You could set up an iPod with a wedding playlist, but how will that music be projected? How will the first dance be handled? If you want a fun and hassle-free dance floor, hiring a DJ who can play music your guests will love and keep the party going is essential.
Tips for Hiring the Right Spin Doctor
“First thing is to find somebody who’s going to show up,” says DJ Johnny Lightning. Look at their track record. “I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years and I’ve never cancelled or missed a wedding. Ever, for any reason,” he says.
“Get someone you’re comfortable with, someone who’s outgoing,” says Gary Perl of Rock-On DJ. “We’re an outgoing business.” Make sure to ask how long they’ve been in business and how many weddings they’ve done.
“What about backup equipment?,” continues Gary. “What if the amp goes out in the middle of the wedding? If you’re a beginner and only have one amp, you’re dead.”
But the most important thing is to make sure the DJ has a vast selection of music to keep the party going. Look for someone with the experience to know what will keep people on the dance floor. “I have country, I have hip hop, I have everything,” says Johnny. “I try to play a little something for everybody, so everybody’s happy.”
Why It Costs What It Does (& What To Do About the Tip)
“People wonder why one DJ charges $1,500 and another $400,” Gary says. “You have the guys who bring in over-the-top sound systems, then you have the guys who are using cheap Radio Shack equipment.”
You may want to double-check, but you probably won’t need to worry about taxes for the DJ. “In the state of Ohio, we’re a service so we don’t charge tax,” explains Gary.
Some DJs will say they prefer a 25% tip, but Gary prefers not to ask. “It’s chintzy to demand a tip.” He says he receives a tip about ten percent of the time. “We’re not minimum wage workers given five dollars an hour,” he says. “We’re making $600 a night, maybe more.”
But if you really loved your DJ and want to show your appreciation, a tip is always a good call.