I know, I know – there are a million blog posts online on this topic: Questions You Should Ask When Hiring A Wedding DJ. Heck, I even wrote this blog post on the very subject. You could even say that this blog post now makes it a-million-and-one.
But this post is actually one-in-a-million. Today, I’m going to list five questions that none of those other posts suggest to ask, and I am rarely asked during a consultation meeting. These questions are “filter” questions, designed to not only evaluate a DJ’s talent, skill set, and offerings, but also to see if that DJ is the right match for you, the bride and groom. Your wedding MC & DJ is one of the four vendors – with the planner, photographer and officiant being the other three – that you need to mesh well with for a great experience, both during the planning process and at the reception itself.
And one more thing: unlike other posts, I’m going to do my best to leave out any bias in regards to how I think each question should be answered. That’s up to each couple, as you know the type of wedding reception you want better than anyone else. Again, keep in mind that the consultation should be treated as a process towards hiring a wedding DJ that knows how to incorporate your needs and wants into your reception. Do keep an open mind as you evaluate the answers of each DJ.
So, here are the five questions I wish every bride and groom would ask me, a wedding MC & DJ, during our consultation meeting:
We’d like to audition your talents as a Master of Ceremonies. How would you introduce our [insert formality here]?
A lot of the online “questions to ask a DJ” guides instruct couples to ask about the DJ’s “style” when they make announcements. This question takes it one step further and gives valuable insight into the actual talent level of the Master of Ceremonies. Remember, the Master of Ceremonies is your spokesperson on your wedding day: understanding not only what they say, but how they say it, will ensure you find the right wedding MC for your reception.
And don’t be shy; feel free to ask for multiple formality introductions and announcements, as many as you deem necessary.
What is your DJ performance style and why do you play that way?
Every DJ has a certain style of play, and a reason why they play that way. I use turntables and mix 90% or more of the songs I play during each dance floor set. It’s my personal preference and what I have developed over the last ten years; I simply think mixing sounds better. I also play shorter, re-drummed versions of each song to keep the energy up and the pace moving.
Is that style of play the right fit for every couple? Absolutely not. But brides and grooms should know how a DJ plays, as well as why they play that way. It may fit the couple’s vibe and atmosphere, or it might not. When hiring a wedding DJ, the only correct answer is what appeals to you, the couple.
We like the following genres of music: [list of genres]. Name five songs you would consider playing for each of those genres.
Make sure your wedding DJ is knowledgable about the genres you, and your dancers, will enjoy and dance to. If the DJ struggles with coming up with just five songs on the spot, imagine what could possibly happen when s/he needs to fill two hours of dance floor time…
Music connects people unlike anything else; so try to find the wedding DJ that excites you when they demonstrate they know your desired genres inside out. If they offer a demo mix on their website that gets you dancing around your house, you’re one step closer to finding your perfect wedding DJ.
We want our reception to be [insert descriptive terms here]. How can you help us create that and/or accommodate that?
This question is designed for you to evaluate if the wedding DJ truly understands your wedding vision: not only your desired atmosphere, but also your expectations for him/her. The wedding DJ you book should be one of the easiest vendors you work with. This question helps to determine that.
Should we elect to book you, what is the entire process from now until Last Dance like?
Some couples are very organized and love a structured process, while others are more chill and free-flowing. I don’t work as well with the latter, and vice versa. And that’s perfectly fine as meshing personalities, knowing how each side operates, and understanding what the expectations are can save both of us a lot of headaches down the line.
BONUS QUESTION: Why should we choose you as our Wedding MC & DJ?
Every DJ will answer this uniquely and with varying degrees of passion. Make it the final question you ask, as this is the money question when hiring a wedding DJ.