Questions to ask a prospective wedding DJ from www.bridaltips.com, and our answers
Is the DJ familiar with your wedding venue?
Ask your DJ if they have done weddings at your reception site before. It helps that they know the wedding venue, how to get there, and they have a familiarity with the staff. Your wedding disc jockey may also be better prepared to deal with known issues or caveats with the wedding reception hall. Every little positive wedding DJ bullet item you find makes it less likely that you will have problems with your DJ. It does not mean you should reject the DJ if they have not been there before, but it's a nod in their favor.
Answer: DJ Brandon has been a DJ in Maryland since 2001. He does approximately 40 - 50 weddings a year. He has been to most wedding venues in Maryland. If he has not been to your venue before, he will do a site visit to your venue a week before the event to get acquainted.
Who will be your actual DJ spinning discs at your wedding?
This one is important. You would hate to spend an hour interviewing your wedding DJ and like their personality, only to be blindsided at your wedding by having another DJ show up, when you expected the DJ that you interviewed. Make absolutely certain your contract spells out exactly who will be your DJ. If you want the owner and not their employee it should be on the contract. The contract should also mention what time and place they are supposed to be. Call a month ahead of the wedding to verify. Any verbal promises made by your wedding DJ should be in writing on the contract. They won't remember several months from now what they verbally promised you today.
Answer: DJ Brandon is the only DJ in the company. He will be the DJ for your event.
What about wedding DJ overtime, and other unexpected or hidden fees?
Your contract should clearly specify all costs including any assistant disc jockeys they will have with them, as well as special equipment lighting packages, or other fees that they pass on to you the client. Be weary of vendors who give you low ball quotes, but only give you 3 hours of time. If your reception runs longer, you find out "it's another $200 per hour or we walk out right now". You must also plan for overtime in case the reception runs longer than the contract specifies. The contract should clearly spell out how much extra it will cost you to have your wedding DJ for an extra hour or 2. It can cost $150 or more. Do not believe verbal promises stating they will work extra hours or have assistants for free. Put it in writing in the contract, or they will not do it. Don't be blindsided like many brides and grooms are when their event runs over. I receive complaints from brides whose wedding ran over, and the DJ threatened to leave if not paid in cash right now. You don't want surprises, your wedding DJ contract should be a game plan that covers all bases so you know exactly how much your DJ will cost you.
Answer: The price in the Contract is the final price for the time specified for your event. DJ Brandon has an assistant with him, uses a wireless microphone, and will wear a suit to your event with no extra fees. You can add extra equipment, additional time, or lights for an extra fee that is discussed before the event, and written in the contract. If you feel your event will go overtime, we can add a price into the contract for the extra hours. Any overtime not in the contract should be paid by cash or check the day of the event.
What attire will your wedding disc jockey wear at your wedding?
Sounds like a no brainer, but you usually want your DJ to wear a suit or tux. The DJ at my brother's wedding was wearing black jeans and a shirt that was hanging out. He was supposed to be wearing a tuxedo. Even the photographer went up to him and chastised him.
Answer: DJ Brandon will wear a suit or tuxedo, unless the client request different attire.
How many year's experience does this wedding DJ have? Will they play CD's you provide?
Some wedding disc jockey folks have a list of songs they play and except for the bride and groom first dance, do not give you much choice. Our wedding DJ allowed us to choose at least 50% which is not the norm. Let your DJ be your guide as to what songs should be played. A good disc jockey reads the crowd and knows what to play. Be sure they know what NOT to play, as well as special songs you want to hear. Ask if they will accept requests from wedding guests. Your wedding disc jockey should be flexible with a wide selection, so requests from your wedding guests can be fulfilled. This step is VERY crucial, because your wedding DJ plays about 60 songs during your reception, and you want nothing but the best tunes to keep your dance floor crowded. If the DJ needs to intervene and suggest a song, heed them as they generally know what they are doing and keep up with the current trends. You want a wedding DJ who can adapt to any crowd. This DJ will be someone who is very well versed in all areas music. Don't try to give the DJ a tape or a list of 100% of the songs to play for the night. You hired a DJ not a juke box operator. If they stick to your play list, I can guarantee you'll have an empty dance floor. Your musical taste is not the same as 120 people at your wedding. Let your DJ do their job and keep your wedding guests happy.
Answer: DJ Brandon has been DJ'ing weddings since 2001. As a Client of DJ Brandon, you have access to a planning app where you can pick out the music you must have, music you like, and music you do not want. DJ Brandon will take requests from guest as long as it fits into the music that the Bride and Groom approve. DJ Brandon can play CD's that you provide.
Where will your wedding DJ setup? Is there a dance floor?
This is a rare need, but some wedding reception sites require your wedding DJ to bring a dance floor if the room does not have one. Some hotel banquet halls are all carpeted, without a hard floor for dancing. Also, you MAY not want a DJ who comes in and elevates themselves on the stage. We liked our wedding DJ's philosophy that the DJ should NEVER overshadow the bride and groom and he did NOT want to be up on the stage. Rather, he setup off the right closer to the crowd. Bucking tradition at the Boca Resort, we put our bridal party head table up on the stage. This allowed more space in the room for the guests, and ALL of them could see us.
Answer: The Client will discuss the setup of the DJ with the Venue. DJ Brandon can provide a Dance Floor at an additional cost, but, prefer if you get the dance floor through your venue. It's best to place the DJ close to the dance floor without any tables between the DJ, and the Dance Floor. DJ Brandon prefers to not be on a riser, but, will adapt to what fits best.
Will your wedding disc jockey need to be fed at your wedding?
Be sure to feed your DJ, with travel, setup, performance, tear-down and return travel, they often go 10 or 12 hours without eating Ask if they want to be fed. Some disc jockeys want food, some do not want to eat while they work. They deserve it though, because they might be there 4 hours with nothing to eat or drink. The caterer needs to know so they can bill you accordingly. They usually make sandwiches for the DJ's, musicians, photographers, etc., or you can just let them eat off your buffet. Verify pricing with the caterer, you would not want them to charge you $150 per head for a DJ and an assistant disc jockey. The DJ at our wedding refused to be served food, don't know why. He felt we spent enough money and should not have to spend more to feed the DJ, so he eats before the wedding. He also felt it was unprofessional for the DJ to be eating when they should be working. We really admired his philosophy on this topic, but it's still ok to feed them, they'll be there 4 hours or more plus setup time. The hotel would have charged $18 for his food. We could not even get him to take a Coke. It's always nice to feed your vendors. We even gave him some chocolate and a centerpiece to take home to his wife after the reception.
Answer: It is in the contract that you provide food and drink for the DJ. It does not have to be hot food, and the DJ will not drink any alcohol.
Does your wedding DJ have a request form for you to fill out?
Ask for a list of wedding requests and suggestions in all categories. Some wedding DJs have a request form for you to fill out, so they can have everything ready for the wedding. Some obscure songs can take a while for them to obtain.
Answer: DJ Brandon has an app to help you create a playlist and fill out all of your planning forms. It also has suggestions for Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, and First Dance suggestions. DJ Brandon likes to meet with all couples about a month before the event to go over the timeline, and music. I can answer any questions at that time, or you can always e-mail or call with any questions.
Does your wedding DJ do corporate functions also?
Ask the DJ if they ever do corporate functions, and view sample videos. If you can find a talented wedding DJ who has experience in corporate functions, then you really have someone worth their weight in gold. These are true professionals with mastery of dealing with large scale projects and all the SNAFUs that go along with them. The DJ we chose does numerous corporate functions in addition to being an excellent wedding DJ, and companies have paid to fly him all over the place. If you are a wedding DJ, this is a good selling point. Not a deal maker, but impressive, and it's ok to use a DJ that does not do corporate work.
Answer: DJ Brandon does corporate functions, weddings, private functions, Mitzvah's, and school events.
What problems has the DJ encountered at weddings and how did they solve them?
You want a wedding DJ who is resilient, able to respond quickly to unforeseen mishaps that can mar your wedding. You can bet that many weddings look smooth, but had issues that were quickly seamlessly patched behind the scenes by DJs, caterers, and other vendors.
Answer: DJ Brandon is going to be your DJ, but, behind the scenes he keeps everything on time, and smooth. Makes sure the parents and photographers are in the Ball Room before doing any events, makes sure Champagne is poured before the toast, and keeps everything running smoothly.