9 Tips To Hiring A Professional Wedding DJ

by | Entertainment Wisdom, Wisdom


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 Image by Marcus Bell from Studio Impressions via David and Vanessa’s Black Tie Cafe Sydney Wedding

Depending on the type of wedding you are having, a DJ can be a great option for your entertainment requirements. A DJ can provide a cost effective solution as opposed to live entertainment. Not only is hiring a DJ considerably cheaper, they can also cater to a wider variety of music styles, tastes and genres than a band or other musicians. This is not to say that live entertainment is not for you, it simply comes down to the factors that make up each individual wedding.

If you do choose to go with a DJ, you will find that hiring a professional and reliable DJ for your wedding can prove to be a very difficult task. With quite a large number of companies to choose from and a majority of those agencies being online, it can be very arduous to detect which DJ entertainment companies are legitimate, professional and trustworthy.

Below are our Top 9 Tips to hiring a professional Wedding DJ

1. Hire an experienced DJ: Ideally, you would want a DJ who entertains at weddings regularly, week in and week out and has done so with a solid 7 years of experience behind them (anything above is a plus). A well seasoned wedding DJ will know the proceedings of a reception like the back of their hand, they will know the perfect song to suit the perfect moment and they will add a touch of class to your wedding.

2. Make sure the DJ is licensed: In Australia, the body that DJ’s need to be registered with is the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). This is important for a few reasons. If a DJ is unlicensed, and a venue or a representative of ARIA obtains knowledge of this, you put your wedding at risk of not having entertainment for the rest of the evening as they do have the power to order the DJ to stop playing. A licensed DJ obtains all their music and songs from reputable outlets such as iTunes and other retailers. Not only is this music legally attained, it also ensures that it is the highest quality version of the file or song.

3. Presentation will indicate quality: This tip can be difficult to gauge when a lot of wedding entertainment vendors are now online and do not have physical locations that you can visit. However, from our experience, a poor website, online presence and branding usually results in a poor quality DJ and even worse equipment being sent out to your wedding. You would like a DJ to come out who is presentable, respectful to the dress code and is also friendly and constantly smiling.

4. Pricing: As the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for”. Although some companies charge more than others, do not let pricing be the leading decision making factor when choosing the entertainment for one of the biggest days of your life. Instead of looking how much an agency costs, try to look at the value that you are getting when you hire a DJ for your wedding. DJ’s who aren’t regularly playing in reputable public venues are generally not worth the money.

5. Make sure they are not restriction being purely a Wedding DJ: Yes, there are different types of DJ’s and entertainment agencies out there. Some specialise in parties, others in corporate entertainment and some specialise in weddings. Book with a company who strictly deals with weddings will ensure your big day gets the attention it deserves for everything to go smoothly. However wedding DJ’s aren’t usually in demand by the most reputable public establishments out there, so it would be likely that they don’t have the skills needed to beat mix (blend the music), read a crowd and keep up to date with the music that is currently trending.

Image by Kayla Adams via Joanna & Nolan’s California Whimsy Wedding

6. Don’t rely on live samples:  The general thought might be that it can be hard to substantiate the DJ’s mixing abilities, experience and the sounds they play without a demo. However, the truth is that it is easy for anyone claiming to be a dj to supply a mix, claiming to be their own! You should ask the agency that you are considering booking to provide you with the public gig guide of your potential DJ so that you can see him/her perform live. That way you’ll get the greatest indication of how your DJ mixes, how he/she presents, so that you have no surprises on your biggest day.

7. Equipment: A DJ is only as good as the tools that they use, and their equipment needs to be top notch! Poor equipment not only sounds terrible, looks like a home dj kit (DJ controller) and not very professional, but can be also unreliable, with the potential to cut out out at any second. Be sure to ask the agency what type of equipment is supplied. If you are provided with a dj who uses a dj controller (a toy like dj piece), beware of his/her abilities.

8. Get the music you want: Make sure that the DJ agency you are booking with has the type of music that you’re looking for and have processes in place to ensure that this will be part of the planning process. Due to weddings usually having people from a wide variety of age groups, it is also good to have a company who has organised you with a DJ who has a wide database of music available. To keep everyone happy, the DJ should have an array of tunes or genres that they can call upon, and classic songs from every decade from the 60’s to current music. Several DJ’s will refuse to take requests so check if the DJ is open to requests from guests. If the DJ agency does not have the music you want, or is not willing to be part of the planning process to play the music you want for your wedding, there is no point in booking with that company.

9. Make contact with the agency: You can tell a lot about an organisation and a person by talking to them on the phone. Have a quick chat to the DJ or Manager on the phone about the details and requirements of your wedding. If they are confident and friendly over the phone, then proceed to organise a consultation them. If you are happy with the meeting, and all the above tips are checked off, then it is safe to say that you are ready to book a DJ to entertain at your wedding.

Ms Gingham says: Sound advice (pardon the pun)!

About Wedding DJ Hire: Wedding DJ Hire is Sydney’s premium wedding DJ service that provides entertainment for all weddings and receptions across Sydney, both big and small, fancy and humble.

  • Sharone Weith says:
    October 2, 2012 at 8:17 am

    It is a must that before hiring to a wedding DJ, the couple at the least should have heard the DJ play live music. Then check out the songs and see to it that it fits your wedding and your style.

    • David Adams says:
      April 6, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      To view a Wedding DJ playing live is not realistic. After all would you like me to invite a few of my clients along to hear me playing at your Wedding.

  • Ethic Dance says:
    January 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for share…. It’s really gonna help us to choose wedding DJ’s.

  • Daniel Toop says:
    November 10, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Instead of listening to live samples, i would recommend you ask when one of their DJs has a gig in public. A lot of online “samples” are copied from other DJs, so there’s no guarantee that the Dj you get is the person that made the mix.

    The BIGGEST thing in my opinion is to make sure that you ask your friends if they know any of the best wedding DJs in Melbourne, they should be able to remember weddings that had great DJs and also warn you off the bad ones. We get 80% of our work through referral from our past customers!

  • Wedding DJs Victoria says:
    November 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Great tips.. makes easy for me to choose the best DJ for my Wedding Ceremony thanks for share!

  • Event Planner Part 2 | Keely Prevailingwinds says:
    November 12, 2014 at 8:12 am

    […] as needed. For example Sound Hire Melbourne or use this guide to hire instruments and DJ:  Sound hiring tips Is he/she […]

  • Heather Beno says:
    January 20, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Hi, Thanks for sharing this site. I know a popular band in Sydney known as Soul Shack Entertainment it has really put up wonderful shows and has many experienced and expert musicians. I love Soul shack Entertainment.

  • Dj Joe says:
    September 24, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Great article although i still deal with wedding couples still looking for a bargin and dont care about experience

  • DJ Hire Melboune says:
    March 25, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Well explained, we have many professional DJ’s around Melbourne. Its not us that should be choosing a DJ for the event, the party host should feel good about the artist first.

  • breetcalvin says:
    June 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    check out the songs and see to it that it fits your wedding and your style

  • Fiona says:
    January 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Some brilliant tips here!

    I’d also recommend asking your family and friends for their recommendation – they may have had a standout DJ at their wedding, or been to a wedding where the DJ was fabulous and kept the dance floor full all night.

    Websites can promise the world, but unless you’ve seen the DJ in action (or someone has!) then you rarely know what you’re getting. Word of mouth recommendations carry a lot of weight, so be sure to ask around.



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