Joe Saraceno Productions
(617) 539-0808
 proDJ@joesaraceno.com

 

Experience should be a major factor in your choice of a DJ.

1. The DJ you choose should have experience in the specific type of function you are hiring them for. All functions are not the same, for example, a wedding involving a couple in their 20's is a much different affair then one for a couple in their 40's.  Remember the DJ is not just there to play music, they are there to provide entertainment, which means they should be able to interact with the guests and get them involved in the activities.  Remember for some of your guests this might be the only opportunity they get to go out dancing.


2. The DJ should also be experienced in working with your photographer, videographer, and reception staff.   Often the DJ will act as the "Master of Ceremonies" for the reception, coordinating special formalities such as first dances, parent dances, throwing of the bouquet or garter belt, distribution of center pieces, and cake cutting.  The last thing you want is the photographer missing a picture because the DJ did not coordinate the events with them.
 

The DJ should be experienced in being the "Master of Ceremonies" at your affair from the moment you walk in to the time you leave for your honeymoon. There's nothing worse than having your DJ make the pace of your affair erratic or have them end the affair poorly.



Price should not be the primary reason for hiring a DJ.
How much a DJ charges for his or her services is a poor indicator of how good that DJ will be at your function.   Also remember if you go through an "Entertainment Agency" you will pay more because you are paying them and the DJ.  If possible try and deal with the DJ directly to save some money.  Remember in the scheme of things trying to save $50-$100 on the DJ for a several thousand dollar wedding isn't worth the risk of having a bad DJ ruin your affair.



The type of sound equipment the DJ has is very important.
Poor quality sound equipment results in poor sounding music. A good DJ should have professional quality equipment that fits into the decor of your affair.
While it's important that a DJ's equipment should be of professional quality, it's just as important that the DJ knows how to use and set up the equipment. Poorly set up sound and light equipment will result in poor sounding music and a poor looking affair, irregardless of the quality of the equipment.



It's important the DJ is professional and that you trust them to handle your affair in the proper manner.  
When you call the DJ do they sound professional on the phone? When you meet them are they dressed neatly and come organized? If you do not like the DJ (even if you can't pinpoint the reason) you should probably not hire him or her. There are plenty of DJ's so do not worry about finding one you like.



Ask to view a video of the DJ to see what they are like performing at an actual affair.
While you can go to an actual affair the DJ is working, these are usually private functions and you will more than likely feel awkward when you are there since you are not an invited guest. This will often cause you to hurry up your evaluation of the DJ.  This is why a video is recommended for reviewing a DJ that way you can ask the DJ questions in a more relaxed atmosphere while viewing them performing at an actual event.



A lot of DJ's make a big to do about having thousands of CDs while that's nice, it's more important that they have the music you want to hear. 
Your function typically lasts 4-6 hours, the average song is about 5 minutes long so you are only going to be able to hear 48-72 songs during your affair. 



When you interview your DJ make sure they have the specific songs you want.   You should make sure that these songs are designated in writing and  include both the song title and artist.
There's a big difference between "My Way" sung by Frank Sinatra and the original version sung by Paul Anka.  If it's in writing there will be no confusion about what you requested. 



Make sure the DJ has a wide selection of  music to accommodate all ages at your function.
This way if there are requests from your guests the DJ will be able to fulfill them.   The more requests that are filled the more enjoyable your function will be for your guests.  
 



Two DJ's are not always better than one
Some companies say they can offer 2 DJ's for same price as one, what they don't tell you is that the second DJ they throw in for "free" is actually an inexperienced DJ they are training.  That's why the second DJ seems to be acting more as a "roadie" helping to setup and take down equipment rather than doing any actual DJ work.  What makes it worse is the two DJ's usually end up socializing with each other rather than concentrating on your event. 



All functions are unique to some degree and you should expect your DJ to treat your function as a "One of a Kind" and not just as another job.
 
This last piece of advice is the most important
GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!!!!  This way there is no confusion or mix ups and everybody is clear on what is expected from everyone.