5 Tips on How to Pick a Wedding DJ
If you’re wondering how to pick a wedding DJ, you’re in the right place! Just as a disclaimer, we are not trying to sell you our services. Our goal is simply to help you choose the best wedding DJ for your special day. Let’s get right to it.
Tip 1: Set a Wedding DJ/Entertainment Budget
We’re starting with the budget because at the end of the day, your budget will determine how much you’re going to spend on your wedding DJ, band, or entertainment in general. A good rule of thumb is to allow up to 10% of your budget for a wedding DJ/entertainment.
Professional wedding DJ companies usually start at around $1000+ for 4 hours. Just know this before beginning your research. If the price is your main concern, you can easily visit wedding planning websites to help you pick a wedding DJ.
Websites like Wedding Wire, The Knot, or Zola, are helpful to narrow down results by price. These websites even allow you to email, multiple wedding vendors, at once. For more info on DJ prices, read our 2021 wedding DJ price/cost article!
Tip 2: Know When to Book/Hire a Wedding DJ
The next tip is very important. We recommend reaching out to DJs (or bands) as far out as one year in advance. Usually, nine months is a good time, as well. Good wedding disc jockey companies often get booked up to one year in advance (sometimes more).
We only take bookings up to one year in advance, in order to allow people a fair chance at booking our services. If you’ve somehow forgotten to book your DJ, you can always find a last-minute DJ. However, be aware that DJs who are open so close to the wedding date are open for a reason, so be careful and ask the right questions.
Tip 3: Know What to Ask Wedding DJs
Now that you know when to book, and what your budget is, you have to narrow down your options. Once you’ve chosen your top 3-5 DJs/DJ companies, it’s time to start emailing or calling.
We suggest creating an email for all of your wedding vendors, such as [email protected] or something similar. This way, your regular email won’t get flooded with everyone emailing you back. This will also help you keep all your wedding-related info in one place.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to start asking the right questions. Most people don’t know what to ask wedding DJs, so they usually ask: how much do you charge? This is certainly understandable since it’s definitely important. Just be aware that it’s not an easily answered question.
Be sure to have all of the info, below, already figured out. Every DJ company will want to know these details. DJs need to know:
- Exact wedding date
- Number of hours you need their services for
- Number of expected guests
- Wedding venue location
- Your ballpark budget (not a must, but a good idea to include)
- Your musical preferences
There are certainly far more things you’ll want to know besides the price, of course. You’ll want to ask things like:
- How long have you been in business? (You can verify this with their reviews. If they say since 1999, yet their reviews only started 2 years ago, this is a red flag. That means they’ve likely taken down their other review accounts (Yelp, Google, etc), due to bad reviews).
- What is your cancelation policy? (Be sure to ask about Covid-related cancelations, too).
- How much is the deposit?
- Do you have backup DJs, incase my DJ doesn’t make it?
- How much experience does the DJ who will be at my wedding, have?
These are some of the most important questions to ask. Feel free to check out our questions to ask your wedding DJ (FAQ) page. Just copy/paste these. We’ve also answered them with our answers, so you have something to compare it to. We try to make it as easy as possible to pick a wedding DJ.
Tip 4: Consider the DJ’s Options
Another thing to think about is your DJ or DJ company’s options. Many DJ companies offer a variety of options, like photo booth rentals, lighting, uplighting for your venue, and more. You’ll save some time and hassle by choosing to have your DJ provide some of these options. You’ll have one less person/company to keep up with.
Tip 5: Discuss Your Music Preferences (Yes, a DJ can play almost any song)
The last thing to think about is your musical preferences. You should certainly let your DJ know what songs you want to hear, and yes, a DJ can pretty much play any song, as long as the DJ can find it online (with iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, etc).
It’s very important to discuss your music preferences with the DJ/DJ company before you finally pick a wedding DJ. You may want a certain genre of music that your DJ may not be familiar with. Sure, anyone can get playlists on Spotify, but it’s certainly not the same as really knowing the genre.
Many DJs in our area (Austin/central Texas) will not play some of the popular Spanish genres, such as Tejano, Cumbia, etc., surprisingly. A lot of our clients have told us this. So you definitely want to be sure your DJ is familiar with the music you want to be played at your wedding.
Need More Info to Help You Pick a Wedding DJ?
Overall, these are just a few tips to help you pick a wedding DJ. There are certainly more things to consider. Feel free to email us if you have any questions or need more info on how to pick a wedding DJ who is perfect for your wedding. We’re always happy to help.
-Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths