The 16 Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding DJ
Entertainment plays an important role on your wedding day—and if you envision a party with a packed dance floor all night long, hiring a DJ might be right for you. When it comes to picking your wedding vendors, we always recommend preparing a list of questions to ask during the selection process. Not only will this help you get to know your potential pros before you sign any contracts, it'll ensure that you know exactly what to expect when the big day arrives.
So, if you're searching for the best questions to ask your wedding DJ, you're in the right place. Start by using The Knot Marketplace to find local music pros in your area—not only can you read reviews from real couples, we also make it easy to contact them directly from our site. Once you've set up a time to chat about your wedding, use this list of 16 questions to ask your DJ as a way to facilitate the conversation. These thought-starters will help you find the perfect pro in no time.
1. What's your performance style like? What type of music do you specialize in?
Before you sign any written contracts, you'll want to learn more about the potential DJ who may preside over your event. Start by asking about their performance style and their experience as an artist. "Ask questions like, 'Do you have nightclub experience?' and 'What's your mixing style?''" suggests New York-based DJ Nicole Otero. These preliminary conversations will help you visualize what kind of event you'll have with that particular pro, which will allow you to make an informed decision when it's time to hire someone.
2. How long have you been DJ'ing weddings?
This is one of the most important questions to ask your DJ before your wedding. It's necessary to know just how long they've been in the industry—a pro with more experience will be able to effortlessly execute your vision.
3. What are your favorite wedding songs to perform?
When compiling a list of questions to ask your wedding DJ, add in a few that'll help you get a feel for their personality. While it's vital to hire a pro that fits the criteria for your event, it's just as helpful to understand who they are. Because, after all, having a strong connection with your wedding vendors will create a richer experience for your big day. "It's human nature to feel a connection with someone in order to trust them," says Otero, noting that asking questions like this will help you establish a great relationship with your pro.
Get your party started
4. Can we give you a list of must-hear songs? What about a do-not-play list?
There are plenty of important tunes to queue on your wedding day, from the processional hymn to the first dance song to your mother-son or father-daughter dance. In order to create the setlist you want, ask your potential DJ if you can give them a list of your musical preferences. "I ask questions that help me to better understand our client's music preferences, and we use a program to coordinate selections in a private planning portal," says Chicago-based DJ Duerell Jones. "Clients are also encouraged to share various lists with us, like must-play songs, songs to play if possible, dedications, songs to play only if requested, and a do not play list."
5. Will you take song requests from our guests during the event?
Some DJs may prefer to have a final setlist in advance, while others might be open to taking requests throughout the wedding reception. Ask this important question during the hiring process to know exactly what to expect for your nuptials.
6. Can we watch you perform before the wedding date?
It's common for live bands to host frequent showcases where potential clients can see them perform live, and this may be true of your wedding DJ too. Ask if they have any events that are open to the public so that you can get a feel for what their performances are like. If this isn't an option, you can always ask if they have a video reel as a substitute.
7. What's included in your pricing package? Will you also act as an emcee?
The cost of a wedding DJ often depends on how long they'll perform, as well as any additional add-ons, like visual effects or emcee services. Ask what kind of packages they offer so you know exactly what you'll receive with your payment.
8. Does your contract include an overtime clause in case we want to extend the party?
When your reception comes to a close, you might be tempted to keep the party going—and we don't blame you! But it's important to confirm if your wedding entertainment contract includes an overtime clause. While you would have already paid for your pre-determined time slot before the event, some contracts may include pricing for additional time. You'll need to confirm if extending the celebration is an option available for both your venue and your DJ before you ask about going over.
9. Have you performed at our venue before? If not, will you check it out beforehand to learn its acoustics and see what type of equipment or sound system you need?
Professional DJs are likely familiar with plenty of venues in their area. However, if your wedding is the first one they'll work at the venue, it can be helpful to do a walk-through before so they know exactly what equipment they'll need. And though this is often something they'll coordinate on their own, it won't hurt to double-check ahead of time. "Whenever I work at a venue that's new to me, I generally request a personal walkthrough or send out one of our audiovisual technicians to take pictures of the venue and discuss load-in and load-out procedures," explains Jones.
10. Do you require backup equipment? Will you provide this if necessary?
Some wedding venues—especially those in unique locations—might not have all of the equipment necessary for your wedding DJ to perform. During your hiring process, ask if they'll provide any extras they need.
11. What's your backup plan in case of inclement weather while performing outside?
If you're not sure what questions to ask your wedding DJ, this one's an absolute must if your nuptials will be outdoors. In case of bad weather, ask your pro what options there are for protecting their DJ equipment while keeping the party going.
12. Will you coordinate a soundcheck at the wedding venue on the day of?
Most—if not all—wedding entertainers will need a soundcheck on the morning of the wedding to check equipment and confirm that everything is good to go. Ask a potential DJ if they'll take the lead on coordinating this with your venue.
13. Do you require liability insurance?
While this answer will most likely be yes, this is still one of the top questions to ask your DJ for your wedding.
14. What's your cancellation policy?
Whether you change your date or change your mind on the music, know what your options are in case you need to cancel your entertainment.
15. How many breaks will you take throughout the evening? What will you use as filler music during this time?
Wedding vendors need breaks too, so it'll be helpful to know how many they'll schedule throughout the duration of your event. Plus, we recommend asking what they'll do to fill the time during their breaks, whether they have an assistant take over or they queue some filler music.
16. How do you encourage a shy crowd to get up and dance?
If you want a packed dance floor all night long, your DJ will play a major role in keeping guests on their feet. This is one of the best questions to ask your wedding DJ because it separates the pros from the rookies. See what their techniques are for keeping energy levels high—perhaps they have a go-to song that always gets everyone moving, or maybe they like to interact with the crowd to keep them engaged. Regardless of their approach, this question will help you confirm that your pro will make your party one to remember.