20 tips for the perfect DJ
Top tips you need to know
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your lives and as a wedding photographer, I know full well the number of potential pitfalls couples face when booking wedding suppliers. I have made it my focus (yeah, yeah photography pun intended!) to ensure that I can offer the best advice where possible, to help ease the burden that is placed on newly engaged couples when looking for ideal wedding vendors.
Top 20 tips to booking from Nick Chatten
Multi-award winning DJ Nick Chatten is certainly no stranger to weddings & I couldn’t have asked for a better guest blogger to write the best 20 tips when looking for your wedding DJ. He is after all one of the best in the country and if you are looking at booking your wedding DJ, then it is certainly worth paying attention to his thoughts.
Nick, is a consummate professional and a brilliant person in general. I only ever recommend Nick personally for any couples looking for a wedding DJ!
So if you are looking for a wedding DJ, who really do go to amazing lengths to ensure feet are thumping on the dance floor and smiles are broad and plentiful, then check out the tips below and get in touch with him…You won’t regret it, I can promise you!
1. How many weddings has the DJ actually done?
An experienced Wedding DJ will have done 30, 40 or more weddings every year they’ve been in business. That said how many weddings any particular DJ has done isn’t a direct indication of how good they are, but you’ll have a good idea that a DJ with much experience will have a good handle on the problems that can arise & more importantly, how to fix them!
2. Has the DJ performed at your venue before?
While it’s not imperative, it’s reassuring to know the DJ has performed in the venue or room you’re considering. It’s helpful if the DJ knows the floor plan, the layout of the room and even if the DJ has a working relationship with the venue. If not, a pre-wedding visit may be a great thing to schedule with your DJ.
3. Does the DJ provide testimonials/reviews?
Both are an important part of hiring any wedding supplier. A professional wedding DJ will be proud to offer you several recent testimonials for you to check. Keep in mind that positive reviews are a clear indicator that any DJ or wedding supplier consistently provides a good service
4. Does the DJ have proof of insurance & P.A.T certifications?
Insurance is a must, and many wedding venues will insist that all your suppliers provide proof of adequate insurance coverage. It’s also worth asking if your DJ has professional indemnity insurance too, as this will give you extra reassurance that a DJ takes his/her wedding business seriously.
5. Is a booking fee required to hold your wedding date?
A booking fee is a professionally accepted method of securing your date and DJ. A booking fee gives you and your DJ a firm sense of professional trust, commitment and well being. It’s highly recommended to ensure you have a contract going forward, so check this with any potential DJ.
6. When is the balance due?
This can vary, some DJs expect half upfront others as little as £50 with the remainder paid in advance of the wedding. Normally most wedding suppliers, including DJ’s will expect the balance to be paid 30 days/1 month before your wedding.
7. Is there a charge for playing over the contracted finish time?
It’s fair for the DJ to ask for overtime pay if the amount of over-time is significant. You’d be disappointed if your guests were having a great time at your wedding reception and found at the last minute that the DJ can’t or won’t stay for an extra hour. Find out ahead if the DJ is available for over-time.
8. Does the DJ offer extra options?
Can they offer special effects, microphones for speeches during the day, ceremony music, wedding breakfast music? This is important for big or complex wedding receptions. These days, it’s common for brides and grooms to want two or more sound systems, amplifying and or recording of vows, uplighting, dance floor initials, colour washes, and other options. If your DJ can’t provide these services, you may have to find the services through other suppliers. Getting everything through one DJ is less stressful and generally more economical.
9. Is your DJ part of a network?
A DJ with a network of other suppliers can sometimes save the day, plus getting extra services through one supplier saves time and is more convenient. Having recommendations for other suppliers is also a great way to ensure that you are being given quality leads to professionals where they would have likely worked with that supplier before.
10. Does the DJ belong to any professional organisation?
A professional Wedding DJ is usually a member of at least one or two local and national industry groups. Through their membership, the DJ gets valuable info on the latest trends in style and music. With membership, they keep up to date on event trends. Organisations of note are NADJ (National Association of DJs) & SEDA (The DJ Association)
11. Does the DJ have back up equipment for your event?
Very important. It’s rare, but electronics can fail and when a laptop, hard drive, microphone, cables or a speaker fails, the DJ needs to have a replacement unit on hand.
12. Does the DJ offer event planning with unlimited phone and email and web planning tools?
A pro DJ will not only meet with you in person one or two times but will make themselves available in person, by phone and or email to discuss any detail relating to your event.
13. Does the DJ Service provide free Event Planning tools and resources?
A pro DJ will have ONLINE blog posts, articles, tip sheets and music suggestions that you can use to plan and organize your event. If the tools are online, then you can use them from the comfort of your home or office.
14. Can you choose some or all of your own music?
Professional DJs have massive music libraries for you to choose from and will gladly allow you to contribute your own music. Contributing your own music should never be a problem. Every DJ will tell you they tailor an event to what you want until it comes to the music, its YOUR wedding, you choose!
15. Will you actually be getting the DJ you think you have booked?
A budget DJ will more than likely be tempted to take a higher paying job and get someone else to fill in for them, it happens all the time, believe me. If the unthinkable happens and the DJ is ill or has an accident will he be able to get cover? A MUST IS TO MEET YOUR DJ BEFORE YOU BOOK THE DATE TO MAKE SURE YOU CONNECT!
16. Can you meet your Wedding DJ?
You should insist on meeting your DJ. The DJ you choose doesn’t have to be your new best friend, but you should feel comfortable and at ease with your DJ. Again…A MUST IS TO MEET YOUR DJ BEFORE YOU BOOK THE DATE!
17. How will the DJ be dressed?
A professional wedding DJ will dress the way you want them too. If you require a tux, three-piece suit, jacket and tie or a Hawaiian shirt the DJ should willingly accommodate you.
18. Does the DJ take any breaks?
Does your DJ smoke, will he or she be forever popping outside for a cigarette, is he or she a drinker, will they be standing at the bar? Common sense should prevail, for a four or five-hour wedding reception, a DJ will not take any breaks and your service should be uninterrupted. For a seven-hour event, the DJ may require a thirty-minute break or add a second DJ or assistant.
19. Do you have to feed and tip your DJ?
A professional wedding DJ does not eat (a full meal) when they are working. A meal is a nice gesture, but you should not feel as though you have to provide one. Tipping is a very nice way to let the DJ know they did a great job, but its really not required.
20. Is the DJ a full-time or part-time DJ?
A professional wedding DJ is usually a full-time DJ, with no other employment obligations to get in the way of meetings, phone calls or any unexpected issues you may need to have handled, they WILL dedicate all their time during the planning of your wedding to ensuring everything is planned down to the very last second.
Are you interested in booking your wedding DJ? Then get in touch with Nick and see just how good he is!
To find out more get in touch with Nick & visit his website www.djnickchatten.co.uk or call 0800 0248 436 or 07592 661708