You and your fiancée might be the stars of the show at your wedding, but the DJ is the conductor. They do more than just make records. They control the microphones, supply the guests with energy and control the sequence of reception activities from cutting the cake to throwing a bouquet of flowers.

“The DJ is arguably the most important part of the wedding. No reminders are created while apps are passed. The memories are made on the dance floor, ”explains Mary Nisi, President and DJ of Toast & Jam in Chicago.

To make sure your night is a blast and not a bust, here are a few questions to ask a potential DJ:

Will you be the one to put on my wedding

This may seem a little obvious, but many large companies do not allow DJs to meet prospects.

“You want to make sure you meet the DJ who’s going to be playing your wedding before you hire the company,” advises Nisi. “DJs don’t know what the sales team promised the customer. Is that the same as what you can deliver? “

How many weddings have you been a DJ at? Have you been to this venue before?

“I think it’s important to find an established company,” says Nisi. “Hosting a wedding is a whole different beast from DJing in a club or at a party, or when you’ve only done a small handful of it.”

While not required, it is especially helpful if the DJ is familiar with your venue. So you already know where to position yourself and whether it covers your needs for sockets and electricity.

What’s your backup plan?

You only have one opportunity to get your wedding right. So if something goes wrong – the DJ gets sick, a microphone doesn’t work, etc. – you want someone on your team who is ready to fix the problem quickly.

How can you do justice to a mass of different generations?

“At a wedding, you have a large group of people. You have 150 people between the ages of 6 and 96, ”says Nisi.

So you want to find a DJ who can delight the entire audience with a balanced playlist. Make sure you understand the types of guests who will be attending your wedding (will it be 80 percent family and 20 percent friends?) And their tastes (does mom love Elton John? Is dad a die-hard country fan?)

What is your philosophy regarding inquiries and customer input?

Some DJs prefer to have complete control over the playlist while others are much more open to inquiries, so it is important to determine what type they are in advance.

Even if you have strong feelings about a particular song or genre, it is important to communicate this with your DJ, advises Nisi.

“Really think about what is important to you and then say it out loud,” she says. “Make sure you don’t kick yourself on the night of your wedding if you don’t hear what you want because you haven’t told anyone.”

How high is your fee and what services does it cover?

Different DJs have different pricing systems, so request a written quote detailing what you are paying for to compare packages. In general, Nisi recommends budgeting 4 to 5 percent of the total cost of an average wedding in your area for the DJ.

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