Choosing a Disc Jockey

Choosing the right Disc Jockey (DJ) for your wedding, party or corporate event can mean the difference between success and disaster.  In my opinion, here are some questions you should ask any DJ you are considering, along with my own answers:

Will I meet you (the DJ assigned to you, if working with a large firm) in advance?

Definitely!  You want to make sure there’s a good fit, so you don’t want to wait until a few days before the event to actually meet your DJ.  I recommend that we meet in person (or by phone, if that’s not possible) before you book an event with me.  Do this well in advance (June weddings are often booked 6 months ahead of time).  If you decide to hire me, we’ll meet again several weeks before the event to go over introductions, an agenda for the evening, and your musical preferences and song selections.

What type of audio equipment do you use?

I use high-quality professional audio equipment from well-known manufacturers such as BOSE.  My sound systems are suitable for all sizes of rooms and sizes of groups.  In the unlikely event of an equipment malfunction, I do bring back-up equipment to every wedding or event.

Do you provide a lighting set-up, or any other special effects?

I have several different lighting options, ranging from simple colored floodlights to special effects lighting.  I can also provide effects such as smoke or haze and a laser light show.  We’ll discuss which (if any) will be most appropriate for your event.  There is no additional charge for this.

What songs do you play, and how large is your music library?

I have an extensive music library of all genres, from country to classical, from the “Big Band” era to what’s currently hot on the charts.  If you have particular songs that you’d like played which are not in my database, let me know a few weeks in advance of the event – and I’ll get them for you!  Click here for a list of the top 200 most requested songs in the past year.

What will my disc jockey wear?

Attire suited to the event – usually, a black tuxedo.

When will my DJ arrive to get everything set up?

I arrive in plenty of time, typically 90 minutes before the event, in order to make sure that set-up is complete, everything is working properly, that storage crates are hidden and all wires are secured.  I’ll make sure that the DJ area looks clean, organized and inviting before guests arrive.

What happens if my DJ is sick on the day of my event?

This has never happened so far – but in the unlikely event that I cannot perform for you, I’ll provide a replacement DJ of similar quality and experience.

How much do you charge, and what does that cover?

When getting price estimates from disc jockeys, be sure to look for hidden costs and compare “apples to apples.”  For example, my prices cover the entire event, not a preset time period of 4 or 5 hours.

Is there any kind of contract?

Yes.

May I speak to references?

Please do!  I’d be happy to provide contact information for several couples, event coordinators and satisfied clients so you can speak to them in person.

Will I know my DJ?

With DJ-Chicago, definitely yes! We recommend that you meet or conduct a phone interview with your DJ when booking with us to make sure that he is the “right fit”. If you decide to hire DJ-Chicago, you will meet with your DJ again about 3 weeks prior to your reception to go over introductions, an agenda for the evening, and your musical preferences and song selections. After meeting with your DJ you can be confident that they understand your expectations for your special night. With many DJ companies you will not meet or speak to your DJ until your wedding date or, at best, a couple days prior. Unfortunately, at this point there is little that you can do if you do not feel they are the right DJ personality for you.


What type of audio equipment do you use?

At DJ-Chicago we only use high-quality professional audio equipment by well-known manufacturers such as Pioneer, Denon, Numark, JBL, and Mackie. We have sound systems that are suitable for virtually all group sizes. Additionally, in the unlikely case of an equipment failure, we always bring back-up equipment to every event. To view photos of our set-up, click here.


Do you provide a lighting set-up?

We have several lighting set-ups ranging from simple colored floodlights to special effect lighting. When we meet with you prior to your wedding day we will discuss with which one, if any, would be most appropriate for your reception. There is no additional cost for any of our lighting packages.


How large is your music library and what songs do you play?

The DJ-Chicago music library contains over 7000 songs from the 1920’s to what’s currently hot on the charts. Please click here to review our online music database or to download our current song list. Also, if there are songs which you would like played at your wedding which are not currently in our database, just let us know at our meeting a couple weeks prior to your wedding day. We will be sure to have them for your reception.


What will my DJ wear?

A black tuxedo, unless other attire is more appropriate.


What time will my DJ arrive to set up at the reception hall?

Our DJ’s arrive early, usually 90 minutes prior to the start time, to ensure set-up is complete, all storage crates are hidden, and all wires taped to the floor so the DJ area will look as clean and neat as the rest of the room when your first guest arrives.


What if my DJ is sick on the date of my reception?

In the six years we have been in business, our DJ’s have never missed an event. If by unavoidable circumstance such as illness, your DJ is unable to perform on the date of your wedding, we will provide a replacement DJ of similar experience and quality.


What do you charge?

At DJ-Chicago our pricing is simple and reasonable, with no hidden costs. We only charge for our performance hours, not for drive time, set-up time, customer meetings, dance lights, etc.

These are our rates for Weddings effective July 1, 2007:
Saturday Weddings: $995 for first 4 hours, $95 per additional hour
Sunday – Friday Events: $895 for first 4 hours, $95 per additional hour


Can I speak to references?

We encourage you to speak to our references. Upon request we will provide you with the contact information for several couples who can comment on the quality of our performances.