Selecting the right disc jockey for your wedding reception is one of the most important decisions that you can make and can be a very bewildering and daunting task. Everything else can be perfect, but if the music is not great, the reception will not be the success it deserves to be. Selecting the right Disc Jockey can be confusing. So how do you pick the right Disc Jockey? The intention of this article is to provide you with enough information so that you will be able to select the perfect disc jockey that will make your wedding a success.

There are many avenues that you can take in your search for that perfect DJ. The Yellow Pages lists many disc jockeys, friends, relatives or function venues may recommend someone that they have seen or used previously. They will all promise that they will do a fantastic job for you – and some will do just that. It is important to know however, that there are many different types of disc jockeys;

Disc Jockey Agencies / Multi System Disc Jockeys:
Give the impression of being the leaders of the industry by use of high profile advertising. They have many disc jockeys on their books with equipment predominantly owned by the agency. These agencies also at times sub-contract work to other disc jockeys.

Using Disc Jockey agencies and Multi System Disc Jockeys can be a bit of a lottery in that there is very little training or quality control. They may have some very good DJ’s working for them; however there is the potential for a large variation from DJ to DJ. Some might not even see their DJ staff for weeks or months at a time as staff are often allowed to keep very basic style equipment in their own homes. Further, while some firms supply music to their staff, the music is largely supplied by the DJ’s themselves and may be lacking.

These DJ’s have little or no experience and are generally paid poorly (as low as 25% of the fee) and find it hard to afford to maintain and expand their music collection. Some, in an effort to cut costs, will even resort to illegally copying music onto tape, compact disc or mini disc. This being the case, they find it hard to keep motivated and interested enough to deliver a superior level of service and entertainment, often only lasting 2 to 3 years before becoming disillusioned, realising that it is hard work, expensive and that they are actually losing money.

Disc Jockey Agencies and Multi System Disc Jockeys have also been known to forward a list of songs to the clients so that the client may select the music they want. However, due to the reasons mentioned above, this can bear little resemblance to the range of music the DJ will actually have at the function, potentially leaving you at the mercy of the DJ’s own personal tastes.

You should also ask yourself, that even though you may speak and deal with the owner of the Disc Jockey Agency or Multi System service, how much personal attention can you expect from an owner who has ten or more functions going at one time.

Overall, Disc Jockey Agencies and Multi System Disc Jockeys concentrate on domestic functions and appear to be more interested in putting as many DJ’s as they can on the road, rather than striving to provide the best possible service to the client.

In House Disc Jockeys:
Some function venues genuinely recommend various Disc Jockeys that they have seen perform and know to be reliable to clients, or even organise a DJ on the client’s behalf as an added service. This is because they realise how important a good DJs’ contribution can be to the success of the function. Conversely, they know that no matter how good their catering may be, a bad DJ can leave the client with an overall negative impression of the evening.

If your function is at a five star Hotel or reputable function centre, you may wish to call the preferred disc jockey that they recommend. You should take some comfort in the fact that their reputation is at risk also. Beware of secondary function venues that might not be as scrupulous. It is always important however to use discretion, as some function managers are paid a commission or spotters fee for recommending a particular DJ service.

NightClub Disc Jockeys:
Have very little experience at functions and use very different techniques and programming styles to mobile DJ’s. Further, they often have to hire equipment, adding to their already inflated price due to their status as a “Club DJ”.

Single Unit Disc Jockeys:
This includes many freelance and hobbyists as well as truly professional disc jockeys. Hobbyist DJ’s may be keen, but do not usually have the music range to satisfy all clients, sufficient experience or back-up equipment if things go wrong. These DJ’s are usually only in the business with the hope of making a “quick buck”.

There are however a number of single unit disc jockeys that provide a totally professional experience, have a wide variety of music, sufficient experience to handle any situation, have back-up equipment and contingency plans in case of an unforseen event.

Now that you know about the various types of disc jockeys – your task has been made somewhat easier. Upon finding several disc jockeys that you like, how do you tell which one is best? Remember that you want to choose the entertainer that offers the specific package that matches what you desire. It is important to create a rapport with the DJ over the phone. Pay attention to their manner of speaking and attitude, their personality tends to spill over into their DJ style. How are they at returning phone calls? Were they prompt in sending the information you requested? What does their promotional material look like? If you have that “feeling” in your gut someone is wrong for you, trust your instincts and move on.

Be careful not to become a victim of a price war in which you become the casualty by not getting what you wanted. Think about it, if a DJ keeps dropping the price to get your business, they may not be very good or have the necessary experience to cater for your event. Most professionals rely on referral business and maintain a certain pricing standard. Many times it is worth that extra money to ensure you have a successful event.

Here are a few questions you may want to ask a prospective disc jockey;

1. Do you use professional equipment and provide back-up equipment in case of an emergency?

2. Do you belong to a professional trade group or association? (gives you an indication as to how serious a DJ is about his business)

3. How many years’ experience do you have? (knowing common situations/problems can help keep your wedding running smoothly)

4. How will you be dressed? (if you are having a formal affair, do you want your DJ showing up in jeans)

5. How early will you be there to set up? (typically 60-90 minutes or more, prior to the guests arriving should be allotted)

6. Will you allow requests? (a flexible DJ will keep you and your guests happy)

7. Do you offer a written contract? (helps avoid potential disputes as to your and the DJ’s obligations)

It is YOUR wedding day, why take unnecessary chances when there are professional DJ’s who will take that extra step to offer exceptional service and ensure that your wedding runs smoothly no matter what happens!!