Common questions about hiring a wedding DJ

Hiring a wedding DJ is one of the most overlooked decisions during the wedding planning process.  A qualified wedding DJ does more than just playing a programmed list of music.  An experienced wedding DJ help set the tone and mood for different parts of your wedding.  We recently sat down with professional DJs Maren Hancock and Ryan Carroll of Dialed-In DJs in Toronto.  Maren and Ryan shared their thoughts from selecting to budgeting for a wedding DJ.  

Do I need to hire a DJ for my wedding?

Hiring a DJ for your wedding is important regardless of whether it’s big, small, or in-between.  Your DJ not only creates the vibe for your dance floor, they also keep the events of the entire reception flowing by setting the mood for each section of the night, including cocktail hour, dinner, and, as mentioned, dancing!

It’s also very important to have a DJ program and play the music for the entire day and evening so that the Bride and Groom (or Bride and Bride, or Groom and Groom), along with their family and friends can just relax and enjoy the day.

You don't want to worry a programmed i-pod play list that does not work during the dance party.  Nor do you want to be tasked with trouble-shooting a sound system on your wedding day.

We DJ’d a wedding where the ceremony was held outside of the Spadina House in Toronto.  It was a simple and elegant ceremony against the backdrop of an old rustic building.  The couple wanted to run down the aisle at the end with their favorite Indie love song playing - kind of like in the movies - and it came out just like that!

Your wedding day is only going to happen once.  So you want to make sure you can enjoy every minute and be worry-free.

How do I find the right DJ for my wedding?  What do I look for?

The first step is to look for a DJ that understands YOUR musical vision and is willing to help you make it a reality.  Music is arguably the most important part of a wedding (along with the food and booze).  Therefore being able to have the music programmed the way you want is essential.

Always make sure that your DJ has the experience and music library to appeal to your guests.  This is why you want to hire a DJ with years of diverse playing experience in weddings, festivals and nightclubs.  An experienced wedding DJ knows how to mix music in a way to get your dance floor going.

Check out the potential DJ's reviews on reputable sites such as Google business and Yelp.  If you’re considering an experienced DJ who has just started doing weddings, ask them for references from former clients.

How much does it cost to hire a wedding DJ in Toronto?

Here, the old adage rings true: you get what you pay for.  Some DJ companies place more focus on lighting and “entertaining” a crowd, as opposed to focusing on the music and creating a kicking dance party.

With these more “big box” DJ companies, their motto tends to be that "one (musical) size fits all".  They focus on up-selling different packages that includes things like fancy lighting, smoke machines, and photo booths.  However, the services provided (a DJ and their music library) don’t change across packages.  These companies tend to focus on bells and whistles, as opposed to providing a highly experienced and knowledgeable DJ who can stoke a dance floor.

Perhaps one of the more terrifying aspects is that they often stick to a few standard playlists. The result is hearing "The Macarena" and "Mambo No. 5" at almost every wedding you attend.  Therefore, look for a smaller, or boutique wedding DJ company offering experienced DJs with online mixes that you can listen to.

You should be able to choose your DJ, meet him/her in person prior to the wedding, and submit a play list of your and your guest's favorite tracks so that your DJ understands your taste and come prepared.  For a quality, experienced DJ, who arrives with top of the line DJ equipment including speakers and microphones, you should generally budget around $1500 to $2000 in Toronto.  If your wedding outside of Toronto, expect to pay a travel fee of about 50 cent per KM.

I have decided who to hire.  What can be done to make my wedding DJ successful?

Ask lots of questions!  Communication is a key factor in helping your DJ be successful.

Also, remember that your "do not play" list is just as important as your "must play" list. There is nothing worse than having the time of your life until suddenly everything is brought to a halt as your DJ busts into "Gangham Style"!

Additionally, by meeting with your DJ beforehand and asking lots of questions, you can take advantage of their experience working at weddings and gain some helpful tips, or consider aspects that you previously had not.

Your guests are definitely going to remember the music and temperature of your dance floor at your wedding.  So ensure that the DJ service you pick is going to make your wedding one that you and your guests will be raving about forever!

About Dialed-In DJs (DID)

Dialed-In DJs (DID) is a Toronto-based mobile DJ company specializing in non-cheesy music that keeps the dance floor packed and happy all night.  We specialize in weddings but are happy to spin at any event.