Playlists, requests, and backup plans: What to ask your wedding DJ #Reception Advice#checklist#DJ#music October 9 2015 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits DJ Kitty sleeps on the job. Photo by Jaap Joris used by CC 2.0 Related Post Non-sappy father/daughter dance songs I've spent the last two days scouring the 'net for a father/daughter dance for our wedding reception, and frankly, virtually every suggestion I've come across... Read more We've worked with lots of great DJs in our time, and finding the right one for you can be a really specific task. They've got to get you, your style, and be experienced enough to work on the fly when things aren't going well. It's not an easy job, but a great DJ can make your party with excellent tunes, good MCing, and not getting in the way of the festivities. Here are some questions we think you might want to ask your potential wedding DJ to see if they mesh with you. Is this your full-time business? Have you worked lots of weddings in the past? Make sure they're a professional who's learned from past mistakes and other weddings, and who knows how to handle various venue types and sound setups. Via Lovesick Inc. Do you have set playlists to choose from? Do you customize the playlists for our style? Related Post First dance songs that haven't been done to death The OBB team has compiled a pretty good list of totally not overused first dance songs from the silly, to the romantic, to the extremely... Read more Find a DJ who will work with you to create a soundtrack to match your theme and personalities. Often they'll work with you to combine your music selections with similar set playlists that match the tone. That way you're not having to do the lion's share of building the list and making it really restrictive for your DJ. Stylus DJ Entertainment rocks the crowd What do you do if the music just isn't working for the crowd? Watching videos of DJs in action can help alleviate this concern. Listen to their demos and wedding performances to see how they'll handle a tougher crowd, especially if you're looking for lots of dancing. Revolution Weddings MCs this outdoor reception Will you MC the schedule of events? Are they willing to usher in the next phase of the party, call out special dances, and introduce the wedding party? Lay out your needs to see if they'll be able to handle it. Green Line Talent's causes dance floor shenanigans How many DJs do you have in your organization, and can we choose who we get? Some DJ companies have multiple DJs working for them, so make sure you know which DJ will be assigned to you or if you get a choice. Spindle Sound System looking on How do you handle song requests? Related Post How our friends helped us whittle down our wedding playlist We had four friends come over, we ate some tacos, tested the whiskey fountain, and we voted on music. The people represented some pretty different... Read more Some DJs will honor your request to stick to the playlist or allow for requests, pre-screened by a wedding party member or otherwise. Ask if they'll allow for a do-not-play list as well, if you're wanting to avoid anything in particular. Do you have transition/mixing samples? A seamless transition experience is something you won't really even notice if it's done well. Ask what they'll do for very long songs and how they'll avoid awkward gaps of silence. Behind the scenes with Music Masters What is your sound equipment setup? Do you have a backup? Make sure your DJ is prepared with high-quality equipment and a backup plan in case something fails. DJ West finishing out a first dance Have you played at our venue before? Can you make a site visit before the wedding day? Make sure they're willing to test acoustics, equipment, noise restrictions, dance floor setup, etc. at your venue to optimize the experience. You don't want to run into any unexpected equipment snafus that render their setup useless. Dave Mancini keeping the dance floor hopping What other services do you offer? Related Post "Punk for Parents" iPod playlist Becca and Adam had a big question when it came to wedding music: "How do we play our favorite love(ish) songs… and not have our... Read more Some DJs offer lighting services, video screens, dance floor props, etc. See what other services you could include with your music package. DJ Ali Gruber keeping an eye on the dance floor Need more offbeat music help? Will you be getting a DJ for your ceremony and/or reception, or will you be going the DIY route? Let us know about it in the comments! This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: DJ Ali Gruber Dave Mancini DJ West Music Masters Spindle Sound System Lovesick Inc. Stylus DJ Entertainment Revolution Weddings Green Line Talent Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS Foodie couples rejoice: DIY these recipe card favors (a free wedding printable) NEXT Creepy skull shoes for Halloween weddings and beyond Show/Hide comments [ 4 ] Great post! Thanks for posting pics of OBB vendors too. Another question I suggest brides ask potential wedding DJs is: "How will you prepare for my wedding?" It's more general so it allows the vendor to tell you whether they'll ask for Do Not Plays, visit the venue, meet you in person, practice pronouncing your wedding party members' names, etc. If they tell you, "I'll download your music that I don't already have and ask you to send me a playlist"…RUN!!!! Any wedding DJ worth their beans will take 2 days or so to prep for your wedding by writing up detailed outlines, floorplans, MCing scripts, creating personalized announcements that weave in your love story, even sometimes things like re-record your First Dance song to make it customized for you, etc. Reply One often overlooked but extremely important consideration: What does your potential DJs system sound and look like? You can tell a lot about the DJ by checking out his "rig". Is it well maintained or shabby and beat up? Does it sound good like a high end theater system or is the sound harsh and tinny like an AM radio? Is the DJ using quality speakers like JBL, Cerwin Vega, Mackie, Yamaha, QSC or is he/she using off brand, cheapo components? If they are sacrificing the quality of their sound to save a few bucks, you might wonder what else they're cutting corners on. Feel free to ask the DJ why they chose the speakers they have. Hopefully it is because they LOVE the sound and NOT because they were on sale at Radio Shack! If the DJ is concerned about how his or her system looks and sounds, that's a good sign. It shows they take their craft seriously and will put in the effort to help their clients and guests have an amazing time. Reply One from working at a venue for years: are you working any other parties on the same day? The DJ company we used (chosen from on high, despite complaints) would often book a children's party and a wedding in on the same day, so if the children's party overran the DJ would be hauling his equipment between the dining wedding guests to set up. They also only had a couple of vans for multiple sets of equipment, which meant during Christmas party season yours truly would have to wait up to two hours after the end of the party before someone came to pick up the equipment. Reply It is good to know that one should about transition and mixing samples before hiring a wedding DJ. I like what was said about asking how the DJ will avoid awkward gaps of silence. I have also heard that it is best to hire someone with backup equipment in case something goes wrong. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. 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