Wedding guests dancing to the best wedding DJ

The 10 Questions You Need To Ask A wedding DJ Before You Hire Them

Their Answers Will Tell You A Lot

Couples need to find and work with the wedding DJ they are meant to. It is our intention is to arm you with the right questions so that you can find yours. We’ll be the first to tell you we aren’t the right fit for everyone. We have a lot of experience and we plan on continuing to offer our services for years to come. That means we don’t make a lot of compromises when it comes to anything that could affect our client’s weddings or our reputation. We are not risk takers.

Everyone has different sets of values but if what we just described sounds like values you share, we can tell you the right questions to ask prospective wedding DJ’s and MC’s in order to determine how aligned you are before you sign a contract. These are ten questions we feel will get to the heart of the question “Is this DJ the right fit for our wedding reception?”

Experienced Cleveland wedding DJ

It is imperative that the wedding DJ you choose has actual experience working weddings

1. How Long Have You Been DJing Weddings?

Weddings are fast. In a few hours a room goes from being empty to hosting a family’s biggest day and empty again. There’s not a lot of room for errors and there are no do-overs. The more “shows” under the belt of a performer is what separates competent from great. To be great, you have to have a focus. Wedding DJ’s have to be able to collaborate with vendors, motivate a dance floor, and make sure all of your important moments happen exactly how you planned. Each venue has quirks, some vendors have different requirements of those they work with and situations arise that no one could have foreseen. These are all reasons why experience matters. Besides, if you are looking for a wedding DJ to create a unique experience for you, it helps if have they can draw on many examples of what worked and what didn’t.

2. What’s your backup plan if you get sick or something happens to you on the day of our wedding?

We have nothing against “solopreneurs” (who are often called “single-ops”, as in singular operators). The amount of employees you have or don’t doesn’t determine how much passion you have or how good you are as an entertainer. It is, however, a riskier proposition for weddings. As we mentioned, weddings aren’t a corporate monthly meeting. You don’t get another chance to get it right.  There is a reason there are so many ways to say “Stuff happens” and “The show must go on”. Event professionals are real professionals when they have Plan A, B, C, etc. People get sick at their jobs every day but when your job is to provide entertainment for someone’s wedding, you don’t just get to call off. Our company has wedding DJ’s and MC’s on call at our warehouse every weekend to help eliminate risks. If something happens, we’ve already planned for that possibility.

3. What is your insurance policy?

The bride and groom who rent the venue for the night are techically responsible for anything that happens inside that venue from your guests. This means that if the DJ is rolling equipment in and breaks the $6,000 glass front door from being carless – YOU, THE CLIENT, are technically responsible. The client can technically get into legal trouble if someone trips and falls over a tripod or light stand and gets hurt. If the DJ or entertainment company has insurance, it is a buffer to protect them. That all said, $1,000,000 in liability insurance should be the minimum for anyone you hire.

4. Why do you love performing at wedding receptions?

Asking this question will tell you if the entertainer is passionate for weddings or if this is just a profit center for them. There are a lot of ways to make more money than being a wedding DJ. We don’t want you to be scared of sharks trying to take you for all you have, but there are varying levels of passion for this type of event. We love changing peoples perspective the second they get to a wedding. Most think that they’re going to eat some cold food, have a few drinks and listen to the same music they hear at every other wedding. This isn’t the case with what we do. We change the atmosphere through the right music choices, and keep the evening moving so guests are never bored. If we build the atmosphere they will dance.

Could you show us 3rd party reviews

A reputable DJ should be able to easily show you 3rd party reviews

5. Could you show us third-party reviews from your clients?

Reviews on pages like WeddingWire and The Knot can give you insights from couples who have worked with the DJ you are considering. Look for genuine reviews that truly look like you would have written them and not a DJ company “faking a review” after reading a dozen or so reviews from other companies, you will know which ones are real and genuine. Everyone has their own scale and ranking system so make sure the company you are looking for has enough reviews that it all balances out.

6. How many meetings will we have leading up to the wedding?

Asking this question will give you insights into their processes. Do they have automated reminder e-mails, questions you need to answer before your wedding day, systems, checklists, etc. A lot of what you are looking for in a wedding DJ is preparedness and organization.

7. What will you be wearing during the reception?

These questions exist to help you find the right entertainer for your sensibilities. There are a lot of options for attire for entertainers at weddings. We don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer for everyone. There just needs to be communication and a clear understanding. That’s why you should ask! We generally wear black formal wear like a suit, not a penguin suit or colored vests, as we don’t want to be the centerpiece or stand out. We’re very open to other options, however. We have even worn toga at weddings before as well as Halloween wedding costumes. It’s your party, we’re just there to compliment your vision.

what if there is a technical issue?

A good wedding DJ will have a back plan. Make sure you ask!

8. How many hours are included in the reception package?

Being told the price for another hour of reception entertainment during your wedding is definitely not a surprise any couple wants to deal with on their special day. Negotiate how many hours your reception entertainment price will cover up front to eliminate bad surprises later.

9. What’s the plan if there is a technical issue with your equipment during the reception?

Technology is the best…when it works right! When it doesn’t, it can really ruin the fun. Like with the single-ops, having back-up plans separates the risk takers from the prepared. We have backup equipment onsite. Packed backup speakers and computers are standard protocol for teams on-site. We also have runners at our warehouse standing by for any issues. When a company charges a little more for their services, these are the reasons…they have done their due diligence to ensure you get what you paid for – no excuses!

10. What are some of the ways you motivate a dance floor that hasn’t loosened up yet?

This question is once again about sensibilities. Every veteran wedding entertainer has tricks to get energy on the dance floor at the beginning or during any lulls. Entertainers may teach dance moves, we’ve heard of a few who get on the microphone and sing, while others might go out and find grandma for a dance. Asking this question lets you know more about a DJs strengths and also prepares you for what they might be doing on the day of your wedding.

There are some tasteful ways to get guests to the dance floor that work EVERY SINGLE TIME. We’re confident that we can get 80% of the guests to dance the first open dance song of the evening every time. GURANTEED! To learn more, schedule a call or meeting.

We hope these questions provide you with a resource you can use to find the right wedding entertainer for your wedding. Regardless of who you choose, asking the right questions now can make your entire planning process much less stressful.

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Wedding DJ, Jay R working his magic behind the DJ booth.

Top Questions Our Cleveland Wedding DJs get asked before booking with us…

(part of a 4 part series)

Top Questions our Cleveland Ohio Wedding DJ’s are asked..

 

1. How long have you been providing wedding DJ entertainment in the Cleveland Ohio area?

We have been providing DJ entertainment in the Cleveland area since 1987. In 1999, we decided to go full time in wedding entertainment. We have actually logged over 6000 successful wedding receptions.

2. What do you do if your DJ gets sick before my wedding?

We have this covered! If your wedding DJ gets sick, gets in a car accident or even has an emergency, we have staff every single weekend that is always on call at a moments notice to ensure that your reception gets coverage NO MATTER WHAT. We arrive 2 hours before your reception to ensure extra time to work with any emergencies that arise.

3. Do your DJ’s drink at wedding receptions?

We actually get this question quite a bit… The answer is a resounding YES…. Our DJ’s need to stay hydrated so if you see them with a water, soda or coffee, don’t be upset with us..LOL… We save any drinking alcohol for the after Party band when we are usually invited. Our “buzz” is when the dance floor is packed.

4. Does your wedding DJ take requests?

We absolutely encourage your DJ to take requests at your reception. Because we are meeting with you early in the planning process, we already know what you want and don’t want. With that being said, we filter the requests according to the vibe you are trying to achieve.

5. Do you work with my other vendors so everyone is working together?

Without question, part of the success of your reception will be how well your DJ from Selective Sound Entertainment organizes the reception and works closely with all of your other vendors to make sure they are in the right place at the right time and are fully aware of every single formality during the evening.

A bride and groom enjoy first dance with a snow machine.

9 Common Misconceptions About Your Wedding DJ

Common Misconceptions about choosing a wedding DJ in Cleveland

When looking for a DJ for an event as important as your wedding, it only makes sense that you want to find someone who is the perfect fit. However, there are many things to consider when booking your wedding DJ in Cleveland. While some may seem like good ideas during the planning stages, they can spell catastrophe the day of your wedding. With that being said, here are some common misconceptions of your average wedding DJ, hand-picked by our wedding pros here at Selective Sound.

1. I Have To Make A Playlist For My DJ

Myth! If you knew all the music your guests would want to hear, you would be DJ’ing weddings yourself. A skilled wedding DJ in Cleveland will keep the dance floor packed all night and can even take your reception to a whole other level! Your DJ should be able to read the crowd to determine what should be played next. Between using your input and their judgement to direct their song choices your guests will have a blast! Feel free to formulate a “must play list” of songs you would definitely like to hear at your reception. With that said, your DJ should be fully capable of taking charge once the party gets started.

2. A DJ Just Shows Up and Plays Some Music

Although you do hire a DJ to show up and play music, that’s not even half of their responsibilities at a wedding. A good wedding DJ in Cleveland helps direct guests throughout the night. Your DJ should be professionally handling all formal announcements. They are also responsible for working with vendors during the night to keep your reception running as seamless as possible. One of the DJ’s main jobs is to be the Host/Emcee of the night. The amount of experience your DJ has will have a direct effect on how well your wedding celebration flows. This is one of the most important reasons why you should make sure your DJ is highly experienced with weddings. DJ’s who are not well versed with how to direct a wedding reception could ultimately set your big night up for disaster.

3. I Don’t Want My DJ Playing Requests

Even if your wedding guests have the worst taste in dance music, you should still allow your DJ to take requests . Requests help a DJ determine what people may like to dance to throughout the evening. Also keep in mind that by default, not all requests will be played. It is the DJ’s job to filter out requests. If nothing else, it will allow guests to be interactive and feel connected to your special day. Nonetheless, you can always let your DJ know that you are adamant about specific songs or genres that are not to be played on your big night. Make sure you tell your DJ as well as write a list. A good Cleveland wedding DJ will always honor your wishes when it comes to something like this. If they don’t or won’t, find a new one fast!

4. My wedding DJ in Cleveland Already Has Lighting Covered

Cleveland courthouse with lavender uplighting

Lighting can truly make or break the look at your wedding. This lavender uplighting perfectly accentuates the pillars and high ceilings at the Old Cleveland Courthouse.

Lighting is a VERY broad term. Just because a DJ has lights doesn’t mean that they’re appropriate for your wedding venue. It’s easy to assume your DJ has all the lighting handled. However, the wrong lighting elements can be distracting during dinner, irritating for guests, and can leave your reception looking messy. When choosing your wedding DJ, trust the pros who have lighting designers and production departments to transform your wedding’s atmosphere. Real wedding DJ’s have teams of specialized departments, they’re not just a one man show.

5. You Can Have Either a Band or DJ, But Not Both

Untrue! Having both a band and a DJ may seem “over the top”. Even so, they can actually compliment each other very well. As we said in Myth #2, the DJ has many responsibilities aside from just playing music. So while the band plays your DJ can still coordinate your entire reception! Also, when the band takes a break, the dancing doesn’t have to stop. Your DJ can take control of the dance floor, making sure your guests are entertained all night long! Additionally, the DJ provides an opportunity for guests to hear songs that the band may be unable to play. This will also give your reception even more variety.

6. I Have To Do All The Classic Formalities That Everyone Else Does

Bride dancing with guests surrounding her to music by a weddign DJ in Cleveland

The perfect wedding DJ in Cleveland can make your special night everything you dreamed of.

It’s 2018, and you don’t have to do anything at your wedding that you don’t want!  A good wedding DJ can work with you to help formulate unique ideas for your reception. With their experience and industry knowledge, they can make your day unlike any other! Even if you want to keep things traditional but aren’t looking for the same old wedding, a seasoned DJ can help you create an event timeline. This timeline will be able to satisfy all your wants and makes your celebration one of a kind.

7. I Know Someone Who DJ’s – They’ll Do Just Fine

Weddings draw a wide variety of guests and are very different compared to most other shows a DJ may face. Therefore you don’t just want a DJ. You need an experienced, professional wedding DJ. Your DJ needs to be someone who knows how to run a wedding and has the right equipment to handle the job. They also have to have the ability to voice your announcements both formally and tastefully. Many club/bar DJ’s play a very different style of music than you’ll hear at most weddings. They also don’t have to keep a schedule of events on track for the night. You want to be sure that the DJ you hire has a vast knowledge of music and will be able to play any genre or style you want.

8. DJ’s Have The Easiest Jobs Ever!… And They Only Work For A Few Hours!

Pie chart of how many hours an experienced wedding DJ in Cleveland puts into each wedding.

While being a wedding DJ in Cleveland is fun and has its perks, it is far from the easiest job ever. In reality, a DJ puts about 90% of the work in for a wedding before the big day even arrives! There are many hours behind the scenes full of planning, coordinating, and preparing to make your special day flawless. Check out the pie chart, to the left, for a breakdown of how a wedding DJ at Selective Sound prepares for your event.

9. I’ve Seen A Picture/Video of My DJ, and They’re The Perfect Fit

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but they may not be the words you’re looking for. At Selective Sound, we get many people wondering why we don’t have video profiles or head shots of our DJ’s. Here’s why:

  • Outdated Content – Most DJ’s profile pictures or videos can be up to 10-15 years old in some cases. You don’t always get what’s in the picture.
  • Personality – You can’t see a person’s charisma in a picture! How do you know what a DJ’s personality is like from just a picture? There’s just no way to know if they would be a good fit for your group from a picture alone.
  • Prepared – Is your DJ familiar with the location of your wedding? How are they going to plan audio, power, and other production aspects for the day of setup?
  • PersonableA high-end DJ company will meet you and get to know you. They will figure out your feelings, wants, likes, and more before placing you with the perfect DJ. Let the company decide the DJ best fit for you. Who knows them any better?
  • Peace of Mind – Some DJ companies actually have you meet with your DJ 4-5 weeks before the reception. This is to ensure that you are comfortable with them. Selective Sound is one of those companies!

 

Bride and groom dancing at wedding

An experienced wedding DJ team will be able to provide the perfect lighting to set each mood of every stage of your big night.

In Summary…

As you can see, there’s plenty of things to consider before booking your wedding DJ in Cleveland. Some of these may seem more obvious than others. Even so, many are often neglected by engaged couples during the planning stages. Unfortunately, this can result in an tragic outcome when the big day finally arrives. If you’re going to go through all the work of planning a wedding and truly want to make it a night to remember, be sure to hire an experienced wedding DJ company.

Want to make sure all of these misconceptions are handled on your special day? Reach out to our team of wedding professionals to get started today! Photos by Genevieve Nisly Photography, Marc Anthony Photography, & Making The Moment Photography.

Cleveland Lighting DJs at Michaud’s Grand Ballroom

Cleveland wedding DJs from Selective Sound Entertainment helped host a reception at the Michaud’s Grand Ballroom, Strongsville, Ohio. This event was put together by Heidzillas wedding planners. The venue is very unique and perfect for creative and fun wedding receptions. The DJs provided music and MC services. Selective Sound Entertainment also provided wedding lighting services for the celebration. The guests had fun with friends and family celebrating. Check out the Selective Sound Entertainment site for more information on wedding DJs or other production services.

For more photos from Heidzillas 

Custom lighting and decor created this custom wedding reception

Courtyard Marriott in Canton lighting

Custom wedding reception at the Courtyard by Marriott in Canton, Ohio

Selective Sound Entertainment is known for creating a custom wedding reception for each of its clients that reflects the sensibilities of each family. This event was a great example of that ethos in practice. By the time we finished our magic, the  Courtyard by Marriott in Canton, Ohio was completely transformed. Our lighting technicians worked hard on this custom lighting design so this couple could have the event of their dreams. With help from Elegant Events by Maria, our Cleveland team was able to create a truly memorable wedding reception.

How We Made the Look Come Together

To begin with, we hung beautiful crushed drapery on the wall behind the sweetheart table. By adding uplighting against the drapery we were able to create a glamorous backdrop for Joni and Cullen. To make the backdrop a little more special we shined a custom gobo monogram on the drapery as well. After that, we added uplighting throughout the entire ballroom, using the couples wedding colors. We also changed all of the lights in the venue to gels. By doing so, so we were able to get the maximized effect Joni and Cullen were looking for. Next, we added pin spotting on each centerpiece and the wedding cake. This not only enhanced each piece but also brought a little extra mood lighting to each table. Lastly, by the couples request, we were able to set the main room up with HD video feed from the other rooms in the venue