Monday, December 12, 2011
Interview Questions for your Wedding Disc Jockey
When questioning a DJ, you want to always meet them in person, not just over the phone. A 'gut' feeling is important when choosing a DJ, you just can't make a good evaluation until you meet them in person, but you can't let them influencing by letting them use pressure sales tactics with a hard close with a special rate that ends that day only. They need to give you a week or two before you make a decision, there are many other wedding DJs out there that would love to work your wedding.
What to look for in your questioning, the best wedding DJs have from 5,000 to 10,000 music selections covering a wide variety of music. Their music is played using computerized equipment. The wedding DJ uses high quality speakers, headphones, and wireless microphones. The names you should be hearing about that are top brands for DJs include Pioneer, Denon, PC DJ, Traktor, Serato, Electro-Voice(EV), JBL. Bose, Mackie, Rane, QSC, and Shure. If you hear other names for equipment, you should do some research to check the equipment out.
The best wedding DJs talk to the bride and groom and other family members before the wedding, learns about their musical tastes and builds a music list, and touches base steadily preceding the wedding. The DJ mixes the music well, some for the bride and groom, and knows how to vary the music at the reception for younger, middle aged people, and older wedding guests. It is okay to mix in some of their own specialty music. The DJ should dress sharp for the wedding, usually a tux indoors or a hawaiian shirt outdoors.
The DJ should also be able to act as the emcee if asked to, for the introduction entrance of the bridal party, and other special moments such as the announcement of the dinner, toasts, cutting of the cake, and the couple's first dance as husband and wife. The DJ should only drink socially, no more than two drinks and does not smoke at the event. The good DJ knows how to interact with the wedding guests and plays music at a comfortable pace and always somehow keeps the dance floor occupied. The good DJ always has a backup plan if problems ever should arise with any equipment.
The great thing about wedding DJs, they constantly entertain over a four hour period nonstop, except for an occasional bathroom break. About midway through their performance allow your guests to pick up their business card, kept in an index card box next to their station, many DJs survive on referrals. You must let them know, no signs or banners are allowed to be displayed at your wedding, you don't want them to be an eyesore that shows up in your wedding photography and videography. Also keep the DJ separated from your live musicians, if their mics get too close to one another you may encounter horrible screeching. Keep them in the vicinity of your dance floor.
Interview Questions for your Wedding Disc Jockey
1-Ask for their business card and get the name of their agency studio, address, phone number and website information (please note - some disc jockeys do work for a number of different agency studios, ask for information on the studios he/she works for)
2-Ask for the disc jockeys name, if he works out of his home, his home address, phone number and if he/she has a personal website, the website address?
3-Is the disc jockey available for the date of our wedding? (if no does he/she have someone to recommend, it does not make sense to extend the interview)
4-How many years has the disc jockey been working weddings?
5-How many weddings has the disc jockey worked in his/her lifetime?
6-How many weddings does the disc jockey work in a year?
7-Does the disc jockey work as a disc jockey full time or part time? if part time what does the disc jockey do when not working as a disc jockey?
8-What style of music does the DJ mostly play? what style of music does is the DJ capable of playing in his/her song list?
9-How many music selections do you have in your musical library? (the best DJs have from 5,000 to 10,000 selections)
10-How involved are we in making musical selections?
11-What type of turntable equipment do you use?
12-What type of speakers do you utilize?
13-What type of headphones do you use?
14-What type of microphone do you use? is it wireless?
15-Have you performed at our wedding reception location before?
16-Will you check out our wedding reception location before the wedding date?
17-What electronic outlets or other needs you require from the reception location?
18-Do you meet with the wedding couple to review the music selections (a good mix is 40% requested from the wedding couple, 30% requests from wedding guests, and 30% the DJs choice)
19-Are we sure you will be our DJ if we book with you?
20-Does your company have a dance floor or lighting equipment?
21-Do you have electronic messaging services that guests can leave messages in light from their IPhone or other gadget?
22-Can you play any CD's that we provide?
23-Might you perform at other events the day of our wedding?
24-What's your percentage of weddings you work versus non-weddings?
25-How would you define your "style" when making announcements?
26-What makes you different than other DJs?
27-How do you motivate the crowd when nobody is dancing?
28-When would we meet to review musical selections before the date of our wedding?
29-Where can we find a sampling or video of music that you perform at a wedding?
30-Can we visit you live at a performance to see you in action?
31-How is the disc jockey dressed for the wedding? how is the disc jockey dressed when setting up before the wedding?
32-Does the disc jockey employ any assistants that work beside him/her?
33-Does the disc jockey have a backup plan should problems arise with any equipment?
34-What would be the backup plan if the disc jockey becomes ill or has to handle an emergency?
35-Does the disc jockey have a need to advertise his business? (rule of thumb, let the DJ advertise his/her business by making an announcement in the middle of his/her performance, with business cards kept in an index box next to their station, help them a little in their referrals, announcement only one time at mid-break)
36-Does the DJ advertise with signs or banners? (preference is no banners or signs displayed, it's a wedding, you don't want ads to show up in wedding photography or videography, however, some DJs offer a big discount if they are allowed to advertise, it's the wedding couples call but should try as best as they can to not allow ads to show up in wedding pictures)
37-Does the disc jockey test their equipment before the wedding?
38-How long before the disc jockey performs does he/she need to set up? can the disc jockey be setup before the wedding reception part begins?
39-What is the basic fee the disc jockey charges for his services?
40-How does the disc jockey handle breaks? have any breaks? if so, what time is the break?
41-Does the disc jockey require food or drinks at the reception location? when would that be?
42-Does the disc jockey charge for overtime?
43-Might there be hidden fees that we don't know about? what are the fees?
44-How much of a deposit is needed and when is final payment due?
45-At what date must we book the disc jockey in order to insure you are available for our wedding date?
46-Can we take a blank contract with us to review?
47-Do you carry liability insurance and provide a guarantee?
48-Can we get 3 referrals from wedding guests in which you DJed their wedding? (talk to at least 2)
Review the contract and make sure everything talked about is covered in the contract. Most DJs are very good at what they do, about 75% are very good, there are about 15.000 wedding disc jockeys in the U.S. but should you get one of the 25% that aren't very good, they could really ruin a wedding. Inexperienced wedding disc jockeys, may not be well equipped with wedding etiquette and customs. Moreover they may lack the understanding of reading your wedding crowd and don't understand how to best mix music, and know when to cut off a selection when no one is dancing.
After the wedding, if the disc jockey is good, be a referral for them, tell them you will be a contact and be willing to do a Youtube or write a recommendation for their website.
Get yourself a great wedding disc jockey for your wedding to make your wedding special!
See you on the other side!