Choosing the Right DJ

Posted by ereitmeyer on Mar 10, 2009

Entertainment is one of the most rapidly growing facets of the wedding industry, and with literally hundreds of available DJs in most major metropolitan areas, it can be hard to know what to consider when interviewing performers for your special day.

A DJ does more than just play the music. They engage you guests, get them excited and involved. That is why choosing the right DJ for your reception is extremely important.

Here are some things you should look for to help you determine if a DJ is right for you:

The ability to meet with your specific DJ before signing a contract, regardless of the price you pay. Feeling a personal connection with your DJ is so important to the success of your wedding, and it’s unthinkable to sign a contract without knowing you feel completely comfortable with that person.  That DJ’s name should then be specified on your contract.  (If you do consider allowing the company to assign you a DJ later for a lower price, be sure you understand exactly what goes into matching a DJ to your event.  If the company tells you it’s based on your music choices, find out what happens if the best musically-based matches are already reserved by other, higher-paying clients.  In other words, are you being left with the last pick?)

Positive references. A company should, upon request, supply you with contact information for brides and grooms who have previously used the specific DJ you’re considering — this is much more effective than just reading thank-you notes or testimonial letters.

Positive feedback about a company, and its specific DJs, online. There are a number of websites, such as, that feature consumer reviews from brides and grooms, and this is a great way to gauge the company’s overall reputation.

A price that is clearly explained to you. If you were initially offered a range of prices, be sure to find out what is included at the top and bottom of that range, and how that affects the quality of the DJ you receive.  The company should also be able to quote you an exact price upfront, once you provide some basic information about your event.

A professionally written contract. This should outline exactly what (and who) will be provided to you, and what you are expected to provide, in writing.

Comprehensive liability insurance for each DJ on a company’s roster. You should be able to view the company’s insurance certificate upon request.  Some reception venues are now requiring proof of liability insurance from all vendors at each event.

A clearly explained emergency backup plan. The company should explain who their backup DJ is and how the company prepares the backup DJ to handle any emergencies that may arise.

A feeling that the company, and the DJ, truly care about you and your event. This is demonstrated in the promptness of the company’s communication, the accessibility of your DJ for phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings, a willingness to help you find the perfect songs, and how hands-on the company and DJ are throughout your planning process.

The DJ has such a tremendous impact on the success of your wedding, and your choice should be based on a combination of research and your gut feeling about how a particular DJ will contribute to (or detract from) your special day.