You’re paying a DJ to create your ultimate wedding reception. You want your guests (and you) to have the best experience possible. It’s very uncommon for a DJ to not take requests from guests, but you should ask ahead of time. You can always get a track list that the DJ uses and make suggestions. On the flip side, the DJ should honor your “do not play list.”
A DJ is responsible for having a backup plan in case he falls ill, has an equipment failure, or has transportation issues. Become familiar with the plan and make a follow up call to the backup or replacement DJ to confirm the contingency plan.
Etiquette and attire
If you get the opportunity, visit an event or reception that your DJ is working. This will give you a good read on his etiquette and manners while he’s at work. DJ etiquette is a non-issue 99% of the time, but we’ve heard horror stories. Attire is important if you’re having a themed wedding or if you want the DJ to be in a tux, suit, or casual wear. If you don’t have a preference on what the DJ wears, a good rule of thumb is to just recommend “formal attire.”
The most important thing you can do is have a formal contract drawn up that will outline the agreement between yourselves and the DJ. This document should be signed by the bride and groom as well as the DJ. This contract should state the pay, timeline, and include a clause detailing what happens if either side backs out. Most DJ’s include the contract as part of the booking procedure. If they don’t give you one, demand one!
Is the DJ reputable?
Do your homework. If you can get a recommendation from someone who has used this DJ before, great! If not, make sure the DJ is insured. Ask for proof of liability and ask the DJ if they abide by the American Disc Jockey Association Code of Conduct.