Modern wedding DJ Southampton – Hampshire New Forest mobile disco hire
Mobile DJ Advice
12 questions to ask a Wedding DJ:
If you’re looking at booking a mobile DJ for your function you may feel a bit overwhelmed, as there is so much to think about. You not only have your own personal requirements with regard to the music or set up but you also need to consider your guests and are likely to have a budget in mind. This is probably the first time you have ever planned an event, let alone had to hire a multitude of suppliers to make it all come together on the day!
Unfortunately there are no qualifications for becoming a wedding DJ. Anyone can purchase some kit & start selling their services to you at a wedding fair. These suppliers, may be very nice & will usually mean well, but they may lack the ability to do the job properly, which will impact on your wedding day. Don’t settle for the first quote (unless you have seen the DJ at another wedding), do your research & try & meet at least 3 different suppliers to compare the results.
Here are 12 questions we would ask if we wanted a mobile DJ:
1: Do your background research:
Before you contact a DJ email/phone & ask “how much do you charge”, have a good look through the website, social media & other areas of the web & try and find some videos or information as they will often show what you will get. It may also prompt you to think of considerations and ideas that hadn’t occurred to you before. You can also get a good idea of how long they have been in operation, what they have done in that time & what other customers have said about them.
2: How long have you been a DJ?
Ignoring equipment and other extra services, if a DJ does not don’t know how to play the right music at the right time & volume then they will have an empty dance floor! We would want to see at least 3 years working experience with at least 50 events played each year.
3: Are you a wedding specialist?
Weddings come with a lot of extra formalities (such as First Dance) and multi-generational guests all wanting a different sort of music, so an amazing DJ in a local bar may not be suited to your wedding as it requires a very different skill set. You will want someone that is friendly and can accommodate yours and your guests requirements.
4: Have you played at my venue? Will you make a site visit?
Every venue is different, so employing a DJ with a working knowledge of your venue is a great start. Access is one of the main concerns and also timings. Ask the DJ if they intend on conducting a site visit just so they are sure that they are prepared on your wedding day.
5: Do you have PLI & PAT?
PLI (public liability) is protection if the DJ damages property or injures you or your guests. PAT is a safety test on equipment. Both are not required by law but are essential and don’t cost much money, so there is no excuse not to have them. Often your venue will often require proof of these documents which is an obligation for their insurance company.
6: Do you accept a playlist and take requests?
A DJ that chooses the wrong music and can’t work a dance floor will end up with no one dancing. Most DJs will be open to crafting a bespoke playlist for you and openly encourage requests on the night. We advise about 20-40 tracks and often split about 20 of them to bride and groom separately. At the end of the day if either one of you are dancing then more often than not so will the guests!! Why not ask them for a actual playlist of tracks they have played over 3 recent events. Then you can see the ‘flow’ and distinguish whether they just play the same tracks regardless of the wedding.
7: Can I meet my DJ in person?
A lot of DJ’s will do a meeting in person before booking and this is probably the best way to see what you are going to get and ask all the right questions. The familiarity & detailed pre planning really pays off on the day.
8: What equipment do you use?
A good quality sound system is key, as bad quality sound or really high volumes will drive your guests out of the room. If you have a very large function room or are in a marquee (no insulation) then make sure that your DJ had a sound system to cope with it. Maybe this is a person bug bear, but ask your DJ if they control their lighting by DMX, which means you won’t have loads of lighting effects flashing randomly, it makes a massive difference and shows how serious or experienced your DJ is.
9: Will you provide a written contract?
It seems obvious but make sure you have a written contract in place with the date and reference to any payments you have made or money that you owe. Also include any other necessary event information and services. Get wedding insurance for everything and try to pay for key suppliers/the venue on a cash back type credit card as companies do go bust and venues can close, so that way your double covered!
10: When will you arrive, how long do you need to set up?
Some DJs may take an hour to set up, others 20 minutes; it’s worth double checking with the venue and DJ and organising a time to set up. This may be on turnaround in the same room as the Wedding Breakfast, so timings may be tight, especially if things are over-running.
11: What is your plan if things go wrong?
What happens if you are sick on the day? What happens if your laptop or speakers die during the First Dance? What cover do you have if you break down en route to our wedding? These are all questions a good DJ will have answers for, as they should have planned for every eventuality. As a minimum a professional DJ will have full relay breakdown cover, a spare sound system on site as well as backup DJ decks / Laptop / IPad plugged in ready to go so that no one even notices!!
12: What makes you different?
Ask what they think their strengths are and why they are better suited for your wedding. Every DJ is different, so working out what you want based on an individual’s style is really important.