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Choosing entertainment is one of the most important things on your wedding to-do list, because while the food can rock, the facility can be amazing and the decor can be off the charts, if the music is bad, your reception will suffer. No one wants their guests sitting around bored at their tables while one or two brave souls take a spin on the dance floor to music that isn’t appealing to everyone else. There are all types of DJs, and picking the right one doesn’t have to be difficult. We spoke with Taz Sellers, director of sales and marketing at Silver Sound Entertainment, one of our preferred partners, for some tips.

Be Clear About Your Vision

Even before interviewing potential DJs, think about what you want. What are you are looking for in a DJ? Do you want someone who is energetic, more laid-back or able to beat mix nightclub style? Your DJ will need to know whether you’re planning an elegant evening or looking for a full-on party atmosphere. The more details you can provide about your specific vision, the better. For example, what songs and artists do you like? Once you’ve decided on a general style, you’re ready to start talking to DJs.

Choosing the Right DJ for You

All DJs are not created equal, and doing weddings is a specialized niche. Just because the local club DJ can get a room dancing all night long doesn’t mean he or she can do the same thing at a wedding. There are several protocols (speeches, cutting the cake, special dances, etc.) that make weddings unique. You want someone who can handle all of that with ease.

Questions to Ask a Potential DJ

Be prepared, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s your party, after all. You’ll want to meet candidates in person to see if your personalities click — after all, this person might be in charge of a big portion of your event, so you want someone you feel comfortable with. Here are some questions to begin with:

  • Can you describe your DJ style?
  • Do you have a demo we can listen to, or better yet, watch?
  • Do you beat mix or play the whole song?
  • Are you on the microphone a lot?
  • How many songs do we (the couple) get to pick?
  • How do you keep the dance floor going?
  • How do you handle requests?
  • Have you played at our venue before? If not, will you make a site visit?

Timing is Everything

Once you’ve secured the right DJ, your relationship shouldn’t end there. Generally, a few months before the event, you’ll want to check in, discuss the music selection and go over other details. It’s just as important to tell your DJ the songs or artists you dislike as well as those you like. Offering inside tips about family members or the bridal party can allow your DJ to customize possible special comments or songs. Remember, the more insight you provide the DJ, the more he or she can make your event personal and memorable.

A final meeting is typically held the week of the reception to finalize the music and announcements. You should have your playlist complete with all the desired songs for each portion of the event, including cocktail hour, introductions, the first dance, parent dances, dinner, cutting the cake and finally, dancing. You’ll also need to provide your DJ with a completed bridal party announcement form and your finalized timeline.

The music at your reception might be your last interaction of the night with your guests, so you want a DJ who will make the time count. Finding the right one is definitely worth it.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!

Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.

Kim MacKinnon

Featured photo: Martin Reardon Photography; all other photos, top to bottom: Juliana Laury Photography; Fringe Fox Studios; Morby Photography