At the start of my wedding career, I was working for a DJ in Abilene, TX; and the one rule I learned right off the bat was this: DJs are not people who just stand behind turn tables and play music. Hiring a DJ can bring some magical qualities to your wedding. DJs are known for doing dance steps with guests to encourage people onto the dance floor, lighting systems, hosting activities and games, and of course, playing music. Everyone can benefit from hiring a DJ for a wedding planned for dancing!
What you will pay for a DJ will determine the quality and performance you will receive. DJs are not cheap, for good reason, as they are the main HOST for your wedding. Think, Ryan Seacrest for American Idol. No, they’re not the main event, but everyone will know who they are.
The first rule in hiring a DJ is to make sure you like their personality. It is soooo important to meet the person whom you might hire for your wedding. Speak to the specific entertainer and not just a representative; and make sure they are listening to your wants and needs. Keep in mind that DJs can also charge extra for extra things, such as extra people on deck that night and what kind of lighting equipment they use (make sure to ask them about all of this and what the charges would be for each additional thing you might want). Check out reviews and references as well (a good DJ will always be able to provide you with references or reviews).
As with any other vendor, get a signed contract with your DJ. One important item to include in the contract is when the DJ will arrive and when he is scheduled to leave. Definitely give the DJ some “must have” songs and “do not play” song lists. Don’t worry about handling the music for the entire night as the DJ is a professional and should be able to read the crowd to play the best music for the mood. Definitely let him know the first dance, mother son dance, father daughter dance, or any other dances you know the music for.
About two weeks before your wedding, you should sit down with your DJ/MC and map out the wedding detailed from start to finish! This is where a wedding coordinator comes in handy, as they can handle these final preparations for you.