If you’re having a DJ at your reception, be sure to have a sit-down discussion to plan how you’d like your night to unfold, musically.
1. Decide what you want from your DJ. Do you want someone to just play music? An MC? A hype man? Someone to run games? Be sure your DJ provides all services you require.
2. Ask for referrals from friends, coworkers, wedding planners or other wedding industry pros.
3. A DJ who knows how to pump up a crowd is gold, so ask to see videos from previous weddings.
4. Find out what equipment is included. Often, video screens, lighting and fog machines are extra, so straighten that out before you sign on the dotted line.
5. Choose the important, must-have songs: Entry music, first dance, wedding party dance, father/daughter/son/mother dances, and bouquet/ garter toss, if you are doing it. Saying “play anything” isn’t helpful, because guess what? “Single Ladies” will be on before you know it, just like the last 10 weddings you’ve been to.
6. Come up with a do-not-play list and be sure your DJ sticks to it, even if those songs are requested.
7. When it comes to requests, you have a decision to make: to play or not to play. It issurprising how upset guests get when their song isn’t played. So perhaps, make the call at the beginning of the night. Have your DJ make an announcement: “Your hosts have come up with the perfect playlist for the evening, so hold your requests.”
8. Ask for certain songs to be played later in the evening. If you know there is a family-favourite tune that will get everyone off their seats, plan it for a time when the party is really going, not at the very beginning of the night.
9. Create an epic song list, working with your DJ to create the mood you’re going for. If you want people on the dance floor, make that clear.
10. Remember that while tipping your DJ is optional, good work deserves recognition.