Sourcing the right DJ for your wedding can be a slightly daunting task, with so much hinging on getting the right mix for your guests.

Although some would claim that you’re not really a true DJ until you’ve cleared the dance floor, we hope the pointers below will steer you towards choosing the ultimate dance floor filler DJ, leaving the rest to hone their skills on someone else’s dance floor!

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Budget

DJ fees come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s good to have a ballpark figure in mind. It can be hard to gauge DJ fees, but do try to be realistic. Calvin Harris is not going to DJ at your wedding for £2000. Expect to pay between £350 – £1200 for a good quality, professional DJ.

Mobile DJ or Club DJ?

Not to be confused.

The mobile DJ has a certain stigma attached to it, however it needn’t be the case. It is simply the term used when the DJ provides everything from the PA system, lighting and video, to the music. Make sure the DJ knows the size of the venue, as this may affect the overall cost quoted.

The Club DJ simply turns up and plays. There will be minimal set-up time, and you will need to know their technical requirements to make sure they have what they need in order to be able to play their set.

 

Club DJ requirements

If you have opted for a Club DJ, then you should ask them to send over their technical specifications, known as a tech rider. Find out if the DJ will be playing on turntables, CD decks, USB, laptop or a combination.  Allow plenty of time as you or the venue will have to hire it in at an extra cost.

Know your audience

If you need a DJ capable of getting great aunt Doris up ‘n’ jiving alongside a usually moody teen and your work colleagues, then you are best opting for a DJ with a lot of experience playing weddings.  Sounds obvious but not all DJs are willing to play a hugely varied and commercial set. There is no need for the DJ to be a fully-fledged cheesemeister, however they should be willing to take requests however terrible.

If the idea of I Will Survive and YMCA makes you want to crumble into a heap and rip your ears off, then you may want to look for a DJ who has the ability to create a room-elevating euphoria based on his own skills as a selector. Make sure you have listened to the DJs mixes on Mixcloud or Soundcloud and talked through the music style, so the DJ can prepare the set and there are no nasty surprises.

Create a playlist

It is always a good idea to create a playlist and sometimes more importantly a DO NOT playlist. Try and send it a week or two in advance so the DJ can be sure they have any songs on your list in their music library. If your DJ refuses to take requests, then always best to discover this before booking, rather than on your wedding day.

You can send the DJ a written list or you can take it to the next level and create a playlist on a music service such as Spotify, Deezer, Last FM or Grooveshark and then share your list with them directly.

Essential checklist

1. Agree the duration of the set length before confirming the booking

2. Agree set-up / pack-down time

3. Electricity supply

4. Enough plug sockets

5. Secure a vibration free table approx. (1m x 2m) at the right height

6. Adequate space for the DJs equipment

7. Refreshments

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