Nothing sets the tone quite like music. And for your big day, you’ll want to nail that in a big way.
Now there are lots of right ways to handle the tunes for a wedding—from band to DJ to DIY—and as a Raleigh wedding planner I’ve seen them all. You just need to figure out what’s the right one for you and your fiancé. Last week we tackled live music, so today we’re going to go through how to hire a DJ!
A professional sound jockey can add a lot to your event beyond just stringing together playlists. DJs read the crowd, keep the party going and act as your personal emcee for the evening. If the energy dips, he can adjust the song to keep that mood high; in the case of a technical problem, she can jump to correct it before you even know there’s a problem.
But as is always the case, not all DJs are created equal, and you’ll want to do your homework before you hire. Here are some questions to ask before you sign any papers.
Is my date available?
Have you performed at my venue before?
How long have you been in business?
Have you done weddings before?
Can we take a look at your contract ahead of time?
What is your pricing and what does that include?
How do we secure you for the day?
How much is the deposit, and when do you need it by?
What is the payment schedule?
Are you insured?
Do we need any liability insurance?
What is the policy on overtime?
Any other fees we should be aware of?
What is your refund or cancellation policy?
How long do you take to set up and do sound check etc.?
When do you start setup?
How much time will you need for breakdown?
How many outlets etc do you need, and do you need any special outlets?
Do you have extension cords in case those outlets are quite far away, like at an outdoor venue?
How much space do you need?
What equipment do you have (cordless mics, speakers etc.), and do you need us to rent anything?
Do you bring backup equipment?
Do you need Internet?
What do you usually wear when performing? (It’s important for you to be specific about this if you want a certain vibe at the wedding.)
What information do you need from us before the wedding day?
Will we meet or talk again before the wedding day?
And some other couples I can call as references?
Do you have a backup plan if you can’t make it for whatever reason on our wedding day?
What would you describe as your style?
How extensive is your music library?
How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
Do you take must-play songs?
Do you take do not play lists?
When do you need those lists?
If we don’t want to be involved at all, will you take a general direction from us and then make your own list from scratch?
Do you take guest requests?
Do you play just for receptions, or do you also do dinner and cocktail hour? How about the ceremony?
If so, will you help us choose ceremony music?
Do you also act as emcee, announcing the wedding party and various events?
How do you motivate or interact with the crowd?
How do you describe your style when interacting with the crowd?
Do you take any breaks?
Do you perform at more than one event a day?
Do you provide any other services such as lighting design?
Do you have any decor that comes with your setup?
Music can bring so much to your big day! If you’re still on the fence between a band and a DJ or other music option, check out my post about the pros and cons of different music options here.