Updated: May 6
How to choose the right wedding DJ for a perfect wedding day.
Choosing the right wedding DJ is one if the most important decisions you will make for your wedding. Your DJ will be with you from the first song played at your ceremony to the last song of the night. No other vendor, will spend as much time with you on your special day.
Your DJ can make or break your wedding. But how do you choose the right one. Don't all DJs do the same thing? They just play music, right? Well, it may seem that way on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper, you'll find there are some differences that can be substantial.
Most, if not all, couples want a great dance party and the primary role of a DJ is to provide that. However, the dance party isn't the only thing we do during your wedding. We also handle the ceremony music, microphones, cocktail hour, dinner music, MCing, wedding planner and in many cases, become a partial day of coordinator. Your DJ wears a lot of hats and needs to do everything perfectly for you to have your "once-in-a-life time" day.
Before you jump into planning your reception playlist - the fun part- take a minute to consider the nuts & bolts of a wedding DJ business. If your DJ has all of these, you can be confident they are a professional business and at least have the foundation to do a great job at your wedding.
1. Insurance - We hope we never need it, but we sleep better at night knowing we have it. Many venues require DJs to be insured. We have had to replace DJs in the past because they didn't have insurance. Unfortunately, the couple lost their non-refundable deposit and had the stress and headache of finding a new DJ at the last minute. 2. Licensing - Yes, DJs in Canada need to be licensed to play music in public. Just like radio stations, TV stations, movies and other public broadcasts, because you are playing copywritten material and getting paid for it. It's a criminal offence if you do not have a Connect license. Unfortunately, most couples, and for that matter, most DJs aren't aware of this fact. If a bylaw officer audits your wedding and the DJ fails to show a Connect license, they can shut the DJ down immediately. We highly recommend not breaking the law at your wedding. 3. Back-up Equipment - In the rare event of an equipment failure, your wedding doesn't stop. The better quality the equipment, the less likely a failure. However, nothing is bulletproof and it doesn't matter how well we take care of our gear, failures do happen. It isn't a question of if, but when. Having a back up plan for failures is the hallmark of a true professional. Sometimes it's the smallest things that can cause the biggest issues. For instance, dead batteries in a wireless microphone halfway through a ceremony isn't the end of the world - if you have new ones on hand. Unfortunately this can be a disaster if you don't. 4. Website - Social media accounts can quickly be set up, but a good quality, updated website requires dedication and company stability. A website shows your DJ company is investing in their business. They take their business seriously and that will reflect on the service they provide you. You’ll know a good website when you see it. Look for clear pictures, make sure nothing is outdated, and that it is easy to find their contact information. 5. Online Reviews - The more "five-star" reviews the better. Look for at least thirty. One of most important items on this list is online reviews. Your DJ can tell you a lot of things but reviews are the proof they can deliver. Just one or two won't cut it. 6. Contract - . A contract is a document that is agreed upon by both parties identifying the responsibility of each party. If your DJ doesn't have a contract, move on. There is no debate here. Ensure you read the entire contract and ask questions if you don't understand something. If your DJ won't answer or won't compromise, you can move move on. Also, RUN if your DJ offers to do a cash deal in order to save you some money. If the DJ company is willing to break the law and cut corners on this issue, you need to ask yourself - where else are they cutting corners in their business? How is that going to affect the service they provide you? 7. Planning Tool - Your DJ is an integral part your wedding. Ask about their planning process to ensure your success. You need to ask your DJ how their planning process works. There are a lot of moving parts to a wedding and your DJ, especially if they are the master of ceremonies, is an integral part of the whole day. If your DJ says they just show up and wing it, that is a huge red flag. We recommend they have an online planning tool that can keep everyone on the same page at all times.
Bonus - Associations (Canadian Disc Jockey Association) - OK, this one isn't as important as the other seven on this list, but it's a major plus if your DJ has it. Belonging to an association like the Canadian Disc Jockey Association will ensure your DJ has many of the credentials you are looking for. It means they follow the associations code of ethics and they have meet the strict requirements to be a member. This alone won't guarantee a great DJ, but it should give you some comfort you are heading in the right direction.
There you have it, 7 Boring Things Your Wedding DJ Needs To Pack Your Dance Floor. One final thought: It is vital you find a DJ that you can work with. A personality you can relate to. Someone that understands your wedding vision and can deliver for you. You are trusting a huge portion of your wedding to this individual or company. We recommend having at least two separate meetings before you book. One phone and one face to face (Zoom works well for face to face). Trust your gut.
If you thought this was helpful and would like more advice or are in need of a great wedding DJ, feel free to contact us by hitting the button below.
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Starlight DJ Services is a mobile DJ and Entertainment company based in Dorchester, Ontario and services all of South Western Ontario.
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Owner & Event DJ at Starlight DJ Services
Dorchester, Ontario, Canada