Hiring a DJ and Getting Price Quotes
"How much do you charge to do weddings?" is the number one question DJ services are asked all the time. This is totally understandable, especially since you're most likely working with a budget and are checking around, getting prices...but there's a lot more to find out and to ask when contacting DJs.
Since DJ services and weddings vary, there's a good chance they might not simply quote you how much they charge on-the-spot not knowing anything about your wedding. Without the DJ service being informed on how many hours you're needing or where your reception will be held, there's a good chance they're not going to just quote you a price.
Think of it like calling a roofing company and asking them "how much do you charge to install a roof on a house?" or calling a car repair shop and asking them "how much do you charge to fix cars?" Without them knowing what you need (how big is the roof & what kind of shingles you want...or what is wrong with your car), odds are, you're not simply going to get a quote. Just like the roofing and car places needing more info, the DJ service needs to know more details about your wedding before giving you a quote or two.
More than just a DJ?
A professional wedding DJ is more than what you might think they are or what they do at a wedding. Sometimes people have an understanding that a DJ is no more than simply someone who shows up to play music and brings some lights. This would be like thinking the chef at a fancy restaurant just plays with pots and pans in a kitchen. In reality, the chef has experience and training in putting together the recipes in the right order, cooking the meal to perfection, and presenting the meal on the plate to impress. Like the chef, your DJ also has the experience and training to play the appropriate music, follow your requests, make all the necessary announcements, help the events of the evening flow smoothly and have a sound and lighting setup to impress.
When you're shopping around for a DJ and getting price quotes, make sure you're also getting quality quotes and by that, I mean, find out more about the quality of service you're going to get with them. Sure, a lower-priced DJ may sound appealing and help with your budget, but do you really want to take a chance on your wedding day on a cheap DJ? Also, find out how much experience they have AND how much experience the DJ who will be at your wedding has, too.
DJs can either make or break the celebration...and no, this isn't just something that I'm saying as a DJ myself, this is something I've heard from several other wedding vendors, many times. Will your DJ make all the announcements, encourage people to get out on the dance floor, play a great mix of music and take requests? Or will your DJ simply stand behind their setup, wait for you to tell them what to do next and play only what they want to hear? These are important things to think about and find out about when contacting DJs.
Dance Lighting. There are so many great dance lights available for DJs to use and provide many amazing effects. Are you wanting a lot of dance lights lighting up the dance floor, or do you want them to bring just a few, or would you prefer no dance lights? This is something to check on with your DJ. Some couples just want something simple, while others want lots of dance lights. The amount of lighting with some DJs may affect the price they charge, but that can be a good thing. You might be able to get a lower price on your DJ if they bring a simple set up of lights instead of a big show of lights.
Uplighting. This kind of lighting is different than dance lighting. Uplights (see picture above) are lights that are placed on the floor and shine up on the walls and have become more and more popular at weddings. Uplights can magically change the appearance of a venue and add bright, beautiful colors to your reception. I remember the first time I saw a reception where the bride actually bought all the uplights HERSELF and placed them throughout the venue. I was very impressed at how the venue looked and was like "wow, this looks amazing!!" From seeing that, I invested in uplights and have used them many times. If you want to add that extra special touch to your reception, ask your DJ if they offer Uplighting, you will be glad you did!!
Music. What kind or styles of music does the DJ service provide? Yes, this is important and you should find out from them. Each couple and each wedding varies in what kind of music they want to hear and is appropriate/acceptable. Maybe you want a lot of country music played, maybe you want Top 40 and hip hop, maybe you have a few relatives that want some specific oldies played. Check with your DJ and see what they have in their library. Also, ask them if they provide "clean" versions of songs. I've heard from many brides that they don't want any songs played with bad words in them and I've been glad to play the clean versions. Believe it or not, there are some DJs who will play the explicit versions at weddings and this can be offensive to some of your family, friends and guests.
Must play list, don't play list. It's common for brides to have some songs they definitely want to be played and that's a great thing to have at your reception. I do recommend you keep the "must play" list limited. Why? Well, I've had customers send me a list of 200 to 300 songs that they want to be played at their reception...but you can only play about 15 to 20 songs per hour. Are there any artists that you DON'T want to be played? Let the DJ know that, too!
Contacting DJs. When you take some time to contact DJs, keep in mind that many of them also work weekday jobs and aren't always able to answer their phone. That being said, don't think that because they didn't answer your call that they aren't a good DJ service, they simply might not have been able to answer your call at that time. The good thing about today's technology is that there are multiple ways to contact DJs...social media, text, email, etc. Many DJs can be contacted in these ways and sometimes that helps with a quicker response. However, just because you sent them an instant message, don't always expect an instant reply. If it takes a little while for them to get back to you, don't interpret that as a bad thing. They might be working, not have wi-fi, or any other reason. DJs who want your business will get back to you.
Book your DJ and get ready to dance into your new lives together as husband and wife!