Wedding planners are more than just event planners. We're designers, problem-solvers, coordinators, budgeteers, part-time therapists, and friends to the couples and families who are entrusting us to help them with their events. Since we're on friendly terms now, here are some tips and tricks to the trade of navigating wedding planning!
Music helps set the tone of your wedding day and finding the right DJ/Band and MC is an important part of your event. From the ceremony music, to the cocktail hour, to the dancing, you want to make sure you are choosing a DJ that will help you complete the experience you want for your event. That is why we have compiled a list of important questions to ask a potentional entertainment vendor.
Questions for the DJ/Band
1. Is my wedding date available?
2. How long have you been doing this professionally? This is important because it will help you set aside professionals vs amateurs, which will definitely make a difference on your wedding day.
3. How many weddings have you played/deejayed?
4. How long have you been performing together (if interviewing a band)?
5. How many weddings do you do on an average weekend? For example, You don't want to hire a singer that played multiple nights before if they run themselves hoarse.
6. Do you perform at more than one event in a day?
7. Will you be the DJ/bandleader personally playing at our wedding? Which band members should we expect?
8. Have you done events at my wedding venue?
9. What sets you apart from your competition?
10. Can you describe your style?
11. Are there any other services that you provide, such as lighting design or a photo booth?
12. Can you provide me with recent couples that I can contact for references?
13. Do you have an example of your music or a video from a prior wedding where you performed?
14. Can you refer songs for my processional, recessional, first dance, etc.?
15. How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover?
16. Do you have a go-to list of wedding songs?
17. How do you keep your music collection up to date?
18. If the DJ or one of the band members scheduled for my event is unable to perform for some reason, do you have a backup replacement ready to go?
19. Do you take any breaks? How many and when?
20. What music will be provided during the breaks?
21. How many band members will perform that day?
22. Do you act as the emcee and make all of the announcements?
23. How would you define your emcee style?
24. What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
25. Do you take requests during the event?
26. Can we submit a do not play list?
27. What's your rate?
28. Does that rate include setup and breakdown between ceremony and reception locations? Are there any additional costs that are not included?
29. How much would you charge for overtime?
30. Do you have a travel fee? Are there fees for adding music that is not on your playlist?
31. When will I receive a written contract? (Always need a contract!)
32. What is the deposit and when is it due? Is it non-refundable?
33. What is your refund/cancellation policy or postponement policy?
34. How far in advance do I need to book you for my wedding?
35. What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
36. Are you insured?
37. Can you provide wireless mics for the wedding ceremony?
38. Does any of your equipment require special electrical outlets that I need to inform my wedding site about?
39. Do you bring backup equipment?
40. What kind of space or stage do you require for the DJ or band? If my site doesn't provide what you need, will you make arrangements for the stage or am I responsible for renting it?
41. Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
42. How much time will you need for setup, soundcheck, and breakdown on the day of the event?
43. What time will you arrive at the site and when will you depart?
44. Will we talk again before the wedding?
45. When is our deadline for submitting our music requests and event details? Will I have an online client portal?
46. What will you wear to our wedding?
47. Do you require a meal? How many, and does it have to be a hot meal?
48. What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?
49. How has their communication been?
50. Do you like their personality and voice? (If they are MCing your wedding day, you want to make sure you like the way they sound and their personality)
Tara Ybarra, Co-Owner and Event Planner for Ybarra Events, has been in the Wedding Industry for over 20 years. From Photographer, to Wedding Cake Artist, to Florist, to Officiant, and now Wedding Planner, her accumilated experience, paired with her College Courses in Event Planning, have given her the experience she has today. Blogging gives her an opportunity to share that knowledge with her readers.
Ybarra Events is located in California’s spectacular Napa Valley. Ybarra Events are the pièce de résistance of wedding planners. Run by the dynamic duo of Tara and James Ybarra, they help couples organize, design, and plan their nuptials at some of the most fabulous and luxurious wedding venues in Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, and Beyond. Chat with them today to start planning the wine-country wedding of your dreams.