Music is at the center of some of the most memorable moments of a wedding and if all the pieces are in place, the dancefloor can feel magical.
But when planning your wedding, that might feel like a lot of pressure. A daunting task to plan out exactly what to choose and who to get in touch with to bring your vision to life.
My husband, Zack knows a thing or two about securing an awesome soundtrack for your celebration and the key things to look for when hiring a DJ. Zack has been a radio DJ since before we started dating. Zack has worked on the air at many radio stations in Chicago and the suburbs. If you listen to FM radio, you’ve probably heard him. He now also runs his own business as Chicago Crafted Music. That means we have a turntable in our living room and an ever-expanding collection of records. Lucky me! 🙂
Zack is a total pro when it comes to making your day 100% great and he has a knack for taking the pressure off, keeping things worry-free and enjoys making you feel safe and secure from start to finish.
Let Zack help put your mind at ease and provide a few tips on how to choose a wedding DJ that works for you.
Here are 7 things and key questions to ask when looking for the right DJ:
1. When speaking with a potential DJ, you should consider whether they are a well-rounded, knowledgeable person who can bring a level of expertise and versatility to your event. You’ll want to ensure that your DJ isn’t one-dimensional, but a true professional with extensive experience performing at varied venues and in front of different audiences.
Key questions to ask: Are weddings your primary focus? Have you done a wedding at my venue?
2. Find a DJ who will create a soundtrack for your wedding that is based on your style, taste, and vision for that day. One size does not fit all.
Key question to ask: How do you customize the music experience for each couple? Can you help with song lists and
3. It’s important to make sure your DJ understands how to read a crowd, build up the energy and then keep it up. There are all kinds of incentives that DJs use to encourage guests to storm the dance floor, whether it’s keying into the different “audiences” at your wedding or playing a meaningful throwback song from the bridesmaids’ college days. There should never be a lull—your DJ needs to have the ability to blend all sorts of genres to accommodate everyone and keep them on the dance floor.
Key question to ask: How do you get the crowd engaged
4. How a DJ strikes a balance to deliver on the couple’s desires—while still satisfying the guests’ requests—determines the skill and experience of the DJ. If you’re already set on a playlist, discuss it with DJs and make sure they are willing to follow it. You may also want to create a “do not play” list and share it to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Some DJs (with the permission of the newlyweds) may tell partygoers that they need to stick to their playlist, but they’ll do their best to fit in their song, while others will appoint a bridesmaid or relative to screen particular requests (so that the DJ doesn’t need to interrupt the new Mr. and Mrs. mid-dance). There could be instances where the client directives are diametrically opposed to the guest requests.
Key question to ask: How do you handle song requests?
5. DJ equipment is just as important as a musical instrument. Turntables allow the DJ to have hands-on control of the music and the ability to manipulate it instantly. A simple touch can change the sound, speed, and tone. Ask if your DJ is certified and knows all of the ins and outs of connecting a system. Backup equipment is also essential: DJs should always have the equivalent of a “flat spare” on hand, whether it be a microphone, computer, mixer, etc. Don’t forget to ask how soon before the reception they plan to arrive and how long it will take for them to set up.
Key questions to ask: What sound equipment do you utilize? Do you have back-up equipment
6. Don’t underestimate the importance of a site visit. It’s a good idea for brides to ask prospective DJs if they can set up a site walk if the DJ has not yet worked at your venue. This allows us to become acquainted with new staff members, learn their rules for vendors, and plan correctly for providing the correct equipment for acoustics and design. The sound varies drastically depending on the room where your reception will be held.
Key questions to ask: Have you played at our chosen wedding venue before? Can you make a site visit beforehand?
7. No two weddings are alike! You should ensure your choice of top DJ that fits your style and personality, and have the proper experience and skill for your wedding. Really, it comes down to feel and trust. Do you think the person you’re sitting with gets YOU as a couple? If the answer is no, try someone else.
Key question to ask: Why should I choose you as my wedding DJ?
“Five stars all around for Zack! He is professional, fun to work together with, great at communication, and genuinely wants to help in any way to make your day run smoothly (even if it is not music related). He is great at reading the crowd and whenever the dance floor was dwindling down, he would select the right songs to bring the guests back on. As an added bonus, he has a great speaking voice and was a wonderful MC (in addition to DJ) for us. We had such a wonderful experience working with Zack for our wedding and highly recommend him.”
–Amanda & Kevin
CONTACT ZACK: 630.247.0751 | CHICAGOCRAFTEDMUSIC.COM
“Chicago Crafted Music allows me the opportunity to truly enhance a couple’s wedding day and take their entire celebration from good to unforgettable. By listening to a couple’s needs, being prepared, focused and fun, I’ve been lucky enough to help create some great moments couples and family will remember for a long time.”