20 Questions To Ask Your DJ

We have had the honor of celebrating with couples all over Central PA, Frederick MD, and Northern VA. We’ve DJ’d backyard tent weddings in small towns such as Gettysburg PA, Westminster MD, and Berryville VA. We have also provided DJ Services to couples holding their weddings in upscale venues such as Lily Manor, Linwood Estate, Ceresville Mansion, or Sylvanside Farm.

While the venues and locales have been vast and different, there is one thing that nearly all couple’s had in common; before their wedding, they had never considered hiring a DJ and had little idea of what to ask.

The idea of choosing a service that you have never shopped for before can be a bit overwhelming to say the least. There is just so much that you may not know!

“I got questions y’all!”

“How much should a DJ cost?”, What exactly does a Wedding DJ do?, What is the difference between a DJ at a bar and a Wedding DJ?, How do I make sure that I am getting a quality DJ? , How do I determine a DJ’s Value? These are likely just a few of the questions that run through your head.

Comparing DJ Services to Hotel Brands

All of us have stayed in a hotel a time or two. So it might be easier to compare a service that we have used to something that we haven’t to better understand.

Like everything else, cars, restaurants, and hotels; the cost of a wedding DJ can vary widely. Like hotel chains, there are many options out there.

If a bed and four walls is all you require there are brands such as Motel 6 or the Super 8. If you would like a nicer bed and a few amenities you might select. Courtyard by Marriott or Sheraton.

Or, if full on luxury is your desire and within your budget then Ritz-Carlton or Waldorf Astoria would be on the very short list of locations you would even consider for an overnight stay.

What hotel brand are you?

If Perfect Harmony Entertainment were a hotel chain we would categorize ourselves as being in the Courtyard by Marriott category of DJ Services. We use modern premium brand equipment for quality sound and lighting. We provide excellent professional service. Every Wedding |Corporate DJ we employ cares genuinely about our couples, their event, and about creating memories for them and their guests.

What questions should you ask before selecting a DJ Service?

Here are the 20 important questions to ask any professional disc jockey you are considering for your wedding or corporate party and our answers to those questions. This will help you accurately gauge the professionalism, reliability, and honesty of any wedding DJ you are considering.

Good luck in your search!

1. Do you offer a written contract? – Yes!

A written, legal contract is one of the first indicators of whether a DJ is professional and reliable. Any DJ not using a written contract should not, in our opinion, be considered for any corporate event or wedding reception.

2. What makes you different from your competitors? – See our about us page.

Any professional wedding disc jockey will take pride in their work and be able to answer this question honestly and communicate the things that make their services unique. Some DJ’s, however, will take this opportunity to “bash” their competition and say negative things about specific DJ’s or agencies.

DJ’s that engage in this type of thing will often target the DJ’s they’re afraid you’ll book instead of them, and they’re probably right!

3. Do you act as the “MC” and make all announcements? – Yes! MC Service is one of our differentiating factors.

Any professional wedding disc jockey should be comfortable with making announcements and serving as the emcee for the wedding. This is a standard part of the job.

Some DJ’s, however, are not comfortable with this and prefer to pass these duties on to someone else, such as a site manager, who may not have a professional voice or experience speaking on a microphone.

4. How would you define your “style” when making announcements? – We act as the “Host” of the party. Our DJ’s know when to pump up the crowd: Bridal Party Grand Entrance and when to be less demonstrative: Bride & Father Dance.

This is an extremely important question to ask because it will tell you if the DJ is the right match for your guests and the atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you are planning an elegant, understated wedding, then utilizing the services of a “party motivator” or “entertainer DJ” may not be what you are looking for.

5. What if something happens to you and you can’t make it to the wedding? – We always have a fully trained DJ available in case of an emergency.

Despite meticulous planning and preparation, accidents do happen. If the DJ is injured or otherwise unable to perform on your wedding day, what is the backup plan?

Most responsible professionals have some sort of backup strategy should this situation ever arise, but others do not. Often, DJ’s will be members of a local DJ association, and network with other DJ’s who could possibly provide backup services for them in the event of an emergency. Others take this planning more seriously and reserve a specific DJ for every date, ensuring that backup is both available and prepared in case of an emergency. 

You need to feel comfortable that you will still have a qualified, prepared DJ on your wedding day, regardless of the circumstances, so the answer to this question is very important.

6. Will we speak again before the wedding? – Absolutely! While our planning process is very detailed, we will have at least one if not more touch base calls to make sure that every activity will flow like a carefully choreographed event.

Some DJ’s will claim that all they need to do is show up at your wedding in order to be successful, this isn’t very realistic. A professional DJ will want to make sure they understand exactly what is supposed to happen and when, and what music you want to be played, and will want to speak with you at least briefly to go over the game plan.

If a DJ tells you otherwise, you should probably be concerned.

7. Can we visit you at a performance? – Not likely. While our DJ’s do perform at public functions these are few and far between. Our core business is helping couples create dream events for their family and friends.

Hopefully the answer to this question is “no.” We’re sure that you wouldn’t appreciate the DJ inviting prospective clients to your wedding to see him in action. A professional DJ should be willing to take a stand for his clients’ privacy and not offer this as a possibility. 

Professional wedding DJ’s never allow this.

8. How involved can we be in selecting music for our event? – As involved as you would like. A wedding affords many opportunities to play a wide variety of genres and tempo. From a toe tapping cocktail hour, a mellow dinner, to a full on dance party; there are many spots to mix in your favorites and create the vibe you want to share with your guests.

This is an important question to ask, because some DJ’s prefer to control most of the playlist and supplement their choices with a small handful of your specific requests. The DJ should be accommodating of your music tastes, and you should feel comfortable with the DJ’s approach and the amount of involvement you’ll be able to have in choosing the music.

9. Do you take requests from our guests? – That is strictly up to you and your preference. We are happy to take requests if that is what you prefer. Our advice to our couple’s is that if it were our party, we would certainly, take requests. We also would NOT announce that we are taking requests. Too often we see that when it is announced the same few people to begin to view the DJ as a jukebox and make requests that are not going to produce the dance floor result that you want.

Most DJ’s are happy to do so, but you should also feel reasonably assured that any request they chose to play would not be something you didn’t like.

10. Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list? – Absolutely!

Any professional DJ should be willing to honor your requests, including your request for certain songs and genres to not be used. Submitting a “Do Not Play” list will give a DJ a clear idea of your limits and your expectations for their song selection at your wedding.

11. When do you arrive to set up for our wedding? – 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to our start time.

When dealing with sub-standard DJ’s, there are often issues with them being punctual and set up well in advance of your guests’ arrival. Professional DJ’s will always arrive at least a full hour before their scheduled start time in order to have adequate time to set up and get organized before the wedding.

12. What will you wear to our wedding? – Vest, Slacks, & Tie or Suit & Tie. The latter is typically during cooler months.

This is more important than you might think – some DJ’s prefer a classic, understated look and others wear tuxedos with flashy, shimmering or patterned vests and matching bow tie.

It is important that the DJ’s “look” meets your expectations. We want to blend in to the background of your wedding photos, not stick out like a sore thumb.

13. How much of a deposit is required to secure our date? – Our standard deposit is 25%. We understand that from the venue to the photographer our couples are being deposited to death.

Almost every DJ will require some sort of deposit or retainer in order to secure your date. This is for their protection and yours. The industry standard for deposits is 50%.

14. What is the cost for setup, tear down, and travel? Nothing. We do not charge for frivolous items that are part of the job requirement. We are a “Mobile DJ Company”. We travel to our customers and set up at there location. Paying extra for that is like paying a tool charge to your auto mechanic.

DJ’s use vastly different systems when pricing their services. You need to be clear about what a DJ is offering for the price they’ve quoted you and what they consider to be an “add-on”.

15. Are you insured? – Absolutely!

It is essential that any DJ you consider carries a full liability insurance policy. Some reception sites have even taken the step of requiring all vendors working at their facility to provide proof of insurance before the wedding.

Liability insurance protects you and the reception site in the unlikely event that your DJ injures one of your guests or burns your reception site to the ground.

16. Do you take any breaks? – No, we do not. You will have non-stop music from start to finish.

One of the major advantages to using a DJ instead of a band is that a DJ does not need to take breaks, outside of using the restroom and possibly eating a meal quickly in another room (if this is what your site contact or caterer requires).

In any case, the DJ should assure you that there will be no break in the music at any point during the reception.

17. What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding? – Our DJ’s do not do either.

A professional DJ will never consume alcohol or take cigarette breaks during your wedding. If you interview a DJ and he tells you he needs a few drinks to “loosen up” while working, you should probably look for a DJ with higher standards of professionalism.

18. Do you bring backup equipment with you to the wedding? –We often provide sound for the ceremony as well as the reception. For these events we have two complete sound systems so we are never without back up.

Even the very best and most well-maintained equipment will malfunction at some point. Your DJ needs to be prepared in case this happens at your wedding. The only way you will not suffer a setback on your special day is if the DJ brings a full second sound system with them to every wedding.

Having backup equipment in a warehouse 50 miles from your reception site won’t do much good if there is no music at your wedding for an hour.

19. Do you have a wireless microphone? – We have at least two wireless microphones.

Every professional wedding DJ should offer a wireless microphone to be used for your guests’ toasts, blessing, and any other speeches that need to be made.

20. Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment? – Never, ever, ever!

Shameless self-promotion sometimes rears its ugly head at wedding receptions in the form of a sign or banner advertising the DJ’s company name and contact information. These items inevitably find their way into your wedding pictures and video, and ruin what is an otherwise commercial-free event. This practice is repulsive and completely unprofessional!

If you are planning a wedding or corporate event in our service area, we would love the opportunity to learn more about your plans. Our DJ’s routinely travel to all areas within a 90 - minute drive from Chambersburg PA.

This convenient location permits us to offer wedding DJ services to clients from Washington DC to Frederick MD, as well as wedding DJ’s for couples celebrating in Lancaster and Harrisburg PA.

Our demand is as large as our service area! If you would like to check our availability for your date or chat about your plan’s click the link below or simply send us a text.