How to choose your Wedding DJ
The Future Bride magazine recently interviewed me for a segment on Wedding DJs for their 2019/2020 edition. One of the questions that came up was, “What advice can you give future brides when looking for a DJ”.
Now obviously, the easy answer would have been “Just book The Wedding DJ”, but since we can’t play at everyone’s wedding, the following guidelines will enable you to choose a reputable, good DJ, and keep you away from the chancers who are just in the game for a quick buck.
- Before booking the DJ or paying deposits, make sure that the DJ you are booking will actually be DJing at your wedding and not some “friend” he found on Gumtree
- Google the name of the company and look for negative reviews, people will always put their best foot forward on their websites, but check Google My Business Listings, Facebook Reviews and even online review portals like Hello Peter and Trust Pilot.
- Search the DJ’s name on Facebook , Google , Hello Peter and Trust Pilot as well. If negative reviews are found, it’s a good discussion point to start from, as nobody’s perfect. If no reviews are found, negative or positive, you have to ask yourself why and how long the person has been in this business.
- Just because they have a website or advertise in magazines, doesn’t make them good at what they do. Do your research.
- Reputable DJs will have all their reviews available publicly on their Facebook Business Page, if they don’t allow reviews on their page, that should set off alarms!!
- If the company is based in a different city or province, check who they will send to play at your wedding,and go through the same procedure above with them.
- Check how old the company’s Facebook Business page is. I’ve seen companies destroy their name with bad service, only to change their name and start over again.
- Other warning signs you need to look out for : DJs asking for full payment upfront, DJs who operate on a GMAIL address still, DJs who list years of club experience (Wedding DJs are not club DJs, and Club Djs are not Wedding DJs.
The small check list above will save you from booking DJs with terrible reputations, but being a great wedding DJ is much more than just playing music. It’s actually all about being consistently good at every single wedding you play at. You only get one chance to get it right, the last thing you need to worry about on your wedding day is whether the DJ you booked will actually pitch up.
Once you’ve found a DJ that you feel comfortable with, arrange a meeting with the DJ who’ll be playing at your wedding to discuss your requirements before confirming your booking;
Questions to ask a prospective Wedding DJ in South Africa
Let’s face it, most of these questions won’t be necessary for your well known , reputable wedding DJ’s. But if you have doubt, fire away 🙂
- Can we meet to discuss my wedding?
Most Djs won’t have a problem with this. It is really important that you actually get along with the DJ you are booking, as they will be there from the beginning to the end of you wedding day.
- How many weddings have you played at?
We all have to start somewhere, even I was a rookie DJ once upon a time 🙂 If the DJ is fairly new to wedding DJ’ing, you’ll have to do a lot more prep work with the DJ to make sure they know what’s expected of them, and what your preferences are. New wedding DJs find it difficult to get everyone going on the dance floor, reading a dance floor like a jedi master is a skill you acquire after years of wedding DJ’ing. You can’t simply ask for a setlist from another DJ, as each and every single wedding is different.Experienced DJ’s have played at, at least 100 weddings as a rule of thumb
- Ask them what equipment they have?
Unfortunately Professional PA brand names are completely different from the consumer audio equipment you buy in the shops, so most of it won’t sound familiar to you unless you are an audiophile. Check if they have cordless UHF microphones at least, VHF microphones are a lot cheaper but they are no-where as effective as UHF microphones (Think drop outs, hissing etc)
- Make sure they’ll be dressed smartly
This goes without saying for the professional , reputable DJs. But do make sure your DJ understands he can’t rock up in jeans and a Metallica T shirt 🙂
- Do they use seperate sound systems for the ceremony and reception
Professional DJs will have a separate smaller PA System for use in chapels.
From a South African perspective, make sure that the DJ you book is licenced with SAMRO at least.