The Five Real Questions to Ask your Wedding DJ
I see the same "what to ask your DJ" questions everywhere—Pinterest, IG, blogs, etc. Copy, paste, and post. It's like the industry accepted the same five questions, and no one thought if they were good questions. Is it really that important to know what equipment they use? Read on and learn the five questions that will make a difference in choosing your DJ.
Here's a collection of what not to ask your DJ
Do they have backup gear? Does your DJ have experience at your venue? What type of music do they play? Do they mix? Blah, blah, blah, and blah. These are all closed questions and boring. Are you looking for a boring DJ? Stop reading and ask the same boring questions. Below are five questions to ask your DJ so you get the answers to the above questions, but you'll get a lot more. You'll see their personalities and get a feel for their style. This is the most important celebration of your life. It's essential that you find the right DJ. Below are the five real questions to ask your wedding dj.
The Five Real Questions to Ask your Wedding DJ
1. Tell me about your favorite wedding and why it was so special.
I have a couple of favorite weddings. What made them so special? The overall vibe is the simple answer. It begins with a couple's excitement to celebrate their love and an expression of concern for their guests. Are you beyond excited to be married? If so, I want to be your DJ. Are you focused on the guest experience and placing a high value on making them comfortable? I think I want to be your DJ.
So, my favorite wedding? This one was from 2022 at the riverfront Coloma Resort. A beautiful ceremony with a guitarist, perfect audio (shout out to me), and jazz music set the vibe for cocktail hour; dinner music introduced me to a new band, Khruangbin (who I now love), and the dance party vibe was off the hook. I had some freedom to rock the party with maybe ten must-play songs, of which a few were new to me. The dance party was high energy. House party vibes all night. Lots of wedding classics, some hip hop, maybe one country track, and some EDM. It ended at 9:59 pm to a fantastic group that expressed their gratitude for a great day. It felt good. I'm still living off the organic high of that day.
This is a great question to ask your DJ. Why? It can be a good way for them to share their experience and showcase their expertise. By telling you about their favorite wedding, the DJ can give you a sense of their style and approach to what they consider important for a successful wedding reception. It can also provide insight into their ability to read a crowd, create a great atmosphere, and deliver a memorable performance. Hearing about a DJ's favorite wedding can help you understand their personality, skills, and passion for their craft, which can help you decide whether they're the right fit for your wedding.
2. Tell me about your least favorite wedding
No one rocks every wedding. We have all experienced technical issues, clients that we didn't gain the trust of and somewhat handcuffed our ability to do what we do, or had super restrictive must-play and do not play playlists that aligned with the couple but maybe not the guests. We learn from our errors.
It's a bummer. No joke. I have one to share. One half of the couple was beyond insistent that I play all songs all the way to the end (super unusual request that does not match my style) and not to play any remixes (this is crazy because a lot of remixes are more popular than the original) and not to mix genres. (It's impossible not to mix genres) It's on me. I didn't have the skill set to explain why I needed the freedom to rock the dance floor, and by the time this was discussed, it was too far into the relationship to cancel the contract. (I have never canceled a contract and don't ever expect it will happen)
Fast forward to the wedding. All is great. Beautiful ceremony, cool cocktail hour, dinner service is feeling good, toasts are a little unusual with some college stories better left as memories, but still OK, and then we move to dancing. It's great. Guests are loving it. I'm in my zone. The other half of the couple visits my booth several times to ask for specific songs. I answer the call and play their requests. (major genre mixing!) I end the night feeling really good. Then my first non-5-star review from the more demanding half of the couple came a few months later. Damn. It's brutal. I think about it all the time. I failed. 3 star is not my style, and I have an unhappy client. They wanted a better/different DJ. It's weird. My perspective of the dance party is different. What did I learn? I have a style that needs to match my client's expectations, and my clients need to plan their wedding music together.
Why ask this question? While it's not always ideal for a DJ to share negative experiences, telling you about their least favorite wedding can offer insights into potential challenges they may have faced in the past and how they overcame them. By discussing what didn't go well at a particular wedding, the DJ can demonstrate their ability to adapt and problem-solve on the fly, which is a valuable skill in the fast-paced environment of a wedding reception. It can also give you an idea of what to expect regarding potential issues and how the DJ would handle them. Overall, discussing their least favorite wedding can be an opportunity for the DJ to showcase their professionalism and experience while also helping you decide whether they're the right fit for your event.
3. What three songs have you played most at weddings and why?
I love this one. A client asked me this exact question. This is my favorite question I've ever been asked. My answers:
Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, and Delivered." Why? It's my own ceremony recessional song, and I love reliving my wedding.
Some East Bay Hip Hop. Why? I'm in California. I can slide in some Too $hort or some E-40, and it will bring the party vibes.
The Temptation's "My Girl" (Baltimore club remix) has the Same lyrics my parents love but re-drummed with a slightly faster tempo. I've seen older guests relive their wedding memories and 22-year-old EDM fans simultaneously get down on the dance floor to this one. It's a banger for all generations.
Here are three reasons why this is a great question:
Get a sense of their musical taste: Knowing which songs the DJ has played the most can give you a sense of their preferred music genres and style. If their top three songs align with your musical taste, it could indicate that the DJ is a good fit for your wedding.
Understand their experience: A DJ's most-played songs can reveal how experienced they are and how well they can read the crowd. If their top songs are all crowd-pleasers that have gotten people dancing in the past, it's a good sign that they know how to get a party started.
Learn about their versatility: If the DJ's top three songs span different genres and eras, it could show that they're versatile and can cater to a wide range of musical tastes. This could be an advantage in keeping all your guests happy and engaged throughout the night.
Overall, asking your wedding DJ about their most-played songs can provide helpful insights into their musical style, experience, and versatility, which can help you make an informed decision about hiring them for your wedding.
4. What part of your DJ skills are you most focused on improving?
Nobody is perfect. I am focused on improving my MC'ing. Am I bad? No. Am I great? I have room to improve and have some ideas to enhance my client's experience by improving my communication with a large crowd.
Asking your potential wedding DJ what skill they are focused on improving the most is important because it shows their commitment to delivering the best performance possible for your special day. A dedicated DJ who is constantly striving to improve their skills will be more likely to stay up-to-date with the latest music trends and techniques, ensuring that your guests have an unforgettable experience. Furthermore, a DJ willing to be open and transparent about their growth areas demonstrates their professionalism and willingness to go above and beyond to meet your expectations.
5. What makes you different than the other DJs in your market?
What makes me different? A few things.
All I do is DJ. No other job. It's my career and something I'm insanely passionate about.
I'm an authentic turntable DJ with a diverse background, from rocking break dance contests to opening up for international acts like DJ Z-Trip and DJ Spinbad. I once was hired to DJ a Hawaiian Tropic beauty contest. It was an unusual event, but I focused on what needed to happen and the guest experience. Experience is essential, and a diverse background helps create a more personal wedding.
I am an artist. I understand your wedding differs from the one I DJ'd last Saturday. Your wedding is your life's most important celebration, and I will treat it as such. I will not simply run through the motions of a typical wedding DJ with the same basic formulas and procedures.
Asking your potential wedding DJ what sets them apart from others in their market is important because it can give you insight into their unique selling points and expertise. This information can help determine whether they have the skills and experience to provide your desired unique performance. By understanding what makes them different, you can compare and contrast DJs to find the one who is the best fit for your wedding and has the qualities that are most important to you. Ultimately, asking this question can help you make a more informed decision and ensure you have the best DJ for your special day.
Did you really read this blog post to the end? Maybe I should be your DJ. Send me an email using this link: I need a DJ