Top Questions Your Wedding DJ Will Ask

Now that you have decided your want to hire a DJ for your wedding, it’s time for the process of interviewing a bunch of different companies to see which one best fits your style. Think of this as a job interview on both sides. You’re going to be interviewing DJs but they’re also going to be interviewing you as a couple to make sure that it’s a good fit for both parties. Here is a list of the most common questions that the DJ is going to have for you as a couple. I’m sure you have a lot of questions to ask them but be prepared for these specific questions that almost all professional DJs will ask in an initial consultation.

How we book our DJs

Before we get to the DJ questions, one of the first things you want to find out is who will be the DJ for the date of your event. It’s important to find out if you’re booking for a company or an individual DJ. Here in Portland at DJ Cutt Entertainment we make sure that all our clients know who the DJ is before they sign the contract. Many other DJ companies have different policies for booking a DJ for a wedding. We have a non-refundable retainer of 40% of the DJ package and an online booking system where you can view the contract.

What are you looking for?

This is one of the first questions that I ask a couple. What have you seen at past weddings that you want to incorporate and what would you like to stay away from?  This goes for the music and other things that you’ve seen from a DJ. There are many different aspects of a wedding that can be DJ related that you wouldn’t think have much to do with the DJ. One of the biggest things is the flow of events. The more that you can communicate with the DJ what your ideal wedding will look like the happier you’ll be with the end product. This is why I always ask this question towards the beginning of my consultations.

What length of DJ Package will you need?

Most wedding packages start around 5 hours. This is just about enough time to do all the events that happen at a typical wedding. Most of my weddings are between 6 to 7 hours depending on the events. The best way to come up with a timeline is working backwards, especially if you have a venue that has a particular cut off time. Here is my basic formula:• Start with the dance party and figure out how much time you need to allocate for this event• Speeches will depend on how many people are speaking and if you give them a time limit, which I recommend• Dinner will depend on the number of guests that you have and whether it’s buffet or family style. You should plan for between 45 minutes to an hour and a half.• The grand entrance and cocktail hour is kind of a buffer that can be adjusted depending on the rest of the schedule. The cocktail hour is usually 30 minutes to 45 minutes.• This will give you a good indication for what time you should to start your ceremony. Whatever time you want to start, put on your invitations a half an hour earlier because most weddings run 15 to 30 minutes behind. You will be waiting on guests to arrive.

What is your budget?

Most DJ pricing is done by the number of hours in the package. If you have a rough idea how many hours you’ll need the DJ, we can give you a good estimate of how much the DJ package will be. We do a 5-hour package for 1195. Then overtime is 150 an hour past that 5 Hour package. Many DJ companies offer a lot more services than just DJ. At DJ Cutt Entertainment, we have the ability to do elegant lighting, photo booth, and videography. Our package price really depends on what services you are looking for. It’s a good idea to get a price sheet of all the pricing before you sign your contract so there is no confusion.

What kind of music do you want for your wedding ceremony?

The ceremony is usually about 20 to 40 minutes once the service starts. Most DJ companies will play background music as your guests are seated. It’s a good idea to communicate with them what type of background music you would like to be played during this time. This is also a good time to tell them who will need to be mic’d up for the ceremony. Let them know if you would like wireless mics or lapel mics for the service. This is a good time to bring up if anyone is giving any special speeches or if you will be holding a candle lighting or sand pouring ceremony.

What about Cocktail and Bridal introductions?

After the ceremony is completed your guests will go into a particular area for what is known as the cocktail hour, whether alcoholic beverages are served or not. This acts as a buffer that lets the bride and groom sign the marriage license, and get pictures taken of the wedding party. This is also your chance as a newly wedded couple to have some alone time. I tell all my clients to take 10 to 15 minutes to go back to their Bridal Suites to hang out and have some alone time because this is the only alone time you’ll get for the rest of the day. It might seem like it’s going to be a very long day but it will go by very fast.Once this is complete and dinner’s ready it’s time to do the bridal introductions. This is also known as the grand entrance. A lot of times we just announce the bride and groom but sometimes we announce the whole wedding party so this is going to be dependent on your wedding and what you prefer. Of course this is something that you need to communicate with your DJ beforehand.

Dinner and speeches

When it comes to dinner and speeches we have our clients pick out some background music while dinner is going on. You’ll need to decide whether it’s the day-of coordinator or the DJ who will release the tables to go get their food. Our company is comfortable going to each table and dismissing them for dinner. When it comes to speeches, we like to gather up everyone who is speaking and let them know how to properly use the microphones so everybody can hear them. We also like to get the order of everybody speaking so they know when to come up or who to call up next.

Do you have any music requests?

Each company handles music requests a little differently. Some are wide open and some have limitations on the music and how it’s requested. There is no right or wrong way, but this is where good communication and being upfront with how you would like the music to be chosen is a good thing to cover in your initial consultation.In our planning forms we give the control to the bride to pick out the music for the ceremony and dinner. But we cut our dance party request off at 25 songs.We also let our brides and grooms pick out songs that they do not want played as part of their do not play list. All the music that we play that is requested and on your forms will be edited. If any guests would like to come up during the event to request songs, they’re more than welcome to do so with our company. But this is not the same policy for all companies so it’s a good idea to check.

Are there any venue requirements?

Many venues have a specific set of rules that a DJ needs to follow. This can vary from venue to venue whether it’s in Portland, Oregon or down in Central Oregon in Bend. Sometimes we DJ in Seaside or at the coast at a venue located on the beach, so every particular situation has a different set of rules.One of the very first things you need to consider is if the venue requires the DJ or the entertainment vendor to have insurance. Not that many people carry liability insurance. At DJ Cutt Entertainment we definitely carry this kind of insurance. If your DJ carries liability insurance that’s a good sign that he is a true professional. Many venues will have a DB level set for sound the DJ must adhere to. Some of the venues that we play at we are required to only bring satellite speakers and they do not allow subs. If we do have to keep the sound to certain DB levels, we’ll turn our subs almost completely off. We run all our speakers through our sub because it pulls a lot of the bass out of the satellite tops of the speakers.When it comes to the timeline many venues have a strict time that the DJ or other vendors can begin doing set up or offloading equipment, so this is something that we need to know beforehand. Some vendors take longer than others to set up and you want to make sure that you have enough time to do a complete set up before the start of the wedding.Some venues have a hard cut-off time for alcohol and what time the wedding has to be over. There will also be a deadline that all the vendors have to be out of there. This can have a dramatic effect when planning your timeline.

What AV and DJ equipment do you need?

Not all weddings are the same or require the same amount of equipment. Depending on where each event is being located we will need different forms of equipment. With our packages we include a ceremony set up and a reception or dance party setup. But many times we will also need to do a separate setup for the cocktail hour or the dinner location depending on the venue and how everything is set up,So these are some of the main questions we’ll ask you about during your consultation so everybody is clear about the expectations for the wedding.

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