Choosing a wedding DJ

How much is it going to cost?

Understandably, one of the first things couples look at when choosing a DJ is the price. However, you should understand why cheapest may not necessarily be best.

It may be tempting to ask friends or family to play DJ for the night, but one of the risks here is that this will prevent them from enjoying your party to the full, and that they will be left with the job of packing away afterwards.

When hiring a professional DJ, you should look for someone who will bond with your guests and pace out a fun, entertaining evening. After all, you don’t want everyone going home early. Location, wedding venue size and timings are all important considerations a DJ must take into account before quoting you.

Before you look at prices, think about the total amount you are
spending on your event (the venue, the catering, photography, flowers, etc) and how it would feel if sub-standard entertainment ruined your day. This is one service that can make or break an event.

The right music at the right time

Most wedding DJs are likely to have vast amounts of music, but it’s how they use it that counts, and entertaining a wide range of age groups at once demands expertise. While specific tastes in music may vary, there are interactive dances that all can enjoy together. Most importantly, the DJ should be playing YOUR choice of music and not their own.

Lights and action

You only have to watch music shows on TV to see how lighting can add to the energy of a room. The right lighting can quickly transform an elegant dining area into a trendy nightclub environment in which your guests can really let their hair down.

Make sure you find out what your prospective DJ’s equipment and lighting rig looks like – you’ve gone to a lot of effort and expense getting the perfect look and you don’t want it spoiled with ugly scaffolding-style equipment.

Personality and confidence

The best way to understand a DJ is to meet up. This will allow you to gauge their enthusiasm, experience, passion, professionalism and, most importantly, their personality. Does it fit in with yours? You may also want to ask questions about the way they work, and even how they dress while working.

Testimonials and references are important to ensure validity and trust. Always ask for these to see what others have said about them.

Most professionals offer pre-visits at your chosen venue. Some will also liaise with your wedding co-ordinator to ensure a well-prepared and fun evening.

Email and telephone communications between you and the DJ should give you some indication of how responsive they will be to your ongoing requests.

You want personal service so be sure to demand it, and ask questions about anything that is on your mind. A large portion of the success of your celebration is resting on the DJ’s shoulders.

Bookings – avoiding disappointments

Many DJ companies are in great demand through direct referrals, that is when guests have been to an event, like what they see and start making enquiries. As always, this is the best way, as you get to see the performance of the DJ in person.

The earlier you start your enquiries the better. It is common for some of the more popular companies to have events booked two years in advance or more. When you have narrowed your search, call to set up appointments to meet in person.

Once you are happy with your choice, book early; you don’t want to be running around looking for alternatives at the last minute.


There are many entertainment companies offering disco services and the internet allows you to shop around. Prepare a list of questions to ask every company and take careful note of their answers.

The first and single most important thing to remember is this: When you pay for the services of disc jockey, YOU ARE THE BOSS and THEY WORK FOR YOU.

Give the DJ as much information you can about your event. NEVER ASSUME what the DJ should already know. You should expect to spend time discussing your reception with them to get the best results.


• Are they available for your wedding date?
• How long have they been a DJ and how many events have they performed?
• Are you comfortable with them?
• Will they personally be the DJ for your event?
• What type of music do they provide and will they play requests?
• What kind of equipment do they use?
• Are they reputable and will they provide you with references?
• Have they ever performed at your chosen location?
• How much do they charge?
• Do they require a deposit and a written agreement?
• Do they have public liability insurance? This helps ensure peace of mind for all parties – the client, the venue and the DJ
• Do they offer lighting equipment if you want it?
• How do they handle themselves on the microphone?

One thought on “Choosing a wedding DJ

  1. Ron Finlay

    This is a great article. Your points are absolutely on point. I would like to add that in Canada, DJs require a licence for the music on their computers, public liability insurance is a good business move for any DJ. The better DJs carry back up equipment with them, so if anything goes wrong, they have the means to get the party going again assuming they have the technical equipment experience. Beware of DJs that claim to have backup staff and equipment on standby. By the time that arrives, assuming the actual performing DJ diagnosed the problem correctly, the cost of the bar alone could be more than the DJ even charged.

    All that said, when choosing a wedding DJ, the bride and groom should ask about these elements and realize that they add cost, and hence to the DJ’s price, but, the risk is so high for such a make it or break it vendor, that the wedding could be ruined and small savings wouldn’t relieve that pain. I recommend spending at least as much on the wedding DJ as on photography or video. Finally, wonderful lighting is really decor, but the DJ brings it. Allocating money from the room decor budget to the DJ, for an all in one audio visual experience will create better photos, video, feelings and memories, and that’s the whole point of todays weddings. Chose well and enjoy the experience.


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