March 15, 2017 Samantha

Things To Look For When Hiring A DJ

Does your event need a fabulous sound to accompany it, but you’re completely lost on where to start? Maybe you already know you want a super fun, upbeat, and musically driven reception, but don’t know where to turn. If you’re looking at hiring a DJ, then we’ve got knowledge to share from the experts themselves. Your Denver wedding planner Blue Linden wants to help in finding your perfect musical coordinator by highlighting two of our favorite Denver DJ companies Soundmaster Entertainment and Ignight Entertainment, and imparting their wisdom on you.


Mike Handby, Ignight Entertainment

Mike Handby, Owner/Operator of Ignight Entertainment

Tony Cummins, Soundmaster Entertainment

Tony Cummins, Co-Owner/Operator of Soundmaster Entertainment

Mike of Ignight Entertainment stresses that “no two people or companies are made the same.” Sound Master Entertainment’s DJ Tony builds on that by adding, “I wish people knew how much more a great Wedding DJ does than just play music.” Both of these companies, and many others like them, provide a full-service experience: DJ and master of ceremonies for all types of events, with customized sound support, HDTVs, projectors/screens, dance floor lighting, decor lighting, specialized playlists, and more. Both DJs emphasize how different every client is, especially in regards to brides and grooms. “Every wedding we are part of is truly different,” Tony says, “and our couples love the attention to detail we put into bringing out their musical personalities.” Mike points out that his favorite type of event is a wedding reception: “They’re one of my specialties… I genuinely want to make sure your event is truly a night to remember.” There’s a lot involved in the planning process, information exchange and catering to each client’s style as best as possible. So it’s perfectly understandable that choosing the proper professional can seem somewhat daunting and a bit overwhelming. Here’s a list of things to look for when hiring a DJ, as well as some accompanying questions to ask your DJ when you’ve narrowed down your selections to a shorter list.


BASICS                                                   DJ Amp

First, make sure the vendor in question is available on the date you need. Confirm they’re willing to travel wherever you need. Get a better understanding of the person, like their style and repertoire, equipment they do or don’t have, additional services offered, etc. Some good questions to ask your DJ under this topic include:

Do you have another event that day, either before or after?
Are you familiar with our venue? If not, will you check it out beforehand?
What is your musical style and influence?
What’s your specialty (corporate and wedding DJ services, parties, etc)?
What do you wear?
Do you have any references for us?
Can we see you in action?
How do you find that sound level sweet spot – not too loud, not too soft?
What kind of equipment do you use? Do we need to rent anything extra?


SPECIFICS OF SERVICES                         DJ Specifics

When it comes to the services provided, things to look for when hiring a DJ revolve around the actual music and any additional services the vendor may offer. It’s also important to gauge how helpful he/she will be in the choices of songs you want featured at your event. Questions to ask your DJ in regards to services could include:

What’s your music library or song list like? What genres can you cover?
Can you play songs important to us (religious, meaningful, cultural, etc)?
Can you help us pick music for processional, recessional, father-daughter dance, etc.?
Can you do custom songs, mash-ups, etc?
Do you offer lighting or other special effects services?
When do you arrive? Do you set everything up – how much time does that take?
Do you take song requests? How do you handle them?
How do you pump up a shy crowd?
Do you take breaks? When/how often?
Do you accept a “Do Not Play” list?


BRASS TACKS OF CONTRACTS           Contract Negotiation

Once you’ve got an idea of the style and talent of the person in question, the remaining things to look for when hiring a DJ are just down to the details in the written agreement and final invoice. Some contract-related questions to ask your DJ should be:

How many hours of service are included in the base price? How much are additional hours?
Are emcee/master of ceremonies services included? If not, do you offer that service?
What’s your contingency plan (sickness, equipment failure, etc)?
Are you insured?
Do you have a cancellation policy?
What’s your deposit? When do you require final payment?
Are there any additional fees I could incur?


Wedding Reception with DJ Hiring a DJ for Reception

It’s truly important to take the time to get to know your DJ before your actual event, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and see/hear for yourself. Hopefully our list of things to look for when hiring a DJ (as suggested by people who have both a corporate and wedding DJ services portfolio) has been helpful in narrowing down your choice to find the perfect fit for your perfect day! And if it has, let us know! Share and comment by using the social media buttons below!

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About the Author

Samantha Sami (to those she knows and loves) holds a BA in English and freelance writes on anything that tickles her fancy, but she holds a special place in her soul for Blue Linden and its owner/operator Wanda. When Samantha is not writing to her little heart’s content, she’s reading (or knitting) like a mad woman, lovin’ on her furbaby Lucy, and soaking up every moment with her as husband as they travel the world together.