TOP 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR DJ
You have a big decision ahead of you! There are some basic questions websites will tell you that you should ask your DJ such as, “What packages do you offer? What kind of music do you play? Do you take requests?”. THE TRUTH- Those aren’t REALLY going to get you the answers that you should be looking for.
These questions aren’t as FUN as “what music do you play”. But they could save you from making a HUGE mistake and avoid a total DISASTER by asking them.
5. How long has your company been in business?
Why is this question so important?
This can help you determine how reliable, credible, trustworthy, and responsible the company is. Reputation is everything in business. The longer a company has been in business the more important it is to keep their reputation untarnished. A long-branded company has a vested interest in doing everything they can to provide consistently first-class service. They will have the experience to handle different situations and contingencies for solving any problems that may happen leading up to or during your event.
4. How many wedding receptions have you performed at?
This may seem like the same question as, “how long have you been in business?” but it will give you other valuable information. It’s possible a DJ company to have been around for many years but done many events that were NOT wedding related.
There is something to be said about the old adage, “You're having heart surgery. If given the choice, would you choose a surgeon that has performed a dozen operations or two hundred operations?” Remember, you only get one shot. There’s no do-overs if your entertainment is inexperienced. They might be able to muddle through it, but do you want YOUR wedding to be a “practice” wedding for them? Think about it that way.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Consider a recent survey of thousands of brides taken place AFTER their wedding. Brides said that during wedding planning, their highest priority was their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer.
Entertainment was among the least of their priorities.
Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority.
72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
When asked 81% of guests say WHAT they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
3. Do you have backup equipment?
This is a critical question that is often overlooked.
There should only be ONE correct answer for this. “YES”.
Do NOT be swindled by someone who says something along the lines of, “I’ve been using the same laptop for years and I’ve never had a problem with it,” or, “I use high end equipment, so it won’t break”.
One is a misnomer, the other is a lie.
Accidents happen. Equipment malfunctions. In this digital age a DJ has thousands of thousands of songs at their fingertips that used to be impossible in the days of records or CD’s. If you’ve ever used a computer before you know that sometimes they can just act up with no warning, for no apparent reason, right out of the blue.
How would you like YOUR wedding to be the one where the DJs laptop decides to update Windows during your first dance, freezing, and they didn’t have a back up to immediately switch to?
While it’s certainly recommended and commendable that a DJ uses expensive, high-end equipment, it is no guarantee that there won’t ever be a problem with it. Even Ferraris need tune ups and repairs from time to time. You’ll want to know that there’s a back up vehicle for you when you drop it off at the shop. It's the same principle with DJ equipment.
2. What happens if something happens to my DJ?
There should be no hesitancy with this question. If the DJ, or company, you are talking to doesn’t have an immediate answer to this question then you should look somewhere else.
Even if this DJ seems like they will be a great fit, do you want to risk having NO entertainment for your big day because something unexpected happened to your DJ and there was no back up? You NEED to know what the plan is if something unfortunate happens.
1. Do you have a contract?
It is very important to realize that the contract is not just for the benefit of the one issuing it. It’s also there to protect YOU. There isn’t a single, reputable DJ or company that does not have a contract.
We’ve already discussed the importance of having a contingency plan if something goes wrong. This is the ultimate contingency plan.
Without a written agreement there is no guarantee of the services that will be provided to you or what will happen should they not to be performed. It’s critical that you understand what the DJ or company expects to be your end of the bargain as well as what you expect their job to be.
You should feel comfortable asking for a copy of a sample contract. Some may be short while others may be lengthy. The length of the contract isn’t as important as the content. You should read it to be certain you understand the terms regarding the type of services to be provided, what may be included in the rider that’s necessary for your entertainer to properly do their job, what will happen in the case of disruption of the event, and cancellations and rescheduling policies.
How much do you charge?
This question doesn’t really make the top 5 list because 1. It’s likely the first thing you will ask anyway. 2. The REAL reason to ask this isn’t why you think it is.
Consider this, all these questions thus far have been to get you the answers to critical things that can affect the outcome of your event. The proper answers to them should set your mind at ease and get you excited to have FUN and not worry about these serious details.
But what do any of these guarantees mean if you’re choosing the based on the lowest prices you can find?
As with ALL things, you frequently get what you pay for. This isn’t to say that you should find the most expensive DJ or company out there. What it is saying is that there's a general agreement that a correlation exists between the quality of goods and services provided and what you pay for them.
Ask yourself this- what incentive does a $300 DJ, or even a free DJ, have?
Even if you have a contract with them, there isn’t much of a penalty that can befall them for breaching it. Most contracts will only entitle you to recover whatever the costs of the services were- NOT the emotional damage caused by having a horrible DJ or even having your DJ just not show up. It has been an unfortunate occurrence that the less a couple pays for a DJ the less guarantee they have that the DJ will show up.
Is a cheap DJ automatically a bad DJ? NO, absolutely not. But you must admit that if you’re comparing just prices, there is a considerable difference between Chef Boyardee and Chef Giada De Laurentiis.
When your comparing services don't think that because one DJ offers the "same" type of service with an extra hour for a few hundred less that you're getting the SAME caliber of service or level of DJ ability. DJ's don't frequently have "off brand" equivalency comparisons.
You may not see a lot of difference between off brand paper towels, but you'll certainly notice a difference between Dominos and Adominos!
If your budget is a concern, consider a company that allows you to break payments down into smaller, incremental payments. That way your once in a lifetime party will have the high quality entertainment that you deserve!