest price be your overall deciding factor. Make sure you hire an Experienced, Full Time, Licensed, Insured, Award-Winning DJ entertainment service that specializes in Weddings!
Jacob Smeaton – Owner/DJ
On The Move Productions (Music On The Move)