How to Hire a DJ for a Party


If you want music at your next party but don’t want to hire a band, consider using a DJ. This professional musical mix master is responsible for setting the party’s mood with musical entertainment. Finding the right DJ for your next soiree requires a list of recommendations, a thorough screening process and a contract. Armed with expert tips, you can select the best DJ for your budget and preferences.

Things You'll Need

  • List of referrals
  • References
  • Contract
  • Ask around for referrals. While disc jockeys advertise in music magazines and on the Internet, it’s best to speak to someone who has experienced the DJ’s performance firsthand before booking the entertainer. Talk to friends, coworkers and newlyweds. Contact wedding planners, caterers, radio stations or conference meeting planners for their favorite mobile DJs. Wedding vendors and dance clubs will also have an up-to-date list of popular DJs for hire.

  • Interview a minimum of three DJs. Ask the disc jockey questions to determine his experience, prices, setup time and musical-selection process. Sample questions: Are you available for my party date? How early do you need to set up your equipment? Do you charge hourly? How do we choose the music? Is lighting included in the price?

  • Ask to attend one of the DJ's events. If possible, check out the performances of your top three candidates. Judge the crowd interaction, along with the DJ’s attire, level of professionalism and overall performance. Check the variety of music played. It’s best to hire a disc jockey with a large musical library.

  • Schedule the DJ several months before your party date. According to Bridal Bargains, popular DJs book parties and wedding receptions a minimum of three to six months in advance. If you live in a large metropolitan area, book the DJ 6 to 12 months before your party.

  • Negotiate DJ fees, and sign a contract. Finalize the date and time, schedule of events, venue requirements, lighting and equipment needs. If the DJ does not include this information in his contract, include an addendum to ensure that the DJ incorporates all of your requirements, such as equipment and emcee duties, in his fee.

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  • Photo Credit dj wave 191 image by Nathalie P from
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