When searching for a DJ in Atlanta for a wedding or event, you will definitely find prices all across the board.  While you can find a DJ within your budget most of the time, there are many factors that you need to consider when selecting your DJ.

Experience: How many weddings has the DJ done? Has the DJ done any weddings at all? Have they done your type of wedding before?

Will they MC the wedding. Do they have backup equipment or backup person or team. Do they have the type of music needed for your event?

Your DJ for the event has at least 3 duties, sometimes more. 

  1. DJ -This is a given, the DJ will play your music at the event. 
  2. Soundman – The DJ is responsible for monitoring all mixers, microphones and equipment, and make adjustments when necessary. 
  3. MC – The DJ is also the master of ceremonies and makes introductions while controlling the music and the soundboard.
  4. Lighting Technician – The DJ setups up Dance Floor Lighting and Uplighting and may control them with separate software all while performing the above 3 duties.
  5. Wedding Planner – Sometimes a couple will opt out of hiring an independent wedding planner and the day of wedding flow is also left up to the DJ company.

How many hours will we need the DJ?

There is a vast misconception that a DJ will show up at an event and play 4 hours and leave. Just like a photographer who pours countless hours reviewing post editing pictures, a quality wedding or event DJ may spend 10 to 20 hours preparing for your event. Its your special event, so we need to get it right in one take. Driving to the venue and checking out the layout, the loading area and visualizing how the setup will look in the room. Practicing name pronunciations, editing music, even assisting in planning out the flow of the event sometimes falls on the DJ’s hands. 

Here is a breakdown of some of what I prepared for my last formal event.

Before Event

Visit Venue – Check loading area,  view room, check to see if equipment can fit on elevators.

Editing Music – Obtaining special requests, creating custom edits, organizing special requests.

Perform backups of all music on 2 laptops – Typically takes 3 hours per laptop.

Verify all equipment is working. – Soundcheck 

Client meetings – Review all announcements, flows and songs.

During Event

Arrive early to setup – For non-formal events I generally arrive 1-1.5 hours prior to start time. For Formal events, generally 1.5 to 3 hours prior to start time.  

Setup equipment in multiple rooms – Weddings normally require a ceremony setup and a reception setup.

Perform soundcheck – Check sound levels, feeback.

MC wedding while playing music – Make all announcements, introduce special speakers.

Coordinate with other vendors – Photographer, Day of Wedding Planner, etc

Monitor all microphones, mixers and equipment during event – Adjust sound and microphones on the fly. 

Specific Policies

You should check to see what are the policies for eating, drinking and clothing. 

Me personally, I ask to find out what others will be wearing. Nine times out of ten,  if its a formal event I will wear a suit.  I don’t put anything about food in my contract because I am there to make your event the best one possible. Also, I do not smoke or drink alcohol at your event. 

The venue is asking for an insurance certification and the DJ doesn’t have one!

Many times a venue will require all of the wedding contractors to provide a certificate of insurance. 1-2 million dollar policy is common and the venue usually wants to be set as additional insured. If the DJ you hired doesn’t have insurance or is asking you to provide insurance for them RUN FAST!