By: Michael Bernhard of S.O.S Entertainment
Where to start…
In Albany there are countless DJs who call themselves professionals, and with so many options it can be intimidating to know where to start. Usually some of your friends & family can refer a DJ that has done excellent work. If this fails, you can always rely on an internet search to discover options.
Be sure to contact several different DJs before you commit. Speaking with several companies will let you better judge who you want as a part of your special day. Also, be sure to ask for company references, and actually call them!
Always interview them in person…
The DJ you hire will play a big role in the most important day of your life. Deciding solely on a phone call can lead to many potentially unpleasant surprises on your wedding day. Meeting face to face lets you learn a lot more about the DJ’s style, personality, and professionalism. If you only take one piece of advice from this article, this would be the most important.
Questions to ask when interviewing a potential DJ for your Albany wedding …
- “Who will actually be the DJ on our wedding day?”
Some companies have MANY DJs on their staff, and others unprofessionally take your money and sub-contract your wedding to another company. Always ask specifically who will be DJing your reception so you can meet and plan with the actual person who will be present.
- “Are you a full time DJ?”
You’ll want to know if your DJ makes their living in the business, or if this is merely a weekend hobby. Both types can put on great shows, but it is good to know how much time the person can devote to working with you to plan the celebration.
- “How do we plan out the reception together?”
A truly professional DJ will suggest meeting with you for several planning sessions to go over details. If they send you a form and tell you to mail it back, this could be a telling sign of how they do business. If they take the time to meet with you and get to know you a bit, you’ll see a big difference at your reception. Be sure to inquire if planning sessions are included in the price, or if they are extra.
- “How much experience do you have with weddings?”
Some Albany DJs have been doing this for years, while others are getting started. Many new DJs will put on a great show, but it is good to be aware of how long they’ve been in the business. Some companies with more experience may try and force you into their mold, so be sure that you are clear on what you want.
- “What genres of music do you specialize in?”
If you are a country fan and the DJ specializes in hip-hop, you’ll want to know before you hire them. One younger couple I know hired a DJ without asking this, and the DJ was only knowledgeable about disco and 80’s music. The younger crowed at the wedding wanted to hear some more current tunes mixed in!
- “Tell us about your music collection & equipment”
Do they use a computer, CDs, records, or all of the above? It is very important to also ask them what happens if something breaks. I once had a CD player break down during an event, but the music never stopped! The guests never noticed anything, because we were able to quickly switch to our backup.
Expect a wide variety of prices. There is always someone with a glorified home stereo system who will “do your wedding” for $300. There are also professionals who consider themselves the pinnacle of local wedding entertainment who will charge you $1,500. Work within your budget, but be aware that many brides look back on their wedding and wish they had spent a bit more thought on the entertainment.
Realize that in many cases, you get what you pay for. If a DJ is advertising solely on price, perhaps there is a reason. Be certain to ask DJs with low price quotes to give you some more information on their company, their experience, and ask for their references.
A professional DJ should be helpful to you even if you do not hire their services. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when you are curious about something. If they are helpful to you before you sign a contract, they will probably be great to work with after you sign and are working together to plan the celebration.
If you aren’t 100% comfortable with your Albany DJ after the interview, follow your gut reaction. Even if the person you are interviewing has all the right answers, trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right. The DJ you choose will be a part of your memories for a lifetime: don’t give yourself a reason to have regret.
If you have questions about hiring a DJ, or about the planning of your reception, please do not hesitate to contact me.