Every wedding day has a soundtrack of its own—from the walk down the aisle to the first dance, the bouquet toss to your final farewell, music helps set the tone for the entire day ... which is why your DJ or band has such an important role. To help you better vet the candidates, we've compiled this master list of questions to ask wedding DJs and band.
First things first, you've got to figure out the basics ... like, is the DJ or band even available on your desired date. The answers to the following questions will help you get a sense of how experienced the candidates are.
Why you need to know this: Obviously, there's a difference between volunteer gigs and legit, paid performances. Make sure your candidates are seasoned so there are no hiccups on the most important day of your life!)
Why you need to know this: If the band or DJ is playing 'round the clock all weekend, they're performance might suffer. If they're running on empty, you might want to rethink booking them.
Why you need to know this: Bands usually have a roster of performers, and might alternate who's playing based on their availability. If you're choosing a band based because you love one musician or singer in particular, make sure they're the performer who will actually be playing your wedding.
You probably already know a little about the wedding band or DJ since you were interested enough to interview them. Learn more about them and their style so there are no surprises on the big day.
Why you need to know this: If you're having trouble choosing music for a first dance song or father-daughter dance, etc., a DJ or wedding band tends to know a thing or two about choosing the right music. They can definitely be a helpful resource!
Why you need to know this: Ask them ahead of time if they have a list of songs they recommend playing throughout the wedding. If they leave that list up to you, be sure to provide them with the songs you want to get down on the dance floor to before your wedding swings around.
Why you need to know this: you never know what your guests are going to end up requesting. Having a do-not-play list ensures you're not going hear anything you and your new hubby hate.
The price tag is one of the biggest factors in choosing what wedding DJ or band to choose, but it's not as simple as just asking for a price. You need to find out exactly what that price includes. You definitely don't want to discover any surprise fees after you've signed a contract.
Wh you need to know this: When talking about rate, make sure to find out if the rate changes bases on the day (or even time of day) and exactly how many hours that rate buys you. If the rate is in the ballpark (even if it's over budget), great! If it turns out that DJ or wedding band is the one, you might be able to negotiate a discount, or increase your budget to be able to use that DJ or band.
Why you need to know this: See if you can pay them before (or after) the wedding (Trying to pay wedding vendors are the day of your wedding is chaos — if you can pay them beforehand it's preferable.
Why you need to know this: Ideally, your wedding DJ or band will carry liability insurance. It covers any damage that can occur to the performers themselves and the equipment. Many venues require DJs and bands to carry liability insurance, so it's important to know upfront if they have it.
Now for the less exciting but still critical details, like power supply and scheduling.
Why you need to know this: You want to get a confirmed arrival time from them before your wedding, and it should be early enough that the performers have plenty of time to get set up. Also find out when they plan to leave. If you want to have them stick around for the after-party, negotiate this into your contract before the night comes.
Why you need to know this: It's something you need to add on to your budget! This can be a significant cost, especially if you're booking a ten-piece band.
Why you need to know this: At this point, you've probably covered everything, but it never hurts to make sure. Cover all your bases and see if there's anything that's been left out from the wedding DJ or band's point of view.
Why you need to know this: Now that you know everything you wanted to know, find out if there's any extra info the wedding DJ or band needs.
After wrapping up these questions to ask wedding DJs and bands, you'll know everything there is to know about how your candidates work and perform. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you'll be to make the right decision and find the one for your wedding!