Hiring a DJ can be a stressful and daunting process, but it doesn't have to be. Unfortunately, the wedding industry is plagued with people who would like to do weddings as a hobby or corporate companies who have gotten so big that all they care about is your money. To find out if the DJ you are meeting with is a professional or an amateur here are 10 warning signs that you should be on the look out for. If you see one of these signs, run!
- The DJ doesn’t require a signed contract - If the person you are talking to does not ask for a signed contract, you should run away immediately. A signed legal contract is what ensures the DJ will be there the day of the wedding. If a DJ doesn’t require a signed contract this is a huge warning sign that they are not a professional and may just run off with your money.
- Doesn’t ask for a deposit - if the person you are talking with doesn’t ask for a deposit of some sort, this can be a huge warning sign that they are not a professional. By asking for a deposit, the DJ is legally ensuring that you will pay them the rest of their contracted amount and that the DJ will be at your wedding to perform. If there is no deposit there is nothing to keep the DJ from booking someone else in your spot.
- Does not have any reviews or does not have any positive reviews - Anytime you are looking to hire a professional vendor for your wedding, you should be doing your research on them. A big part of this is reading up on what their past client’s have said about them online. Make sure you look them up on Facebook, Google, Weddingwire, The Knot, and Yelp. If you are having difficulty finding reviews or positive reviews, run away. This is a clear indicator that this DJ is not a professional and / or does not have a positive history of doing professional work.
- Hasn’t DJed a wedding before - There are a lot of different kinds of DJs. Some DJs play in clubs, some DJs are producers, some DJs do parties, and some DJs do weddings. Don’t hire a DJ who has never DJed a wedding before. There is a lot more to being a professional wedding DJ than just being able to mix music.
- Doesn’t have insurance - Any professional DJ is going to have their personnel and equipment insured. Lots of venues ask for proof of this insurance before they will allow the DJ to perform. Make sure your DJ is insured.
- Doesn’t have back up equipment and people available - A big difference between a professional DJ and an amateur hobbyist DJ is how serious they take their work. A professional wedding DJ is going to treat your wedding like they would their own. A professional is going to be aware and concerned about the fact that you only get one shot at the wedding. They will have back up equipment and people available in case the worst should happen on the wedding day. If a DJ does not have back up people or equipment, this is a good sign that they are not a professional.
- Asks you to sign the contract before meeting the DJ - If a company asks you to sign a contract before meeting the person who would be your DJ this is a good sign that you are just a number to them. All they care about is the money. Some of the larger companies will ask you to just “trust them” with who your DJ will be and then they will hire a private contractor who they may or may not be able to guarantee their quality. A professional DJ cares about the quality of their work and will not treat you like a number. You should be able to meet the person who will be your DJ before signing a contract. If they can't meet that reasonable request, run away.
- Pushy with the sales process - If the DJ you’re meeting with seems overly pushy or aggressive you should walk away. Any professional DJ who knows what their doing is going to understand that clients need to work through the sales process in their own way and in their own time. If their work is good they will have more than enough customers. DJs who try to pressure you to book when you aren’t ready should be avoided.
- Unresponsive even throughout the sales process - The sales process is a good indicator of how the DJ will be the night of the wedding. If you are having trouble reaching the DJ or getting them to answer you questions you should walk away. If they are not able to respond to you in a reasonable amount of time before you book, imagine how it will be after they have your money.
- Pressures you to buy lighting, or other services that you did not ask for - A professional wedding DJ will let their work speak for itself. If they are a great DJ, they don’t need to force you to buy all the extras. A professional wedding DJ will help you decide which options will work best for you and your budget. DJs who try to pressure or push you into buying expensive lighting, Photo Booth packages, or other services that you are not interested in are just trying to get money from you. If a DJ company “does it all”, it’s a good sign they are probably not a very good DJ. That old saying, “A jack of all trades; a master of none.” rings true in this situation.
Written By: Mike Kane