How to Choose the Right DJ for You and Your Crowd

Hey Mr. DJ, put that record on!

Choosing the music for your wedding can be a daunting task. When it comes to picking your wedding DJ, we look to Shayla Kelly from Complete Weddings + Events for her expert advice:

There are too many decisions to count that must be made before your wedding day. From the color palette to the menu, you and your partner will have plenty of opportunities to tailor the big day to your exact preferences. One of the most important choices you’ll make is the soundtrack of your ceremony and reception. While some opt for a string quartet or cover band to set the mood, disc jockeys are among the most popular choice. 

Before you hire any old DJ for your wedding, do some research to ensure you’re selecting a professional who is right for your event. Use these tips to guide your search:

How to Choose the Right DJ for You and Your Crowd

Outline Your Goals

Every wedding is different, so naturally, every wedding will sound slightly different. An event’s soundtrack goes a long way to shape the ambiance and overall mood. Before hiring a DJ for your wedding, consider your goals for the reception. Are you hoping to inspire a high-energy dance party? Your DJ should have a mix of well-loved dance hits, pop music and the latest EDM tracks on deck. Perhaps you’re hoping for a more traditional celebration and want only the classics – Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, and new favorites like John Legend will create a far different atmosphere than hip hop beats and electronic pop. 

You’ve dreamt of your wedding day for years. Ensure the real thing lives up to your expectations by outlining your goals for the celebration. Work with your partner to bring your shared vision to life. Even a simple discussion about how you want your wedding reception to feel can help guide your search for the right DJ.

How to Choose the Right DJ for You and Your Crowd

Ask for Recommendations

When you need a haircut, you don’t just go to the closest salon – you ask a friend or relative for a recommendation. After all, style is important, and you can’t trust just anyone with your locks! This same principle applies to your wedding DJ. With an event this momentous, the music and reception em-cee duties should be in the right hands. 

By asking for recommendations from friends, you’ll not only gather the names of excellent local professionals, but you’ll also inevitably hear stories about who not to hire. This intel can be just as valuable as the recommendations themselves! Knowing which vendors to avoid for your special day can help you narrow a crowded field of competitors. 

How to Choose the Right DJ for You and Your Crowd

Interview Candidates

As you work through your list of possible wedding DJs, it’s a good idea to meet and interview each candidate. While it is certainly possible to hire a disc jockey without meeting them first, you risk running into unpleasant surprises. Professional rapport matters, and it’s difficult to build trust if you wait until the wedding day to meet. Even if a DJ lists everything you could possibly need to know on their website, it’s still worth meeting them ahead of time to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Before meeting with any possible contenders, take some time to work out a list of questions you want to ask them. Consider asking about their ability to get a crowd excited. If people seem reluctant to dance, how will your DJ get people moving? Is your DJ willing to make announcements and be an enthusiastic emcee for the entire event? Will they take song requests from your guests? All of these questions are worth asking any DJ you’re considering hiring.

Get Everything in Writing

Hiring vendors requires a good deal of research, vetting and reviewing of contracts. To ensure you’re getting all you’ve asked for, have your DJ of choice outline your event in writing. A contract can help clarify what is included in your particular package, how much you owe for the DJ’s services and when to make payments. Any confusion surrounding these details can lead to disaster, so mitigate any potential for miscommunication by getting a contract when hiring.

How to Choose the Right DJ for You and Your Crowd

Every DJ and DJ company is different. Policies that apply to one company may not apply to another. Clarifying expectations is the key to success. No matter your goals for your big day, communication with your vendor of choice is incredibly important. The last thing you want for your wedding day is stress, confusion or anxiety about what song is playing next. Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself dancing down the aisle!


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