How to Hire a Wedding DJ

August 12, 2015 | carrie


Your wedding DJ is vital when it comes to the flow and overall feel of your big day. That’s why it’s important to make sure you do your research and choose wisely. Today, my DJ, Michael Roos of Texas Pro DJ, is here to share his expert advice with us. With 30 years of experience behind the turntables, Michael knows a thing or to about what to look for when you’re searching for the perfect wedding DJ.

1. What are some good questions to ask a DJ before hiring them?

-How early does the DJ arrive?
-What is your procedure should the DJ get in an accident on the way to the event?
-Is there a backup DJ? What happens if you arrive and realize you have a faulty speaker?
-What happens if your computer breaks down in the middle of the night?
-Do you play songs live or are you just throwing on an iTunes playlist or automated DJ program (which anyone can use)?
-Are you screaming on the microphone constantly or is it professional, minimal and informative when needed?
-Do you play the stereotypical wedding songs (YMCA, Celebration, We Are Family, Macarena, etc…) or will you make my wedding different and unique?
-Will you take requests from the guests throughout the night and how will you filter those to coincide with the bride and grooms’ tastes?
-Do you play songs with explicit lyrics?
-Do you stick to the timeline times specifically or do you bend and mold the night to fit the crowd as needed (and how)?

Summery-Spanish-Wedding-Castell-DEmporda-Lena-Larsson-25-of-25-600x400 Photo by Lena Larsson Photography

2. Can you make a playlist or tell the DJ what to play and what not to play?

A good professional DJ should ALWAYS cater the event to the clients and guests. HE/SHE is not there to show off their musical tastes. Yes, a good DJ will add their own style and flavor to put the night together musically, but in the end the clients and guests are the ones the DJ is playing for and any and all appropriate requests or ‘do-not-plays’ should be honored in the long run.

Quirky-English-Wedding-Claire-Penn-44-600x399 Photo by Claire Penn Photography

3. What songs do you need to pick out for your DJ before the wedding?

All specific songs for dances, intros, etc., should DEFINITELY be picked out prior to the wedding. As far as the cocktail, dinner, and dancing music is concerned it really depends on the DJ. Some DJs want to have all their music ready to go prior to the event. I however, like to have a general idea of what the client wants, as well as the ages, ethnicity, dress, and amount of alcohol consumed by the guests. I like to have a general idea and then show up and read the crowd accordingly. I probably prepare for the client and guests personalities more than I do the music that I will play. But every DJ is different with this. After over 30 years of DJing weddings the spur of the moment selections are a bit easier for me than others.

Rainy-Forest-Wedding-at-Stones-and-Flowers-Retreat-Andria-Lindquist-33-of-34-600x400 Photo by Andria Lindquist

4. What are some of your favorite first dance songs?

I could list a million songs that are great for a first dance, but I feel that song needs to be something special for the couple. Again, I suggest they stay away from the stereotypical ones that everyone seems to use (Etta James – At Last, Louis Armstrong – Wonderful World, etc) and pick something unique to them.

5. What are some of your least favorite wedding songs?

Back to the stereotypical cheesy wedding songs… I don’t like these because they are so overplayed. There are too many people who call themselves a DJ and rely on these line dances and songs that are constantly overplayed at weddings to get people moving. I try to make my wedding unique to the couple and guests. Sure, I can drop in The Wobble or Cupid Shuffle if the guests or couple want it, but those types of songs are not the ones I am itching to pull out as a DJ. I don’t feel that you always have to have a packed dance floor if it’s not necessarily a dancing crowd (older, out of towers, etc…). The music should be played appropriately to the mood and vibe of the crowd. Dancing should NEVER be forced by playing a stereotypical overplayed ‘wedding song.’

42 Photo by Sam Hurd Photography

6. How can a couple ensure that their wedding reception is fun for everyone attending?

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL DJ and DO NOT SKIMP on this money-wise. There are two things I tell people constantly when looking at a DJ and pricing. 1) You get what you pay for and 2) If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You will be much better off finding and spending some extra money on a professional DJ who wants to get to know you and cares about you and your crowd and WANTS to stay in contact with you than you will a guy who has a ridiculously low price or a package deal with unlimited hours & lighting/photo booths. Plan on spending $1500 average on a professional DJ. This could be more, but if you go much lower than this price you are sacrificing your quality and once the wedding is over, you can’t get that quality back. The DJ can make or break your wedding as they are the one who not only sees the entire room, but controls it. Find someone you connect with who actually cares that your day goes off without a flaw.

intimate-destination-wedding-in-costa-rica-photo-by-davina-and-daniel-photography-26 Photo by Davina+Daniel

Thanks so much to Michael Roos of Texas Pro DJ! Next time on From Blogger to Bride, I’ll be giving you the 411 on how to legally get married. Happy wedding planning, Junebug brides!


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  1. Oh, I LOVE this one. The party, the decor the photography are all unique and perfect!

  2. A good DJ not only fills the dance floor but has everyone leaving on a high, thank you for sharing!

  3. This is amazing! All the tools to make the right choice for wedding DJ. It’s a scary big choice to make as they can make or break the vibe of the party! Here are some other tips if found, maybe they’ll be useful to you guys… http://www.functioncentral.co.uk/blog/2015/09/booking_a_wedding_dj_tips_guide/

  4. Great thoughts here! Having a fun and skillful DJ can really enhance the atmosphere of a reception and pull together the events of the night.

  5. Wow ! wonderful party with their decoration . Looks very gorgeous .

  6. These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to find a DJ that will allow you to create a playlist for your event. My sister is getting married soon, and she’s pretty particular with her music. I’m in charge of finding a DJ, so I’ll definitely try and find someone who will allow me to create a custom playlist for her. Thanks for the great post!

  7. I like that you don’t plan all of the music you are going to play before you get to the wedding. I know that it is perfectly OK for DJ’s to plan everything in advance. However, I think that the dances are more fun and entertaining when the DJ can pick the songs based on how people are reacting. It is a good way to make sure most of the people are enjoying the music.

  8. Wow Thanks for share us that info about before hiring a wedding DJ.

  9. Thank you for the help. My fiance and I are trying to find a DJ for our wedding, but we had no idea what questions to ask. I love your last question about how to make the reception fun for everyone. That is very important to us and really does rely a lot on the DJ. I will be sure to ask that before we make our decision.

  10. I love party when happy new year we make a party with great Dj

  11. I like that you pointed out that DJ’s can really ensure that you guest will have a fun time at your wedding. After all, they will be able to tell and select music that fits your crowds wants. With a set playlist you only have the ability to play through song and that might not be very fun for your guest and yourself.

  12. The dancing scene very charming and the bride is so superb .

  13. I really like that you mention getting together with your DJ to plan some of the songs before the wedding. I can’t imagine what it would be like showing up to a wedding where the couple didn’t plan with the DJ. When I get married, I’ll be sure to sit down with my future wife and the DJ to plan which songs we would like to have on our special day. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  14. This is wonderful advice… thanks for sharing with all your followers!

  15. Thank you for the tips. My fiance and I are trying to choose a DJ for our wedding reception. I am glad that you shared questions to ask. How early should we expect the DJ to arrive at the venue?

  16. A very interesting and resourceful article, both for the bride and groom and for a professional DJ service provider. There a number of wonderful nuggets and checklist questions that can be added to my consultation form when engaging my clients. Hiring a professional wedding DJ who is in tune with your tastes and preferences both with the music and MC skills is such a core piece to ensure that your guests have a good time. At the end of the day, I am believer that it is not only about having the capability to play the right music but also having those skills to build a relationship with your client so that there are no surprises on the day of the event.

    Thanks for putting this article together – an enjoyable read.

  17. Too rich information. Every couple should read this before selecting their wedding Djs. I suggest my friends to refer your guide before their planning.

  18. A good professional DJ should ALWAYS cater the event to the clients and guests. HE/SHE is not there to show off their musical tastes. Yes, a good DJ will add their own style and flavor to put the night together musically, but in the end the clients and guests are the ones the DJ is playing for and any and all appropriate requests or ‘do-not-plays’ should be honored in the long run.

  19. DJ plays an important role on your big day so it is necessary to ask some questions before hiring them. Thanks for sharing the article.

  20. Hey really nice article very informational.

  21. Great Information about Wedding Djs

  22. I agree that you would want to find out how early a DJ or band will arrive when you are hiring them for your wedding. It would seem that you would want to find someone who is able to arrive early because it would help you get everything in order. I’m looking for a band for my sister’s wedding so I’ll be sure to find someone who arrives early enough.

  23. That’s so true what you said about how important it is to do your research and homework to be able to choose the perfect DJ for the big day. I’ve heard that some DJs will be able to create custom mixes for you based on the theme of your wedding, so that’s pretty neat! I’ll be sure to keep this great info in mind and share it with my daughter as she searches to find the perfect DJ for her reception.

  24. Hey really nice article very informational.

  25. Wow thanks for your writing, I like the question of “what do you do if your computer is broken during the event”, of course it will I ask later when I planned the wedding by hire dj. I plan to use the services of ambitious.nl, complete dj rentals and can accommodate all types of events. please check the official website ambitious.nl , i hope this will help you all

  26. Thanks for writing such a good Blog, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing…

  27. Great tips. Totally agree on them all. Even something as simple as sharing a relevant piece of content every day will do wonders.

  28. Great stuff and very true. I’d also like to point out that DJs need to understand that not every event/venue/night is about dancing and loud music. Case in point, I played a few times for some cocktail lounges and European-style cafes…mainly deep jazzy/soulful house. My role was more or less “background”. Even many times I’d lower the main volume so I’m not drowning out the conversation. You’d be surprised how much patrons liked that. The tips here are pure gold, and apply to most instances… And hey, I’d like to share that while DJs can manage to create music, it;s always better to be prepared with a backup plan. I got this app called Spark DJ and it’s worked pretty well for me. It works like a real DJ and I love how it’s easily operated.

  29. I appreciate you providing some tips when planning to hire a wedding DJ such as asking questions if the DJ is flexible when it comes to playing the songs the hosts would want him to play and not to play. It is important to choose a DJ who can grant the couple’s request since this is their special day. Hence, a DJ should be able to make sure that the couple and the guests are comfortable with the music he’s playing. This can be done if you can create a playlist of your own or list down songs that you prefer and those that you would want the DJ to avoid playing. If I were to hire a DJ for my wedding, I would make sure to take this into account. Thanks.

  30. Great tips how to find a DJ for every event. And love the question “How can a couple ensure that their wedding reception is fun for everyone attending” for me that’s the main point and important. I would create unforgettable moment for them and hire the best wedding DJ. So I found the best one at djfeetback.nl/bruiloft ; they are really experienced in this field.

  31. Awesome article! very informative

  32. I totally agree that one should choose a wedding DJ that caters the event to the clients and guests, and they are only adding their own style and flavor to make the night better. I want our wedding reception to be fun and festive, which is why I’m hiring a DJ. I’ll make sure to follow your tip and choose a DJ known for respecting what the clients want for their event.

  33. Super great list to keep in mind, both for DJs to study and for customers to keep on hand. Awesome work! Thanks.

  34. Very helpful list. A professional DJ is very important. You go to great lengths to plan out every detail of your wedding, and a bad DJ can put all that other hard work to waste by not keeping the party happy.

  35. Wow Thanks for share us that info about before hiring a wedding DJ.

  36. When it’s your wedding day, you definitely go for professional DJ they make your wedding day more memorable and special.

    Great tips to share, thanks a lot.

  37. Good Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. So choosing DJ for your wedding event is actually not a easy task. Thanks for sharing such an helpful information.

  38. We hired a DJ on our wedding on January and it was a perfect decision. From wooing our guests during canapes and dinner with some jazzy tunes to absolutely breaking it down on the dance floor, He made the night incredibly memorable. to this day people still comment on his performance. I would really recommend hiring one if your budget fits.

  39. Very informative Content!

  40. Picking a great DJ is the key to having a memorable experience at your wedding. Thanks for the great tips!

  41. Entertainment is key to a memorable wedding. I total agree that one should book a DJ who focuses on your wedding and make it memorable. Your tips on how to hire a wedding DJ will definitely help to those who are deciding to get married.

  42. Really nice article. Thanks for sharing these great tips.

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