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How to Hire A DJ


From the prelude through the last dance, music sets the tone of a wedding and contributes to the sense of celebration. Music also acts as an action-driver, helping direct the flow events through the ceremony and reception.

You should hire the disc jockey and/or musicians at least 8-12 months before the wedding to ensure availability (basically as soon as you know the date). If you’re hiring live musicians for the ceremony or reception, you’ll also need a Master of Ceremony to take charge on the microphone. A disc jockey (DJ) is an ideal backup to live entertainment; he or she can act as MC throughout the event and play during band breaks.

Whatever type of music you choose, hire a professional. Coordinating a wedding requires specialized experience in weddings: it’s not enough to simply play the music.

What qualifies an entertainer? Use the following criteria to evaluate potential entertainers:

* EXPERIENCE - Specific experience in weddings
* REFERENCES - Professional (company) references - not ‘satisfied clients’
* VARIETY - Music that will appeal to a wide range of age and tastes
* EQUIPMENT - Professional sound & lighting equipment with backup
* PROFESSIONALISM - Written contract outlining terms of agreement

1. Do you use professional gear?

Using professional sound equipment (including professional compact disc players) helps insure reliable service and a quality presentation.

2. Will you provide an emergency back-up system at our event?

Weddings are often once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. A back-up system protects your investment.

3. Are you insured?

Insurance is part of any legitimate business. Liability and casualty policies will protect you, your guests and your DJ company from unforeseen circumstances.

4. Do you belong to any professional associations or trade groups?

An involved businessperson shows a willingness to learn, network and share ideas. Belonging to a professional trade group reflects a caring attitude.

5. Are we guaranteed the DJ of our choice on the day of our event?

A written contract with your specific entertainer guarantees you will have no surprises on the day of your event. It is a good idea to put an initial payment down as soon as you find the person you prefer. Reputable DJ's will often be booked a year or more in advance on "peak" days.

6. How many years of experience do you have?

Experience brings knowledge of common problems and situations. Be sure your DJ has experience with your type of event.

7. May we call your references?

References are a major part of the entertainment business. It is a good idea to get a few client and business references.

8. How will you be dressed?

Proper attire reflects a positive image to your guests. Your entertainer should dress in formal wear unless you request otherwise.

9. How early will you be to our site to set up?

An average of sixty minutes should be allowed for set up and sound check. Normally there is no additional charge for this service.

10. Will you allow requests?

Requests should be welcome. If a song seems inappropriate, a good DJ will explain the reason and ask for an alternative selection.

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