How state of the art the equipment is..what they charge...do they make you a cd of the playlist you originally requested...what if you want to go over original time, what is the additional charge...see if they have a portfolio of testimonials...
have you personally seen a DJ at another party that you liked?What area are you from?
I'm from central NJ. Neither of us have been to any weddings or events recently with DJs. A few good bands, but that's not in our budget. I know the music makes or breaks a reception, so we're nervous about hiring someone who doesn't do a great job because we don't know any better.
Rosie - you're in EB, NJ? I'm using a DJ out of Staten Island who is a friend of ours. I haven't been to an event of his, but as far as I hear (from people who aren't even friends with him) his company is great. I may be bias, but I suggest you check them out:
Yeah you probably have a ton of DJs to choose from in that area. Im east of Cleveland and there are about 3 great companys I have to choose from and a few other smaller companies. But I also worked in a banquet facility for 10 years so I have so many contacts for vendors. They definitly make the party. Number one is you in your dress and number 2 is the music. Good Luck!
Let me say first that I am NOT attempting to sell you on my service. I do think that you will find two of my blog articles "What's In A Price" & "Why Price Should Not Be A Determining Factor For Your Entertainment" very relevant to your questions. The articles can be viewed by visiting my page here on WW and clicking on the blog tab or going to the following web address www.MusicToYourEarsME.blogspot.com Most importantly find an entertainer whom will listen to your wishes and work with you to incorporate them into your wedding day. I hope this helps, and best wishes to the both of you.
No offense intended to anyone in this thread but I simply must respond to a comment left earlier:
"do they make you a cd of the playlist you originally requested"
Any DJ that does this is giving you stolen music. This is HIGHLY unethical and should be a huge red flag to stay away. In regards to the original question, let me chime in (I'm a working DJ but not in your area-sorry). Assuming you haven't seen them in person, check the testimonials and the media (pics/vids) on their website. This speaks volumes. Next, don't make the mistake of going for the cheapest person available. That's another red flag (if they're so great, why are they so cheap?). Finally, look at the package they offer. If they separate out every little feature, charging extra for everything, there's another red flag.
Bottom line, if your gut is churning after you've heard from them, there's likely a good reason for it. Hope this helps and good luck with your selection.
I found my DJ by using WW. I went through all of the reviews from other couples who used them and found the perfect one. Just use the vendor search to find one near you. My DJ is almost 50 miles away, but she isn't charging me for travel, one extra perk. (it is Pam at Moore Music and she does do weddings in NJ).
And don't worry about that post above me. Giving you a cd of your songs isn't something to worry about. It's not as though you are going to copy that cd hundreds of times and sell it to people. It is a nice way to remember the day.
Anyone looking for a DJ should really take a look at the American Disc Jockey Association first. This association is the premier association in bringing professionalism to the industry. On the website, http://adja.org, you will find a list of questions to ask, helpful information, and a search engine for DJ/Entertainers in your area. There is really no way around it, the majority of the best DJs in the country are ADJA members or soon will be.
I've said it in other threads... ask your photographer. We work with almost EVERYONE in some facet during the wedding day. Your DJ is very important in keeping the flow of the evening going! So much so that I typically tell brides, work with the photographer to build your schedule up until you are handed off to the DJ and let them handle the rest of the schedule.
I am with Eric. The American DJ Association (ADJA) is the absolute best place to find a qualified, professional DJ. DJ's don't "advertise" to be on that site, but we do pay a membership and we have a code of ethics to which we must adhere in order to maintain membership.
The ADJA has some great recommendations on questions to ask your DJ. The one question that I believe was left out is: Do you feel comfortable that the DJ you hire will make your wedding flow smoothly and you won't have to worry about anything? Whatever your DJ promises you, make sure you get it in writing.
Please understand that, as with other professionals you might consider for your wedding, there's a huge range in costs, services and benefits you get from DJ's. You might find a $300 DJ on Craigslist. Or, you might find that the going rate for DJ's in your area is about $1200-$1500.
Thanks so much for all your advice and suggestions (especially the vendors)! I asked my photographer, and he suggested a DJ that is not a member of ADJA...based on your feedback, it sounds like hiring them wouldn't be the best idea. I started running some of the DJs from the ADJA website through the WW vendor search and found some good reviews. Thank you for the help!!
You can't ask a DJ to offer you a CD of music... it's illegal to copy music onto a CD and give it away (even for free).
Just because a DJ is a member of an DJ organization, doesn't mean he/she is qualified. Anyone can join these organizations.
Read everything you can find about your potential DJ. Check his/her web site, storefront (here), Google, Facebook pages, YouTube videos. A quality DJ with experience will have most if not all of this information on the Net.
Ask your venue about recommendations. As Rick said, you can't go by price alone. New, unexperienced DJ's are typically cheaper because of lower quality gear and skill. You MAY be able to find a quality "newbie", but be careful.
Those who have been around for many years are still in business for a reason. Skill, quality, and experience are qualities you want to look for. You'll pay more, but you'll get more.
I agree with Tyrone Blue. We are not a member of the American Disc Jockey Association because it costs money. We RARELY pay for any kind of advertising, associations, etc. because we are booked enough just by word of mouth, etc., and feel that spending money to belong to these organizations would be a waste because we would have to turn down all the extra inquiries that come our way anyway! That being said, yes, those that belong to that specific organization do have to be "legit" and "legal" and have a code of conduct that they follow, so that organization IS a great place to start, but don't discount a DJ just because they DON'T belong to an organization. Check all their references, ask your other vendors if they've heard of them, etc.
Ask your other vendors who they would recommend for a DJ. They've probably seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst, and can steer you in the right direction!
I can relate...it was SO overwhelming for me to find my DJ. I literally interviewed almost a dozen. And...I've had a 3-vendor rule for everything (meet 3 cake vendors, or photography vendors, etc.) and decide amongst the 3...which has worked out pretty well...except with the DJ it took me forever, especially since, this is what I believe is the most important part of the reception. Let me tell you what works best: Word of mouth!!! And, have a good idea of what type of DJ you are looking for and go with your gut. A few questions to ask: What type of equipment do you use? Do you bring backup equipment? What will happen if you can't do my wedding last minute? What is your style? Give me some examples on how you do this..(mine was, how you get ppl on the dancefloor) How many weddings have you done? Good luck!
I would ask other vendors that you're working with. Then I'd ask those companies for references and ask if they have anything posted on any website where you could see them in action. Depending on what type of DJ'ing services they provide (wedding only, parties, clubs, etc) you might ask them if they will be performing anywhere in the near future so that you could see them in action. The worst that they can do is tell you no or that it's a private function and that the one hiring you will not allow it. It never hurts to ask.
I'll be honest...i didnt read any of the other posts that the vendors wrote, my only bit of advice, what my FH and I looked at was we simply googled companies that we thought we were interested in meeting in and got testimonials from people that way. various sites have them for companies and it's easy to google them. we were planning on meeting with one company that we saw at a bridal expo, they seemed great when we were there, but the reviews were split 50/50, they were either great, or horrible, and we werent comfortable with that.
bottom line: i recommend finding reviews from customers besides those from the DJs site so you can see the whole possible spectrum of reviews...good luck :o)
Once you find a few that you are interested in google them. The easiest way to find reviews that are unbiased is to do your research. A vendor can post any reviews they want on their website-usually they post the good reviews only. So your best bet is to do some researching. Check the reviews on here but also check other sites such as yelp.com to see what you can find. Don't just trust WW because we are all on here and love it so much!