One of the most popular options for wedding receptions is a dance party. Some people prefer live music and others just make a playlist and don’t stress the details. Those are both great options that can work depending on your priorities, but the most common option is hiring a DJ. There are a lot of perks, chiefly that DJs already know how to get a party moving and will help you make sure your guests have a great time. However most people don’t have much experience with hiring live entertainment for large events and may not know what to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re hiring.

Make Sure Your DJ Can Do What You Want

This might seem obvious, but check and make sure that your DJ will be able to do all of the services you require. For example, most DJs are comfortable emceeing events. They will help you with announcements and will keep the party flowing — but not all DJs will offer this service. This doesn’t need to be a deal breaker if someone else is comfortable stepping up, perhaps your wedding coordinator or even a member of your wedding party. That said, if you have the preference, make sure you’re on the same page about who will be doing what.

If you want your DJ to be a part of other parts of your wedding day, make sure you talk about it as you’re working out your contract. If you want your DJ to provide music for your ceremony this may require a different set up that may come with an additional fee.

See Their Work

Unless you are referred by a friend after you attended their wedding, you may not have heard your prospective DJ’s work before. Most DJs will be able to give you a recording of a set they did or will perhaps offer you a mixtape or a playlist so you can see how they mix music and how their song choices can flow together. Another option to try is to see if they ever DJ live at a local club or lounge. This music may be a different style than you would like at your wedding, but you’ll get a better picture of how their performance will go.

Figure Out Your “Must Plays” and Your “Do Not Plays”

Your DJ will probably ask you for a few lists. First will be the songs you want played for big moments like your first dance and the last song of the night. They will probably also ask for a list of songs you would like played at some point over the course of the evening. When you’re discussing this, also remember to go over the songs you don’t want to play. This can also include going over what genres you like and dislike so they can get a better idea of your tastes. Another optional list is songs that you prefer they only play if requested.

Go Over Logistics

Make sure to go over logistics as you’re signing your contract so you don’t run into any surprises! Will they be bringing everything they need or will you need to provide anything such as an extension cord or a covered table? Are they familiar with your space or will they need to visit it before your wedding so they can get an idea of the layout of the room and the acoustics. Don’t forget to go over wardrobe! This is a small detail: most DJs will have several outfits ready to go depending on your preference. You won’t want them to wear a tuxedo when all of your guests are dressed for a more casual garden party.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for advice as you’re ironing out all of the details with your DJ. A great DJ can make it a fantastic party — but if you hire the wrong person, your wedding might not feel like “you.”

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