The 8 Best Questions to Ask a Wedding DJ (before you hire them)

Saxophonist with DJ - Weddings - Paul Dove

What questions should I ask my wedding DJ?

Planning your dream wedding: it’s exciting, time consuming, expensive, and can be more than a little overwhelming when you’re presented with a plethora of options for every element.

Let us ease the stress of finding the right DJ. Adam McGlue, director of Storm DJs, answers your 8 key questions to ask a wedding DJ.

There are so many DJs out there, why should we choose a reputable DJ-focussed company like Storm DJs?

Reviews and testimonials – read them! If a company (or solo DJ) can’t provide you with a decent number of reviews, you should question why. It goes without saying that you should scrutinise the website. An awful lot can be told from a website! Does it look professional, current, exciting? Does it answer your questions? Is the pricing transparent? Are the DJs clearly identified with mixes, demos, photos? Is the company/DJ active on social media? Lastly, but most importantly, speak to them. If a company or DJ isn’t readily accessible or doesn’t return your calls within 24 hours, trust your instincts.

How much should we expect to pay?

An average wedding set is around 4-5 hours. For any professional DJ worth their salt you’ll be looking around the £600 mark (at least), including equipment. When you compare this to the cost of a live band – which can often come in at around £2000 for a similar length set – it’s a snip. Obviously, a professional DJ is never going to be free like your amateur DJ mate or a Spotify playlist, but, 99% of the time you get what you pay for. And that mate would probably prefer to be at the party, whatever he claims. Plus it’s kind of awkward if the music doesn’t go down a storm and it’s your friend at the decks.

We can’t decide between a DJ and a live band. What are the pros of going for the DJ option?

If you want a DJ to get people on the dance floor but just love live music, hiring a DJ and saxophonist (or violinist or drummer) is the perfect means of merging the two. Our saxophonists (and other musicians) are not only extremely talented, but also well versed in the art of accompanying (essentially ad-libbing over the top of) the DJ. And this is possible with any genre of music – from the deepest of house music through light summery Ibiza chillout stuff to the cheesiest of cheesy commercial chart. Most of them have worked with many of our DJs previously, and we are always happy to recommend an excellent pairing. This will still work out much cheaper than a full band; your choice of music will be unlimited (whereas bands ultimately have a fixed repertoire); and heaps more original.

We have eclectic music tastes. Can a DJ work with that?

Absolutely. We can cater for pretty much anything; no request will be too “out there”. For weddings, we will generally be asked for a set on the commercial/pop/dance/r&b/old school classics-spectrum, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea! If you and your partner have different tastes, combining the two genres will not only keep you both happy, but doubles the chances you’ll be playing something your guests approve of too! Any good company or DJ will want to talk with you in detail about your tastes and requirements. They should also be able to provide a variety of mixes and demos as a starting point, to help you identify exactly what you’re after, or to just give you ideas.

We’ve got no time to put together a track list: Can you sort something out?

Of course. Whilst some couples like to dictate virtually every track (and this is their prerogative, its their wedding after all!), this can be a bit limiting for the DJ. If you’re paying for a reputable DJ, you’re paying for their experience. Good DJs will use a handful of your requests along with the information they have gleaned from discussions with you, to design a bespoke set, mixed to perfection, which really flows. The music should evolve over the course of the evening, never veering from the genre requested by you, but so much more than a sum of its parts.

How do we know what equipment we need to hire?

Again, this is where a reputable company will be apparent form the get-go. An experienced professional will be able to explain that most DJs work with either decks and mixer, or a laptop. That they can either plug into the PA (sound system) on-site, or supply their own. And they will be happy to liaise with your venue to see if using the on-site system is a possibility, if there is one. They will be able to guide you regarding speaker size, and lighting requirements. Equipment hire costs should be fully set out on your invoice with no surprises at the last minute.

Is it possible to make the DJ equipment fit with our theme/blend in?

Our DJs take up very little space (all those work outs!). They don’t need to, as most DJs don’t need full size turntables these days. We generally use a smart black stand of approx 1.5mx1m to hide the wires. Avoid star cloth DJ booths as they tend to look a bit passé. If your reception space is white, or you want a particular design or image on the booth, discuss this with the company and see what they can arrange. We’ve even had bespoke designs printed for some clients to clad the front of the booth.

Do we need to hire a dance floor?

Dance floors can be expensive but are often unnecessary. If you’ve got a hard floor, you don’t need a dance floor; clearly a wedding in a field, in an old barn, or on the beach will be a different story! In all my years in the business, I can count on two hands the number of occasions where a dance floor has been truly necessary for a wedding party. But if you want one, we’ll get you one!

What kind of insurance should I look for when booking a DJ?

The key insurance to look for is: Public Liability Insurance; COVID / Pandemic / Lockdown Insurance; and the electronic equipment should be PAT tested. Storm DJs provides all of the above as standard.

Get in touch with Storm DJs now to find out how we can fill your wedding dancefloor.

DJ Tom Hastings - Storm DJs - weddings
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