Research by Bridal Magazine has found that wedding guests remember the entertainment more than any other element of your special day (which I think is wrong – they should remember how beautiful you looked!). However, research tends to be spot-on so it is clear that you should plan the entertainment on your big day with care. After all, the same research showed that although the top three priorities of brides before the wedding comprised the dress, the venue and the catering, a whopping 78% chose entertainment as their top priority when asked a week after the reception.

While you may opt for live musicians, a one-man band or instrumental music, the majority of weddings feature a DJ as entertainment. There are an infinite playlist of DJs out there, so how do you choose the right one for you?

Here are some basic questions you should use to find a DJ who will make the big day even more special:

Is he part of a DJ service or entertainment company?

This is not a deal breaker either way, but someone who works for a management company is less likely to bail and has already been through a selection process when it comes to quality, ability and responsibility.

Is he available?

This might seem like an innocuous question, but a good wedding DJ will have more than two bookings a year. If the DJ you approach has a full schedule, it means he (or she) is good, even great. Having said this, remember two things: This means that you have to find and book a DJ as soon as you have a wedding date; and also be wary of someone who is playing three to five gigs a weekend all the time – you don’t want a wedding DJ who has music fatigue and sees your wedding as just another paycheque.

Is he passionate?

To relate to the previous point – your ideal wedding DJ should love his job and be passionate and inspired by it regardless of how many times he gets a request for Tubthumping. This is what sets the great DJs apart from the good ones. He must love his job, and no less. Look out for this trait at your first meeting.

Is he organised?

A good wedding DJ will have his ducks in row and provide you with clear and organised service from day one. He will provide a contract or document of agreement that covers all the expectations of both parties, and clearly sets out the parameters to which he agreed. He should set a date to meet with you four to six weeks before the wedding day to finalise the playlist and order of events on the day. There should be a specific form that indicates when which song needs to be played, e.g. when the bride enters, when the cake is cut, etc.

Does he have references?

A great wedding DJ will have references, either on a CV or on his social media pages. Once again choosing a DJ from an events service comes in handy, as they will already have established whether the DJ has good references. Don’t be shy in following up on this – it’s easy to list previous clients. Phone them up and ask whether they would recommend him. Also check out any venues where he has played before – they should also be able to give you an indication of whether you should hire him for the job.

Does he have experience?

Ask your prospective wedding DJ how long he has been DJing and how he got started. This should tell you a lot. Someone with experience will have better knowledge of the protocol surrounding a wedding and how to deal with it, as well as how to plan for emergencies such as broken equipment or a power cable that is too short, and how to deal with typical wedding catastrophes such as a drunk uncle or speech that drones on and on.

Does he specialise in music genres?

Make sure the DJ knows the style of music and the mood it should evoke. If you are having a vintage-style wedding, your DJ should know his golden oldies – choose someone who specialises in the kind of music as well as the look-and-feel you would like on your wedding day. The last thing you need is someone who doesn’t know his ABBA from his Queen or who tries to play techno all night “to get the people on the dance floor.”

What is included in the price?

Which services aside from spinning the decks will you receive? Will you be charged overtime if the wedding starts late or runs later than a certain time? Does he have his own backup emergency kit, e.g. a generator in case of power outage? Does his equipment include LED dance floor lights or a disco ball or any other add-ons you might like at the wedding? If the DJ is part of an events management company, will there be a discount if you use them for more than one element of the wedding?

Does he have a digital presence?

Because DJing is a very social job and involves networking and being part of events, a good DJ will have a presence in social media, albeit it only in a professional sense. Does your prospective DJ have a Facebook page and a website, or does he belong to an events management company that does? A fly-by-night DJ will have no presence as he does not want to leave any trail for someone who had a bad experience to follow.

More tips on finding a quality wedding DJ

  • Do not ask to meet him at a gig to see him in action. Think about it – any DJ who is willing to let you into someone else’s function to see him play clearly doesn’t respect the privacy of that client, so do you really want him responsible for the entertainment on your big day? Quality DJs and DJ services will have examples to showcase their talents.
  • From your first meeting, make sure that the DJ is punctual. This says a lot about his professionalism.
  • Is he attentive, respectful and enthusiastic when you first meet? Does he listen to what you have to say and doesn’t interrupt? When he does give advice or make suggestions, is it helpful and in line with your ideas? A quality DJ will respect and work with your concept and provide value-add through years of experience.
  • Does he have a large, extensive music library that caters for your needs and is sufficient to last the whole event? Importantly – are all the songs in this library legal?
  • Does he comply with SAMRA and SAMPRO regulations? A venue can refuse a DJ if he doesn’t have this certification.
  • Does he share the vision you have for your wedding? Are you on the same page regarding the look and feel; the style of your wedding theme and the mood that you want to create?


Contact UP A TONE EVENTS today to find the best wedding DJ. We have a group of professional and experienced DJs who will make your big day even more special by ensuring that the entertainment is top notch and goes without a glitch.