When you’re planning a wedding, there are a thousand different things you have to think about. Catering, flowers, wedding party dresses, decorations, honeymoon arrangements, and wedding cakes are just the tip of the iceberg. And one of the decisions you’ll need to make is what DJ to hire for your reception.

Picking the right DJ can make or break your reception, so you need to do it right. Read on to discover how to find the best DJs in Atlanta to play your wedding.

Decide What You’re Looking for

The first step to finding a good wedding DJ is to decide what you’re looking for. Think about what sort of vibe you want to create for your reception – do you want it to be classy, casual, funky, energetic, or down-home? Would you rather it feel like a formal dance or a throw-down party? 

Look for a DJ that specializes in the kind of atmosphere you want for your wedding. Many people choose to hire a DJ who mostly plays weddings so they will know all the cues for things like the cutting of the cake and the first dance. But if you want your reception to feel like the ultimate night out with friends, consider hiring a DJ who’s popular with local clubs.

Ask for Recommendations 

Once you’ve decided on a style for your reception, you need to start narrowing down the list of potential DJs who work in that style. Start by asking for recommendations; your wedding venue may be a good place to start asking questions. See if they regularly work with any DJs or if they’re had especially good or bad experiences with certain DJs.

Talk to your friends who have gotten married in the last few years. Ask them what DJ they used and what their recommendation was like. If they worked through a service, ask how that experience was, and see if that hiring service provides DJs who specialize in the style you want.

Listen to Samples

When you have a few potential DJs lined up, start listening to samples of their work. They may have demos up on their website for potential customers to listen to. Play through all of them and imagine hearing those tracks at your wedding reception.

If one of your potential DJs doesn’t have a demo up on their website, reach out to them and ask for a sample. This will also give you a first impression for how easy it is to work with them. If they send the sample over quickly with no issues, it bodes well for what the rest of your experience will be like.

Create a Playlist – And a Don’t Play List

While you’re listening to samples, start making a list of songs you’d like to hear at your reception. This should, of course, include your first dance song, your parents’ dance song (if you’re doing that), and any special music you plan to include at your reception. You can also ask guests to send in song requests or just pick all your favorite music.

It’s also a good idea at this time to make a list of songs not to play. You probably have songs that remind you of certain exes, that are way too overplayed, or that just annoy you. Let your DJ know ahead of time that you’d like them to avoid these songs so you don’t have to deal with that miscommunication in the middle of your wedding reception.

Plan a Timeline

Around this time, you also need to make a general timeline for the flow of the reception. With a wedding more so than with other events, there are certain events that will be happening at various times. You’ll have the introduction of you and your new spouse, the cutting of the cake, the first dances, the bouquet and garter toss, and maybe some special music or other special events.

Although your timeline doesn’t have to be accurate down to the minute, give the DJ a general sense of when certain things need to happen. They’ll be controlling the energy of the entire party, so they need to be cued into when to signal that it’s time for everyone to gather to see you off, for instance. This will also help them know how much of a setlist to prepare and how to pace their songs.

Ask Questions

Once you have a DJ or two that you like, get in touch with them and ask some questions. One good question to ask is how they would engage a reluctant crowd. This can be a challenge at some receptions, and you want to make sure they have a plan for what to do if the party is dead.

You also need to ask them if they’re also willing to serve as an emcee and make announcements or if you’ll need to hire someone else to do that. Check on if guests are allowed to request songs at the reception. And make sure you ask what the backup plan is if they get the flu the day of your wedding.

Get a Contract

When you’re satisfied that you’re hiring the right DJ, make sure you sign a contract. A person may seem nice, and they can be a wonderful person who’s very reliable. But this is a business deal, and you need to have a written contract in place for both of your protection.

Review the contract with your DJ before you sign it. Check on what the up-front payment requirements are and what the cancellation policy looks like. Also take a look at liability and other basic legal issues that could affect your working relationship.

Find the Best DJs in Atlanta

Finding the Best DJs in Atlanta for your wedding is a matter of being prepared and knowing what you’re looking for. Make sure you listen to plenty of samples and give your DJ all the information they’ll need for the reception. This will make sure things go smoothly and you have the perfect party to end your perfect day.

If you’d like to book the best DJs in Atlanta, check out the rest of our site at Blue Sky. We can help you book all sorts of entertainment, including bands, DJs, and more. Contact us today to make sure your party is the best one Atlanta has ever seen.