Hiring the right DJ can make or break your wedding day, however, remember that it this is a team effort so it's up to you to clearly communicate your ideas in advance. Don't just wing it...seriously, don't! Here are seven things you should tell your wedding DJ to make sure that you will have a successful party for you and your guests:
1. Tell your DJ when you would like to play your most important songs and for how long
To begin with, you'll absolutely want to fill your DJ in on what songs you've picked for the major formailities (such as your first dance, father/daughter dance, bouquet toss, etc.). Timing is also a major factor and not just because of your time line. For example, will you and your new husband dance the full four minutes, or would you like for your DJ fade out at the three-minute mark?
2. How to correctly pronounce your names (or your bridal party members' names)
If your wedding DJ is a pro, he/she will take the initiative and ask you how to correctly pronounce all names before you even have a chance to mention it. If not, make sure to give your DJ a phonetic spelling. For example, if your new last name will be Raminowycz, a phonetic spelling would read like this: rah-MIN-oh-wits
3. The back story for any of your important song requests
Instead of providing your DJ with just a general list of “must play” songs, provide some context. For instance, “Please play the song 'Lady' by Kenny Rogers some time in the evening. This was my mom and dad's first dance song at their wedding reception, and it would really mean the world to them.”
4. Make sure to include songs for your “must NOT play” list
Sometimes your “must NOT play” list is one of the most important tools that you can give your wedding DJ – and may be even MORE important than your “must play” lost. Try to leave room for your DJ to take requests, but don't hesitate to list anything you hate (so if you hate Justin Bieber, let your DJ know). If your DJ is highly experienced, he/she will simply tell guests requesting those particular songs or artists that he/she doesn't have them available. It is better for the guests requesting songs that you hate to think that your DJ doesn't have EVERYTHING than for them to bug you about your DJ not playing a song that you can't stand.
5. Wedding host or crazy talk show guy?
Aside from the essential introductions, let your DJ know if you would like for him to be a chatty host or give encouragement for guests. Believe it or not, a truly professional wedding DJ with a lot of clout will only use the microphone at opportune times only. It is important to ask your DJ before you hire them what kind of MC (or host) they are. You may or may not want a chatty game show guy up there. You may want a completely laid back host. It is entirely up to you. Also, tell your DJ how comfortable you are being the center of attention at the party. Some people thrive on attention, while others cringe at the whole idea. It's best your DJ have the heads up as to where you lie on the spectrum.
6. Any volume or explicit language sensitivities
In addition to certain songs that are off limits, be sure to get specific about language (AKA explicit content) and/or volume preferences. After all, this is a wedding and NOT a frat party. If your wedding DJ is fully experienced, he will know not to play any dirty music. Kids and older guests should not be exposed to explicit content during a wedding. This is an extremely respectful affair, so let's keep it classy ;)
7. If there is any bad blood in your family
Sometimes, strained relationships between members of your bridal party or family including divorces, separations or other things can cause awkwardness. Remember to make your DJ aware of them so he or she can use the utmost care and sensitivity while interacting with those folks and in making announcements at your reception.
Unlike other areas of the country, the Memphis area is considered to be one of deep faith. Be mindful of your guests' sensitivities (and your own) while planning for your wedding and make sure your DJ is well-informed. It just makes for wedding day success from the start!