Photo: Heather Kincaid
Your wedding music, whether you decide to book a DJ or band, will be a major component to your reception. Not only will the music set the right tone and create the atmosphere you're going for, but the DJ or bandleader will also help to gracefully keep the evening's events flowing smoothly from one moment to the next. The best DJs and bands are booked well in advance, so be sure to act quickly. To get you started, we've put together this list of questions that will help you evaluate a DJ, band, or other entertainer. Also, note that in some cases, you may deal with an entertainment agency or representative working on behalf of the musician.
Tip: We recommend printing out this list of questions and bringing it with you to your meetings!
The Basics + Background Information
• Is my wedding date available?
• How long have you been in business?
• How long have you been performing together (if you're interviewing a band)?
• How many weddings have you done? How many weddings do you do in an average weekend?
• Do you perform at more than one event in a day?
• Will you be the DJ/bandleader at our wedding?
• Have you done events at my wedding venue?
• What sets you apart from your competition?
• Are there any other services that you provide, such as lighting design or a photobooth?
• Can you provide me with recent couples that I can contact for references?
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• Do you have a CD of your music or a video from a prior wedding where you performed?
• How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover?
• How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?
• Are we guaranteed to have the perfomer(s) of our choice at our event?
• If the DJ or one of the band members scheduled for my event is unable to perform for some reason, do you have a backup replacement ready to go?
• Do you take any breaks? What music will be provided during the breaks?
• How many band members will perform that day?
• Do you act as the "emcee" and make all of the announcements?
• How would you define your "style" when making announcements?
• What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
• Do you take requests from our guests?
• Can we submit a "Do Not Play" list?
Pricing and Payment:
• What is included in the cost of my event?
• Does this include setup and breakdown between ceremony and reception locations?
• How much would you charge for overtime?
• Are there any additional fees that could accrue that I am not taking into account, like travel expenses or charges for special musical requests?
• When will I receive a written contract?
• How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
• What is your refund/cancellation policy?
• How far in advance do I need to book you?
• What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
• Are you insured?
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• Can you provide wireless mics for the ceremony?
• Does any of your equipment require special electrical outlets that I need to inform my wedding site about?
• Do you bring backup equipment?
• What kind of space or stage do you require for the DJ or band? If my site doesn't provide what you need, will you make arrangements for the stage or am I responsible for renting it?
• Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
• How much time will you need for setup, sound check and breakdown on the day of the event?
• What time will you arrive at the site?
• Will we meet again before the wedding?
• When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
• What will you wear to our wedding?
• Do you (and each band member, if you're booking a band) require a meal?
• What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?