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Booking A DJ... You need to find the right person and build a rapport with them. The biggest issue you may find is that you have never booked a DJ before so you're unsure what questions to ask or where to find them.

Booking a DJ

Booking a DJ is the exactly the same as booking any of the suppliers for your reception. You need to find the right person and build a rapport with them. The biggest issue you may find is that you have never booked a DJ before so you're unsure what questions to ask or where to find them.

The best place to start is with your venue, they will have a list of recommended suppliers. I would start with them first, then speak to your friends and family and ask if they know a DJ they trust. I would then look around the wedding fairs and speak to the DJs there. Once you have a good list I would start to whittle the list down by looking at their websites, social media accounts, recommendations, reviews and the services they offer. Once you have a short-list of maybe five these are the questions I feel you should ask.

Will you be the DJ on the night?

A lot of DJ companies have more than one DJ who work for them. You just want to ensure the service you are being offered is the same service for the evening itself. Ask for the contact name and number of the DJ so you can have a quick chat with them. Are the images of the set up you have seen on their website and social media accounts the same as being provided on the evening. So often this isn’t the case, so be wary. 

Do you have photos of your set up?

More than likely you will have seen their DJ setup on their website and social media accounts. It’s worth checking to see if these pictures are still current, they might have new equipment but not had a chance to amend their website.

How long have you been a DJ?

Truth be known I am uncomfortable with this question. A good DJ isn’t defined by how long they have been doing it. I understand you want to book someone with experience, I think the most important thing is to build a rapport and trust with the DJ you are speaking to. My first wedding was at Leeds Castle having never DJ’d a wedding before. Because Laura and Mark trusted me we all knew where we stood and I am pleased to say it was a great evening.

Can we meet up to discuss our plans in more detail?

I often meet clients before being booked or a month before the big day. I find this useful to get to know the couple a little better and for the couple feel more at ease. It’s about building trust on both sides. These meetings are good to discuss all the points I have mentioned here and building that rapport. Ask your DJ if they are happy to meet you, I am more than confident they would welcome the opportunity.

Hidden Costs

I have heard of DJs charging mileage for bookings outside their county, say Essex if they are based in Kent. They may also request a meal or charge you for purchasing songs if they don’t have them in their library. It’s worth checking with them and then reading their contract for piece in mind. 

Can I choose the music to be played on the night?

I have spoken about this in great detail, below is a link to that video.

Choosing The Music For Your Wedding Reception

Most DJs want you to have an input into the music being played on the night, it makes life so much easier. Worth asking the question and also when you would need to have your list prepared and sent to your DJ. More than likely a month before your reception.

Do you talk on the night?

I get asked this question a lot. Truth be know I don’t, the DJ you choose may speak more than me. Let me explain. I will do all the announcements, first dance, father of the daughter dance, buffet, special song mentions, the announcing of the last song of the night and giving a cheer to the happy couple. Much more than that, what needs to be said? If your guests aren’t dancing, having a DJ asking them to dance isn’t going to help your guests lose their inhibitions about dancing. If you have to announce what a song is, then the song isn’t well known enough and shouldn’t be played. In my opinion. A DJ should be booked to play music.

Do you take requests on the night?

One again I would be very surprised if your DJ wouldn’t take requests. As I said before knowing what you guests want to hear and hopefully dance to makes a DJs life much easier and you know what you are playing is what people want to hear.



 

"You need to find the right person and build a rapport with them, much like all your suppliers, but where do I start"?

How long is the date held for?

It’s the same for all suppliers. Your date won’t be held until a deposit is paid and a contract signed and returned. More than likely this will be within a four week period. After this the deposit is non-refundable.

Have you been to the venue before?

If you choose a DJ that isn’t the recommended supplier for your revenue, this question becomes more relevant. I am confident if your venue is well known then most DJs have been to most venues. It’s worth asking this question because on occasions you can get into the room to set up before the wedding breakfast finishes. Kent Life and Chilston Park are good examples of this. I love this because I can get there and get everything ready without feeling rushed. 

When do you arrive?

Most DJs will be there an hour before unless being asked to be there at a specific time by your wedding coordinator. Please bear in mind your DJ can only set up once the room has been cleared unless your evening entertainment is being held in a separate room. If the day is running behind there is very little your DJ can do to help wrestle back the time lost. It still takes him the same to get set up. Most (if not all) weddings don’t run to time.

PAT Testing and Public Liability 

All DJs should have these certificates, copies can be sent to your venue so you know everything is safe and sound.

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To conclude. I would always speak to your venue first. Having a list of recommended suppliers is incredibly helpful, if your venue trusts these people you know you can trust them and feel confident they will help you plan the wedding of your dreams. Planning your wedding takes so much time, take the stress out of it by speaking to your wedding coordinator and ask them to share some of that burden. They will love helping you. I promise.