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What to Expect when Looking for a DJ

Updated on December 30, 2011

Two Types of DJ Companies

If you've started to shop around for a DJ you may have noticed two types of DJ companies out there.

  1. Self-employed disk jockey. This DJ works for themselves. He/she is the person that answers the phone and the MC/DJ on the day of your event.
  2. Multiple DJ company. With this company, you have the owner who usually is the person you meet/talk with. They will be the point of contact for everything. They are almost always an experienced DJ and know exactly what their doing, but they are not necessarily who will be at your event.

You can get an incredible DJ using either company, but there are some things to consider before signing a contract.

The Self-employed DJ

Being an event DJ takes training and practice. Any DJ starting out needs to get that training from somewhere and few can learn it from YouTube or books alone. We need to have a professional that can teach us how to preform before we start preforming. The self-employed DJ is no different. Most of us have worked for other DJs. We learned our trade before branching out on our own. We owe our skills to those that taught us, so it is very important that you ask the self employed DJ where he got his training from. is full of people that woke up one day and decided they would be a wedding DJ. They bought some equipment and wrote up a ad with a very low price. The next thing you know they've booked a wedding, but they don't know the first thing about being a professional DJ. You can see hundreds of stories like this on, just search for "DJ horror stories". Read this to weed these guys out quickly.

This should not scare you away from the self employed DJ. There are a lot of great DJs out there that have very fair pricing and will do an incredible job. With a little research, you almost always get a better DJ for the money with the self-employed DJ.

The Multiple DJ Company

When you sit down for a meeting with a multi-DJ company you will see some of the best marketing materials. Their sales pitch will be polished and the person you talk with will have so much experience that you will be blown away by their presentation. They will have referrals in every form and they will answer every question you ask with out missing a beat. You will walk out of your meeting feeling like you are in good hands, and you will be if you ask the right questions.

This company has a number of DJs that work for them. Some of these DJs are great and some are not. It's important to not just check out the company, but also the individual DJ that will be doing the wedding. You should never sign a contract without first meeting the DJ. Even after you've met the DJ you may still be at risk.

In most of the contracts there is a clause that states they can substitute another DJ for any reason. Depending on the company this may happen a lot or never at all. You have the power to ask for a change to that contract or an addendum that allows you to meet the other possible DJs and approve only certain DJs for your wedding.

Multiple DJ companies normally do a great job. Their DJs are trained by a professional, their equipment is up to date, their music library is vast, and in case of an emergency they have back-up DJs ready to go. On the down side they cost more on average, and they usually have DJs that are newer to the business.

Summing Up and Self Promotion

Regardless of the type of company you choose, you should ask a lot of questions. Most professional DJs are good people that value the brides and grooms that choose us. We want to do the very best for you, because we know how important your wedding is. That is why we put so much effort into learning our craft, and why we are dedicated to making your wedding the best it can be.

If you ever need a Phoenix, AZ DJ I would welcome a chance to win your business.

Thank you for reading.

Black Tie DJ PHX is a mobile DJ company serving the greater Phoenix area since 2006.


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    • DJBudd profile image

      DJBudd 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona USA

      Maybe you'll hire me to celebrate your first million earned on HP :) Thanks for reading.

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 6 years ago

      Very sound advice. Unfortunately, I no longer need a disk Jockey, but maybe my daughter will someday.

    • profile image

      Ben Shenty 6 years ago

      Good article! I just started looking for a DJ and this is going to help a lot when I talk with companies.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Someone told my daughter, no one can be disappointed in your wedding but you. So don't let any detail ruin it for you. You'll be just as married no matter what happens.

      Yes we all enjoyed my son's wedding. Only the bride was disappointed at what should have been her big moment, but so much else was wonderful she soon got over it.

    • DJBudd profile image

      DJBudd 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona USA

      Thank you for sharing Kathleen. I hope your son and his bride were still able to enjoy the rest of the celebration.

      I tell my brides that no wedding is perfect, and the mistakes that are made can be over come easily when we remember why we're there.

      I had a wedding last week where they ran out of food half way through dinner and had order take out. The bride was upset but we altered the schedule a bit and kept people busy while we waited for the food. Most of the quests didn't mind much and still had a great time.

      We even had the groom joking about it by offering foot massages to the tables that had to wait. Thankfully no one made him do it, but we all had a good laugh.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      My son and his bride sent their DJ the links to the actual songs they wanted for their wedding processional and recessional. The DJ got them both wrong. There is no way to fix that. They hired the DJ because he was a friend. The best thing is to hire someone who has been recommended to you by more than one satisfied customer. Good subject.

    • Carolyn2008 profile image

      Carolyn Gibson 6 years ago from Boston

      This is a good hub. You should try to link this to wedding web sites for the information, including wedding sites based in Phoenix.