The entertainment is more important than seat covers and table decorations. It is easy to get excited when buying these types of items because you can see what you're getting but a seat cover won't entertain your guests for several hours whereas a quality DJ will. Make sure you have enough money in your budget for entertainment - your guests will expect to be entertained and your wedding will be remembered for it.
2. Meet with your DJ
The DJ is your friend and you want him to do a great job for you. He can only do this if he has all the details about your wedding and has spoken to you about your music choices and wedding timings etc. This is usually best at the venue to iron out any potential problems.
3. Don't book your DJ based purely on price.
No other part of a wedding is booked on price alone and if you do book the cheapest DJ you can you will end up with a amateur DJ with rubbish equipment who may turn up late or may not even turn up at all.
4. Listen to your DJs advice (if he's a professional).
Professional DJs have usually performed at hundreds of weddings and have the work ethic and experience to ensure a quality wedding.
5. Check your DJ has Public Liability Insurance (PLI).
Increasingly, venues are refusing to allow DJs without PLI to perform. You do not want your DJ turned away on your wedding day.
6. Does your DJ play different types of music?
A wedding is (usually) filled with people of different ages and backgrounds. A good DJ will read the crowd and play music that everyone can enjoy and dance to.
A good DJ gets the crowd to trust him by playing songs they know. This takes experience and knowledge that only professional DJs have. Once the guests trust the DJ the party will come alive. Too often we've seen amateur DJs playing the same play list that they always play and refusing to take requests because they do not have the knowledge or work ethic of professional DJs.
7. Does your DJ provide a legally binding contract?
If he does, he is guaranteed to turn up. If not.... who knows!
8. Does your DJ carry backup equipment?
If he uses a laptop and it crashes - how will he entertain your guests?
If his mixer dies - how will he entertain your guests?
If his amp dies - how will he entertain your guests?
you get the idea.
9. If you are having live music
Make sure that your DJ has worked with bands before.
A good DJ will fill in any gaps that the band leave ensuring that you have entertainment whenever it is needed.
10. Make sure you know exactly what your DJ is going to do for you.
Many DJs offer different packages and upgrade options so make sure you are getting what you are paying for.
12. Don't book a venue's resident DJ or a DJ from an agency unless you really have to.
A venue will charge you £500 for a DJ and then pass it on to an agency. The agency will charge the venue £350 and you will get whatever DJ that's available on the day. The agency will pay the DJ £180 and that's the standard of DJ you will end up with.
Common Problems - Marquees
Make sure your generator is sufficiently powerful and that the generator company has a local representative. A generator won't fail until it's being used by the caterers, bar providers, entertainers etc on the morning of your wedding. If there is a problem, you need someone local to sort it. I've called a generator rep on a Saturday before only to find he is 250 miles away!
Make sure marquee lighting is dimmable otherwise it will be too bright for the disco or too dark for the guests not dancing. Alternatively, some DJs provide an uplighting package that provides enough light.